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TECHNOLOGY - ENTERTAINMENT - DINING

Since 1997

December 2020 | Vol. 24

| Issue 12 | BD2 / SR20

YOUR GUIDE TO A GREAT WAY OF LIFE

FESTIVE SPECIAL DINING

MOTORING

Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix

Where to Eat this Festive Season

Two Wheels Vs.Four Road Safety for Cyclists

We Discover Salero A Modern Spanish Dining Concept

WTM Not just a Man’s World Bahrain’s Female Biker Community

PEOPLE

Life in the Fast Lane with Sébastien Buemi

Fashion Trend Layering Up this Winter

Omar Ahmed Al KhulaqiA True Wordsmith

Beauty Essentials

A chat with Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain, Maggie Nardi

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Arts

Culture

Clubs

Sports

Interviews

Lifestyle

Dining

Nightlife

Digital Edition


• • • • • •

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CONTENTS

DECEMBER

22

40

36

31

ISSUE 280

12

42 INTERVIEWS

8 12

52

16

Life in the Fast Lane!

A look into the life of F1 Racing Driver Sébastien Buemi

Paving the Way

We chat with the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy Maggie Nardi

Musings of a Wordsmith Young writer, Omar Ahmed Al Khulaqi, reflects on his work

DINING

54

58

WOMAN THIS MONTH CONTENTS

FASHION

52

Layer up the right way this winter

Interview

54

We delve into the exciting world of female bikers in Bahrain

Opinion

62

Ouiam bids adieu to 2020.

Beauty

58

Lifestyle

60

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The latest Skincare and Makeup products

Festive décor for the most wonderful time of the year!

bhthismonth

22

The best of festive dining options this season!

29

We review SaleroA modern Spanish dining concept!

MOTORING

31 32 36

My Life in Cars

Dick Potter’s thoughts on seven-time world champion - Lewis Hamilton

Motoring Bites Motoring and the Menace Sangeeth talks about road safety for cyclists and motorcysclists

COMMERCE

40 42

Business Bites The Business of Sports

Business Expert, Pria Masson Tanwar, delves into the business world of sports. December 2020 5


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THE TEAM Publisher and Chairman George F. Middleton

Bahrain This Month December 2020

Editor Farah Baig Contributors Behnaz Sanjana, Kristian Harrison, Dick Potter, Sangeeth Mullassery, Pria Masson Tanwar, Ouiam Charkani El Hassani, Bill Grieve Editorial Consultant Ahdeya Ahmed

W

elcome to the special festive issue of Bahrain This Month, which we’re happy to say is both in digital and print format once more! It’s been an eventful year, to say the least, so we’re quite relieved to bid farewell to 2020 while we look forward to 2021 with increased optimism.

Print Production Manager Sabu Sebastian Art Director Hatem Monem

December, certainly has been a watershed month for the Kingdom with coronavirus levels showing a marked decline. Citizens across the island have enjoyed a renewed sense of freedom; catching up with friends and family in beautiful locations while, of course, taking the necessary precautions.

Webmaster Nishad Eapen CRM & Database Coordinator Muna Yousef

Two of the most significant events taking place over the past month were the F1 races at Sakhir, which welcomed a limited number of team members and their families to witness the races taking place there. This issue provides coverage of both races, as well as an interview with F1 Racing Driver and two-times Le Mans 24 Hours Winner, Sébastien Buemi who talks about his exciting life in the world of motorsport.

Staff Photographer Subeesh Kumar N S Administration and Finance Samson Vaz, Marlyn Ragasa Corporate Affairs Director Bassem A. Al Khabbaz

Our mission, as always, is to bring you the best dining options available; especially for this festive season. So, it’s safe to say that you’ll find plenty of exciting venues to dine at for Christmas and New Year’s too! In addition, with a stressful year soon to be behind us, we’ve looked into ways in which you could rejuvenate your mind, body and soul, not just by treating yourself, but by giving back to the community as well.

Distribution Team CM Abdul Rahman, Gopal Arul Kumar Distributor Al Hilal Group (Hilal Direct Services) Media Sales Anuradha Manhas anuradha@redhousemarketing.com

We also enjoyed a topical conversation with Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain, Margaret Nardi following the recent U.S. presidential election and the signing of the Abraham Accords.

DIGITAL & CONTENT MARKETING TEAM Digital Strategy Director Lini Reghunath Digital Marketing & Social Media Executive Farah Baig

Another interviewee this month is the young writer, Omar Ahmed Al Khulaqi, who consistently delves into the world of poetry to create thought-provoking pieces which he shares with his many followers on social media. In our Motoring section, Dick Potter shares his thoughts on seven-time F1 world champion – Lewis Hamilton, while Sangeeth talks about road safety for cyclists. In Woman This Month, you’ll find our feature with some of the incredible women who help make up Bahrain’s biker community proving beyond doubt that it’s not just a man’s world any more.

