Open Skies December 2019

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Theaalt fadphotographers that became a worldwide movement Can city’s influence its direction?












































CONTRIBUTORS Helena Amante; Alex Atack; Philip Cheung; Emma Coiler; Ben East; Sarah Freeman; Sarah Gamboni; Maryanne Haggas; Dom Joly; HE Noura Al Kaabi; Emily Manthei; Richard Allenby-Pratt; Conor Purcell; Mohamed Somji; Jan Wilms. Front cover: Bachir Moukarzel




















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54 DUBAI A new visual practice





Experience 16 Stay: From Sumba Island to Munich 18 Dom Joly on haggling’s downside 24 An age-old affair with industrial chic 26 A guide to Ellisbridge, Ahmedabad 32 The magical art of Japanese woodblocking 40 Marketing Ireland’s unloved coasts 46

Latest news 72 Inside Emirates 76 Destination: Perth 78 UAE Smart Gate 80 Route maps 82 The fleet 88 Celebrity directions: Melanie Laurent’s Guide to Rome 90

Across the world, city aesthetic is being indirectly influenced 54

Cultural nous Local craftsmanship will be highlighted at Expo 2020 66

Going rogue Sir Ranulph Fiennes on whether to live life on the edge 68

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Unknown exploration is practically a modern impossibility, but in our regular neighbourhood guide, we aim to seek out the lesser-known spots in popular cities. Last month were the hipster hideouts of Lyon’s La Croix Rousse; this month Sarah Freeman arrived in Ellisbridge, Gujarat, to find purple heron and painted storks in this historically important district (p32). One man who might disagree with discovery being unlikely in this day and age is Sir Ranulph Fiennes. The polar explorer chats to Ben East on p68 about the Empty Quarter, a wild expanse of desert that overlaps the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman. His search to find the mythical, lost city of Ubar there was one of his favourite trips of all time, he says. If intrepid exploration is at odds with a busy schedule, perhaps we can simply reclaim the unloved parts of our own countries. Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is – perhaps rather unromantically – the creation of a tourism board to prolong the visitor season in Ireland. Commissioning a local design studio to create signage along the route, a 2,500km trail was designed to entice visitors to Ireland’s west coast. Traversing verdant mountain ridges, rugged bits of coast and lighthouses shrouded in mist, the route revitalised the prospects of scores of local businesses, as well as enticing Irish residents to lace up their boots and rediscover home (p46). Though an undeniable economic boost in a saturated travel market, its culmination – scores of locals and tourists alike hiking together, sleeping in farmouse lodging, eating at local cafés – doesn’t seem so gimmicky after all.

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Right Image: Dish with emblema, Boscoreale Treasure, Italy, found at Boscoreale , 1st century BCE–1st century. Silver and gold, Paris, Musée du Louvre. © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Stéphane Maréchalle Left Image: Pair of pyramid vases, Attributed to the De Roos factory, Netherlands, Delft, c. 1700-10. Tin-glazed earthenware, Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, gift of M. Boucheron, 1959. © MAD, Paris - Jean Tholance












Headline deliti Out to aut sea ulparib udis Lorem ipsum Obit aut asped molo dolesequam eum nonsequamus amenduciati velit autas Sumba Island holdsquasserspel an earthy, ancient mystique –es with eco-resort Nihi Sumba lending ipsandel ipsam a deliquat Ehenihillo il el ium facepe venihil itatias antp.20 volum velecerovid ullesec p.20 a conscience-driven luxury to the magic.



The world’s biggest shopping festival

Dubai Shopping Festival is an annual retail celebration, with new events, experiences and promotions held throughout the city. Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, explains more How has the festival evolved since it launched in 1996? DSF was the extraordinary vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. He wanted to put Dubai on the world map as a leading tourist and retail destination and with every edition, we see Dubai at its best; the weather is wonderful, and people from every culture, age and background come together for the love of shopping, winning great prizes and being truly entertained.

The aim was to position Dubai as one of the world’s best shopping cities. Do you think that’s been met now? When the festival launched, Dubai had less than five malls and there wasn’t anything like DSF in the world. Today, we have over 90 shopping malls and are firmly positioned as a leading city for retail among the likes of New York, London, Paris, Milan and Tokyo.

Above: CEO, Ahmed Al Khaja Right: Over 90 malls will participate in the city-wide festival

We know that one of the driving forces behind Dubai’s impressive annual tourism figures is the retail sector, and our events and festivals programme is instrumental in developing and growing that industry.

The entertainment programme is really important to DSF, isn’t it? In the last 25 years DSF has seen major international acts such as Bryan Adams, and AR Rahman perform at concerts throughout the city. DSF’s 25th edition will deliver more than the festival has ever done before. We have the most action-packed events calendar to date; from a grand opening ceremony to mark the start of the celebrations, followed by big concerts, daily fireworks shows, and world-class roaming entertainment.

Where do the traditional souks fit into the festival? It is incredibly important to us that the entire city embraces the celebration of DSF, from the traditional souks in the

long-standing areas of Dubai such as Deira and Bur Dubai, to the new and innovative retail spaces found in our vast shopping malls throughout the city.

What do the pop-up shopping experiences add to DSF? Market Outside the Box (MOTB) is the festival’s flagship annual pop-up market featuring local and international designers in an open-air extravaganza on the grounds of Burj Park, with al fresco dining options and a host of activity such as musical performances and yoga classes. There will also be the introduction of five further city outdoor markets, launched this year, each with an individual theme, retail and entertainment offering. Then there’s Global Village, which was launched in 1997 along the banks of Dubai Creek with 3,000 retail outlets and international pavilions offering gifts and handicrafts from around the world. Dubai, UAE.


SOUTH AFRICA VS ENGLAND There’s always something special about cricket at Christmas, and England’s tour to South Africa kicks off with the First Test at Centurion on Boxing Day, a gorgeous boutique ground near Johannesburg. With a new coach at the helm and some fresh players and ideas, it will be fascinating to see how England get on – and whether they can exact some sporting revenge after South Africa crushed their rugby counterparts in the recent Rugby World Cup final. Centurion, South Africa.







This recently opened retrospective of Riley’s brilliant art – her dazzling use of colour and shape draws the viewer in like an optical illusion – both reminds of the 88-year-old’s incredible career, as well as the power of art to excite. With beautiful geometric forms and nods to the Middle East and India, it’s a vision of the world through abstract art that makes the heart sing. London, UK.

Auckland fully embraces its summer Christmas, and this year is a big one. The iconic giant Santa is being retired after 60 years of service but to soothe disappointment are late-night shopping festivals, festive farmers’ markets and Christmas in the Park on the 14th. Or, just go to the beach on Christmas Day – a treat in itself. Auckland, New Zealand.

UX – User Experience – is the new buzzword for success in the second decade of the 21st century; according to research, 89 per cent of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience. This summit, attended by Facebook, eBay, Google and many more tech big-hitters looks at how UX can shape and lead company strategy. Bangkok, Thailand.



48.1351° N, 11.5820° E


In the heart of Bavaria’s capital, an Alpine property that balances cozy with kitsch

Ensconced in a Munich chalet


FROM THE CONCIERGE Viktualienmarkt Winterzauber Get in the Alpine mood at the 200-year-old open market as it dresses for Christmas. Shop for holiday treats, enjoy the lights and Nativity scene, or simply cradle a warm mug of mulled wine, glühwein, while enjoying Germany’s legendary Christmas market tradition. Das Bad For a classic Bavarian beer hall experience in a bathing house built in 1894, this is the place. Today, the little guesthouse is owned by Augustiner, one of the oldest and most respected of the city’s historic breweries. Christmas tram Every December, riders of all ages can escape the cold while enjoying an Advent tour around the city aboard the Christmas Tram, a 1957-model streetcar with wooden benches. Reserve tickets online, then find the tram at Sendlinger Tor.

Munich is two hours away from the Bavarian Alps but Cocoon Hotel, a five-minute walk from the city’s train station, feels like an incredibly sneaky shortcut to the slopes. Panoramic mountain murals stretch across walls, whilst an old metal chairlift awaits an Instagram snap. Around the corner, hanging basket-chairs and comfy couches beg to be curled up in with a Hermann Hesse or Thomas Mann from the library, ideally in front of a lit fireplace. In the mornings, guests meet around a full country breakfast (not included in the room rate) at casual group tables that invite friendly conversation. The concept, which combines eco-friendly comfort with a sense of humour about nature and nostalgia, was born in 2006 when a young hotelier opened his first Cocoon Hotel elsewhere in Munich. This Hauptbahnhof location, a renovated building in the middle of a city block, is

the third and newest addition to the family. Situated on a surprisingly quiet sidestreet in the Ludwigsvorstadt borough, strike out just minutes in any direction for some of Munich’s highlights. This Cocoon is nestled serenely between a bustling “Little Istanbul” district of Turkish restaurants, the Gothic spires of medieval churches, and the HQ of the Oktoberfest beer festival. Back inside, the Alpine illusion continues upstairs via the elevator’s screens, into stylish rooms with wood-panelled walls. Shelves made of glass-enclosed hay and a photo of a smiling cow on the wall may sound over-the-top, but paired with modern rain showers, courtyard city views and free beer from the downstairs lodge in exchange for the eco-friendly act of reusing bath towels, it feels like home-grown luxury. The hotel even welcomes pets – although a local Bavarian cow may be pushing things.


Emirates offers three daily nonstop flights to Munich. Choose from two daily Airbus A380 services and a daily service operated by the Boeing 777-300ER.



9.6993° S, 119.9741° E


On Sumba Island, an eco-resort boasts proximity to the perfect wave

Left: Traditional thatched dwellings flank the coast of Sumba Island

Into the wilds of Indonesia WORDS: MARYANNE HAGGAS

FROM THE CONCIERGE Surfer’s paradise Nihi Sumba Island is home to one of the world’s most coveted private waves. Known as Occy’s (after Australian surfer Mark Occhilupo), the wave is notorious for its sensitivity – changing as it does in tides, size, strength, and direction. The team caps the amount of surfers to ten a day, adding to the experience. More beginner-friendly waves can be found at Coconut Cove, where surfers can spend half a day with breakfast or lunch.

Sumba Island is rooted in an ancient mystique. Locals live surrounded by their ancestors, in houses with towering thatched roofs that cluster around megalithic tombs. It’s an island that still lives by the beliefs of animism; where wild horses wander at the shoreline, occasionally rounded up to partake in a brutal game of pasola, where hundreds of horseriders fight with spears. Nihi Sumba has taken these elements into consideration when creating what it bills as “a luxury resort with a conscience”. Surrounded by acres of tropical forest that sweep down into valleys, the resort has an interesting backstory. Surf enthusiasts Claude and Petra Graves travelled to the Indonesian island in the Eighties, primarily to find waves. Starting as a simple shack, the property was then bought by billionaire Chris Burch and James McBride, who developed it into a series of private villas.

