C R E AT I O N S O F T H E UA E Explore the countryâ€™s newest imaginings, made real
IS FAST FASHION GOOD BUSINESS? STEP BACK IN TIME ON THE FRENCH RIVIERA
ANTALYA / TURKEY
Maxx Your Heart Maxx Your Soul
Liv Ty le r laying in Lag una Su ite Te r r a c e. To wa tch he r fu ll jo urney, visit ww w.m a x x r oyal .c o m Fo r r e s e r va t io ns, p lease call +90 242 444 62 99 o r e - m ai l b o o k @ m ax x r oyal .c o m
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OBAID HUMAID AL TAYER
MANAGING PARTNER & GROUP EDITOR
GINA JOHNSON email@example.com
GEORGINA LAVERS firstname.lastname@example.org
SENIOR ART DIRECTOR
OLGA PETROFF email@example.com
SENIOR WEB DEVELOPER
SURAJIT DUTTA firstname.lastname@example.org
LONDRESA FLORES email@example.com
FIROZ KALADI firstname.lastname@example.org
CLARKWIN CRUZ email@example.com
AARTI SAUNDALKAR firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTORS Christopher Beanland; Geoff Brokate; Emma Coiler; Ben East; Julia Eskins; Sarah Freeman; Dom Joly; Ronan Oâ€™Connell; Allison Tibaldi; Sean Williams; Jan Wilms. Front cover photography: Olga Petroff
GENERAL MANAGER PRODUCTION
SUNIL KUMAR email@example.com
R MURALI KRISHNAN firstname.lastname@example.org
CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER
ANTHONY MILNE email@example.com
GROUP SALES MANAGER
MICHAEL UNDERDOWN firstname.lastname@example.org
SENIOR SALES MANAGER
ASSISTANT PRODUCTION MANAGER
MURALI NARAYANAN email@example.com
BINU PURANDARAN firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORIAL CONSULTANTS FOR EMIRATES
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.
INTERNATIONAL MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND Okeeffe Media; Tel +61 412 080 600, email@example.com CHINA Newbase, Tel +86 21 6141 3871, firstname.lastname@example.org CYPRUS Enigma Advertising, Tel +357 26 811062, email@example.com INDIA Media Star; Tel +91 22 4220 2103, firstname.lastname@example.org JAPAN Tandem Inc.; Tel + 81 3 3541 4166, email@example.com NETHERLANDS giO media; Tel +31 (0)6 22238420, giovanni@giO-media.nl BENELUX, SWITZERLAND, FRANCE/ITALY & SPAIN IMM International; Tel +331 40 1300 30, firstname.lastname@example.org TURKEY Media Ltd.; Tel +90 212 275 51 52, email@example.com UK Spafax Inflight Media; Tel +44 207 906 2001, firstname.lastname@example.org USA World Media Inc; Tel: +1 212 244 5610, email@example.com
Media One Tower, Dubai Media City PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE Telephone: (+971 4) 427 3000 Fax: (+971 4) 428 2261 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai, UAE
R ule yo ur is l a nd o asis. Di s cover en d l e ss exp erien ces. C re ate u nfo rg e t t ab le memories. Ind ul g e. E x p lo re. Con q uer.
Yo ur p a la ce awa its at c aesa rs d u b ai . a e
CONTENTS DECEMBER 2018
64 DUBAI Step into the UAE From rainforests to theme parks – these are your emirates 64
The new silk roads
Peter Frankopan rejects eurocentricity 72
The Year of Zayed Merging ancient and modern 78
Experience 16 Stay: New York to Sydney 18 Dom Joly: The natural cure 24 Dispatch: An Icelandic gold rush 26 Neighbourhood: Nihonbashi 32 Lunch with: Boohoo’s founder 42 Down on the French Riviera 48 China’s canal town 57
Latest news 82 Inside Emirates 84 Destination: Vienna, Austria 86 UAE Smart Gate 88 Route maps 90 The fleet 96 Celebrity directions: Jason Momoa breaks down the Gold Coast’s delights 98
Expo 2020 Explore the new pavilion designs 74
Still or Sparkling?
Our private villas in the Maldives spoil you for choice. What will it be: your private pool, the sparkling ocean or the soothing renewal of the Jiva Spa? To reserve, call (+960) 6642200 | Email: email@example.com | www.tajhotels.com/maldives
EDITOR’S NOTE A VERY ASIAN XMAS
“It’s Christmas-time, head to Asia” is probably not how most festive-themed issues would start. But forget, for a moment, Dresden’s tinsel-streamed markets or searching for Santa in Yllas (said to be home to the “most traditional” Finnish Claus). Instead, business and leisure travellers alike might look East. It is an argument that Oxford researcher Peter Frankopan compellingly makes in his novel The New Silk Roads. On p.72, he discusses the movement away from a Eurocentric viewpoint to consider the massive importance of new networks that now connect Asia, China, the Caucasus and the Middle East. These are the new silk roads, but back in the Han dynasty of 207 BCE, it was an ancient promise of wealth that whispered along the arteries that connected East and West – wealth that was intellectual, religious, financial. Nihonbashi was described as the Venice of the East, a vital meeting place for merchants and a centre of trade that connected Edo to the rest of Japan. Still a hub of commerce, it is an atypical tourist spot but all the better for it, as our guide on p.32 demonstrates. But to truly step back in time, head to the ancient Chinese township of Xitang, just one hour from Shanghai. As fishermen catch fish using cormorants, against their silhouettes a network of covered walkways and footbridges, no place could be more different from its neighbour – the beauty, of course, of today’s Asia.
Georgina Lavers, Editor
Nihonbashi-bound Home to the Tokyo Stock Exchange, traditional knife craftsmen and some of the best ramen in the country – explore this Japanese city-district with our neighbourhood guide. p.32
16 / GLOBAL / EXPERIENCE
The Plan EVENTS TO AIM FOR THIS MONTH MARTIN PARR: RETURN TO MANCHESTER, DEC 1 - APR 22 2019
Retaking the city Photographer Martin Parr began his career in Manchester in the early 1970s, regularly returning to explore its habits. A major new exhibition brings together a 40-year selection of his world-renowned images of the English city
It’s fascinating, I love coming back. Every time I do there’s something different, something representative of a new time. Perhaps these new places aren’t quite so open and warm, but they’re still populated by Mancunians, and it’s a friendly place.
When you look at the body of work, do you see huge differences over the years… beyond the obvious fashion choices of course? Yes, the character of Manchester has changed. There’s a real difference between the gentrified centre and those who struggle at the edges, in the satellite towns I’ve photographed in the past. It feels like hard times have hit them.
There’s a shot of some Mancunians outside a Caffe Nero. Have our cities be-
come less distinct in the 21st century? You could certainly say we’re all becoming homogenised; there are parts of my new collection of photographs which could just as easily be London as Manchester. But I think that still says something about the kind of places cities have become. Generally though, hairdressers are always good to shoot as they’re usually run by one person and are very distinctive.
Was it tempting to go back to where you have shot before and document the changes? Well, a lot of the places have been demolished! I was happy to pick up on things I’d seen before – I went to Rusholme’s Curry Mile again. But I was happy to do new things, whatever was going on I wanted to explore. I’m a very nosy person, that’s what drives me as a photographer. I’m curious.
Generally, people are more curious about photography now, too… We’re all photographers now, but that’s good news for me. That means more people are interested in photography. You have a serious platform in Instagram these days – it hasn’t influenced me but it does mean I have a better audience, which needs constant feeding!
And what do you hope that people get “fed” from this show? I hope it’s enjoyable. I am an entertai– ner with photographs – perhaps there’s a serious subplot to what I do but I’m not going to impose those ideas on anyone, I leave that open-ended for the viewer to work out. You’re waiting for a moment to reveal itself, and while the cameras change and the subject changes, it’s still my eyes waiting to capture that moment. Manchester, UK. manchesterartgallery.org L-R: Martin Parr; a Manchester woman,1971
PHOTO: MARTIN PARR/MAGNUM PHOTOS
What kind of Manchester did you find 40 years after your first visit?
GLOBAL / EXPERIENCE / 17
ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH Miami has given itself over to contemporary art for one week every early December since 2002, swiftly becoming one of the coolest places to see the best new paintings, sculptures, digital art, photography and installation work. It’s America so it’s big – over 4,000 artists have their work here – and there’s a massive network of fringe events, DJ sets and parties across the city. There’s a large exhibition of work by Banksy promised, too – minus the shredders. Miami, US. artmiami.com
THE AI SUMMIT
LES MILLS LIVE
NEW YEAR’S EVE
With stories predicting robots taking over the world appearing almost daily, the AI Summit is a valuable corrective to exaggerated headlines, as well as a celebration of its benefits. Bringing together everyone from start-ups to tech giants under one roof, the programme of workshops and keynote speeches will undeniably shape the world in which we live. New York, US. theaisummit.com
A cross between a rave and an immersive gym class, fitness com– pany Les Mills bring their high octane show The Trip, plus other workouts, to Dubai this month. It’s quite the spectacle; their live events see up to 6,000 people on exercise bikes in front of a cinema-scale screen, fully immersed in physical feats (and possibly, excruciating pain). Dubai, UAE. lesmills.com
There are, of course, plenty of contenders for the top New Year’s Eve destination. Auckland is up there with the best, and not just because it’s among the first to see 2018 out. The incredible fireworks around the Sky Tower might be the focal point at midnight but the Wondergarden festival in the much-loved Silo Park is the place to spend all day. Auckland, NZ. wondergarden.co.nz
18 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY
40.7128° N, 74.0060° W
PRICE: FROM US$750 PER NIGHT
What happens when Brit cool takes on New York?
The kitsch urban charmer WORDS: GINA JOHNSON
NOTABLE NEIGHBOURS Where to shop and flop within a few blocks Café Gitane Celebs with street cred and allday French-Moroccan fare. Bloomingdale’s SoHo A curated concept store with health and smoothie bar Forty Carrots. Supreme Sneaker and skate culture with round-the-block queues. Amazon 4-star The physical store where everything for sale is rated 4-stars and above.
The first thing you notice when stepping into your suite at Crosby Street Hotel is the smell. Though that’s not often a sentence that predicates a glowing review in the world of five-star hospitality, the news is all good. Located in the cobbled streets of Lower Manhattan’s shopping and café culture command post, SoHo, the Crosby Street Hotel is the embodiment of UK interior design guru Kit Kemp’s trademark style, with signature scent, Gardenia Greenleaf, washing over the threshold of the rooms. Along with much-lauded London contemporaries such as Ham Yard Hotel, Crosby Street Hotel and its uptown sister, The Whitby Hotel, are part of a brigade of modern English exports from the Firmdale Hotel Group. Their intention to relegate overstuffed Chesterfield style in favour of a more contemporary spirit has paid off in spades. In the higher rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows showcase views that stretch across the
Lower Manhattan roofscapes and the suites come furnished with urban home comforts such as a fully-stocked complimentary bar cabinet and record player with some transcontinental vinyl classics. Like its signature scent, the alchemy of appeal comes in the form of several crowd-pleasing features, the central core of which is a bustling neighbourhood bar and bistro. Beyond it lies a charming garden terrace cosseted by a canopy of fairy lights. Complementing the lobby’s in-crowd vibe is a private cinema in the basement that hosts screenings and industry events. Along with the neighbourhood’s local pets, charmingly honoured in original photographs, public spaces feature works including a 12-foot bronze cat by Columbian figurative artist, Fernando Botero. Its US$1.5m value is an emblematic reminder that playfulness has a place a place amongst five-star style.