Printing Press Union Press, Bahrain

As always, in this month’s issue, you’ll get a first-hand look at some of the best fashion trends, accessories and beauty essentials too!

Published monthly by

We’re sure you’ll enjoy this issue and, if you want more of the same, don’t forget to subscribe and follow us on our official social media channels while doing so! Until next month, remember: you can always count on ‘Your Guide to a Great Way of Life’. RED HOUSE MARKETING P.O. Box 20461, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: (+973) 17 813-777, Fax: (+973) 17 813-700 Email: info@redhousemarketing.com www.bahrainthismonth.com © Copyright Reserved 2005-2020 The concept, content, style and design of this publication remain the exclusive property of Red House Marketing (Jersey) Ltd. and must not be reproduced in any form whatsoever without prior written permission. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, Red House Marketing cannot accept legal responsibility for any error or omission. • Views expressed in this magazine by journalists and writers are not necessarily those of the publishers of Bahrain This Month. Licensed by the Ministry of Information Publication Code: TA001 ISBN 1 899 348 09 3

1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION Bahrain: BD24

COVER Cover Picture:

New year dining

George F. Middleton Publisher and Chairman

Scan this QR Code to subscribe to the digital edition of the magazine.

Gulf and international subscriptions available on request.

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December 2020 7


interview

LIFE IN THE FAST LANE!

Bill Grieve catches up with F1 Racing Driver Sébastien Buemi on his recent visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain ahead of the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020. As the winter sun set in Bahrain, we sat outside on the cool shaded porch belonging to Sébastien’s uncle, Humbert Buemi the Honorary Swiss Consul General’s villa in Saar and spoke to the F1 driver and winner of the 2018/19 WEC Championship and 2018/19/20 Prestigious 24 Hour of Le Mans Races about his life, his passion for motorsports and more.

Y

ou’ve had quite an illustrious career in the world of motorsport. Could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? I am 32-years-old, Swiss born and raised and currently competing for the FIA World Endurance Championship, racing Formula E aside from being the reserve driver for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing in Formula 1. I started driving when I was 5 years old after receiving a Go-Kart as a Christmas present from my Dad which ignited my love for racing, and since then I don’t remember my life without Go-Karts or racing being a significant part of it.

8 December 2020

I started early, went to single seaters when I was 16 years old, then Red Bull stepped in as a sponsor and basically financed my whole career. I got into Formula 1 in 2009. In 2012, I was racing for Toyota in the FIA World Endurance Championship including the 24 Hours of Le Mans race - the most important endurance race in the world. Since 2012, I have been the reserve driver for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Red Bull for F1 as well. Is there a great deal of difference in the logistics and race preparation for Formula E

and the F1? These are different types of racing championships so the regulations are also different. Formula 1 is competing on normal race circuits like the BIC, whereas Formula E is all street racing like Monaco and Singapore. Formula E is always a one-day event whereas the F1 is a three-day event. The logistics are not too different since you have a team travelling to all races, the F1 is a comparatively bigger and there are around 60 people travelling for the races while around 700 to 800 people work at the factory. Formula E is

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interview

smaller with about 30 to 40 people travelling to all the races and a team of about 100 people in all. What would you say was the highlight of your career so far? It’s hard to say but races you win are always good memories, but if I had to name one instance it would likely be my first race in the Formula One… It’s kind of a dream come true. Getting to start the F1 race in Australia in March 2009 and of course winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.

even had about 30,000 spectators. There shouldn’t be many in Bahrain, but they have control measures and regulations and I think they have done a good job here. Every country is different but the F1 has had a lot of races and although it started in July instead of March they will still achieve something like 17 races which is really quite a lot. One could argue that maybe they had too many, but I think that in the end it’s better to have racing going on than not at all.