Nowadays, the high-end collection of villas reflects local Sumbanese culture and architecture, merging grass-thatched menara roofs, locally-woven ikat cloths, and a beach-chic mentality. The 27 villas and treehouse come in all shapes and sizes but all offer big windows, open lounges, ocean views, four-poster beds and private infinity pools. Straight out of The Faraway Tree is the Mamole Tree House, three separate but conjoining villas wrapped around a tree trunk. Ideal for those seeking complete jungle seclusion, each villa comes with a personal butler if one wishes to venture into the outside, who organises hikes and spa safaris. Though luxurious, eco principles still guide the property, with produce grown onsite and fed by a water-recycling system. When it comes to food, Ombak is the resort’s gastronomic hub. Sat on the sand, with sweeping ocean views, Head Chef

Trek Nihi Oka 6:30am heralds the start of a two-hour trek, to nearby Nihi Oka valley. Hike through thick palm tree jungle to explore settlements of thatched traditional clan houses, before descending into a valley of cascading paddy fields full of maize and cassava. Upon arrival, breakfast is served in the treetops. The Sumba Foundation The Sumba Foundation came about after Claude and Petra Graves first developed the resort, a period when they and the local Sumbanese people struggled with frequent bouts of malaria and access to clean water. Now, guests can visit a local water project, a Malaria-combating health clinic, or volunteer one morning with the school lunch programme.

Bernard Prim serves up a mixture of produce from the garden and fish from the sea, fused with an Indonesian flair. Next door is Nio Beach Club, perfect for chilled days in the sun whilst gorging on grilled fish and pizzas straight from the clay oven. There’s also a boathouse by the infinity pool, which serves sundowners and canapés. Nihi Sumba is not a place to simply sunbathe and switch off. Experiences are in abundance, from sunset horse riding to sunrise yoga, island trekking, and visits to the resort’s cocoa factory to learn how to make (and eat) chocolate. Water-based activities include stand-up paddleboarding, fishing, diving and surfing with Tropicsurf at the infamous Occy’s Left break, or the quieter Coconut Cove. After activity, comes serenity. As well as open-air spa pavilions, an interesting shakeup of the traditional resort spa experience comes in the form of a safari – a journey to a secluded valley where four bamboo-clad treatment rooms await. Pick one of the homemade aromatic oils and indulge in a deep tissue massage, looking out over the peaceful paddy fields.

From top: Each villa has its own private infinity pool; rooms are clad in local wood; A onebedroom villa comes with its own garden


Emirates serves two destinations in Indonesia – Jakarta and Bali.



25.2048° N, 55.2708° E


At Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, an escape into Turkish luxury


Fringed glamour

Imperium The brunch at Imperium is themed according to the day, putting the chefs’ talents to considerable work. Try going on Friday for the French day, with champagne to accompany lobster and escargots. On any day, the highlight is a room dedicated to dessert, with icecream stand, chocolate fountain, and tables groaning with intricately-designed cakes.


Al Nafoorah Known as one of the best Lebanese restaurants in Dubai, Al Nafoorah has high ceilings, live Arabic music on the terrace and lesser-known delicacies that include jergier with beetroot, shanklish, or ashtha bil asail – a fresh cream studded with almonds, pistachio & honey.

In the centre of a high-ceilinged room stands a marble göbek taşı, also called a navel stone, from which copious amounts of heady steam emanates. It is where one lies to experience what is arguably one the most authentic Turkish hammams in Dubai. As therapists vigorously buff guests, then methodically fill jugs of warm water that overflow from fountain niches, the feeling is of a companionable silence – a shared ritual under a mosaicked dome. Steam clouds the air, and the only sound is water gushing from taps. It’s easy to forget that you are in a hotel on the man-made island of Palm Jumeirah, itself just a stone’s throw away from the popular marina and beachside. One of seven Jumeirah properties in Dubai, Zabeel Saray opened eight years ago – quickly becoming known for its getaway feel and Ottoman elements (the latter perpetuated by seemingly endless goldplated columns). The resort has 405 rooms and suites, 38 Royal Residences and the award-winning

Talise Ottoman Spa, one of the largest in the Middle East. The rooms range from a Club double – with rain showers and Penhaligon products – all the way up to the Grand Imperial Suite on the highest floor, which boasts its own private sauna. For a longer stay, try one of the four and five-bedroom villas, which come with their own butler, shared access to a lagoon that loops round the villas, and a separate beach. With their own entrance, it is easy to feel like one could live here permanently – our butler confides that there are families that have done just that, their longest resident having lived onsite for five years. As well as eight restaurants, guests can book with the option of dining at other Jumeirah eateries – useful if you’re in a different area for the day. A surprising luxury is the private cinema, a complimentary 29-seater screening room. Grab a squishy sofa and popcorn, and curl up to watch a classic Hollywood gem, finishing the evening with a stroll along the Palm’s white sands.

Rib Room Wagyu Beef scotch eggs, John Stone short ribs, Boston lobsters – provenance is king in this meat lover’s palace, located on the ground floor of the hotel. With cosy niches, leather sofas and a saxophone soundtrack – the mood is akin to an intimate jazz club.


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

“Every eye blink is a waste mahmoudasattar

Tourists shared their emotions about our country on social media. We've collected this valuable data and created the first ever digital guidebook by using artificial intelligence.


MARRAKESH 31.6295° N, 7.9811° W

To travel or to tourist Haggling? Not necessarily the most useful of skills, advises Dom Joly

Emirates operates a daily A380 service to Casablanca.

I was inter-railing and had arrived in Marrakesh after a seemingly interminable train journey from Tangiers. All I wanted was the sweet release of sleep, but the glorious madness that was arriving in the Red City meant that I had to be on my toes. This was in the late Eighties, well before the mass tourism boom that has somewhat diluted the other-worldliness of this extraordinary city. Like the pilot in the opening scene of Airplane, I fought off waves of unwanted guides and hawkers as I made my way on foot towards the magical Djemma El-Fna. The square throbbed with the sounds of drums and the wail of Touareg singers. Shrouded in smoke emanating from a hundred food stalls, it was like a scene from another time, another dimension. I headed for the Café de France, a building situated right on the square. I fought my way through the café itself, packed tight with men playing backgammon while gulping on shishas and tea as though their lives depended on it. At what passed for the reception, I asked whether they might have a room. They did, with a view of the square, and mine for three pounds sterling. This was a bargain anywhere in the world but I was not going to accept the first offer given to what they assumed was some greenhorn. I was an explorer, an adventurer who was not going to be palmed off with some weedy tourist accommodation. I looked at the receptionist as though he had just insulted my entire family.

“Please… I beg of you, do not waste my time. I am tired and have no desire to be robbed before bedtime.” I said in my pidgin Lebanese Arabic. Translated, it might have come out harsher than I intended. The man turned on his heel and indicated that I should follow him downstairs. We ended up in the basement, in a room no bigger than a cupboard, where kidnappers would baulk at putting their captives. The cost was 50p for the night. I tried to look triumphant as I accepted but secretly wished that I’d taken the exorbitant three-pound option. I cursed my mother for drumming into me the phrase: “we are not tourists, darling, we are travellers.” A small grille directly above what passed for a bed went straight into the café above me. It acted both as a loudspeaker, channelling every noise into my dungeon, but also as a conduit for escaping cockroaches who would flee the establishment by somersaulting off the ledge onto my bed below. Occasionally someone would sweep a pile of cigarette ash and desert detritus through the grille and the room would fill with a hideous, choking mist. The room was hot, hotter than hell and not helped by a constantly arcing electrical wire that dangled a metre from my weeping face. I lasted three stubborn hours before giving up and joining the locals for an all-nighter in the café above. Sometimes it is better to travel, than to arrive.

An offering beyond your wanderlust A 40-minute journey to an oasis of otherworldly beauty – a premier all-inclusive resort with a choice of secluded villas that blend with the serenity of the ocean. Immerse, indulge and invigorate in a destination tailored just for you. Heritance Aarah, Aarah Island, Raa Atoll, Maldives T: +960 6640375 | E :



Unpacking our global fascination with industrial design WORDS: HELENA AMANTE

Another brick in the wall

The Weissenhof Estate, 1927. The housing units, built for the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition, were thought a definitive example of international style

When Oliver Twist arrived in London, his vision was clouded by dark smoke billowing from sky-high chimneys. Fast-forward nearly two centuries and it is safe to say that the Dickensian hero wouldn’t believe his eyes if he fell down the chimney of a current-day, London factory conversion – to find anything but the scenario he would expect. If grim Dickensian images of assembly lines are still predictable inside industrial buildings in many places, London and most post-industrial cities present a very different interpretation. As the economy shifted from production-centred to the digital, information age we live in, factories moved away from the city centres and into suburban areas or, in many cases, different countries. In North America, and to a lesser extent in Europe, the dream of a detached home and green space exacerbated the dereliction of working-class neighbourhoods during the deindustrialisation of many cities in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. “The middle class fled the city centres as they became overcrowded and increasingly associated with social problems such as crime and drugs, and the building of highway networks made it possible to live further and further away





from where you worked”, says Steven High, Professor of History at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. “On the other hand, the opening up of huge swathes of former industrial and waterfront lands during this period enabled urban planners and private developers to regenerate inner-city areas”. Rampant inflation of rents in cities worldwide – a consequence of urban population growth – have been dictating an ever-accelerating pace of conversion, and in the meantime, factories that weren’t torn down have been progressively repurposed for all kinds of activities. Large industrial sites gave way to museums, creative hubs, startup incubators, wallto-wall condominiums and company

headquarters, while individual buildings were turned into restaurants, bars, shops and lofts. “If those units were no longer in use, it’s only natural that we’ve found them new types of functions”, says Matjaz Ursic, Urban Sociologist at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Yet, perhaps ironically, considering that factories have been a symbol of uniformity and mass-production, industrial renovation sprang up in close association with creativity and experimentation. In late-1960s New York, artists led the way when they set up home and studio in former industrial buildings in New England and Lower Manhattan, attracted by the naturally lit, ample spaces

then available at affordable prices. In the ‘90s, abandoned factories became a fertile ground for youthful exploration. “Urban explorers like Ninjalicious, who illegally entered abandoned spaces to take photos, were drawn to the profound sense of awe that they felt in these spaces – something I call the deindustrial sublime”, says High. However, if the constraints of urban sprawl and the lure of cheaper rents, in addition to a certain fascination with abandoned and historic sites, played a vital part in the early stages, the reuse of industrial buildings has since increasingly become a sensible choice, attached to a design culture. Among the world’s most famous restaurants, Noma recently moved loca-