Emirates operates five daily services to the New York metropolitan area, with three flights daily to New York JFK and two daily services to Newark.
20 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY
33.8688° S, 151.2093° E
PRICE: FROM US$180 PER NIGHT
Park life in the city’s newest luxury lodgings
In Sydney’s green lung WORDS: CHRISTOPHER BEANLAND
When it came to updating a Sheraton that sat just opposite Sydney’s famous green oasis, money proved no object. AUD$50m was spent on renovating the property from its former iteration as Sheraton on the Park to a Sheraton Grand – Australia’s first. The upgrade is evident throughout – with a top floor pool bursting with sleek, striped sun loungers and jaw-dropping views towards Sydney Harbour that beg to be photographed. Inside, a day can begin with a massage at On The Park Spa, punctuated with afternoon tea at The Gallery, and end at Feast’s famous seafood buffet, a lavish blowout that will leave ostreaphiles weak at the knees. Post-dinner, The Gallery’s Wine Room offers a curated collection of all that is best
from Australia’s various vineyards. Bedrooms are richly decorated and feature more of the show-stopping vistas that the city is renowned for. Guests only need to wander to their windows to see Hyde Park in all its splendour, which lies right outside the hotel and is one of Sydney’s greatest green lungs. It’s perfect for picnics, as well as bird spotting – snowy white ibis flit through the treetops – and is home to the Sydney Festival as well as permanent exhibits like the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, a former prison that gives a glimpse into the lives of convicts and orphans who lived there in the 1800s. Bang in the centre of the city, the Sheraton Grand is right next to the Central Business District’s shops and a short stroll from the hip restaurants of Surry Hills.
FESTIVAL-BOUND If you’re heading to Sydney in January, make sure to check out the Festival in Hyde Park from the 9th to the 27th – where you can watch theatre, cabaret, comedy and musicians like South African star Nakhane inside the mirrored Spiegeltent. The adjoining Festival Garden throbs with life, day and night: bars and food trucks keep punters refreshed, and surprise performances take place amid moving pieces of art and sculpture. There are light shows and DJs too.
Emirates operates four flights daily to Sydney – choose from three nonstop daily services and a fourth daily service that makes a stop in Bangkok.
22 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY
41.3851° N, 2.1734° E
PRICE: FROM US$340 PER NIGHT
A city bolthole that’s shaking up Barcelona’s luxury hotel scene
An old soul with a modern attitude WORDS: SARAH FREEMAN
Sitting at the crossroads of elegant Gran Via Boulevard and ritzy Passeig de Gràcia, Almanac Barcelona is the first iteration of its namesake luxury hotel brand. Pairing high touch with high tech, the 91-room property counterbalances all the gadgetry with a human face thanks to its intuitive concierge. As for glam, the lobby sets the tone with gold-on-grey hues, mirrored and metallic surfaces, and an illuminated spiral staircase that begs to be draped over. The man behind the modern-meetsart-deco-opulence is award-winning local interior and landscape architect, Jaime Beriestain. Gutting two 18th and 20th-century corner buildings was a painstaking job, but one that’s paid off if my Juliette-balconied junior suite is anything to go by. Natural woods and gold tones combine with design-led accessories like low hanging drum lamps and
a custom made bed from Austria (complete with doughy pillows). The bathroom, meanwhile, is a vision of wall-to-wall Ibizan marble, graced with double-sink vanities and bespoke toiletries by local perfumer, Jimmy Boyd. There’s also a tricked-out toilet to compliment the smartphone that doubles as a room controller. With free unlimited local and international calls granted to guests, on (and off) the property, it even trumps the complimentary minibar! If you’re wondering where the best reception to buzz Australia is, head to the multi-tiered rooftop terrace and bar. There are few better places in the city to drink up views of Tibidabo Mountain and the eternal Sagrada Família, a glass of the hotel’s special-edition cava in hand. Back on ground level, sink into a velvet booth at Mediterranean brasserie, Línia, and dine on charcoal-grilled octopus, washed down with Catalonia’s finest vintage.
NEIGHBOURHOOD As barrios go, Eixample has the full package. Pronounced ‘ay-sham-pluh’, the city’s art nouveau district is home to some of the city’s finest Modernist architecture. There’s green oases like Park de Joan Miró and Placa de Gaudí, Barcelona’s famous shopping drag; Passeig de Gràcia, and the 18 towering Gothic spires of Gaudi’s Sagrada Família. Its wide boulevards and grid layout make it a breeze to navigate on foot, lined with plenty of tapas joints like Morro Fi and Bar Tossa to fuel your explorations.
Emirates operates a twice daily A380 service to Barcelona.
MNC BANKING PARTNER
IN FOREIGN WATERS YOU WILL NEED A LOCAL PARTNER Akbank is Turkey’s most valuable banking brand, offering you a nationwide network of 830 branches, exemplary cash management expertise, leading corporate and investment banking services, advanced IT infrastructure and high transparency. Above all, it is our local banking know-how, combined with our international experience, that will make us your most valuable business partner in Turkey. Turkey’s Most Valuable Banking Brand - Brand Finance Bank of the Year in Turkey - The Banker Best Bank in Turkey - Euromoney Best Bank in Turkey - Global Finance Best Bank in Turkey - EMEA Finance Best Bank in Turkey - World Finance Europe’s Best Bank in Cash Management - EMEA Finance Best Foreign Exchange Provider in Turkey - Global Finance
24 / GLOBAL / COLUMN
BANGALORE 12.9716° N, 77.5946° E
A kip in India When counting sheep just won’t cut it, head to Bangalore for some eccentric sleep therapy, advises Dom Joly
Emirates operates three nonstop daily services to Bangalore with the Boeing 777-300ER.
I’ve always been a little suspicious of “alternative” medicine. It’s always struck me as something that attracts gullible Westerners with a little too much money, looking for something to fill their empty lives. The time has finally come for me to test my theory. I am in Bangalore, India at a Holistic healing centre called Soukya. I’m here because I’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, a condition that means that I stop breathing for up to 60 seconds at a time more than 90 times a night. In London a “conventional” doctor told me to lose weight, get healthy and use a CPAP machine that blows air into my nostrils whenever I stop breathing. I needed something to kick-start my new regime and I was told about Dr Isaac Mathai’s Holistic Integrative Medical Centre in Bangalore. Set in a beautiful wild garden, the centre is a one-stop shop for your alternative treatments and a favourite for royals like the Duchess of Cornwall. You can do yoga, acupuncture, massage, colonics, meditation, Naturotherapy, Ayurvedic treatments… basically whatever you want, they’ve got it. I threw myself in head first and opted to try pretty much everything. It’s been a crash course into a strange world. There are a couple of things that really upset me. For some reason, whatever you are doing, paper pants are always involved. You are taken into a room, shown the tiny paper pants and then left alone to try and get in them. There is no
dignified way to wear the paper pants. Once they are on, people start coming back into the room and do their best not to laugh. Then, whatever therapy you are having, whether it be two men vigorously pounding your body using herb-filled pouches, or a man constantly dripping warm oil onto your forehead for half an hour, there is some truly awful Indian lift music playing in the background. I know that this is supposed to relax you, but it drives me crazy. The whole thing would not be out of place in Guantanamo. I eventually started taking in headphones and playing my own music in an attempt to distance myself from the horror. Everything within me wants to be cynical about Soukya, especially when I wandered into the library (opened by The Duchess of Cornwall) and spotted a couple of books by David Icke and Loose Change, the ludicrous 9/11 conspiracy samizdat. But, despite this clearly being a destination for some kooks, I am more relaxed than I have ever been in my life. I actually really enjoy yoga, despite being as flexible as a steel girder. I’ve learned to stop questioning and simply go with the flow although, speaking of flow, I have drawn the line at colonic irrigation. The idea of a pipe being shoved up my backside was one alternative too far. Anyway, must go, I’m about to be covered in hot termite mud and left in the sun to bake. Why? Who knows? Namaste…
GLOBAL / DISPATCH / 27
With its near-mythical volcanoes and glaciers, Iceland attracts millions of tourists each year. But geothermal energy bursting from its depths has sparked a new type of scramble to its shores. This is what a modern gold rush looks like. WORDS: SEAN WILLIAMS
The land of fire and ice and gold
A geothermal power station in Hverir, in the Northern region of Iceland
In 2009, few would have predicted that Iceland was on the verge of a digital gold rush. The global financial crisis had just crippled its economy, politicians were pawing for the exits and thousands of protesters parked themselves outside the Althing, the country’s ancient parliament, banging kitchenware and demanding change from those who’d helped wipe 96 per cent off the country’s stock market in weeks. Few Icelanders noticed when, around the same time, an anonymous developer going by the name Satoshi Nakamoto introduced bitcoin, a “cryptocurrency” that aimed to take the control of money away from big banks and governments. It took until 2010 for anybody to buy something with bitcoin, when a computer developer bought two pizzas with 10,000 of them. Fast-forward eight years and, despite a recent dip, 10,000 bitcoins are worth around US$64m – enough to buy almost
28 / GLOBAL / DISPATCH
five million pizzas at an average Reykjavik takeout joint. The platform is now used by millions of people worldwide, accepted by businesses and even available to withdraw at special ATMs. It is just one of many “cryptocurrencies”, or “crypto”, that have spun off since Nakamoto’s mysterious invention. Like gold, bitcoin is mined. Unlike gold, bitcoins are not extracted physically. Instead, bitcoin miners use computers to solve huge, complex mathematical problems. Solve the problems quick enough and you’re rewarded with a new bitcoin. It sounds simple, and in the beginning it was: anybody could mine bitcoin on their home PC. Nerds and speculators cashed in. As time went by, bitcoin mining grew tougher. The equations grew more complex; returns diminished. Miners
used powerful graphics cards to get ahead, then specialised algorithm-solving machines, called ASICs. Today mining is a global industry, and huge factories hum to the tune of thousands of ASICs, sapping huge amounts of electricity on their path to more coins. Enter Iceland. The small and isolated nation in the middle of the Atlantic, home to just 344,252 people, sits on a massive bed of renewable geothermal energy that can be used almost for free. The country is cold, too, cutting the costs needed to cool entire buildings full of hot ASICs. Not only do these factors make Iceland one of the most eco-friendly places on earth, but they mean miners can extract bitcoins for a fraction of the cost elsewhere. Many of its biggest players are located at Asbru, a sprawling, former US
Navy air base on the Reykjanes Peninsula, the green-black sprout of land home to Iceland’s Keflavik Airport. Its long, bright-roofed barracks, not far from the famous Blue Lagoon spa, are home to several giant “bitcoin farms” that, by some estimates, now account for up to 10 per cent of the entire planet’s bitcoin mining operations. Companies at Asbru can “start filling those spaces with miners, because it’s a perfect thing: you don’t need a lot of Internet packages, Internet traffic,” says Kristjan Mikaelsson, head of the Icelandic Blockchain Foundation (blockchain is the digital ledger on which cryptocurrency is stored). “You just need a lot of power, you need a lot of cooling. And it needs to be in a secure environment. Iceland ticks those three boxes the best in the world.”