You will have accumulated followers and fans in your racing career - any message for them? What are the most challenging aspects of Yes - I would like to thank everyone who being an F1 racing driver? supports and follows me and sends me You have to drive high performance cars really messages of support and encouragement; it’s fast, safely and responsibly and that’s a lot of really kind. I hope to win more races, do a pressure. There are only 20 drivers competing good job and make sure they keep following at each race and every seat is very difficult to me in the future. get and then keep. There are big differences between the cars in terms of cost and it’s Do you have any advice for young, aspiring F1 really important to always try and get into the drivers’? best car available. It’s a big challenge, because Yes, competing in Go-Karts early is really once you are in a good car it can help your important - that’s where you learn all the basic whole life ahead quite a bit. It’s always trying stuff. Then when you get to 14 or 15 years old to achieve the best, to be the best and it’s a and, provided you have shown talent, it’s big challenge to compete and be competitive important to get support from a big back end in Formula One. sponsor because it becomes very expensive to finance it. I was lucky enough to get What are your thoughts on the current supported by Red Bull who financed the racing, implementations taken by the F1 to continue without them it would have been very difficult. having the races? So, I think starting with Go-Karting very early I think it’s good - I mean somehow you need to and trying to achieve consistently good results get going - you can’t just wait and stop is the key - a priority. everything. Racing in Portugal recently, we www.bahrainthismonth.com

December 2020 9


interview

How long have you been associated with and sponsored by Red Bull? I have been with Red Bull since 2004, so over 16 years - a fantastic sponsor, and global supporter and sponsor of motor sports. What is your current status and situation regarding the Bahrain F1? I have been competing in another championship for the FIA World Endurance Championship title and was at the BIC whilst there was a race today in Istanbul, but I have racing priorities to adhere to. I am not certain that I will be in Bahrain for the F1 but its most likely I will be here and then travel to Abu Dhabi for the final race of the F1 season. We have heard plenty about your racing career; can you tell us a little about your personal life? I am married with two children, and have a wonderful family. I lived in Bahrain for a short while, in 2009 and 2010 but with the F1 being based mainly in Europe and with the teams being primarily in Spain or Italy, the logistics of being in Europe for F1 and Formula E racing is easier. I moved to Monaco around 2011 and stayed there until 2016. Since 2017, I have been living back in Switzerland which has been great since we are now close to all our family and parents. I really enjoyed my time in Bahrain, so we even came back for a week in January 2020 which was nice.

10 December 2020

What’s your outlook on life looking like right now? It’s hard to say - you know in life things move quickly and it’s important to enjoy the moment. It’s always easy to look at the future planning what you want to change, but we need to also enjoy it. Sometimes in my life I just chase time, running after it, I go from one point to the next and sometimes forget to enjoy it enough - and we should enjoy life, because we are lucky enough to be in such a good position today, right?

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interview

PAVING THE WAY Following the recent U.S. presidential election and signing of the Abraham Accords, George Middleton speaks to the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain, Maggie Nardi.

A

s Chargé d’Affaires, what do you consider to be your primary focus during your current assignment in Bahrain? Following the departure of the former ambassador, my priority was taking care of the embassy under COVID circumstances and preparing what I thought would be a typical slate of meetings and events. Subsequently, when the UAE signed the Abraham Accords with Israel, there was a flurry of activity related to that. We started getting a lot of attention and have so far had five cabinet level officials, Department of Energy officials, three White House delegations, and numerous State Department officials as well. We are trying to support Bahrain since it signed the Abraham Accords and to facilitate whatever bilateral agreements come out of that, manage a huge flow of visitors and still try to keep everyone safe. We have also been keeping busy preparing for the transition following the recent presidential election. Given the recent election results, it is a crucially important period in international affairs. What do you see as being the most likely opportunities and challenges in world affairs over the coming weeks and months? Much related to that is the administration transition. Many governments around the world are watching and waiting to see what this means. I think our job at the US embassy is to reinforce all of the positive things that are being done by the current administration while ensuring that the new administration has a good understanding of the priorities and concerns of the region. Are there any high-level delegations or VIP visits planned in the near future; before or after the January inauguration? If so, how will these be managed? I think efforts to support the implementation of the Abraham Accords will continue if there is a way that the US can help facilitate that. There was obviously the IISS Manama Dialogue which recently wrapped up too, in which we had some participation. COVID and the government transition have limited who is willing to travel at this point, but despite that we had several delegations participate in-person. 12 December 2020

Once the new ambassador is finally announced, will you be leaving soon after? I came here at the end of August last year as the Deputy Chief of Mission, which is more internally focused than externally focused. That is a three-year tour, so I am not slated to leave till 2022 and will help get the ambassador assimilated when he or she arrives and support them until that time. How many U.S. citizens are currently residing in the Kingdom? Which sectors are they involved in? We don’t keep an exact tab, but we have the US Navy command here as well as the US Fifth Fleet. So, we have a sizeable presence there of active duty, military and civilians. There are also Americans working here in manufacturing, oil and gas and other sectors. So, I would say the range is between 15 and 20 thousand. You spent a two-year posting in Jerusalem