1. The restaurant that coined New Nordic cuisine, Noma 2,4. The Warehouse Hotel in Singapore revived a 19th century godown (warehouse) 3. Conversions are popular with artists: here, a painter works in her Toronto studio 5. US apartments now sit in a former tobacco warehouse 6. Shipping containers are converted into living spaces in Oakland, California

tion – from one warehouse to another. Against a backdrop of skyscrapers, a triple-pitched-roof warehouse in Singapore recently reopened as a design-led hotel. In New York City, an industrial past lends appartments a particularly sought-after status. What’s the draw of the industrial aesthetic for a savvy 21st century audience? Part of the answer lies far back in time. Architecture has always been used as a means of displaying social importance – as evidenced by churches, public buildings, and royal structures – and at a certain point in the course of industrialisation, productive units followed. “Around the early 1900s, the factory was seen as a building type deserving of



architectural treatment in order to enhance the production of goods and dignify the workplace, as well as forge corporate identities”, according to Ljiljana Jevremovic, a researcher at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture of the University of Nis, Serbia. In Victorian London, powerful businessmen demonstrated their wealth through ornamented brick facades. In every country of industrial heft, the commissioning of renowned architects to design factories became common practice, and many of those buildings show a masterful use of the materials and methods of the time, along with a thoughtful use of light and volume, including the character-

istic large windows and high ceilings. Though assembly lines speak of harsh living conditions and evoke gloomy imagery, the industrial aesthetic emerged from a close link between architects, designers, and industrialists, as epitomised in the Deutscher Werkbund: an influential organisation founded in Munich in 1907 with the purpose of inspiring good design for mass-produced goods and architecture. “Industrial forms, materials and aesthetics had a great influence on the direction of early modern architecture”, says Jevremovic. “Industry and its processes inspired and still continue to engage the imagination of artists and architects: from the voice against




ornament by Adolf Loos to the design explorations of the Bauhaus and the sleek lines of the International Style to the explicit expression of construction elements in the work of Richard Rogers and his partners”. In more recent times, renovation strategies in cities worldwide have further reinforced the link between industrial and creative. “The initial phase of an industrial conversion often revolves around temporary usages of the space”, says Ursic, “and welcoming artistic-led initiatives has become a prime strategy for rapidly revivifying an area. This type of initiative is very effective in rendering a cool label to a previously neglected area.”

The importance of artists in neighbourhood transition has proved so vital that some researchers have called them the “colonising arm” of the middle classes. The success of creatives in regenerating an area is, nonetheless, a double-edged sword, as they easily fall victims of gentrification, as do vulnerable parts of the local community. Creative hubs – a perfect fit for large industrial buildings due to their need of open-plan, flexible spaces – appear to exist fundamentally in the in-between space, housed in short-use properties, before they are knocked down or converted. But if these spaces are often an issue of debate for their precarious and impermanent nature, their impact on

visual culture is long-lasting. “The use of industrial sites for this purpose led an industrial aesthetic – a sort of steampunk look, old and futuristic – to become symbolic of the new cultural startup”, says Andy Pratt, Director of the Centre for Culture and the Creative Industries at City University London. In a post-industrial society where the problematics of mass consumption and the use of resources are on the world’s agenda, the lure of an industrial aesthetic could seem puzzling. Yet, its perennial appeal touches on something else entirely: how creativity came full circle and cemented itself between exposed bricks and beams, under double-height ceilings.


7. Former industrial district Refshaleøen has become one of Copenhagen’s hippest areas 8. Industrial geometry in Valencia, Spain




23.0225° N, 72.5714° E

Textile shopping galore, a heritage library, alternative street food dining and acres of greenery. Ahmedabad’s west side story begins here

Ellisbridge, Ahmedabad WORDS & IMAGES: SARAH FREEMAN

Left: Grab a rickshaw to one of the local markets, which sell street food and colourful textiles that are sourced from Kutch

This eclectic neighbourhood is tethered to the man who led India to independence from British rule. Ellisbridge’s namesake arched bridge is where Mahatma Gandhi announced his historic Salt March in 1930, and its MJ Library hoards some 7,000 books donated by him. It’s also where the story of modern day Ahmedabad begins, thanks to said bridge, which expanded the city beyond its ancient walls and links Sabarmati River’s east and west banks. Despite three attempts to pull it down, and corroding steel piers, it’s still standing. This resilience and reinvention is a metaphor for the neighbourhood itself, which has held on to its heritage whilst playing its part in Ahmedabad’s ‘megacity’ metamorphosis. A sizeable chunk of the city’s US$200 million riverside project resides here, which has reclaimed an 11km stretch of Sabarmati’s banks, dubbed the “Thames of India”. The once shanty-lined and sewage-clogged waterway is now abuzz with walkers, runners, skaters, and yogis on its lower level bi-promenade – beautified with saplings, sleek benches and street lamps. It’s also an unlikely sustainable wetland, attracting wading greater flamingos and species like the purple heron, kingfisher and painted storks. For more green oases, take your pick from the area’s clutch of public parks like Parimal Garden, Rasala Nature Park and Riverfront Flower Gardens. Refresh with gola (a crushed iced dessert) or refuel on Amdavadis favourite street food; jalebi fafda, before exploring the neighbourhood’s medley of mosques, markets, temples and havelis

aka traditional Gujarati houses. Whether it be the centuries-old miniature paintings at Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum or Ellisbridge’s weathered colonial relics, the legacy of the Mughals, Jains, Marathas and British, who lived or colonised this UNESCO World Heritage city at one time or another, lives on…


MJ LIBRARY Step into the city’s literary heritage at this dome-roofed colonial landmark, which owes its very existence to Gandhi. Bibliophiles can pore over 750,000 books and indulge in India’s favourite pastime, newspaper reading – with some 30 different ones to leaf through. Kavi Nanalal Marg, near the Town Hall, Ellisbridge, +91 79 2658 6908,




RIVERFRONT FLOWER PARK Hugging a 1km-long-stretch of the Sabarmati River (from VS Hospital to Sardar Bridge), this bike-friendly park blooms with 330 native and exotic flower species set around a serene lake. Eye-popping flower sculptures, from bullet trains to peacocks, draw the crowds in January as part of their annual festival. Pramukh Swami Maharaj Marg, Ellisbridge,



HOUSE OF MARIGOLD Walking past this baroque-styled villa, you’d never know it was a two-storied

horological hideaway, dripping in precious-stoned timepieces and antique clocks collected from the world over. Starting with the ground floor’s ‘history of timekeeping’ exhibit, work your way upwards to owner and watchmaker Shilpa Choksi’s bespoke creations. The talented Amdavadi’s clients include Bollywood royalty and actual royalty like the Prince of Udaipur. If your pockets don’t stretch to a ruby and sapphire-studded bracelet watch, there’s some very reasonably priced costume jewellery too. 22 New Alkapuri Rd, Gulbai Tekra, +91 79 4002 7445,



CHAI SUTTA BAR This hipster-coffee-shop-meets-localtea-seller is a real social entrepreneurship success story. Chai may be India’s favourite brew, but making a living as a chaiwala is frowned upon – a mind-set that Anubhav Dubey and Anand Nayak were bent on changing. The 20-something-year-old friends bankrolled the first Chai Sutta in their home state of Indore. Three years later and Ahmedabad is one of 24 branches staffed entirely by disadvantaged locals who learn on the job. Steaming hot chai in flavours like ginger, cardamom, tulsi and rose are served up in handle-less biodegradable ceramic cups called kulhad – a boon for the local pot making community. G5 Onyx Complex SV Desai Marg, H.L College Rd, +91 84 6085 5639


Ellisbridge has served as the backdrop to Bollywood blockbusters and Ahmedabad’s world-famous kite flying festival






SHRUJAN CREATIONS More than just another shop selling hand-embroidered apparel, this notfor-profit is popularising indigenous



LALBHAI DALPATBHAI MUSEUM The lovechild of a celebrated industrialist and a monk, this major repository of Indian art certainly lives up to its scholarly university campus address. From beadwork to bronzes, terracotta to textiles, the four-century-old museum’s trio of galleries warrant a full afternoon, and that’s before you’ve started on its 75,000 Jain manuscripts – the largest collection of its kind. These, along with rare coinages and statues dating back to 2nd century BC are restored in its onsite conservation lab. If you’re here over the weekend, there’s a free, guided tour at 11am every Sunday. L.D. Institute of Indology Campus, Gujarat University Clock Tower, +91 79 2630 6883,

weaves and empowering 3,000 women in the process. These artisans or kaarigars hail from 120 villages in rural Kutch; Gujarat’s textile hub, where they work from home crafting Shrujan’s dresses, belts, scarfs, waistcoats, cushion covers and wall hangings. Prices range from $11 for a mobile cover to $3,000 for a heritage range sari, which can take up to a year to complete. Thanks to Shrujan Trust’s research wing in Kutch’s Living and Learning Design Centre, there’s every chance all 50 of the region’s embroidery styles will be preserved for generations to come. Shop No.1, Gala Business Centre 1, 125 Sardar Patel Nagar, Navrangpura, +91 72 2798 2099,

In Africa, you don’t need a bank if you can have one in your pocket. Over 30 million Africans now consider MTN MoMo as their bank. When you can reach out to the most isolated people amongst you, and connect them from village to village, from nation to nation and from there to the world, you go. When you can use technology to teach, where books can’t reach, we all go. When 30 million people who could never bank before, now have a bank in their pocket, they go. Every day, MTN is inspired by the unstoppable spirit of the people we serve. That’s why,

We’re good together.


everywhere you go






The Asiatic lion can only be found in the Gujarat region, in the Gir National Park

If you’re curious but not quite ready to brave Indian street food, this all-veggie restaurant is a good compromise. Skip the upstairs fine dining iteration in favour of no-nonsense fare in its canteen-styled ground floor, where locals pile in and the Gujarati snacks pile up. Try Swati’s take on falafel and pizza or stick to house favourites like gatte ki sabzi and dahi batata puri, leaving room for paper dosas as long as your arm! If tapas-style isn’t for you, order Swati’s signature dish: panki chatni (around $3 for three pieces). Based on a Jhaveri heirloom recipe, these fermented rice pancakes unfurl from steaming banana leaves, straight onto your plate. 3 Gandhibag society, Law Garden, Panchavati Rd, +91 79 2640 5900,



LAW GARDEN Know your cholis (sari blouses) from your chaniyas (long, wide traditional skirts) when you haggle at the city’s most colourful bazaar, named after nearby Gujarat Law Society College. The adjoining park – endowed with gazebos, lily ponds and arched bridges, is a great place to take a breather from the clamour of the market. Maharashtra Society, Ellisbridge


Emirates flies nine times weekly to Ahmedabad with the Boeing 777



Tap into the slow-paced rhythm of the Maldives on a truly all-inclusive Resort that fuses a modern and inspiring art influence. With a unique wellness approach, pairing with curated experiences, including underwater bedrooms and bespoke culinary journeys, Pullman Maldives Maamutaa Resort is an unparalleled destination for writing dream-worthy stories



The littleunderstood art of Japanese woodblocking has been uncovered in a new collection


Clockwise from top left: Mountain Gorge in Winter, c. 1842; The Tiger of RyĹ?goku, 1860; Three Fashionable Beauties Cooling Off in the Evening, mid-1810s Previous spread: Picture of the True Appearance of the Saruhashi Bridge in Kai Province, early 1820s


Above: No. 32, Seba, part of a series from Utagawa Hiroshige (1836-1837)

Images are taken from Taschen’s Japanese Woodblock Prints (1680–1938), Andreas Marks


iant catfish that terrorise fishing boats and upend entire oceans, samurai battling against writhing serpents, warriors facing off against enemies. Or quieter, more serene scenes: a boat gently guided down a river without a ripple; geigi chatting on a summer’s evening; the stillness of Mount Fuji. The magic of Japanese woodblock printing is that it resists any singular classification, any particular time period, or any Western interpretation. Certainly, Western creatives have admired it: Van Gogh described Japanese artists as being able to “draw a figure with a few well-chosen lines as if it were as effortless as buttoning up one’s waistcoat”; French novelist Émile Zola was a devoted collector and indeed, the craze for Japanese art and design in late 19th century France became so absolute that it was given the name “Japonisme”. The practice began in 8th century B.C., a somewhat laborious process that involved a close partnership between artist, engraver and printer.