First Class Pack Business Class Pack 10GB & 1000 mins for AED 1,000 5GB & 500 mins for AED 600
Economy Class Pack 2GB & 60 mins for AED 350
30 / GLOBAL / DISPATCH
GLOBAL / DISPATCH / 30
1. The so-called ‘Pots and Pans Revolution’ outside Iceland’s parliament, 2009 2-3. Iceland’s climate is ideal to cool buildings full of hot ASICs 4. Asbru, a former US Navy air base and home to several bitcoin farms 5. Inside Verne Global, a 40-acre data centre 6. Bitcoin’s Satoshi Nakamoto
Advania, an Icelandic firm that once made money producing typewriters, leads the country in leasing mining power to digital prospectors. Its farms are among the world’s biggest. “I feel in some cases that we are at a similar place with crypto as the Internet in 1990, when not everybody understood why you should use it, but it was exciting,” says Gisli Kr, Advania’s chief commercial officer. “Still, most people that use the Internet today don’t know quite how it works. But it helps them do stuff. And I feel like we’re at a similar place with crypto.” Iceland now uses more power on bitcoin mining than its homes, 100 per cent of which is renewable. The country’s government, once wary of crypto’s anarchist ethos, now actively encourages companies to pitch up and start
mining. Bitcoin mining may still be a fraction of the size of Iceland’s tourism industry, which welcomes over two million people to its icy shores each year. But it’s growing – and transforming Iceland into one of the world’s most exciting tech havens. Even outside cryptocurrency Iceland’s startup scene punches well above its weight. No matter that the country is isolated between North America and Europe: fast Internet, great infrastructure and education mean young Icelanders can build a successful startup from their own home. Not everything about bitcoin, however, is welcome. Some politicians fear the increasing reliance could accelerate a second economic collapse, should the finance sector flounder once more. Last December, as bitcoin’s value reached its highest-ever value, a band of thieves
broke into several of Iceland’s leading bitcoin mining centres, stealing over US$2m of equipment. The “Big Bitcoin Heist,” as media dubbed it, made international news. But for a soaring industry it was a recoverable loss. And now, almost a year later, even technophobe Icelandic politicians have come around to the island’s massive mining potential. “The attitude from these politicians and electricity companies has changed: that is, they are actually listening to us right now,” says Halldor Jorgensson, a local crypto expert. Iceland’s biggest asset has always been its mad, otherworldly geography. Now that land is bringing a new kind of gift. And like the geysers that spew great plumes of steam into the skies above the country, it’s a gift that’s set to keep giving for some time yet.
32 / GLOBAL / EXPLORATION
35.6895° N, 139.6917° E
Tokyo’s vast size means there’s always something new to discover, but why not start where it all began?
Nihonbashi, Tokyo WORDS: ALLISON TIBALDI
MANDARIN ORIENTAL, TOKYO
Nihonbashi is the birthplace of modern Tokyo. In 1603, a shogun named Ieyasu Tokugawa shifted the capital here from Kyoto, creating what would eventually become Japan’s energetic metropolis. The military dictator promptly built the Nihonbashi Bridge and declared it the centre of Japan. Even today, highway signs and roads all across Japan are still measured in terms of their distance from the bridge, so it remains the symbolic heart of this country. Much of Nihonbashi’s ancient cityscape has been preserved and combined with contemporary retail outlets and state-of-the-art skyscrapers. The result is a uniquely Japanese aesthetic that
shows deep reverence for heritage while simultaneously forging into the future. This bustling financial and commercial zone is also a vibrant residential neighbourhood. Locals push prams and purchase groceries, offering visitors a peek into their daily rituals. Browse the intimate shops for a taste of old-world craftsmanship, with goods meticulously displayed. Many stores have been in the same family for generations, underlining a national admiration for tradition and continuity. The authentic Edo spirit lingers, so navigating the jumble of back streets can feel like thumbing through the pages of history.
Located on the nine uppermost floors of the modern Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo presents sweeping views of the city’s skyline, including the gardens of the Imperial Palace and snow-capped Mount Fuji. Sense of place is the hotel’s guiding design principle. From the dark-grained, tree-like grooved wooden counter at the hotel’s entrance to fine fabrics made of natural materials in the guest rooms, signs of this country’s deep appreciation of nature are everywhere. In keeping with venerable Japanese decorative ideals, no single object has been selected to stand alone, rather to form a harmonious whole. The 179 guest rooms and suites are all generous in size. Coupled with panoramic views from the floor-to-ceiling windows, each exudes a feeling of wide-open space so rare in this crowded city. When it comes to guest comfort, no detail has been left to chance, from the handy Olympus binoculars for a magnified view of the distant sights to an extensive pillow menu to aid slumber. With twelve onsite dining options, including three Michelin-starred restaurants, the hotel is an Epicurean’s delight. 2-1-1, Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo,103-8328, +81 3 3270 8800. mandarinoriental.com
34 / GLOBAL / EXPLORATION
RIDE THE LIFT TO THE LOBBY OF THE NIHONBASHI MITSUI TOWER
NIHONBASHI SEMBIKIYA Watch the crowds gather to purchase perfectly spherical muskmelons, sundappled peaches and aromatic citrus fruit from Japan’s oldest fruit shop. Prices for the premium produce are sky-high, but judging from the crowd, that doesn’t deter anyone. Much of the fruit is homegrown though some is imported from exotic locations around the globe. It is customary to give fruit as a gift in Japan so watch the staff expertly gift-wrap each piece of fruit as if it were the Hope Diamond. 2-1-2 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0022, +81 3 3241 0877. sembikiya.co.jp
TAKE A TWO-MINUTE WALK
NIHONBASHI MITSUKOSHI With roots dating back to the 17th Century, Japan’s oldest department store was born as a kimono shop, evolving into a prestigious retail landmark so respected that a railway station was named after it. Everything from Western women’s apparel to traditional kimonos and a hair salon is contained under one roof. The massive basement
food hall is bursting with stalls selling a range of edible temptations. It’s an excellent spot to indulge in some kakigori or shaved ice, one of Tokyo’s trendiest snacks. This refreshing feat of texture starts with downy shavings from shimmering blocks of ice. The fluffy flakes are saturated with a variety of toppings, from sweet seasonal berries to a salty puree of nutritious edamame. 1-4-1, Nihonbashi, Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-8001, +81 3 3241 3311. mitsukoshi.mistore.jp
36 / GLOBAL / EXPLORATION
TAKE A FIVE-MINUTE WALK
OZU WASHI Ozu Washi has sold handmade washi paper since 1653. Washi paper is commonly made using pulp from tree bark though other fibre-rich materials, including hemp, rice and wheat, may also be used. The shop brims with the highest grade of paper in a seemingly endless array of sizes and patterns. The store doubles as a museum with its display of approximately 1,000 items explaining the history of this artisan craft. There is a short video on rotation delving deeper into the papermaking technique; ask the multilingual staff to play the English language version. It takes time and repetition to properly master papermaking but for those
Left and below: The rainbow tones of Ozu Washiâ€™s pulp paper
who want to explore the process experientially, thereâ€™s a hands-on workshop. Advanced reservations are recommended. Ozu Honkan Bldg., 3-6-2 Nihonbashi Honcho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-0023, +81 3 36621184. ozuwashi.net
38 / GLOBAL / EXPLORATION
TAKE A 10-MINUTE WALK
IBASEN Fans are in an integral part of the Japanese patrimony, a historic symbol of national pride. The sensu variety, folded paper on a bamboo frame, is perhaps the most iconic handheld fan. Ibasen has been crafting exquisite fans since 1590. The store is filled with samples that demonstrate the country’s obsession with perfection and mastery
of minute details. The scenes depicted are often inspired by Mother Nature, so expect flowers, trees, water and fish to adorn many of the objets d’art. Custom-made fans are a specialty, but come at a price. Ibasen building, 1st floor, 4-1 Nihonbashi kobuna-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, +81-3-3664-9261. ibasen.co.jp
TAKE A 10-MINUTE TAXI RIDE
THE IMPERIAL PALACE Surrounded by a wide moat and a tall stonewall, this was the site of the imposing original Edo Castle. The present palace replaced the one destroyed during World War II. Much of the complex is off-limits to the general public though guided tours (available with advance reservations) offer access to a small section of the inner compound. The Imperial Palace East Garden is a lush and verdant oasis, with manicured plantings and shady paths winding around the garden’s edge. Entrance to the garden is free and open to the public. 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8111, +81-3-5223-8071. sankan.kunaicho.go.jp
40 / GLOBAL / EXPLORATION
IT’S YOUR FINAL AND LONGEST STOP BUT WORTH IT – WALK THE UNDERGROUND PASSAGEWAY TO HIBIYA STATION AND CATCH THE TOKYO METRO’S HIBIYA LINE (COLOUR-CODED GREY) FOR 30 MINUTES TO EBISU STATION (EXIT 2) FOLLOWED BY A 10-MINUTE WALK
THE YAMATANE MUSEUM OF ART
DID YOU KNOW
Nihonbashi marks the zero kilometre point at which all distances are measured to in Tokyo
TAKE A 10-MINUTE WALK
TOKYO RAMEN STREET Hipsters, housewives and businessmen all flock to Tokyo Ramen Street. Located among the maze of shops at frenetic Tokyo Station, the city’s best ramen chains were invited to set up shop here, making it a must-go for the noodle lover. At Soranoiro Nippon, vegan and gluten-free options are available. Take your place in the queue and be prepared to wait for a steaming bowl of long-simmered broth swimming with hand-pulled noodles. It’s a casual and authentic flavour immersion. Tokyo Station, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, +81 03 3263 5460. soranoiro-vege.com
This is the country’s first collection specialising in contemporary Japanese paintings from 1900 onwards. Known as nihonga, this style of painting advocates traditional Japanese artistic techniques developed over many centuries. The paintings typically start with a foundation of washi paper, silk or wood, always giving preference to natural materials. Mineral pigments, especially a textured pigment made from finely pulverised seashells, is a hallmark of nihonga. Visitors will notice sublime scenes of the physical world in all four seasons, including trees with colourful autumn foliage, branches heavy with snow, spring cherry blossoms and cascading waterfalls surrounded by summer greenery. Time spent here feels like a respite from the hectic pace of the city. 3-12-36 Hiroo Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0012, +81 3-5777 8600. yamatane-museum.jp
Emirates serves two airports in Tokyo with a daily A380 service to Narita and a daily service to Haneda, operated by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Rounded square Only use blue and/or white. For more details check out our Brand Guidelines.