as the Director for the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs programme to the Palestinian Authority. From your experience, how do you see the prospect of trade and personal relations developing between Israel, Bahrain and the Palestinian Authority? The one thing that I would say about the recent signing of the Abraham Accords is that the leadership here has maintained in every public remark that the Palestinian issue and the idea of a two-state solution is still a priority for them. It’s not something that’s just set aside. I do believe that they have the potential to play a very positive role in trying to bring the parties together. Obviously, it must begin with the political relationship. As far as economically, there’s a lot of potential in the West Bank, I can certainly say from my time there. But they have to have increased access to basic inputs, including water and electricity, and www.bahrainthismonth.com


interview greater mobility. It’s going to take some compromise on all sides in order to make things work. I am hopeful that Bahrain, and the UAE as well, can positively contribute to this process to move things forward. After 25 years working at the U.S. State Department, where was your most memorable posting; and why? Every posting is memorable for different reasons, many of them due to timing and global events outside of your control. If you just take Bahrain alone, I came here thinking it would be a quiet, calm post ; however, the Ambassador departed, the Abraham Accords were signed and we have a presidential transition. And that’s in only one year - I’m here for three years. In 2015, I was in Croatia where I was Deputy Chief of Mission, when the refugee flow, which had been going from Turkey to Greece, to Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary and then up to Western Europe, suddenly turned West and went into Croatia when Hungary shut the border. In literally one night they had a million refugees on the border and it was their main economic artery with the rest of the Balkans. So, we worked very closely with them to open the border and then help them figure out a humane way to register and care for the refugees. Given the current state of the pandemic across the world, are there any challenges that US citizens in Bahrain have been facing? How does the embassy support these citizens? I would say that American citizens who are in Bahrain should count themselves very lucky, because this is quite definitely one of the better places to be. I have to give His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Prime Minister a great deal of credit for recognizing, well before many other leaders and countries, that this was going to be a serious problem for a long time and for taking the steps that he did. As far as what we did and continue to do for the Americans, there was a period of time when we had to stop our in-person consular services, because it was too dangerous to allow people coming into a very small waiting room so we stayed connected with them by phone and email. We always fulfilled any emergency services - if someone had to travel for a family crisis, we would do emergency passports or other emergency services. We updated citizens online

regularly regarding changes to travel protocols and also had a virtual town hall to introduce our new consul, talk about voting abroad and give them updates on the COVID situation. So, we have tried to remain as connected as possible to the community, but on a virtual basis. Do you have any advice for US citizens who would perhaps want to travel during the festive season? We don’t control what US citizens do, but we can advise them of all of the requirements, whether it’s testing, limitations for travel to the US from here or to other places, and we try to keep them as up-todate as possible. So, we just give the same advice that we do to all of our staff: wear your mask, socially distance and do things virtually whenever possible.

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Is your family with you on this posting? We’re usually a divided family so we’re currently doing everything virtually- on a family and professional basis too. My husband is in Virginia because he can’t work from here with the seven to eight-hour time difference. My daughter is in Virginia studying at a university while my son is in high school here along with me and our dog. What do you do for recreation and leisure in Bahrain? I really enjoy, particularly after having been in Jerusalem, archeology and ancient history. So, I like to visit the burial grounds, Saar historic sites and Bahrain museum whenever I can. I also run, and given that the terrain is nice and relatively flat, that has been easier although the heat has been more of a challenge for me. I’m game to try a lot of different things so have experimented with horseback riding and paddle boarding too. December 2020 13


bystander

International Ladies Association Farewell Lunch

The International Ladies Association bade farewell to one of its employees after 31 years serving the association.

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interview

Few have the gift of penning down words that can invoke the deepest of thoughts and emotions from the reader. This month we caught up with a young writer and member of Bahrain’s The Second Circle Poetry group, Omar Ahmed Al Khulaqi, 27, who was born in Moscow, Russia and has called Bahrain “home” since he was three years old. Omar consistently delves deep into the world of poetry to create thoughtprovoking pieces of literature which he shares with a multitude of followers on social media.

How long have you been writing for and when did you first take an interest in writing? I think I started writing when I was just 13 years old. I remember being moved by the lyrics of a heavy metal album by the band ‘Metallica’, particularly the song ‘The Unforgiven’. Prior to that I used to listen to music passively - just whatever was popular on the radio at the time. So that was a turning point for me as I delved into a darker and more intense kind of music, while simultaneously gaining an appreciation for the power of words.

If I look back at the bulk of my work, they would mostly fall neatly into three themes: gothic, romantic and mystical. Although, some of my poems are a combination of two or all three… but, when it comes to the subject, it will vary every time based on the source of inspiration. Would you say you have a muse or certain influences when it comes to writing?