A new edition of prints from Taschen demonstrates that it was not until the 17th to 19th centuries, during the Edo period, that the art form took off. Becoming the foundation of ukiyo-e art, translated as “pictures of the floating world,” the period coincided with the invention of colour printing, artists revelling in the joy of producing the vivid scarlet of a geisha’s kimono, or a Klein-blue sea. The themes, too, were vast. Spanning the powerful, the pastoral and the romantic, artists often battled against censorship typical to the period, as well as strict limitations on conspicuous luxury. Yet, their images have endured: spanning centuries, scores of different artists – and a uniquely, beautifully Japanese sensibility.

Emirates offers a daily A380 flight to Osaka, a daily A380 flight to Tokyo’s Narita Airport and a Boeing 777 flight to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, providing easy connectivity via the airline’s Dubai hub.






From top: Mists obscure Doo Lough Pass. The pass is also the site of one of the worst famine-related deaths in Ireland; Connemara National Park is known for its expanse of bogs and heathland

at the foreign visitor, not the local. As such, it doesn’t matter that no one in Sligo would have ever uttered the term ‘Surf Coast’ to describe its stretch of coastline, it only matters that foreign tourists contemplating a visit to Ireland understand that this is where they can, should they wish to, go surfing. This type of project is not cheap. It’s estimated the development of the Wild Atlantic Way cost upwards of $13 million, on top of an annual investment of $2 million. Yet those numbers were dwarfed by the increased tourism figures. The year after the Wild Atlantic Way’s launch, visitor numbers were up 11 per cent, resulting in an estimated total of $4.2 billion in revenue to the Irish economy. “One million more international visitors came to the West Coast [of Ireland] in 2018 than in 2013, which shows the appeal of the Wild Atlantic Way to international markets,” Kennedy says. “2018 was our strongest year since the inception of the brand – we had more than 3.8 million international visitors, more than five million domestic visitors and between them they spent $3.3 billion, supporting more than 83,000 jobs on the West Coast.” Part of the success of the initiative is a result of the different way many want to travel: authentic experiences are in, two-week package holidays are out. Tourists want to do more, whether that be surfing, rock climbing, or learning how to cook – it’s the experience


Travel along Ireland’s west coast and you will discover some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. There’s the otherworldly glacial limestone of The Burren, hidden beaches, spectacular cliffs and picture-postcard villages. There’s nowhere else like it in Europe, and it attracts everyone from South American surfers to elderly Americans tracing their heritage. It’s a land of thatched-roof cottages, traditional Irish music, and lots and lots of rain. This is the Wild Atlantic Way. Developed as Ireland’s first ‘touring’ route, it stretches from Kinsale in West Cork to Inishowen in Donegal, along a 2,500km stretch of rugged coastline. It’s undeniably beautiful, but it also didn’t exist as a concept before 2014 – dreamed up as it was by Fáilte Ireland, the Irish tourist board. Welcome to the new world of destination marketing. The beauty of this type of branding is that it creates the illusion that something new has been created, when in fact, everything – the villages, the views, the coastline – is exactly the same as it was before. This is destination as product: a world of countries as brands; of key propositions and signature experiences; of ‘experiences’ as something to be wrapped up and sold. It’s a world where a view becomes a ‘discovery point’. It’s also incredibly successful, in a climate where tourism departments around the world attempt to sell their product in a crowded marketplace. “Destination marketing has become more sophisticated and nuanced,” says Andrew Hoyne, the founder of Hoyne, a property branding and marketing firm based in Sydney. “Globalism and the Internet gives people access to a colossal amount of information. It opens their minds to many new possibilities – and

destinations – so marketing campaigns have to really lift their game.” The global tourism market is estimated to be worth some US$6 trillion annually, a value that has grown by nearly 50 per cent in ten years. In short, more of us are travelling, and more of us are spending more money when we do. It’s no surprise, then, that countries around the world are no longer content to rely on their natural scenery or historical sights to attract tourists. When the route was originally conceived, it was borne out of a need to prolong the time period of Ireland’s peak demand. “At the time, the tourism season in the west of Ireland was as short as eight to ten weeks for some businesses, making it very difficult for local communities to sustain employment and generate revenue,” says Head of the Wild Atlantic Way, Miriam Kennedy. “We knew Ireland had amazing product along the coast with spectacular landscapes and scenery and after much research and discussion, we came up with the idea of a route that would unite all the coastal counties to attract more visitors and extend the tourism season, delivering real benefits for local communities and businesses.” Given the sheer amount of signage along the route the branding proved especially important, with the contract awarded to Dublin-based studio Red&Grey. Over 4,000 signs along the route and 188 discovery points are delineated with the chosen logo, which has been placed on traditional signs as well as, more unusually, carved into stone or wood. “We gave the brand a consistent texture while allowing freedom for the tone of voice and visual to change depending on the author and their use for it,” said the studio. “It is a living identity, one that has the ability to adapt and change with culture, people, nature and the West Coast of Ireland.” Fáilte Ireland identified six separate geographical areas along the coast, all renamed (Cliff Coast, Surf Coast, Haven Coast), to names no local would have ever referred to them as. This is destination rebranding at work: the creation of a place that never existed before. The idea is that the tourist is king – the names and directions are aimed


that counts – and if that experience can be hashtagged and Instagrammed, so much the better. So far there are more than 980,000 Instagram posts with the #WildAtlanticWay hashtag. “We’ve moved from top down (ads, campaigns) communication, to bottom up (user generated and shared content) in the past ten years,” says Florian Kaefer, founder of The Place Brand Observer, a branding company. Kaefer believes that tourist boards can take more control of the narrative around destinations these days “as long as that narrative is based on something concrete.” He cites the example of Bilbao, a fading Spanish industrial city that reinvented itself in 1997 when the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim opened. “Being imaginative is key, and usually works best when the local community is involved,” he adds. It was no surprise, then, when Fáilte Ireland attempted to replicate the Wild Atlantic Way’s success in other parts of the country. In 2015 they launched Ireland’s Ancient East, concentrating on the south east of the country, and a year later saw the launch of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, which focussed on the midlands. While the Wild Atlantic Way was a natural geographic route hugging the coastline, ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ was more difficult to package, comprising 17 counties as far apart as Cork on the south coast and Cavan in the north west (that neither are in the east didn’t seem to bother the tourism board). While the signage along the Wild Atlantic Way is understated and clever, the garish, cumbersome signs dotted along the ‘Ancient East route’ don’t instil much confidence. While the Wild Atlantic Way concentrates on the landscape, Ireland’s Ancient East is focussed on stories – its website attempts to link the sites along the routes with ‘signature stories’ under titles such as Castles and Conquests, Sacred Ireland and High Kings and Heroes. That these stories

have been watered down is disappointing to some. Content made by Fáilte Ireland announced that “storytelling interpretation does not look or sound like a history book. Think of it as a novel, even a graphic novel.” “It’s worrying to read,” responded Gillian O’Brien in a piece from Irish website and radio broadcaster, RTÉ. “This focus on simplifying the past into bite-sized chunks of easily digestible narrative is both disappointing and

surprising, especially when you consider the target market for Ireland’s Ancient East is the ‘culturally curious.’” Is this not the eventual result of destinations as brands? Places become mere ciphers, rather than the complicated, messy things they truly are. For Hoyne, the key to solving all of this are people, not places. “A place brand is only successful when it encapsulates and reflects the authentic spirit and individuality of a place – two things only


From left: Slieve League in County Donegal. The mountain is known for its challenging ridge walk, ‘One Man’s Path’; Fanad Head Lighthouse in County Donegal. The Wild Atlantic Way website urges walkers to “have their cameras ready” for “the awe-inspiring waves... and rugged coastline”

people can create,” he says. “How a place develops and manages its identity, image and reputation can influence a diversity of things, from international political relations to economic buoyancy, from community wellbeing to tourism.” The future then, is complex. A world where experiences are as important as destinations, and an appropriate ratio is maintained between making a place better for its residents – and entertaining its visitors.


After the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010, tourism numbers fell by 22 per cent that same month. In reaction, tens of thousands of Icelanders created content for the Inspired by Iceland website. It worked: tourist figures rose from under 500,000 in 2010 to 2.5 million last year.


The Truly Asia campaign is one of the most successful Asian tourism campaigns in history. Focusing on the diversity of Malaysia’s cultural and ethnic heritage, it saw tourist numbers rising from 12.7 million in 2001 to 22 million in 2008.


When this US state revealed its new slogan last year, its tag line proved an immediate hit. The campaign addresses preconceived notions about the state using self-deprecating humour – something that its residents are known for.


Another example of turning a perceived weakness (it has more sheep than people) into a strength – a campaign saw 360-degree cameras strapped to the island’s woolly residents to stream footage that showcased the archipelago’s spectacular scenery.


A campaign that mixed self-deprecating humour with cutting-edge interactive animation. While stunning photography is ten-a-penny in tourism marketing, this playful campaign – featuring elephant-sized rabbits and newspaper-reading frogs – did something truly unique.

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


Time machine

Safety innovations are an integral part of the Daimler AG tradition. The ESF 2019 test vehicle showcases remarkable solutions that will ensure even greater attentiveness and safety in Mercedes-Benz models of the future – such as a smart car seat for children WORDS: JAN WILMS


The ESF 2019 test vehicle is rather unobtrusive at first glance. But this vehicle, based on the GLE, is in fact loaded with a great deal of promise for the future of Mercedes-Benz, as it contains the safety technologies of tomorrow – including many features that have never been seen anywhere before. Some of these innovations are almost ready for series production, while others offer a glimpse of what is ahead in terms of safety features fit for the advent of autonomous driving. A HIGH-TECH STEERING WHEEL THAT PUTS ITSELF AWAY The ESF 2019 features a range of solutions that make the transition from manual to autonomous driving as seamless as

possible. As soon as the vehicle is in autonomous driving mode, the high-tech, rectangular steering wheel retracts, as do the pedals below. If the driver wishes to, they can even push the seat back and recline it to get really comfortable. “This is where we hit the next big challenge,” notes team leader Claus Geisler, who is in charge of safety innovations. “Once the driver moves out of a conventional driving position, the usual airbags would no longer be effective for them.” Further airbags had to be fitted into new areas in order to ensure the driver would be protected in an accident; the integrated side airbag has been installed in the side bolsters, while the driver’s airbag is above the steering wheel.