42 / GLOBAL / LUNCH WITH
The CEO of Boohoo defends fast fashion and champions authentic marketing WORDS AND IMAGES: GEOFF BROKATE Rosso is a restaurant that was once a bank, in Manchester’s former financial district. Despite Christmas being two months away, the building’s grand domed exterior is wrapped in a huge golden bow, the interior decked out in tinsel and baubles. Carol Kane arrives on time looking tense, dressed in black with a leopard print sash. She looks around at the wedding-white interior. “I preferred it in here when the walls were red,” she states. Sitting at her regular table, she starts to relax, confessing to feeling tired after a long week. Kane, along with Mahmud Kamani, is the co-founder and joint CEO of online fashion e-tailer Boohoo. Created in 2006 at a time when established businesses were awkwardly trying to grapple with the shift into e-commerce,
Boohoo took a bold leap. “I think it was revolutionary the way we did things,” Kane says. “There wasn’t a model to follow.” Boohoo became known for its rapid growth, in 2011 seeing revenue of £24m, which soared to £395m in 2018. Boasting 6.7 million active customers and shipping to 190 countries it has become an established brand, offering low prices for the youth market. Kane orders some sparkling water, sharing small personal snippets like the weekend spa she has booked nearby and her recent discovery of yoga. Her small talk is at odds with the work-addicted businesswoman persona she has been given in the media; renowned for working 16-hour days and checking sales in the middle of the night. “It’s true I don’t think much of this work/life balance,”
she says. “I think if you enjoy what you are doing, you don’t worry about it. When you stop enjoying it, it’s time to do something else.” Was this the reason Boohoo just recently announced the imminent arrival of a new CEO, John Lyttle? Recruited from his role as executive of Primark, he will begin in March of next year. Kane explains that the difficult decision has been dictated by Boohoo’s continual growth, owing to the 2017 opening of a menswear arm, as well as the purchase of PrettyLittleThing (founded by Kamani’s sons, Umar, Adam and Samir), and Nasty Gal. “John is a veteran in retail, he understands scalability better than we do so it’s strategic.” She adds that: “It’s also about Mahmud and I enjoying the areas that we are really good at. I want to do
44 / GLOBAL / LUNCH WITH
more of the creative stuff, steering the overriding vision of where the brand goes and how we get there.” The pair courted Lyttle for 12 months over dinners and coffee. “Mahmud and I talked about this for a very long time, and agreed that while we’ve got the energy and are so heavily invested in these brands – let’s bring somebody in to help us run the business.” The shift will mean that Kamani becomes group executive chairman while Kane takes on an executive director role. “This is our baby – we don’t just put it into somebody’s hands.” The waiter arrives and we agree on starters. Kane assures me that there’s no rush, ordering the calamari and mushroom risotto. With a career spanning three decades, Kane’s rise in the fashion industry seems divided into two halves: Before
and after meeting Mahmud Kamani. Born in 1966 in the North of England to a working class family, she began a daily sketching habit at age four. While her dream was to become an artist she found herself opting for fashion illustration, landing a job as a designer in Hong Kong straight after graduating. She recalls that as a pivotal time, “Naivety got me through, whereas today I would really think about it quite a lot. But it was like, ‘let’s just do it. Why not?’” In the early Nineties she began working for Kamani, who had a Manches-
Rosso, a bank turned restaurant in Manchester’s former financial district
ter-based business selling garments to high street retailers. “Boy, have I never looked back,” she says, her face lighting up. “He’s a force.” By the age of 28 she was a company director and together they became renowned for offering unfathomable turnaround times to the high street. Retailers were used to six-month lead times: Kamani and Kane were offering six weeks from design to delivery. While traditional retailer thinking was centred around seasonality, Kane and Mahmud, through their sourcing experience in Asia, were always producing something new. They were creating ‘fast fashion’ long before it was a phrase. In 2006 Kamani casually suggested starting an online store. Kane nonchalantly accepted. “He will tell you to this day that that is the reason we started. I just had absolute confidence that I could make it work. We had clothes, we knew the customer, all I had to do was to built a website. So we got a tech guy who happened to be in the building and we built our first website for £1500.” The biggest challenge for the business was to bring customers to the website. Without a storefront and the unlikelihood of someone stumbling across them via a search engine Kane opted for a traditional approach, “We behaved like a big brand and the customers perception was that we were more established than we were.” Boohoo billboards started appearing everywhere; airports, London buses, motorways and magazines, which created customer trust. The starters have come and gone. Soon our mains grace the table but we only pick at the food as we continue our conversation with pace. There were many retailers dragging the chain when adopting e-commerce, fashion outlets believed that customers wouldn’t order clothes online because they couldn’t try them on before buying. Kane looks assured as she dismisses this myth, “Try it on at home. What’s the problem? I didn’t see that as a barrier and who wants to go and undress and be very vulnerable in a changing room with those horrible mirrors that aren’t very flattering!” As shoppers’ habits and patterns have gradually changed, the success of Amazon, Ebay and Google have driven
46 / GLOBAL / LUNCH WITH
Rosso’s Cannelloni di zucca
online shopping to levels that has heralded the demise of UK’s high streets. A report recently released in the UK shows that 14 stores a day are closing down with fashion outlets particularly suffering. The game changer was the smartphone and social media with 75 per cent of Boohoo’s traffic coming from mobile devices. In the last two years Boohoo has shifted their marketing strategy over to social media. “That’s where our customers are. They want more authenticity. They want to see regular girls wearing the clothing. It’s also about not using the skinny size zero models anymore. There’s a whole movement away from that which can only be a good thing.” We skip dessert as I see Kane’s energy start to dip. I tell her that I just have one more question. What was her response after Boohoo was named in UK Parliament last month as a major contributor to the effect fast fashion is having on the environment? I could see that this was still a fresh wound as she stiffens, replying with typically British pique, “I feel cross because I think that’s their opinion and not fact.” Studies are showing that fast fashion is propagating a throwaway culture where clothes are discarded regularly to keep up with trends. Boohoo alone have 30,000 styles on their site at any one time. So while consumers benefit from more choice, hundreds of millions of tonnes of clothing a year ends up wasting away in landfill. Parliament argued that Boohoo’s £5 dresses encourage young consumers to buy then swiftly reject and replace with a new dress. Kane is quick to her own defence, stating, that the dress is a “marketing strategy to attract customers who will buy other things.” She then adds rhetorically, “If you like something, does it matter how much it costs you?”
She shows me the frequency numbers from last year which show that customers return to shop at Boohoo 2.5 times a year. Kane agrees that the effect fast fashion has on the environment needs to be understood and addressed but she warns that there isn’t an overnight solution. “When it comes down to fibres and fabrics that is a big job. We can’t do that alone, that’s an industry movement. That’s not one brand over another, we all need to come together.” It is apparent to Kane that this issue is key to future proofing the business, “As far as I’m concerned there are always improvements to be made. We understand the culture of the consumer today is shifting towards that [environmental sustainability]. So of course as businesses we will follow through, otherwise we won’t be here in 10 years time.” It’s time to leave and as we put our coats on she tells me, ”I believe you should always learn something, you should try and achieve something.” When I ask of her main goal this year, perhaps anticipating a prize business insight: “It’s to do a headstand in yoga, I’ve not managed an unassisted one yet,” she declares. Evidently Kane is putting more life into her work balance, which isn’t stopping her from taking risks. She acknowledges the waiting staff and steps out into a damp, grey Manchester afternoon.
The Bill Starters Calamari Fritti £12 Insalata Di Gorgonzola £10 Mains Risotto ai funghi porcini £15 Cannelloni di zucca £15 Drinks Sparkling Water Still Water TOTAL:
£3 £3 £58
Emirates operates three daily A380 services to Manchester.
Monacoâ€™s WORDS: JULIA ESKINS
mid-century glamour In the worldâ€™s second smallest country, nestled on the scenic CĂ´te dâ€™Azur, unrestrained leisure is an art form.
a balmy evening in Monte Carlo, I find myself swaying in the sand to the sound of a Bossa Nova beat as gentle as the breeze. I can’t remember the last time I danced at a party but there’s something about being on the French Riviera – where the jet-set lifestyle still thrives – that immediately transports you to a more romantic era. And it seems like I’m not the only one. As the sun sets over Le Méridien Beach Plaza’s rows of yellow-and-white-striped umbrellas, I watch a group of glamorous guests play backgammon and slurp down oysters. The scene could very well be something out of a Hollywood Golden Age film, until you spot Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko’s futuristic superyacht in the distance. Or realize that the live band, Nouvelle Vague, is singing a cover of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.” Next to me French photographer, illustrator, author, fashion blogger and overall bon vivant Garance Doré is also swaying to the beat in head-to-toe crisp white. Doré was born in Corsica and spent her formative years in France before moving to the United States.
“I learned very early about the art of living, taking it slow and appreciating quality,” says Doré about her upbringing in the South of France. “There is definitely an attraction to a slower style of vacation. We’re living in a time where people want to shift away from crossing things off their list and move towards traveling to find moments.” Arguably, there’s no better place to do this than Monaco, a sovereign city-state where the main draw is enjoying the good life from an optimal vantage point – be it beachfront party or a scenic drive in a vintage sports car. Aside from a few key landmarks, a trip to Monaco isn’t about crossing touristic sights off your list, but rather slipping into a pace of life that hasn’t changed much since the 1960s.
From top: Dusk at Monaco Palace, official residence of the Prince of Monaco; the Oceanographic Museum befits its location
“The Côte d’Azur is a place that really developed during this time. That’s when leisure started. That’s when people started going on vacations inspired by beautiful images by photographer Slim Aarons,” says Doré. Thanks to the opening of the country’s first casino, Casino de Monte-Carlo, and a railway connection to Paris that sprang up in the late 19th century, Monaco quickly became the playground of the wealthy that it is today. Currently, about a third of its population are millionaires due to the principality’s well-known reputation as a tax haven. High season for travel kicks off in May, when the city hosts the Monaco Grand Prix, one of the
From top: Interiors at Princely Palace; the exotic botanical garden has succulents brought back from Mexico in the 19th Century
original street circuit motor races of Formula One. For those that would rather enjoy the slow life, spring and late summer is an optimal time to soak in the French Riviera’s relaxed atmosphere. Plus, you can always get a high-octane thrill by touching down via a helicopter from the Nice airport or cruising through the hills in a vintage sports car.