THE PIONEERING RESEARCH SURROUNDING THE ESF When it comes to safety technologies, the automotive industry has seen a plethora of innovations since 1950. Many of these innovations were developed by Daimler AG, such as the crumple zone, belt tensioners and Active Brake Assist. “Pre-Safe’s virtual crumple zone is instrumental in preparing the car and its passengers for an accident,” says Richert. This concept was expanded upon for the “cooperative vehicle environment communication” of the ESF 2019, involving nearly 50,000 LEDs being integrated into the front panel in order to display messages; the driver of the vehicle in front can look in their rear-view mirror and read

messages indicating driving hazards. The test vehicle even offers additional active safety features when it isn’t in motion: Stephan Mücke explains that if a distracted pedestrian walks in front of a parked ESF onto a busy street, the words “Watch out!” will sound and it will flash all its lights to alert the pedestrian. INNOVATIONS IN THE BACK SEAT There is one particular problem that faces parents who drive with children in rear-facing seats: while these seats do increase safety in the event of an accident, they present a challenge when parents in the front seat want to check whether their child is asleep. The ESF solution involves rear-seat installation of the smart Pre-Safe car seat, which is equipped with a camera and sensors that measure the child’s vital signs. It then transmits these signs to the MBUX screen in the front. For additional safety, the seat belt tightens if collision is imminent, potentially reducing the impact experienced by the child in the seat. An innovative rear airbag has also been developed for those passengers that don’t require a car seat, implementing a state-of-the-art concept to inflate the airbag and ensure it is correctly positioned in order to potentially reduce the risk of injury. But aren’t we always hearing about how autonomous driving will lower accident rates? “To be safe, a vehicle must take every precaution to avoid an accident, but also be ready if an accident takes place. That’s why all of our future vehicles – even the autonomous ones – meet our usual high standards for crash safety,” says Richert. “The major advantage of autonomous features is that there will be fewer accidents caused by human error in future,” explains Dr Rodolfo Schöneburg, head of Vehicle Safety, Durability and Corrosion Protection at Mercedes-Benz. “But even fully autonomous, driverless vehicles reach their physical limits at some point. Autonomous and non-autonomous vehicles will certainly be sharing the roads for years to come,” he adds. In the event of a breakdown or a crash, a “robot” warning triangle will be released from the rear of the vehicle and secure the area, for instance the hard shoulder of the motorway – though talk of this autonomous micromobile is cur-

rently just a look behind the curtains of the research lab, as it is far from being ready for series production, Richert admits. There is another innovative detail in the ESF that has been facilitated by digital technology too: the rear seat belt buckles are equipped with USB ports that only work when the seat belts are fastened. The developers hope that this provides sufficient incentive to buckle up, which is often not the norm in many parts of the world. ON COURSE FOR VISION ZERO The ESF 2019 is an important Mercedes for additional reasons external to the test vehicle itself – namely how it also promotes the safety of occupants of othBelow: Scan the QR code to watch Daimler engineers explain the most important features of the ESF 2019 to children:

er vehicles, cyclists, e-scooter riders and pedestrians. This is characteristic of the joint-responsibility approach that has been typical at Mercedes ever since the days of Daimler’s safety pioneer Béla Barényi, and of the objective that guides Daimler engineers: successfully achieving mobility without casualties. “Safety always has been and always will be a core brand value,” emphasises Dr Schöneburg. The ESF continues to shine even after the studio’s spotlights fade, with the orange LED-lit grille indicating that the car is in the manual driving mode that we are currently used to. We eagerly await the moment when that orange will turn to turquoise, signalling a breakthrough, accelerating us through time.






“This Mad Max scene is a response to all these big, shiny buildings... it’s become commonplace”

he shrill engine whistles at the Gare St. Lazare, the bells of the betjaks in Jakarta… fish drying in the sun for Ålesund; coffee roasting for Boston.” In his treatise on the urban aesthetic, John Ely Burchard extols all facets of a city – sights, smells, sounds – that make up its aesthetic beyond mere architecture. It is these minutiae, he says, that truly define our experience of a city; an experience that: “exacts all the use of all the senses, not the optical alone; and that this experience is more sensuous than intellectual.” Written in 1957, when Dubai was barely stirring, one wonders what he would have made of the city – and indeed, how we aestheticise our urban hubs today. Place markers have always been important in how we make sense of cities. It is why we have the Tour Eiffel, Seattle’s Needle, Shanghai’s Bund. But in this ulti-

mate age of photography, a city’s surface aesthetic has arguably become its most defining factor. So how do we penetrate this, and dig deeper than a surface image? “We’ll receive emails from people saying they’re coming over for a holiday and they want to hire one of our instructors and the list they’ll give us is the same: a rooftop to get the skyline; the desert; the Palm,” says Mohamed Somji. The Kenyan-born, Dubai-bred photographer also owns Gulf Photo Plus, a dedicated centre to photography in Dubai’s artistic district, Alserkal. With an ultimate aim of elevating the practice in the UAE, the centre holds masterclasses and regular exhibitions that aim to show a different perspective from the Gulf region. “Architecture and these hero shots of skyline and the Burj are obviously always popular,” he says, attributing their recognition in par thanks to Instagram. “I think Dubai is so made for Instagram

due to its shininess. It’s actually not difficult to get top photographers to come here and that is due to what they see online – images of the shiny Lamborghinis that the police drive, or Roger Federer playing tennis at the top of Burj al Arab – these “big” photos.” The term nation branding came about in the 1990s, coined by Simon Anholt, who created an entire index around the idea that a country could be marketed. This rather nebulous idea of place definition brings with it a large emphasis on the aesthetic, with recognisable visual markers of paramount importance to tourist boards. “The [Dubai] fountains are so well known because everyone puts it on their phones, which is an excellent form of marketing because it’s free! People are doing your work for you,” says Alex Atack. Like Somji, the British, Dubai-bred photographer separates

From left: An architectural shot from Katarina Premfors; Olivia Arthur’s book, ‘Stranger’, reimagined Dubai from the eyes of a shipwreck survivor

these commercial images with more artistic shots of the country. But both, they agree, can descend into cliché. In the last few years, the city’s photographic aesthetic has split into two veins. There’s the vein that is most wellknown to outsiders: neon light trails on Sheikh Zayed Road; tops of skyscrapers peeking out over morning mist; the “Dubai sail”, or Burj al Arab, images that remain constant visual tropes. And then there’s the other vein, more popular with artistic photographers. “When it comes to a common aesthetic in Dubai, every day outside is either bright or hazy sunlight, so aesthetically that feeds into [the look],” comments Atack. “There is a colour palette I’ve noticed: it’s the muting of greens into yellows, blues into magentas for the sky. Part of that is the way the city looks, but part of it is a feedback loop.”

Atack defines it as part of the “presence as absence” trend… namedropping the construction projects on the edge of the city, the “road to nowhere” in Al Qudra and pastel buildings in Dubailand as being particular examples one can find on a more ‘hipster’ Instagram. But this unusual imagery is itself becoming unexceptional, with a wave of photographers looking to push the city’s definitions still further. “This Mad Max scene… that’s a response to all these big shiny buildings. Again, it’s become so commonplace that people are looking for the next faddy, trendy thing,” agrees Somji. Aside from architecture, a large part of how we define a place is by its people. The British makeup brand Rimmel urges viewers of its adverts to “get the London look” – epitomised as a smudged smoky eye and insouciant, messy hair. Paris needs no further explanation, its


inhabitants the subjects of endless, weary fascination on their walk, their style – their manner of speaking. In the Congo, the high fashion sapeurs decked out in Saint Laurent suits and suspenders are subject of both intrigue and imitation, their style slowly spreading out into neighbouring countries. In Dubai, too, the sheer variety of demographics prove a welcoming challenge to photographers, who look to use their subjects to elevate aesthetic in the city. Magnum photographer Olivia Arthur came to Dubai for a three-month residency, with the idea of portraying the city from the perspective of a shipwreck survivor from the Sixties. Playing on ideas of confusion and alienation, her book, Stranger, jumps past photojournalism and observational formulae, into the disjointed perspective of a time traveller. Richard Allenby Pratt’s images are similarly surreal: his exhibition



The photographer and co-director of Dubai’s photography centre, GPP, focuses on forming personal connections with his subjects

‘Abandoned in Dubai’ saw the city reimagined as apocalyptic, with zebras wandering across highways, an emu standing in the midst of ruins. Augustine Paredes has documented his own experience of arriving in Dubai as an expat Filippino worker, using self-portraiture to define his experience. “As Filipinos, we have a saying – ‘kung maikli ang kumot, matutong bumaluktot,’ he writes. “It means, if the means are short, learn to slouch and make it work.” Emirati photographers, too, are concerned with subject rather than city. Lamya Gargash’s practice has been concerned with the extensive study of identity and perception, often documenting forgotten spaces in public and private realms in Emirati society. Finding herself caught in the chaos of daily life and the demands of motherhood, her series ‘Traces’ echoes her longing for silent, stationary moments, as well as acting as celebration of the visibly banal. Ammar Al Attar goes beyond film as documentation, hoarding dog-eared postcards and orphaned negatives to preserve increasingly elusive local Emirati cultures and rituals. “When Diwali was on, it was wonderful to see everyone celebrating on the streets of Bur Dubai to the backdrop of fireworks,” says Somji. “I love that there is



Now shooting for The New York Times and the Guardian, Cheung credits Abu Dhabi for defining his formal, rigorous style

this diversity, and living here for all these years with all these different nationalities has undoubtedly shaped my world view.” One of his recent projects, ‘Metro Garden’, involves documentation of people in repose. “I spend time with them and get their stories. A lot of people I meet in the park wear uniforms for their work – they’re security guards or baristas – but on a Friday they can wear clothes that they like, play music, talk to each-other.” Somji’s aim is to strip away what he sees as Dubai photographic tropes, by documenting workers on weekends. “After all, who looks their best after a working day?” he comments. Dubai has also proved formative for those moving on from the city. Philip Cheung moved to Abu Dhabi in 2007, taking a job at a local newspaper before returning as the official royal photographer to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. Now in Los Angeles working for titles including the New Yorker with subjects like Keanu Reeves and Justin Trudeau, his approach, he says, has been informed by the UAE. “Looking back, I was pretty green – I was only a year in as a full-time photographer, so I hadn’t really developed yet, but it was this city that really influenced my aesthetic, from the architecture to cultural influences, and the effects these had on the environment.




Landscapes – both imagined and true – hold endless fascination for Pratt, whose images often comment on climate change

“Capturing all those elements forced me to pull back and think about my use of space. I got comfortable with the use of distance. The aesthetic is really unique and apparent when I moved back to Canada; that was when I realised how organised and structured everything in the UAE was. I learnt not to be so literal, and it influenced my very formal style.” Structure, form, presence: all are serving to influence both the UAE, and the people that choose to document it. But as Burchard said, it is more than surface aesthetic that makes up our coherence of a place. And as he might imagine himself drinking coffee in Boston on the water, or wandering around at sunrise to Jakarta’s ringing bells, you too must conjure up your own sense of a city. In Dubai, perhaps it’s the smell of the fish market in Deira, or the steaming cup of chai in a Jumeirah café. In a seemingly limitless place, it will be these tangible senses – as well as aesthetics – that will define your reality. Want to know more about Dubai? Press the “i” button on your inflight entertainment screen to discover lots of information about sightseeing, dining, helpful tips on getting around and much more.



A year for tolerance 2019 is the ‘Year of Tolerance’ in the United Arab Emirates. As the year draws to a close, HE Noura Al Kaabi – Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development for the UAE – explains what has been achieved When the Year of Tolerance was announced, what were your first feelings about it? What did you understand by tolerance? When H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance, it cemented the UAE’s position as a global capital for tolerance – a value that has been at the cornerstone of our beliefs since the country’s inception in 1971. Throughout this year, the UAE has strived to be a bridge of communication between people of different cultures that rejects radicalism and promotes acceptance of the other. Our late Founding Father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan believed in the values of tolerance and coexistence and established the UAE on these foundations, to bring together people from all walks of life, regardless of their nationalities or religions. To me tolerance is acceptance, it is the ability to understand differences and to be able to accept them without judgement and prejudice. It is through tolerance that we understand other cultures and contribute towards building successful communities.

Did you have anything specific you wanted to see done? For the UAE, values of tolerance are nothing out of the ordinary, as a nation, it has always been a dialogue between various

cultures and civilisations. When the Year of Tolerance was announced, my first thought was how important it was to strengthen the values of tolerance and co-existence among cultures by teaching the youth the values of acceptance. While we continue to celebrate 2019 as the Year of Tolerance, we are reminded daily that we live in region of constant change; cementing peace is best achieved through international cooperation. Never has there been such an important time to raise awareness and protect common values of solidarity and tolerance through culture and education.

What were some of the important – milestones the nation has achieved this year with regards to tolerance? One of our significant milestones this year was welcoming His Holiness Pope Francis to Abu Dhabi in a historical event as part of a year-long initiative to promote openness, respect and coexistence. What followed was the announcement to create the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity and the construction of The Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi. This is another significant milestone as part of

the Year of Tolerance as the house will incorporate a church, a mosque and a synagogue and serve the diverse community of the UAE for inter-religious dialogue. This project is a clear reflection of the UAE’s values of globally renowned hospitality. In our ongoing commitment to reconstruct heritage sites in Iraq, the UAE has also pledged to restore the 800-year old Al-Tahera Church and the Al-Sa’a Church in Mosul. This has marked an important milestone for the UAE, making us the first country in the world to restore Christian churches destroyed by ISIS in Iraq. This project emphasises the UAE’s commitment towards tolerance as a universal concept and a sustainable institutional endeavour through legislation and policies aimed at promoting the values of tolerance, dialogue, coexistence and openness to different cultures. Discussing the 2019 Year of Tolerance, UAE Minister of State, His Excellency, Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh is interviewed this month on the Emirates World podcast on ice.

66 / EXPO 2020

Expo 2020 Dubai creates a global stage for world culture The first World Expo in the Arab world will be a once-in-a-lifetime showcase of the best in arts and culture, featuring the world’s first Emirati opera and putting the UAE’s creatives on the global map Expo 2020 Dubai is preparing an unrivalled global stage for world culture, with 192 participating countries showcasing their achievements, aspirations and unique approaches to arts, culture, design and much more. Substantial contemporary art works by visionary and leading artists will form a curated path across the site, creating a narrative of concepts, ideas and aesthetics – a creative journey that will encourage innovative thinking and imagination from visitors. This narrative takes inspiration from the famous Arab mathematician, astronomer and physicist Ibn Al Haytham’s seminal work Book of Optics. Seven permanent public art works will live on at District 2020, which will repurpose 80 per cent of Expo’s built structures in a future city that will cement the event’s legacy for decades to come. Culture doesn’t get much higher than opera, and in Al Wasl, Expo 2020 is set to premiere the first ever Emirati example of the art form in October 2020. Al Wasl, which translates to ‘the connection’ in Arabic, will bring a thousand years of culture to life, showcasing the UAE’s unique heritage from its Bedouin roots to forward-thinking, modern multicultural hub. With music by award-winning composer Mohammed Fairouz and dialogue penned by best-selling author Maha Gargash, the two-hour opera will be performed in both Arabic and English at Dubai Opera. For the wider UAE creative community, Expo 2020’s recently announced Design and Crafts Programme aims to pioneer a new framework for collaboration by mixing the traditional with the new. Designers will have the opportunity to explore new avenues in their work, collaborating with creatives from across the planet and experimenting with different

techniques and materials. Traditional UAE crafts can be given an innovative international twist – for example, the ‘safeefa’ style of weaving palm fronds shares common ground with similar techniques and materials from Spain, Japan and Brazil. The programme will see collections created for Expo 2020 under the tags ‘Designed in the Emirates’ (a curated collection featuring designs from emerging talents in the UAE) and ‘Designed for the Emirates’ (produced by renowned international designers, inspired by traditional UAE crafts). Platforms across the Expo 2020 site will exhibit and sell exclusive design content, with sales going directly to the UAE Designer Fund, used to support local designers. Combined, the breadth of Expo 2020’s arts and culture programming will push artistic boundaries and underline the UAE’s status as a regional hub of limitless creativity. It’s another brilliant array of reasons to visit the World’s Greatest Show when it opens on 20 October 2020.

To learn more, watch Expo 2020 Dubai in Emirates & Dubai TV on ice.


Is your life too mild? Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes on whether living dangerously is key to a fulfilling life WORDS: BEN EAST When the record-breaking explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes wrote his first autobiography 30 years ago, he called it Living Dangerously. It makes sense; this was a man who sawed off the tops of his own frostbitten fingers after his sled fell into freezing waters in the North Pole. Living Dangerously is also the name of his latest spoken-word event, which arrives at The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature next year after an extensive European tour. But is living dangerously a mantra for Fiennes, now 75? He’s not so sure. “Well, we try to break world records of a geographical nature and to do so we try and stay well clear of risk,” he says. “In the end, that’s why your predecessors who have tried to break the same records have failed. So the planning of an expedition is as important as physically doing it.” But while solo trips to both poles by surface travel or conquering the North

Face of the Eiger with vertigo have rightly won him the title of “world’s greatest living explorer,” some expeditions don’t succeed at all – like his two failures to climb Everest (he finally succeeded as a 65-yearold in 2009). This is a man whose first attempt at Everest ended with a heart attack within 300m of the summit ridge. What makes him keep going?

“It’s like going on holiday anywhere there are good and bad bits,” he says calmly. “The weather can be awful, the dust storms can come at the wrong moment, you can run out of water, vehicles can go wrong in a bad place. But every now and again there are beautiful sunsets.You cruise over a sand dune, and see the other side.” Fiennes has arguably made his name for his polar adventuring. But he cites his favourite place as Dhofar in South Oman, and one of his most satisfying expeditions the journey to find the lost city of Ubar in

the nearby Empty Quarter desert, which took seven attempts. “There were all these stories about tracks in the desert leading somewhere and my late wife spoke good Arabic, so we thought we’d look for this place that people call the Atlantis of The Sands. It became like a detective story; we worked out that it would have to be somewhere that could harness a water supply, so we tracked that down to the Omani and Yemeni mountains that have water running off them. We spoke to the Sultan who knew where these wells were, and he knew someone who could look at camel hoofs and work out really interesting things from their tracks. It was fascinating.” If one asks Fiennes how he felt when he became the first person to find the ruins, it barely registers – his mind is onto the next adventure. “In all honesty, you do it for a cause and for yourself,” he says. “Going back to Everest, when I heard that the public would still give money to my favourite charity Marie Curie if I did it as an old age pensioner that gave me the spur. One of the nice byproducts is that the books and lectures I do enthuse and inspire people to explore the world for themselves – they love hearing about the experience... and looking at the photographs of frostbite!” Of course, the world has changed significantly since Fiennes’ first adventures. He remembers designing the Arctic manhaul sledges to be waterproof in the 1970s, yet just 20 years later it was more efficient to design them as canoes. There are also less types of polar challenge to overcome these days; “apart from getting across it on a camel or a pogo stick,” he jokes. So what is next for Fiennes? “Well I have to sit down and write and lecture, because you’ve got to make money – the expeditions certainly don’t make any!” he says. “But otherwise my friends Mike [Stroud] and Anton [Bowring], who have been on the expeditions for decades, are both looking into potential Arctic projects. But I don’t say more than that – because we don’t want the Norwegians knowing about it…” For more, listen to the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature podcast on ice.

Emirates NEWS










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Emirates spreads holiday cheer with festive offerings From left: Special edition Emirates ‘Fly with Me Animals’ toy, Lumi the Snowman, available on board for a limited time in December; First Class and Business Class festive menu includes king prawns, roasted turkey and Christmas dessert

Emirates is getting into the festive spirit, with seasonal menus, family entertainment, holiday shopping and much more. Festive inflight menus are on select flights from 9 to 31 December. In Economy Class customers can enjoy a main course of turkey, mashed potato, green peas, baby carrots and cranberry jus lie; plus a chocolate mousse dessert. In First Class and Business Class, special menu offerings include an appetiser of king prawns; a main course of roasted turkey breast with stuffing, roast potatoes and brussel sprouts; and festive desserts including cranberry chocolate garnished with meringue drops or chocolate gingerbread cake. Holiday treats like classic mince pies and a specially crafted Santa’s Spiced

Amarula Cocktail are available in the A380 Onboard Lounge; and extra holiday goodies are in First Class, like hot chocolate with marshmallows and star cookies, gingerbread popcorn and more. The Emirates Airport Lounges around the world will also be rolling out their traditional Christmas dishes starting 15 December, including roasted turkey, and a wide selection of festive sweets like holiday cookies, yule log cake and stollen cake. On ice inflight entertainment, customers can enjoy classic Christmas movies including The Polar Express, Elf, Home Alone, Rudolf the RedNosed Reindeer, It’s a Wonderful Life and more; as well as holiday music and TV specials. Young flyers are also in for a treat with festive children’s

meals, plus a special edition Emirates ‘Fly with Me Animals’ toy, Lumi the Snowman, available on board for a limited time in December. In addition, holiday photo card sleeves will be available on all flights for a souvenir Polaroid photo of your Emirates flight. Holiday shoppers can choose from a wide range of gift ideas in EmiratesRED, the inflight duty free shopping magazine; and with the new EmiratesRED TV channel on ice, customers will find behind-the-scenes info about the brands and products. The Emirates Official Store (online at and in-store in the UAE) also launched a new range of Emiratesbranded Christmas items including a Christmas jumper, festive pyjamas, Cabin Crew and Pilot ornaments and limited edition stockings.