The latter was just my speed, and I was eager to heed Doré’s key piece of advice: “take a car and go through the small villages; that’s where you find treasures.” Little did I know one of the gems would be my ride, a vintage Rolls Royce Corniche that draws its name from the famous coastal roads that run between the sea and mountains of the French Riviera, toward Italy. Winding up the Grand Corniche, the highest of the three scenic routes, I can’t help but think of the icons that have done the same. The road was featured heavily in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 film To Catch a Thief (starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly) and long before that, it was built by Napoleon. “Don’t take any photos yet, the best view is coming,” says my driver before I can even snap a shot. A few minutes later, we reach a viewpoint where the tiled roofs of Èze, a village first populated in 2000 BC, and the Alps are visible in the distance. Apparently, Walt Disney spent quite a bit of time soaking up the magic of the town and its expansive view of the Mediterranean Sea. On a clear day, the water almost appears to merge with the sky, forming an abyss of blue interrupted only by white yachts and the rugged coastline. Back at sea level, our glamorous drive leaves me curious about Grace Kelly’s connection to the region. The late actress and Princess of Monaco was instrumental in shaping its allure. Venturing out, I stroll down Avenue Princess Grace and stop at the Japanese Garden. Kelly, who loved Japan, wanted to make a Japanese garden in Monaco. After she passed away in a car accident in 1982, her husband, Prince Rainier, fulfilled her dream by opening the garden. From the Théâtre Princesse Grace, I look out at the harbour where the two royals set sail for their honeymoon on the Deo Juvante II, a yacht now being used as a touring ship in the Galapagos Islands. Of course, a visit to Monaco isn’t complete without visiting The Rock of Monaco, a 62-metre-tall monolith representing the oldest of Monaco’s four corners. Nearby the Old Town, you’ll find the Prince’s Palace, now home to the current monarch, Prince Albert II and his family, and the Saint Nicholas Cathedral, where Rainier
Swiss excellence in addiction treatment and recovery
You are unique and so are we There is a way to free oneself from the self-constructed prison of addiction. Clinic Les Alpes is a beautiful and luxurious residential recovery clinic, set in the most spectacular natural environment. Deciding to seek help for addiction and dependency takes courage. At Clinic Les Alpes, compassion and understanding of the individual goes side by side with a one on one personalised treatment plan. Privacy and confidentiality are assured.
and Kelly wed in 1956. Today, Kelly’s philanthropic spirit lives on through La Boutique du Rocher, a store that she opened in 1966, which carries local Monégasque and Provençal crafts and donates its proceeds to children’s charities. As I wander out of the store and through the streets of Monte Carlo, I find myself admiring the area’s elaborate classic architectural style, known as Belle Epoque. Famed for it decorative elements including ornate pinnacles, balconies, turrets and colourful ceramics, the aesthetic blends French, Italian and Spanish influences to create Monaco’s signature expression of luxury. Prince Rainier famously banned the development of high-rises after the 1970s, though this legislation was struck down by his successor, Prince Albert II, to make way for modern condos. Further changes are on the horizon, as the city-state plans to expand its coastline by 15 acres to make room for Portier Cove, a new district near the casino. The current population of 38,000 barely fits onto its landmass of two square kilometres, where you’ll find the world’s most expensive real estate. According to a 2017 Knight Frank Wealth Report, US$1 million can buy a diminutive 17 square metre space in Monaco, compared to 30 square metres in
London or 162 square metres in Dubai. The new US$2.3 billion dollar expansion is set to be complete in 2025 and will house up to 1,000 residents in luxury villas and condos including one designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. This isn’t the first time Monaco has artificially grown. In the 60s and 70s, Prince Rainier expanded the coastline by 20 per cent. But as is the case with many things in Monaco, history often repeats itself. For now, the principality
hasn’t fully eschewed its storied past. You can still people-watch from the terrace of Café de Paris Monte-Carlo or listen to live piano while dining on spaghetti alla bottarga at Sass Café. Above all, you can head out into the deep blue abyss – by way of superyacht or morning swim. As the balmy breeze passes by, you might even hear the sound of a Bossa Nova beat and be moved to dance.
Emirate operates a daily A380 service to Nice, France.
From top: Well-heeled customers of Cafe de Paris; staggered pools at Le Méridien Beach Plaza
Enjoy responsibly - www.moët.com
LIFE’S MEMORABLE MOMENTS MUST BE MOËT & CHANDON
C H I N A’ S C A N A L
Drenched in neon light and decorated by a forest of skyscrapers and elevated highways, Shanghai embodies the modern nation China has become. But only 80km away a historic canal town reveals what China once was.
WORDS: RONAN O’CONNELL
H E A V E N
PHOTOS: OLEG NOVIKOV
F For centuries its beauty has been depicted in Chinese art, earning it nigh-on mythical status among the nation’s people. Yet it remains a relative secret to the Western world. Throughout its 122 laneways, connected by 104 ancient bridges that span nine canals, the splendour of 2,500-year-old Xitang village unfolds. China is littered with countless socalled “ancient towns”, few of them authentic. Many, in fact, have redefined the concept of ancient to mean built in the last decade in a faux-vintage style; essentially, cultural theme parks. Perhaps more than any other country, China has zoomed into the future over the past two decades. In its haste to modernise its cities, it has been accused of erasing much of its past and the older urban districts. As a result, those who seek the China “of old”, head outside of its metropolises. Shanghai residents are fortunate in this regard. China’s most populous city has more famous historic towns nearby than any of the nation’s other giant urban centres. Among these villages are a cluster of what the Chinese call “water towns” – settlements built around rivers and canals, revered for their traditional architecture and a slower pace of life. There are eight celebrated water towns in the Yangtze River Delta, which surrounds Shanghai – Xitang, Qibao, Zhujiajiao, Wuzhen, Nanxun, Tongli, Luzhi and Zhouzhuang. Each of these towns was strategically constructed along China’s Grand Canal, a vast network of manmade waterways built about 2,500 years ago to connect major settlements. One of the biggest civil engineering projects in history, the Grand Canal eventually extended almost 1,800km from Beijing in China’s north-east to Hangzhou in
Smile all the stay in the Maldives.
Welcome to the new LUX* North Male Atoll, an era-defining luxury resort in the Maldives. Opening 1st February 2019. What’s next ? MAURITIUS
I TA LY
its mid-east. It became the backbone of China, facilitating commerce and communication. The Yangtze Delta water towns were built as trade and transportation hubs for fish, rice and silk. While the Grand Canal is still used for transporting cargo, these towns now survive on tourism rather than trade. They are rare windows into Chinese civilisation of 1,000 years ago. Xitang has benefited from its relative isolation. Fairly tricky to reach by public transport from central Shanghai, a taxi ride takes at least 90 minutes and costs about US$60. For this reason most tourists instead head to the easier-to-access water towns of Qibao and Zhujiajiao, which in turn have become less authentic than this ancient scenic town in Jiashan County. On passing through the town’s main gate, an elderly woman sits alone on a wicker stool slicing a basket full of vegetables in a small courtyard. She is surrounded by time-worn stone shophouses, their steep roofs covered in faded ceramic tiles from which hang red Chinese lanterns. Opposite, a canal’s tranquil water is faintly disturbed by a lone rowboat. It glides past a young man fishing in the waterway and beneath a gorgeous arched stone bridge from the time of China’s Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
What sets Xitang apart from other water towns is its extensive network of covered walkways. Also known as langpeng, these passages run alongside almost the entire length of the canals that crisscross the town. Roofs over these walkways allow people to move around the town without being drenched by rain or scorched by the sun. The majority of the town’s homes, shops and restaurants are housed in buildings anywhere between 300 and 1,000 years old. Two of the oldest structures are its main places of worship – Sheng Tang Temple, and the Temple of Seven Masters. Both are wonderfully atmospheric, with locals kneeling to pray as incense smoke hovers above. Many visitors admire Xitang’s majesty from the vantage of one of its canals, hiring a rowboat to cruise through the town. If one chooses to explore on foot, the town is best treated like a maze – wander off into its warren of narrow alleys, some of which are less than one metre-wide, and each individually named. The deeper you go into these alleyways, the further you are from souvenir shops and the more likely to stumble across a family home or a hole-in-thewall eatery. Menus are dominated by seafood like fried fish and grilled river
prawns, whilst teahouses – the Chinese have long believed drinking tea helps with digestion of food – are awash with different varieties, from Oolong to Pu’er. This town may be renowned for its unique covered walkways, but it is the extraordinary beauty and variety of its bridges which are most fascinating – some low-slung and angular, others with steep, rounded arches which – when combined with their reflections off the surface of the canal – have the appearance of an oval portal into another era. Even in temperatures that can reach 30C, one should pause regularly atop these bridges to watch rowboats pass beneath. Xitang is made for such moments of quiet contemplation. It has no one standout attraction which demands to be visited. Rather, the joy it offers stems from the simple pleasure of meandering through its lanes, past its shophouses, along its canals, and across its bridges – imagining China as it once was.
Emirates serves three destinations in Mainland China – Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Mercedes-Benz is fully focused on its all-electric models. As the test vehicles continue to make their way through the Daimler testing programme, we accompanied them and the developers from the Arctic Circle all the way to the semi-arid desert WORDS: JAN WILMS We’re in Lapland, just south of the Arctic Circle. It’s -35°C, and there’s a fresh blanket of snow, knee-deep, white as far as the eye can see. Even northern Sweden hasn’t seen this kind of weather in quite some time, our snowblower Johnny, tells us; he clears the runs at the testing facility in Arjeplog. These are prime conditions for some of the most rigorous winter testing Daimler’s development department has ever undergone. To be tested are the fully electric models that Mercedes-Benz expects to set the course for mobility in the future. The engineers and developers are still testing vehicles fitted with two electric motors and all-wheel drive for around 300 kW (400 hp) of power, which are expected to achieve a range of around 400 kilometres while fully complying with the WLTP* emissions standard.
IMAGES: TIM ADLER, JENS RÜSSMANN
The bar is high, as they have to pass the same programme as all other Mercedes models, along with additional examinations of their lithium-ion batteries, electric motors and control components. Head Engineer Michael Kelz, director of the global test programme, has just finished a few laps on the frozen lake. It’s the final test day in the Arctic Circle; all of the team’s work over the last few months has been leading up to it. “The engine maintains extremely high levels of power even under the most challenging conditions. The car accelerates swiftly, and the all-wheel drive offers excellent traction. And without any local emissions or engine noise, of course,” Kelz smiles, clearly satisfied. Nearly four years of development time were reserved just for testing the electric cars, clocking up millions of miles
on the roads and in testing facilities. Much of the fundamental testing was conducted in Sweden – covering many laps of frozen lakes with maximum dynamism, taking on mercilessly rough terrain for perfect suspension tuning, and taking the cars offroad, where they were subjected to continuous strain. By market launch, around 200 test vehicles and prototypes will have been built, and in the end phase a new model will be produced every day.
On schedule “These tests are being kept strictly secret,” Kelz says. The test vehicles are covered with a camouflage zebra-stripe foil, concealing them from the trade magazine photographers hiding among the pines. But it’s the insides of the car that are the primary focus right now: the suspension, the shock absorber, the software that con-
ing original parts from the actual suppliers, which will later supply the Bremen Mercedes-Benz plant that manufactures the electric cars. The major temperature fluctuations in Tabernas put the materials under enormous stress. The off-road runs here are harder on the cars than even the most adventurous customers will ever be. Even the tiniest gap between joints is analysed and corrected. The test car glides across the racetrack, where the perfect asphalt surface enables the engineers to ensure that electromobility doesn’t mean compromising on dynamism.
Dressed for the weather: the electric test vehicles from MercedesBenz undergo a range of tests under extreme conditions in Lapland and Andalusia
A fascinating engine
trols the driving programs and energy management system, and the finer points of the recuperation technique, which – almost magically – recovers energy during braking. After four ice-cold months, Kelz notes, “We’re absolutely on schedule, but we still have a lot of work to do.” We join the engineers and their test vehicles again six months later, in southern Spain, where it’s 45°C in the beating sun. This is the driest region in Europe, and its eroded badlands offer the opposite extremes: pools of sweat instead of frostbitten toes; soaring highs rather than rattling lows. For the first time, the test vehicles in use have been made us-
“This is the moment of truth,” Kelz says, pulling onto a long straight. He puts his foot down. The e-car climbs to 100 km/h in five short seconds – on par with a high-power CLS. “The electric car develops enormous torque,” Kelz says of the car’s response. “The hard part was turning the power into traction, and our engineers have done an excellent job.” There’s no time for the developers to take in the barren Andalusian landscape – they’re busy planning even more rigorous heat testing in places like Africa and Arizona, where temperatures can reach upwards of 50°C. These will be the final preparations before production. “We take into account everything we’ve learned during the development of our previous electric models,” Kelz says. “That’s how we typically make a Mercedes – and with the possibilities that only an electric car can offer.”