AIRPORT MAPS FEATURE ADDED TO THE EMIRATES APP Emirates has launched a new feature on its app, Airport maps, which will allow customers to navigate seamlessly through the airport. Airport maps will detect the user’s location via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and provide point-topoint navigation through all touchpoints of the airport, including check-in desks, Emirates Lounges, shops, restaurants or ATMs in the airport.

The Emirates app, supported in 19 languages, currently has 1.5 million active users each month and allows customers to search, book and manage their flights as well as their Emirates Skywards accounts. The new feature maps out Emirates Terminal 3 at Dubai International airport, and also includes major airports on the Emirates network.



Cruise passengers in Dubai will now be able to connect seamlessly to their onward flights, via Emirates’ first remote check-in terminal outside of the airport. Check-in counters located at Port Rashid will allow passengers who are disembarking from their cruise ships to check in for their onward Emirates flight at the same facility.

The new service will enhance Dubai’s position as a cruise destination, and provides greater convenience for Emirates customers. With complimentary flight check-in facilities located at the same location as their cruise disembarkation point, customers will have the convenience of exploring Dubai without their luggage before heading directly to the airport for their flight. The Emirates check-in facility at Port Rashid will have eight counters where Emirates staff will check-in customers’ luggage and issue boarding passes up to four hours before flight departure. The facility will be open during the sailing period from October to April. In the next six months, 198 cruise ships are expected to dock at Port Rashid, where approximately 280,000 passengers will have onward Emirates flights. The new service complements Home Check-in, launched last year, which allows Emirates passengers to check in for their flights from anywhere in Dubai for a fee.

Aviation X Lab to reinvent the next era of air travel A unique partnership between five global aviation giants is aiming to positively impact the lives of one billion people. Aviation X Lab, an aviationspecific incubator, has established a long-term partnership between Emirates, Airbus, Collins Aerospace, GE Aviation, and Thales, with an aim to enhance the experience of travel. Telecom provider du has also signed on as its Digital Innovation Partner. In partnership with Dubai Future Foundation, Aviation X Lab aims to create the next era of aviation with its bold vision. The incubator has announced its first two challenges, with the deadline for submissions set in early 2020. One challenge is on how the aviation industry can become carbon negative and the other is on rethinking the airports’ model to

achieve a 10-minute transition time between landside and airside. Aviation X Lab is inviting and reaching out to startups, innovators, academics, NGOs, activists and corporates globally to participate in the challenges. The incubator will select teams and bring them to Dubai to cocreate, experiment and develop prototypes at their premises in Area 2071, a creative ecosystem that brings together government, businesses, and people from all walks of life. In the next phase, up to four teams will be shortlisted and invited to pitch to investors for additional funding.

EMIRATES AND FLYDUBAI CELEBRATE THIRD YEAR OF PARTNERSHIP Over 5.27 million passengers have benefitted from seamless connectivity on the Emirates and flydubai network since both Dubai-based airlines began their partnership in October 2017. In addition, some 800,000 Emirates Skywards members have earned over 1.5 billion Skywards Miles on Emirates and flydubai codeshare itineraries in the last 12 months. Today, Emirates passengers can seamlessly connect to 94 destinations on the flydubai network via Dubai International airport, and flydubai passengers can access 143 Emirates destinations. Globally, the favourite flydubai destinations for Emirates passengers are Belgrade, Bucharest, Catania, Kathmandu, Kiev, Kilimanjaro, Krakow, Salalah, Tbilisi, and Zanzibar. The strategic partnership between Emirates and flydubai goes beyond code-sharing in permitted markets, and includes initiatives that span commercial activity such as schedule coordination to offer customers more competitive prices, network planning and airport operations to facilitate the smooth flow of passengers between both airlines, and the alignment of frequent flyer programmes to boost earning and redemption opportunities.

74 / EMIRATES / NEWS From top: Human contact with rhinos at the centre is kept to a minimum for successful reintegration to the wild; Photographer Kgaugelo Neville Ngomane; The winning image, ‘Desperate Measures’

Desperate measures How Ringo, the dnata-sponsored rhino, made headlines around the world When the image flashed up on screen, there was a sharp intake of breath from around the judging room. “It is not easy to watch such an iconic animal being dehorned,” said Kgaugelo Neville Ngomane, who captured the shot. The 19-yearold student won an international competition of over 4,000 entries with his shot of Ringo, the dnata-sponsored rhino. dnata, part of the Emirates Group, is one of the world’s largest air services providers, offering ground handling, cargo, catering and travel services. The image of Ringo’s dehorning process – a last-ditch attempt to deter poachers – became so iconic that even Leonardo DiCaprio shared it with his 37 million Instagram followers. Titled ‘Desperate Measures’, the image submitted by Ngomane saw him crowned winner of The Young Environmental Photographer of the Year Award in the international CIWEM (Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management) photography competition. Ringo arrived at the Rhino Revolution Rehabilitation centre in

2015 as a six-month-old orphan, his mother murdered by poachers. As longterm supporters of Rhino Revolution, dnata sponsored the medical and care costs for Ringo – and gave him his name. Funds were raised by initiatives including the dnata Dynamos – a cycling team who has raised AED560,000 since 2014 for the charity. He joined four other young rhinos at the centre, all orphaned by poachers. They were rescued and rehabilitated by Rhino Revolution over a period of two years, the calves arriving from different reserves and at different ages. Rhino Revolution’s ethos is to return animals to the wild. It runs a closed facility to keep human contact to a minimum, ensuring the rhinos can be returned to the wild as self-sustaining individuals. After a successful rehabilitation period of nearly two years, the first five orphans were released back into the wild in 2017 onto a secure private reserve, where they continued to thrive. After two years back in the wild, the horns of these “Lucky Five” continued to grow and so it was time to dehorn them. Although no doubt a traumatic experience for the animals, the process is similar to cutting one’s fingernails, and the horn will grow back. Rhino Revolution invited Wild Shots Outreach students to attend and document the dehorning. The programme works with high school students from disadvantaged communities and unemployed youth bordering Kruger National Park. “Winning this competition means a lot,” said Ngomane. “But I don’t just want to win, I want to make a difference. I hope this picture will make a lot of people see what we have to do to save our rhinos.” *For more information on the programmes, visit and




Discover timeless wonders among the dunes through the eyes of a daughter of the desert WATCH HER STORY AT VISITABUDHABI.AE


The perfect brew As International Tea Day falls on 15 December, celebrate with one of Emirates’ signature blends

27 years partnership with Dilmah

33 million cups of tea served a year Our most popular teas: First Class – Moroccan Mint Business Class – English Breakfast Economy – Dilmah Ceylon Black Tea

6 types of tea available in Emirates’ airport lounges

12 Dilmah teas available onboard (including an exclusive Emirates blend)


According to the International Tea Committee (ITC), Turkey has the keenest tea drinkers in the world – with 3.5kg quaffed per person!

In the mood for tea…

• Need ENERGY for your next big adventure? Try Moroccan Mint Green Tea • Need a SOOTHING drink for a night flight? Try Chamomile Tea • Feeling ANXIOUS about flying with your child? Try Green Tea • Need to be ALERT as you embark on your movie marathon on Emirates ice? Try a Black tea like Earl Grey or English Breakfast


Tea Room Menu

Q&A: Merrill J. Fernando

First Class: • Emirates Signature Tea: Fine Ceylon tea with hints of rose almond and ginger • Original Earl Grey • Moroccan Mint Green Tea • Brilliant Breakfast • Sencha Green Extra Special • Pure Chamomile Flowers Business Class & Airport lounges: • Breakfast Tea • Turmeric Coconut and Vanilla • Green Tea Moroccan Mint • Earl Grey with Honey • Green Tea Natural • Gourmet Infusion Camomile Flowers Emirates’ partnership with Sri Lankan tea producer Dilmah has lasted 27 years. Founder Merrill J. Fernando explains what has made it so successful

EMIRATES SIGNATURE TEA An exclusive creation by Dilmah for Emirates First Class passengers, this signature tea is a singleestate tea made from Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe 1 leaf, which grows 1,020m above sea level on the Dombagastalawa Estate in Sri Lanka. Tender shoots are handpicked before the coppery infusion is made with a sprinkling of marigold and safflower. The Emirates Signature tea is exclusively sold at Emirates Official Stores and online at

How did you get started in the business? I was among the first group of Ceylonese (as Sri Lankans were then known) to visit Mincing Lane, in London, which was then the centre of the world tea trade. What I saw there shocked me as our beloved Ceylon Tea, made with so much dedication, was mixed with cheaper teas to enhance the profit of middlemen. It was then that I conceived the idea of offering my tea direct to tea drinkers with the assurance of quality and ethics. Dilmah tea is single origin – can you explain why that’s important for taste? The aroma, taste, texture and appearance of tea are the result of a confluence of natural factors affecting the tea plant, including sunlight, wind, rainfall, soils and a host of other climatic factors. Each tea bears the fingerprint of nature, making it especially valuable at a time when few things can genuinely be termed ‘natural’. The brightness in a fine Uva is the result of a combination of dry, chill winds and bright sunshine, the intensity of a Ratnapura tea comes from the sandy soils, heat, humidity and quality of light – each region and time has its own terroir.

What are some weird and wonderful teabased creations from Dilmah that regular tea drinkers might not be aware of? All are wonderful, but fortunately none are weird, although I must admit we have had to work on some very odd teas. One that was especially difficult was a durian tea where my son Dilhan – who detests durian – had to spend several weeks working with dried durian and durian extract in perfecting a Durian Tea. We eventually agreed to abandon the project because he could really not take any more durian and I was not willing to either. What have been some of the highlights of your partnership with Emirates? I worked with Abela & Co. in the 1980s, and Nayef Quassem of Abela introduced me to the then fledgling Emirates Airline. We started with a Dilmah Ceylon Tea 50-teabag pack in 1992. Since then, the partnership has grown on a shared commitment to offering guests a uniquely Emirates tea experience. This year we celebrated 27 years of collaboration with Emirates airline – that’s a highlight if ever there was one. What makes this partnership so special is that it is marked by a sincere effort on the part of the Emirates team to work with us in offering their guest something different, while respecting the quality, goodness and ethical purpose that form the heart of Dilmah Tea.




Eternal sunshine in this laid-back Australian city It may be one of the most isolated cities on earth, but Perth’s seclusion is all part of its charm. Situated on the Swan River at the edge of the Indian Ocean, the Western Australian capital enjoys more than 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, creating an enviable lifestyle for the two million people who call it home. Life here is a leisurely, outdoorsy affair. The green heart of the city is Kings Park, an expansive domain that eclipses New York’s Central Park in size; and public spaces such as Elizabeth Quay and Forrest Place host open-air art galleries, twilight cinemas and night markets. The state’s recent mining boom has breathed new life into the historic city centre, resulting in a proliferation of boutique hotels and luxury resorts. Alfresco restaurants and rooftop bars also abound. Inspired by a wealth of indigenous ingredients, pristine local seafood and the city’s proximity to Asia (it is closer to Singapore than Sydney, after all), Perth’s chefs and restaurateurs have created a unique cuisine that hums with vitality. On Perth’s doorstep, discover spectacular Indian Ocean beaches just 20 minutes from the city centre. Slightly further afield, visit the grape-growing region of the Swan Valley to the north-east, the historic coastal town of Fremantle to the south-west, and Rottnest Island, a car-free isle best known for its adorable native quokkas (a furry marsupial that’s like a cross between a cat and a kangaroo). Remote? Sure, but there’s nothing remotely boring about this sun-drenched capital.

Emirates flies nonstop twice daily to Perth. Choose from a daily flight with the Boeing 777-300ER and a daily service operated by the Airbus A380.




Soak up city and Swan River vistas from this sleek rooftop eatery in the revamped State Buildings. Shining a spotlight on Australian native ingredients, Wildflower’s menu showcases the six seasons of the local indigenous calendar in dishes such as smoked kangaroo with native basil.

Overlooking Swanbourne Beach, The Shorehouse is known for its Hamptons-style deck and inviting menu that takes you from breakfasts of crab omelette with miso butter to dinners of Josper-grilled seafood and meats. Time your visit to catch a stunning sunset over the Indian Ocean.

COMO THE TREASURY Dating back to the mid-19th century, Perth’s historic State Buildings have been transformed into a chic 48-room retreat. Bid farewell to any lingering jetlag with a visit to the Shambhala Urban Escape spa, housing a gym, indoor pool, and treatments using Australian flora.

SWAN VALLEY GOURMET TRAIL Discover the gourmet hub of Swan Valley, a 30-minute drive north of the city. Western Australia’s oldest grape-growing region is home to scores of boutique cellar doors and artisan food producers. Follow trails that include chocolate, coffee, cheese and honey tastings.



After a day spent shopping in the Murray Street Mall, retire to this design-savvy hotel, known for its eye-popping interiors and playful vibe. Enjoy drinks at The Rooftop Bar, smart Italian fare at Santini Grill, and astute service from the impeccably dressed staff, cheekily dubbed ‘Directors of Chaos’.

The most expensive hotel ever built in Australia, Crown Towers is the pinnacle of luxury stays in Perth. Overlooking the Swan River and the city skyline from Burswood in the east, the 500-room resort features celebrity chef restaurants, nightclub and a tiered lagoon-style pool with VIP cabanas.




Embrace Perth’s idyllic year-round weather with a stroll through Kings Park and Botanic Garden, on the edge of the central business district. Spanning 400 hectares, this lush parkland is home to 3,000 plant species including a 750-yearold boab tree, plus nature trails, cafes, and a gallery store selling Aboriginal artworks.

Explore the waterways with a tour of the Swan River. Take a 30-minute cruise to Fremantle, where you can visit the markets, maritime museum and historic prison, before continuing on to Rottnest Island, 25 minutes offshore. Or book an evening cruise around Perth including dinner, drinks and entertainment.

Take in some of the 200 large-scale artworks dotted around the capital on the self-guided Art City Walking Trail, from Elizabeth Quay to the Perth Concert Hall. Or, visit the Perth Cultural Centre in Northbridge, home to the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.


Be smart!


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

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


1 2 3

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

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

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


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













Czech Republic







Hong Kong SAR














New Zealand






San Marino





South Korea




United Kingdom


Vatican City


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. We endeavour to keep this information as up-to-date as possible; however, for the definitive list, please contact Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs

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

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


Emirates Mexico City: Daily service via Barcelona starts 9 December flydubai Krabi: Daily service via Yangon starts 10 December



Routes shown are as of time of going to press


**Seasonal service


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

Emirates route

flydubai route


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

Visit for full details on our travel partners


Routes shown are as of time of going to press


**Seasonal service



Emirates route

AFRICA flydubai route




**Seasonal service



Routes shown are as of time of going to press


Freighter destinations


Emirates Fleet Our fleet of 271 aircraft includes 260 passenger aircraft and 11 SkyCargo aircraft AIRBUS A380-800 115 IN FLEET

All aircraft 30+ aircraft

up to 4,500+

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



All aircraft 100+ aircraft

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

up to 4,500+

BOEING 777-200LR

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


Live TV, news & sport


Mobile phone

Data roaming

Number of channels

First Class Shower Spa

*Onboard lounge

**In-seat power

USB port

In-seat telephone

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



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

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



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

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

Enjoy a world of artistic wonder

‫اﺳﺘﻤﺘﻊ‬ ‫ﺑﻌﺎﻟﻢ ﻣﻦ‬ ‫ا ﺑﺪاع اﻟﻔﻨﻲ‬

Louai Kayali | Sorrows, 1971| Oil on wood

Enjoy a world of artistic wonder and creativity spread over large spacious galleries that welcome you throughout the year. This unique museum offers art lovers and all visitors, the opportunity to admire the splendor of the museum’s permanent Arab Art collection, as well as temporary exhibitions hosted by the museum throughout the year. In addition to participating in the museum’s regular program and workshops. Opening hours Entry is free

Saturday to Thursday 8:00 am – 8:00 pm Friday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm For Enquiries: + 9716 568 8222

‫ﻫﻨﺎ ﻳﻤﻜﻨﻚ ﺃﻥ ﺗﺘﻤﺘﻊ ﺑﻔﻀﺎﺀﺍﺕ ﻣﺸﺮﻋﺔ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺍﻟﺠﻤﺎﻝ ﻭﺍﻟﻔﻦ ﻭﺍﻹﺑﺪﺍﻉ‬ ‫ ﺇﻧﻬﺎ ﻓﻀﺎﺀﺍﺕ‬.‫ ﻭﻫﻲ ﻣﺘﺎﺣﺔ ﻋﻠﻰ ﻣﺪﺍﺭ ﺍﻟﻌﺎﻡ‬،‫ﺗﺤﺘﻀﻨﻬﺎ ﻣﺴﺎﺣﺎﺕ ﺭﺣﺒﺔ‬ ‫ ﺣﻴﺚ ﻳﺤﻈﻮﻥ ﺑﻤﺸﺎﻫﺪﺓ‬،‫ﻻ ﻣﺜﻴﻞ ﻟﻬﺎ ﻟﻤﺘﺬﻭﻗﻲ ﺍﻟﻔﻨﻮﻥ ﻭﺯﻭﺍﺭ ﺍﻟﻤﺘﺤﻒ‬ ‫ﺗﺸﻜﻴﻠﺔ ﻭﺍﺳﻌﺔ ﻣﻦ ﻣﻘﺘﻨﻴﺎﺕ ﺍﻟﻤﺘﺤﻒ ﻭﺍﻟﺘﻲ ﺗﺘﻀﻤﻦ ﺍﻋﻤﺎﻝ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﻔﻦ‬ ‫ ﺑﺎﻹﺿﺎﻓﺔ ﺇﻟﻰ ﺍﺳﺘﻀﺎﻓﺔ ﻣﻌﺎﺭﺽ ﻓﻨﻴﺔ‬،‫ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻲ ﺍﻟﺤﺪﻳﺚ ﻭﺍﻟﻤﻌﺎﺻﺮ‬ ‫ ﻭﻳﻤﻜﻨﻜﻢ ﺃﻳﻀﺎ ﺍﻟﻤﺸﺎﺭﻛﺔ ﻓﻲ ﺑﺮﺍﻣﺞ ﺍﻟﻤﺘﺤﻒ‬.‫ﻣﺆﻗﺘﺔ ﻋﻠﻰ ﻣﺪﺍﺭ ﺍﻟﺴﻨﺔ‬ .‫ﻭﺍﻟﻮﺭﺵ ﺍﻟﻤﺼﺎﺣﺒﺔ‬ ً ‫ﻣﺴﺎﺀ‬ 8:00 - ‫ﺻﺒﺎﺣﺎ‬ 8:00 ‫ﺍﻟﺴﺒﺖ – ﺍﻟﺨﻤﻴﺲ‬ ً ‫ﻣﺴﺎﺀ‬ 8:00 – ‫ﻣﺴﺎﺀ‬ 4:00 ‫ﺍﻟﺠﻤﻌﺔ‬ ً ً + 9716 568 8222 :‫ﻟﻼﺳﺘﻔﺴﺎﺭ‬

‫ﻣﻮﺍﻋﻴـــﺪ ﺍﻟﺰﻳــﺎﺭﺓ‬ ‫ﺍﻟﺪﺧﻮﻝ ﻣﺠﺎﻧﻲ‬


GUIDE TO ROME The star of vigilante thriller 6 Underground espouses the delights of Roman pastries INTERVIEW: EMMA COILER I visited Rome previously for their film festival, which is still young in comparison to Cannes and Berlin, but wonderful nonetheless. Italy has been making some great films over recent years and it’s a big celebration of that. Filming for 6 Underground took place in several of Rome’s Piazzas, and I loved shooting in the Piazza di Spagna, one of Rome’s most famous. It’s within walking distance of so much Rome has to offer, and of course is home to The Spanish Steps, with that wonderful view at the top. Shopping in Rome is not something you are ever going to struggle to do. If you’re already at the Piazza di Spagna then you are on top of the Via Condotti, home to literally every major fashion house and luxury brand you can think of. If you are a first time tourist – you are already going to visit The Trevi


41.9028° N, 12.4964° E

Fountain, The Colosseum, Vatican City – you don’t need me to tell you about these things. The weather in Rome is beautiful for most of the year and it is one of Europe’s greatest outdoor cities. A simple pleasure is to sit and drink coffee in one of the piazzas and just watch the city go by. Again, it’s no secret that they do the best pizza and pasta – but what is less publicised is that Rome has some wonderful bakeries. What an experience; to be walking around Rome with your love while eating a freshly baked pastry or tart. Filming also took us a couple of hundred miles across Italy to Florence. The historic centre is just so impressive there is no surprise that is has been used so much in film. Architecturally it is so stunning – I don’t think there is anywhere comparable.

Emirates offers two nonstop daily flights to Rome. Choose from a daily flight with the Boeing 777-300ER and a daily service operated by the Airbus A380.

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