FROM THE TEST VEHICLES TO SERIES MODELS Test phase 1 At the beginning of the testing cycle of each new model series, the technology is tested inside the body of similar models. The electric car drove its first kilometres as a “mule– tto”, disguised as a GLC. Test phase 2 The development department in Sindelfingen builds up to 100 prototypes by hand. The parts are produced via rapid prototyping, and now via 3D printing as well. Test phase 3 In the final phase, hardware is machine-manufactured by suppliers. Somewhere between 50 and 100 additional pre-series models are produced. In this stage, only the electronics, software and smaller mechanical details are left to adjust. Find out more about the new EQ brand at: mbmag.me/switchtoeq
STAY A WHILE IN THE UAE, AMONG THE RAINFORESTS, ARCHIPELAGOS AND THEME PARKS THAT ARE REDEFINING THE EMIRATES
W H A Tâ€™ S
N E W
T H E
U A E
66 A descent from the UAE’s highest mountain, Jebel Jais; a new kind of zoo at Orbi Dubai
dried wadis, or try out one of the most strenuous climbs in the region, the ‘Stairway to Heaven’, which winds up a still-used goatherder’s track.
ometimes, it’s best to look beyond. Venture past the classic tourist trifecta of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and Burj al Arab and you will find a whole host of new projects that have opened up in the UAE over the last few years. Head just beyond Dubai’s financial district to find a rainforest biodome – replete with sloth lazily hanging from a wimba tree – or hire a car and head north, to the rocky mountains of Ras Al Khaimah and the longest zip line in the world. Or, revel in what Dubai is best known for – luxury and jaw-dropping architecture – and head to the biggest new projects in the emirates. From the classically Dubai man-made islands that are the Heart of Europe, to the understated elegance of contemporary arts centre Jameel, just recently built on the Creek – there is a plethora of projects waiting to be explored. Head beyond the crowds, and find your new emirates.
THE EXPERIENTIAL The world’s longest zipline Up into the rocky outcrops of Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the UAE, one might find jerboas (hopping desert
rodents), grazing wild gazelles – and the longest zipline in the world. Thrillseekers are launched off a platform 1,680 metres above sea level in a Superman stance, travelling at speeds of up to 150kph for nearly three minutes, before continuing on the next part of their journey in a more sedate seated position. The UAE’s most northern emirate is typically quieter than most, but the arrival of this attraction cements Ras Al Khaimah’s position as a hub for the actively inclined – tourists can make a weekend of it by mountain biking in the
When the principal at architecture firm Grout McTavish was asked to submit designs for a small plot of land on Dubai’s Citywalk, his first thought was of the kapok tree. It was the grandfather of the rainforest – whose birth, life and death intrisincally influence the lifecycle of the bioclimate – that led the team to develop a rainforest that centres around this vertical experience. Guests enter and spiral around the great tree, experiencing squawking parrots, hissing Madagascar cockroaches and vivid blue morphos butterflies as they go. Staff are impeccably trained in the background of these species, with guests exiting with a new understanding of nature’s delicate balance.
VR Park Think of it as a satirical take on Dubai’s reputation as a fantasy-land – or just come for the 3D zombies. This new virtual reality theme park is a novel update of the amusement park – housed within the easily-located Dubai Mall, and free to enter – you simply pay per attraction. There
â€œAdvertisement approval covers healthcare promotion onlyâ€?
68 From top: The QE2, a nautical feat of engineering; Crude, an exhibition at Art Jameel
are family-friendly experiences as well as some standout simulations, like the abseiling experience down the Burj Khalifa, or a team game inspired by The Walking Dead, where players must battle through a hospital overflowing with zombies.
Orbi Dubai “Remember, stay very still,” says the guide as a silverback comes roaring through the jungle. “Don’t look him in the eye: they view that as a direct threat.” After a few hair-raising seconds, the crisis is averted, and the gorilla returns calmly to his pack, the chest-beating alpha male turned back into a gentle father. This is just one of the experiences that guests can discover inside Orbi Dubai, a digital zoo within City Centre Mirdif Mall in Dubai. Billed as a “high-octane indoor nature museum”, its aim is to bring the jungles of Central Africa – plus a raft of other wild locations – to cities worldwide. The centre is a collaboration between BBC, a stalwart in natural history filmmaking, SEGA and Majid Al Futtaim. With documentaries like Blackfish enacting real change in the way animals are kept in enclosures – Sea World stopped using its killer whales in performances and ended its captive breeding programme after the film was released – experiences like Orbi Dubai are revolutionising the way we can interact with animals.
Dubai Parks & Resorts With three theme parks and one waterpark, Dubai Parks and Resorts offers visitors over 100 indoor and outdoor rides and attractions in four different parks: Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, Legoland Dubai and Legoland Water Park. Guests can buy discounted passes that will allow access to all, or pick their favourite – Motiongate is Hollywood-inspired and features attractions from films such as Madagascar and Shrek, Bollywood Parks (as its name
suggests) offers attractions, displays and dance performances inspired by Lagaan, Sholay and more, and Legoland has interactive fun zones, driving experiences and a waterpark designed specifically for children aged 2-12.
THE ARCHITECTURAL QE2 During its long career, it attracted celebrities such as Nelson Mandela, Elizabeth Taylor and Buzz Aldrin. Now, this 293.5-metre vessel is permanently docked at Mina Rashid in Dubai, embodying a true feat of engineering for Sixties England. Built in the famed shipyards of
John Brown in Clydebank, Scotland, the ship has been converted into a permanent floating hotel, which remains true to its original heritage.
The Frame The biggest picture frame on the planet, this is the stuff selfies are made of. Standing 150 metres high and 93 metres wide in Za’abeel Park, Dubai Frame has fast become one of the city’s most memorable landmarks, with two golden towers and a connecting glass-bottomed bridge. Visitors are given a glimpse of the city’s history with an exhibit at the mezzanine level, with a 360-degree view of Old Dubai to the north and New Dubai to the south.
70 Looking down at Dubai Opera’s halls
THE CULTURAL Jameel Arts Centre A vast, scarlet spiderweb envelops an entire room, smothering a broken dhow, lights, even an emergency exit. As visitors step into the space, they tend to fall silent – a nod to the power of Chiharu Shiota, the Japanese artist commissioned. November this year marked the opening of Jameel Arts Centre, one of the first contemporary arts institutions in Dubai and part of the efforts to revitalise Dubai Creek. Located at the tip of Jaddaf Waterfront, the Centre’s multiple gallery spaces are home to curated commissions, projects, and solo and group exhibitions, drawn both from the Art Jameel Collection and through other collaborations. Other spaces include a garden dedicated to indigenous plants, an open-access research library dedicated to artists and cultural movements of the Arab world, plus project and commissions spaces, a rooftop terrace, writer’s studio, members’ lounge, restaurant and shop.
Dubai Opera A Western colonial power employs a Muslim general to lead their army against the impending Turkish invasion – himself dealing with a traitorous ensign, Iago. The play is Othello, and the setting is the Dubai Opera, the city’s first purpose-built, multi-format performing arts theatre – and the definitive destination for entertainment in the city. Designed to bring world-class acts to the city and form a new Middle East hub for art, music, theatre and culture, its vernacular form is inspired by the traditional Arabic dhow, and local heritage is a theme running throughout the building’s interior. While the vision for Dubai Opera may be inspired by the past, its functional aspects are very much rooted in the present.
La Perle La Perle’s tailor-made 1,288-seat aqua-theatre is designed by Jean Rabasse
and brought to life by architectural firm Khatib and Alami. Architecturally it is no small feat, with a 12-metre-deep circular pool and two motorised proscenium scenic doors, each 23 metres in height and weighing six tonnes. Suspended high above the stage is a 60,000kg motorised scenic tower, and the stage floor can be transformed from a 2.7-million-litre pool into a solid dry deck within a matter of seconds, while
special effects create waterfalls and rain. There’s also a 360-degree sound system and 3D projection mapping, with everything in the theatre doubling up as a projection screen. Noted theatre director Franco Dragone worked on La Perle for nearly five years, and said of the project that “This theatre is not only a theatre, it’s the cinegraphic of the show... What I wanted to do was not a show for Dubai, but a show from Dubai.”
195mm (w) x 260mm (h)
FIRST L AUNCH WORLDWIDE IN DUBAI DUT Y FREE
This limited edition single malt scotch whisky is inspired by the world of surreal art.
#MACALLANCREATES DISCOVER MORE AT THEMACALLAN.COM
Please savour responsibly
72 / LITFEST / THE BIG QUESTION
What does the Silk Road mean in today’s world? WORDS: BEN EAST When Peter Frankopan was a little boy growing up in early 1980s England, he was obsessed by a map of the world on his bedroom wall. Like many in the Cold War era, his childhood was dominated by two hulking countries on his map – USSR and the United States – and where they were placing their nuclear missiles. “But I couldn’t help noticing that I was only hearing about a tiny part of the world,” he remembers. “On the news I also saw Pakistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India. I wanted to know more about these places too, and I soon realised that the history of peoples in Asia was amazingly rich.” An interest turned into a long-running passion; now a Professor of Global History at Oxford and Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, Frankopan also leads a colourful life as
a hotelier, philanthropist, keen amateur cricketer and Croatian prince (his father came to the UK as a refugee after World War II). It was his bestselling book The Silk Roads, brilliantly shifting the narrative of world history away from the West towards the networks that connected Asia, China, the Caucasus and the Middle East, that marked Frankopan’s arrival as one of our most interesting and accessible historians in 2015. “I was trying to look at the world from a non Eurocentric point of view, how we’re all linked to each other, what the shifts of economic and political power all mean,” he says. “If you go back in history you see that the interlocking parts of the world move dramatically and rapidly, and not just in the West.” Frankopan thinks that since he wrote The Silk Roads, there has been an even
greater acceleration in the importance of Asia, China and the Middle East. All of which led to The New Silk Roads, his latest book which he hopes is a “snapshot of the world going into 2019.” “It’s a fascinating moment,” he says. “There is of course rivalry across Asia but generally states are trying to work together or manage their competition in a way that works mutually. In terms of successful new economies, it’s very hard to argue with places like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Astana. They’ve risen spectacularly fast. “I’m not here to sound the death knell for the West but there is a point of transition happening; many countries are looking at themselves in the mirror and don’t know whether their role in this changing world is to adapt or detach.” What makes The New Silk Roads so fascinating is that Frankopan frames these significant political and economic changes through cultural ideas we can all understand. Some – in fact most – of Europe’s greatest football teams are owned or sponsored by “Silk Road” companies and billionaires. The great new museums are in the Middle East. “Look at Emirates airline, even,” says Frankopan. “30 years ago the idea that it would have the largest fleet of the biggest passenger plane in the world wouldn’t have made any sense.” Now, of course, it’s completely normal. Part of, as Frankopan puts it, the jigsaw of the ever-moving story that is the Silk Roads.
The New Silk Roads (Bloomsbury) is out now. Peter Frankopan will be appearing at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai, from 1-9 March 2019
74 / EXPO 2020
Right: The falconinspired UAE Pavilion was designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
Clockwise: The country pavilions of Oman, Poland and the Czech Republic.
The world in one place More than 180 nations have now confirmed their participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, but what can visitors expect from these exciting country pavilions?
Something amazing is happening in the UAE desert. Nations from every corner of the planet are coming together 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. More than 180 countries have already confirmed their participation in Expo 2020, surpassing the target set out in Dubai’s original bid submission. For the first time in the 167-year history of World Expos, each participating country will have its own pavilion, and these buildings will be organised according to the key subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, rather than geographically. Four countries from Expo’s Opportunity Thematic District have unveiled their plans so far. Austria will show how ancient innovations can help shape our future by using a 9,000-year-old sustainable material to build
76 / EXPO 2020
Clockwise from left: The country pavilions of New Zealand, Germany and the UK.
its pavilion; the Luxembourg Pavilion will showcase the country’s resourceful nature; the Bedouin tent-inspired Swiss Pavilion will offer a modern twist on Arab wisdom; and visitors to the UK Pavilion will be able to contribute to a constantly changing poem, which will be digitally displayed on the structure’s exterior. In the Mobility Thematic District, the Finland Pavilion will pay tribute to ‘the land of a thousand lakes’ by bringing snow to the UAE desert; the Oman Pavilion will use frankincense to illustrate the Sultanate’s story of national progress; and the Poland Pavilion will demonstrate the country’s multifaceted global connections through the motif of migrating birds. In the Sustainability Thematic District, the Czech Pavilion will evoke feelings of spring through a series of fluid lines that flow around rectangular exhibition spaces; connected devices will serve as invisible companions for visitors to the Germany Pavilion; and the New Zealand Pavilion will promote the nation’s core values of ingenuity, integrity and kaitiakitanga – the Māori term for guardianship. The UAE Pavilion will be located at the heart of the Expo 2020 site, next to Al Wasl Plaza. Designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the falcon-inspired structure will immerse visitors in Emirati culture while allowing them to explore the nation’s vision for the future.
Expo 2020 expects to attract 25 million visits between October 2020 and April 2021, equivalent to welcoming the population of Australia through its gates in only six months. With 70 per cent of visitors projected to come from outside the UAE – a country that is already home to more than 200 nationalities – the next World Expo will possess a distinctly international flavour, bringing to life the theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. With many more pavilion designs expected to be revealed in the coming months, Expo 2020 Dubai will continue to grow as a hub for international innovation and creativity. In less than two years’ time, this global destination will offer millions of people the unique opportunity to experience the entire world in one place.
For more, check out the Expo 2020 podcast on ice channel 1901.
78 / THE YEAR OF ZAYED
As the Year of Sheikh Zayed draws to a close, we take a look back at the UAE founding father’s greatest achievements
Zayed, the visionary WORDS: ZAYED: LIFE OF A GREAT LEADER / BOOKSARABIA.COM Sheikh Zayed’s vision for the UAE was broader than simply the political sphere. He sincerely wanted the betterment of his people and would use the funds from the country’s natural resources to make that happen. He wanted every citizen to have a home, education, quality healthcare and the opportunity to be part of building the new UAE. His vision for Abu Dhabi was for a carefully planned city, with trees and parks and green spaces, and capable of expansion to meet the needs of a growing urban population. He saw the need for plants and trees that could survive in the desert climate of Abu Dhabi. He created a private nature reserve on the island of Sir Bani Yas, located off the coast of the mainland, and pursued research there into species that would thrive in the highly saline conditions of the coastal area. He was aware of the need for sustainability long before the word became popular, and grey-water treatment plants were set up to provide irrigation for the city’s greenery. In his lifetime, more than 150 million trees were planted at his instigation. Today, government agencies have been set up to address various issues of the environment, water resources, agriculture, livestock, fisheries, desertification and biodiversity conservation. Women’s empowerment was a top priority for Sheikh Zayed, and he saw to it that women’s equality was enshrined in the UAE’s constitution, and that they enjoy the same legal status, claim to titles, access to education, the right to practice professions
and the right to inherit property. Women were enabled to seize the educational, social and employment opportunities that he made possible. Today, Emirati women account for about 70 per cent of all university graduates and more than half the graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and are a vital component of the further development of the UAE. Sheikh Zayed was also a great philanthropist, sharing the wealth of Abu Dhabi not only with the people of the UAE but with those in need worldwide. He stressed that foreign aid and assistance were one of the basic pillars of UAE foreign policy, and that the UAE’s aid had only humanitarian objectives, being neither governed by politics nor limited by geography, race, colour or religion. For years the UAE has been one of the world’s top ten donors in terms of per capita wealth; Sheikh Zayed’s people have kept his spirit of great generosity alive. The UAE’s current economic success and international influence are a direct result of this man’s incredible vision, his extraordinary ability to execute it and inspire others to continue down the same path. His legacy is that he touched the lives of his people, and millions of others across the world.
WORDS TO LIVE BY “A nation without a past is a nation without a present or a future. Thanks to God, our nation has a flourishing civilisation, deep-rooted in this land for many centuries. These roots will always flourish and bloom in the glorious present of our nation and in its anticipated future..”
Ten Emirates aircraft carry a special ‘Year of Zayed’ livery for 2018, commemorating the centennial of the birth of the UAE’s founding father.
UAE SMART GATE
A little bit of festive cheer To celebrate the holiday season, Emirates has ramped up its product offering both on board and on the ground, with a new Christmas menu and other festive offerings. p.83
82 / EMIRATES / NEWS
Emirates to launch new biometric path
Emirates is gearing up to launch the world’s first “biometric path”, which will offer customers a smooth and truly seamless airport journey at the airline’s hub in Dubai International airport. Utilising the latest biometric technology – a mix of facial and iris recognition – Emirates passengers can soon check in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates Lounge and board their flights, simply by strolling through the airport. The latest biometric equipment has already been installed at Emirates Terminal 3, Dubai International airport. This equipment can be found at select check-in counters, at the Emirates Lounge in Concourse B for premium passengers, and at select boarding gates. Areas where biometric
equipment is installed will be clearly marked. Trials for the Smart Tunnel, a project by the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) in collaboration with Emirates, were launched on 10 October. It is a world-first for passport control, where passengers simply walk through a tunnel and are “cleared” by immigration authorities without human intervention or the need for a physical passport stamp. Once internal tests are completed, Emirates will shortly launch trials for biometric processing at the other key customer points at the airport – check-in, lounge, and boarding gate – and subsequently at transit counters, and for its chauffeur drive services.
EMIRATES SKYWARDS OFFERS RESTAURANT AND SPA DISCOUNTS ON APP Emirates Skywards, the loyalty programme of Emirates, has partnered with the ENTERTAINER to launch its own Emirates Skywards GO app for members. The app is a mobile travel companion that offers members access to over 4,400 2-for-1 offers at some of the best
restaurants and spas in over 20 cities. In addition to value for money offers, Emirates Skywards GO gives members access to day planners, city guides and the ability to instantly book tours and attractions in over 160 destinations. The app is free to download on iOS or Android devices.
The “biometric path” aims to improve customer experience and flow through the airport, with fewer document checks and queuing
EMIRATES / NEWS / 83
EMIRATES SKYWARDS INTRODUCES NEW ON-DEMAND TAXI APP
Emirates Skywards has launched an ondemand ground transportation booking app called Emirates Skywards Cabforce, in partnership with CarTrawler. The app is a mobile travel companion that will offer its loyalty members an affordable and efficient transportation service in 27 countries and 117 cities across the world, with more countries in the pipeline. Members can earn Skywards Miles on every ride booked through the Emirates Skywards Cabforce app, which is free to download on iOS or Android devices.
Emirates invites travellers to “Fly Better”
GAME-CHANGING FIRST CLASS SUITE TO DEBUT ON VIENNA ROUTE
Emirates, one of the world’s most awarded airlines for its industry-leading services, invites global travellers to “Fly Better” with the launch of its new brand promise.
The new Emirates campaign launched on 1 November with ad spots that showcased the airline’s award-winning inflight entertainment system ice and its diverse offering. In addition to traditional advertising and digital platforms, the new “Fly Better” brand promise will also be rolled out across Emirates’ sponsorships and events portfolio.
Austria will be one of the first few countries in the world to be served by Emirates’ Boeing 777 aircraft that are equipped with fully enclosed private suites, inspired by Mercedes-Benz. Emirates’ latest aircraft, fitted with its ‘Game Changer’ First Class product, will operate between Dubai and Vienna on a daily basis from 1 December. With floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and sleek design features, Emirates’ new private suites on the Boeing 777 take luxury and privacy to the next level. Offering up to 40 square feet of personal space each, these spacious, fully enclosed private suites are laid out in a 1-1-1 configuration. The new suites were designed with customer comfort in mind as the seats recline into a fully flat bed and can be placed in a “zero-gravity” position inspired by NASA technology. The aircraft also boasts the industry’s first virtual windows for suites located in the middle aisle.
Emirates adds festive cheer To celebrate the holiday season, Emirates is rolling out its annual Christmas menus, as well as other festive offerings. The special menu features holiday favourites such as roast turkey and yule log cakes, and are available for customers travelling from Dubai to Australia, Europe, South Africa, the US and the UK throughout December. Customers can look forward to a special cocktail served in the A380 onboard lounge – Santa’s Spiced Amarula Cocktail. Premium customers can also get into the holiday spirit before the flight departs with special holiday menus at the seven Emirates lounges found in Dubai International airport and selected lounges worldwide. All Emirates flights will also have special holiday movies and a limited edition plush toy from the Fly With Me Animals collection for children.
84 / INSIDE EMIRATES
Take a journey with ice With over 3,500 channels of on demand entertainment on select aircraft, ice offers film and TV fans more choice than ever before The movies
Emirates buys content from every major movie market worldwide Each month over 100 are added to the system, including: Classics (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Lawrence of Arabia) Blockbusters (2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Ocean’s 8) And 600 world movies that cater to Emirates’ diverse and global customer base 14 feature length documentaries (Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind, McQueen and The China Hustle) Over 75 Disney, Marvel, and children’s movies ■
325+ TV channels
INSIDE EMIRATES / 85
DID YOU KNOW? It takes 119 trips on the world’s longest A380 flight from Dubai to Auckland to complete Emirates’ film catalogue Lawrence of Arabia is the longest movie on board and runs for 3 hours and 47 minutes Disney classic Dumbo is the shortest movie running for 1 hour 4 mins In addition to the widest selection of movies in the air, ice has over 325 TV channels, including: Award-winning TV series including major new dramas The Sinner and Westworld Hit comedies such as Atlanta and Big Bang Theory ■
…And everything else: A huge music collection Expert-led LinkedIn Learning courses uTalk language courses offering lessons for beginners Live TV featuring sports events News channels from CNN, BBC World, Al Arabiya and NHK
■ ■ ■
AN UNMATCHED VIEWING EXPERIENCE
Emirates has continually invested in upgrading its inflight entertainment systems and was the first airline in the world to offer in-seat TV screens in all classes in 1992.
Today, Emirates offers the industry’s largest in-seat screens in all classes Economy Class: 13.3 inches Business Class: 23 inches First Class: 32 inches
“We’re proud to offer the greatest entertainment choice ever seen in the sky, with probably more choices than most people have at home!” Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ Divisional Vice President, Customer Experience (IFEC)
DID YOU KNOW? Today, more than 99% of our fleet is equipped with Wi-Fi
The oldest movie on board is The Wizard of Oz from 1939 132 movies on ice are new releases from 2018 There are 7 anime movies on board, which run longer than a flight from Dubai to Tokyo
86 / EMIRATES / DESTINATION
Vienna, Austria Slow down in the city that promotes intelligent travel Vienna’s bold new #unhashtag advertising campaign perfectly sums up this thoughtful, liveable city. Its aims are to take a stand against selfies and get visitors to slow down, to look around – rather than down at their phones. It’s a masterstroke that could make all of us enjoy travel more, and little surprise that it originates from the city where Freud formulated his ideas amid a slow coffee culture that prospered in the many convivial cafes. Vienna has plenty of things to look at and plenty of things to think about: the classical concert halls and music schools, noted annual festivals like Waves Vienna, the grand Imperial architecture around the Ringstrasse, the dozens of parks and gardens like the beautiful Augarten. Centuries as the centre of a sprawling empire gave the capital a cosmopolitan edge, attracting dreamers and thinkers from as far afield as Bosnia, Turkey and Hungary. Today the city boasts a cultural scene second-to-none, with world-famous galleries and museums like the beautiful gold-leafed Secession – where the best art in the world was displayed at the turn of the 19th Century, and the Albertina, with its lesser-known (but superb) Film Museum offshoot downstairs. Viennese love to relax after a hard week – and you should join them. They walk the hills at the city limits, play tennis and relax in tricked-out saunas like the modern, high-end Therme Wien.
Emirates operates two daily flights to Vienna. From 1 December the airline’s newest Boeing 777 product will operate flight EK125/126, and the other daily rotation between Dubai and Vienna, EK127/EK128, is served by an Emirates Airbus A380.
EMIRATES / DESTINATION / 87
VIENNA STATE OPERA
The shady, serene hallways of the Belvedere Palace lead into rooms full of art that hits the visitor like a bolt of electricity. There are works by Schiele and Caspar David Friedrich, and it also houses the world´s largest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings, including The Kiss and Judith. belvedere.at
Ensconced in a grand old building – which rather brings to mind a giant wedding cake – since 1869, the venerable Viennese institution of the State Opera is a real treat for a night out – and one to dress up for. Expect lavish stagings of La Traviata, Don Giovanni and Falstaff. wiener-staatsoper.at
GASTHAUS ZUM OPER
No need to even look at the menu at this legendary institution, right next to the State Opera. There’s only one thing you need to order: the famous veal schnitzel, deep fried and served in piping hot, bubbling batter. It comes with a cold potato side salad and a squeeze of lemon. plachutta-oper.at
The Greek-Austrian superchef Konstantin Filippou earned a second star from Michelin in their 2018 guide for his eponymous eatery near Schwedenplatz. Fish plays a big part in his menus, despite the sea being a long way from Vienna. Creativity and quality characterise his cooking. konstantinﬁlippou.com
25 HOURS MUSEUMSQUARTIER
The sister hotel of the equally luxurious design-led Topaz, Lamee makes you feel like you’ve landed in ﬁn de siecle Paris. Ostentatious ornaments and indulgent interiors evoke a kind of golden age. You can also marvel from the windows at the historic centre of Vienna, laid out right before you. hotellamee.com
The German design hotel chain’s Austrian outpost is in a perfect position for any history lover – its roof terrace looks down on many of Vienna’s major museums. Opulent interiors are themed around the circus – this is a hotel you’ll want to roll up at again and again. 25hours-hotels.com
PRATER A Sunday stroll in the Prater blows the cobwebs away. Vienna’s premier park (formerly a royal hunting ground) is a sprawling affair: ﬁlled with lawns and trees, winter markets, a steam train; home to Rapid Vienna Football, and the famous Ferris Wheel which featured in the movies The Third Man and Before Sunrise. praterwien.com
THE GUESTHOUSE As well as being a supremely comfortable high-end hotel, The Guesthouse also boasts the most elegant dining room in Vienna called The Brasserie & Bakery, with a Terence Conran interior. You can enjoy elevated Austrian home cooking with an incredible array of fresh baked bread and cakes. theguesthouse.at
LE MERIDIEN With a sober decor and quiet, digniﬁed air, this is one of Vienna’s classiest establishments – centrally located off the Ringstrasse and ﬁve minutes walking distance from State Opera House and the famous Naschmarkt. Well appointed rooms and an elegant restaurant round off this upmarket package. marriott.com/hotels
88 / EMIRATES / UAE SMART GUIDE
NATIONALITIES THAT CAN USE UAE SMART GATES
Use UAE Smart Gate at Dubai International Airport Citizens of the countries listed on the right and UAE residents can speed through Dubai International by using UAE Smart Gate. If you hold a machine-readable passport, an E-Gate card or Emirates ID card you can check
in and out of the airport within seconds. Just look out for signs that will direct you to the many UAE Smart Gates found on either side of the Immigration Hall at Dubai International Airport.
USING UAE SMART GATE IS EASY
Have your machine-readable passport, E-Gate card or Emirates ID card ready to be scanned.
Place your passport photo page on the scanner. If you are a UAE resident, place your E-Gate card or Emirates ID card into the card slot.
Go through the open gate, stand on the blue footprint guide on the floor, face the camera straight-on and stand still for your iris scan. When finished, the next set of gates will open and you can continue to baggage claim.
REGISTERING FOR UAE SMART GATE IS EASY
To register for Smart Gate access, just spend a few moments having your details validated by an immigration officer and that’s it. Every time you fly to Dubai in future, you will be out of the airport and on your way just minutes after you have landed.
IF YOU’RE A UAE RESIDENT
Remember to bring your Emirates ID card next time you’re travelling through DXB – you’ll be able to speed through passport control in a matter of seconds, without paying and without registering. Valid at all Smart Gates, located in Arrivals and Departures, across all three terminals at DXB.
*UK citizens only (UK overseas citizens still require a visa)
UAE SMART GATE CAN BE USED BY: • Machine-readable passports from the above countries • E-Gate cards • Emirates ID cards
90 / EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP
Routes shown are as of time of going to press
Emirates Amsterdam / Auckland / Bangkok / Barcelona / Beijing / Birmingham / Brisbane / Casablanca / Christchurch / Copenhagen / Dusseldorf / Frankfurt / Guangzhou / Hamburg / Hong Kong / Houston / Jeddah / Johannesburg / Kuala Lumpur / Kuwait / London / Los Angeles / Madrid / Manchester / Mauritius / Melbourne / Milan / Moscow / Mumbai / Munich / New York / Nice / Osaka / Paris / Perth / Prague / Rome / San Francisco / São Paulo / Seoul / Shanghai / Singapore / Sydney / Taipei / Tokyo / Toronto / Vienna / Washington, DC / Zurich
TRAVEL TO ADDITIONAL DESTINATIONS WITH OUR CODESHARE PARTNERS
With 23 codeshare partners in 26 countries (21 airlines and an air/rail codeshare arrangement with France’s SNCF/TGV Air and Italy’s Trenitalia), Emirates has even more flight options, effectively expanding its network by over 300 destinations.
Visit emirates.com for full details on our travel partners
EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP / 91
Routes shown are as of time of going to press
92 / EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP
AFRICA ï¬‚ydubai route
EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP / 93
ASIA & PACIFIC
EUROPE & CENTRAL ASIA
94 / EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP
Routes shown are as of time of going to press
96 / EMIRATES / FLEET
Our fleet of 274 aircraft includes 261 passenger aircraft and 13 SkyCargo aircraft
109 IN FLEET All aircraft
up to 3,500+
Up to 489-615 passengers. Range: 15,000km. L 72.7m x W 79.8m
139 IN FLEET All aircraft up to 3,500+
Up to 354-428 passengers. Range: 14,594km. L 73.9m x W 64.8m 100+ aircraft
For more information: emirates.com/ourï¬‚eet
10 IN FLEET All aircraft
Up to 266-302 passengers. Range: 17,446km. L 63.7m x W 64.8m
EMIRATES / FLEET / 97 HERE’S WHAT CONNECTIVITY, ENTERTAINMENT AND SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE ON BOARD EACH AIRCRAFT TYPE
Live TV, news & sport
Number of channels
First Class Shower Spa
* First Class and Business Class; **Available in all rows in Economy Class, and in all seats in First Class and Business Class
BOEING 777-300 2 IN FLEET All aircraft
Up to 364 passengers. Range: 11,029km. L 73.9m x W 60.9m
AIRBUS A319 1 IN FLEET
The Emirates Executive Private Jet takes our exceptional service to the highest level to ﬂy you personally around the world. Fly up to 19 guests in the utmost comfort of our customised A319 aircraft with the ﬂexibility of private jet travel. Further information at emirates-executive.com
BOEING 777F 13 IN FLEET
Range: 9,260km. L 63.7m x W 64.8m
The most environmentally-friendly freighter operated today, with the lowest fuel burn of any comparably-sized cargo aircraft. Along with its wide main-deck cargo door, which can accommodate oversized consignments, it is also capable of carrying up to 103 tonnes of cargo non-stop on 10-hour sector lengths.
Aircraft numbers accurate at the time of going to press
Up to 19 passengers. Range: 7,000km. L 33.84m x W 34.1m
GUIDE TO THE GOLD COAST The star of Aquaman on bar hopping and breaking Aussie law INTERVIEW: EMMA COILER We had some long days filming Aquaman, but the one thing you have to do while in the Gold Coast is to go diving, as it’s one of the best places in the world to do it. The whole point of superhero movies is to transport you to another world – like Aquaman does with The City of Atlantis – and that’s what diving in parts of Australia will do too. It’s so beautiful, you feel like you’re in another world. Restaurant-wise, The Social Eating House in Broadbeach is amazing. It’s a casual place but the food is fresh and absolutely fantastic. As you would expect from being so close to the ocean, the seafood is great, but they do amazing steaks too. Cycling is definitely the best form of transport on the Gold Coast; it’s such a beautiful place, you don’t want to be stuck in a car. It’s also so important for the sustainability of the place and its environment. Just don’t be a naughty boy like me; I kept getting photographed without a helmet on, which is actually breaking a Queensland Government rule.
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA
28.0167° S, 153.4000° E
Bar hopping is a big thing over there. It’s not like we could do it much, but I did manage to get out. You have to remember this isn’t LA or New York – people go for a night out in shorts and flip flops – exactly how I like it. Byron Bay isn’t that far away, and if you’re there while Bluesfest is on, you have to make time to get there. I literally had the time of my life there, and managed to play a little blues in the Gibson Guitar Tent, which has some of the best guitars in the world. The artists are incredible, the music is incredible, and the atmosphere is incredible. We can’t talk about The Gold Coast without mentioning surfing – if you want to try it out go and see my good buddy Tim who owns The Surfboard Warehouse over there. What that guy doesn’t know about surfing over there, isn’t worth knowing. He is always happy to talk to you about the best spots – and if you feel like spending a few bucks, they design the most amazing custom surfboards.
Emirates operates three flights daily to Brisbane. Choose from two nonstop services and a third service that makes a stop in Singapore.
Creations of the UAE-Explore the country’s newest imaginings, made real.