Your poetry seems to be very thoughtprovoking, but how would you describe it?

A muse can be anyone or anything. I try to avoid reading poetry though as I don’t want to end up mimicking a fellow writer’s style. As long as I have an interesting take on a subject no matter how small, I pursue it. It becomes the string that holds the selected beads of words together.

My poetry has evolved a lot as I’ve grown as a person. At the moment, my poems are short and a lot of what I write are similar to quotes. I would say my poems are a blend between the introspective, emotive and symbolic.

Have you ever collaborated with other creatives, Bahrain-based or otherwise, for any series?

Is there a standard theme or subject you tend to follow when writing?

Yes, I have collaborated with many creatives, mostly artists and photographers. I am a

16 December 2020

devotee of the arts, although I have a soft spot for photography and film. Images and poems go well together for the Instagram format and I enjoy adding another layer of meaning to an image or vice versa. Have you ever dealt with writer’s block? If yes, what did you do to overcome it? Every creative deals with writer’s block at some point or the other. When it used to happen before, I used to panic that my inspiration will never return and I can no longer write. However, now I consider it a minivacation and consume other forms of art in that time instead so that can stir something in me. However, when inspiration does return for a visit I give it my full attention and love. What are the challenges you face when coming up with new material? When I started posting my poems on Instagram, I realised that they were too long for the format, I had to break them up into several images. Then I decided to challenge

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interview

myself when writing new material, and over the years my poems became shorter and shorter and gradually, without realising, I was left with quotes. Although it has refined my writing by saying more with less it came with its own side effects. I’ve lost the ability to write long narrative poems as I used to as a teenager, because my brain is so habitually used to keeping things brief and to the point. Quotes work well for Instagram, but longer poems work better for the stage. So that’s something I am working on overcoming. That’s very interesting. So, what’s next for you? I am currently working on a story book with a wonderful illustrator and friend of mine, but can’t share any other details at the moment. My followers will just have to wait and see by following my official Instagram account @b.t.oaktree to follow my work and updates.

www.bahrainthismonth.com

December 2020 17


feature - new year

BOOK YOURSELF A STAYCATION

Staying on the island this festive season doesn’t have to be depressing. You can celebrate by discovering the magnificent views and tranquil surroundings at Al Areen Palace & Spa by Accor set against a lush garden landscape. Relax at one of the beautiful villas, take a dip in the private temperature-controlled pools and feast on a floating breakfast with their in-villa dining. Rest and relaxation in a beautiful location does wonders for the soul!

R A E Y NEW

! u o Y New

ENJOY SOME INNOVATIVE FINE DINING

The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain recently opened Primavera Al Fresco at its new pop-up venue, Nikmati. The new menu includes heart-warming staples such as homemade pasta and specialty dishes that spotlight an innovative fusion of Italian and local flavours. The beautiful atmosphere, delicious food and unmatched tranquility of the venue is sure to give you some of the peace of mind we’ve all been craving this year. The picturesque venue is open for reservations from Wednesdays to Saturdays, 5pm to midnight.

2020 will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the greatest inconveniences mankind has ever faced. It’s changed life as we know it and given quite a few of us more than our fair share of stress. So, it’s less about making new resolutions this year and more about regrouping, recharging our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing and prepping ourselves for what’s hopefully going to be quite the comeback! With this in mind, we put together our top recommendations for creating a better version of yourself for taking on the new year.

ENJOY SOME ME-TIME AT A GYM

Did you know that regular exercise is scientifically proven to not only improve your physical health, but your mental well-being too? There’s no shortage of excellent fitness facilities in Bahrain – each equipped and staffed with excellent equipment and qualified trainers. So set a couple of hours aside for yourself on the daily and look after yourself. 18 December 2020

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feature - new year

HAVE A NICE OUTDOOR DINNER WITH A LOVED ONE

The weather is absolutely perfect for some outdoor dining; so why not grab a bite to eat in the company of some good friends, family or maybe that special someone at Lanterns Restaurant? We could all use a nice catch up over a good meal! The venue is nestled in the heart of Adliya, has a beautiful ambience and serves some of our favourite Indian food on the island.

ADOPT A FOUR-LEGGED FRIEND

If you’ve got room in your heart and home for one more, why not adopt one of the many shelter animals seeking a new home in Bahrain? You’re probably wondering how this is going to help better yourself, but nothing feels quite as nice as going home to a four-legged family member that’s happy to see you after a long day at work! Calming purrs and wagging tails have a way of de-stressing you. Trust us on this one. If you’d like to adopt, you could perhaps check out @ bahrainanimalrescuecentre on Instagram.

LEND A HELPING HAND TREAT YOURSELF TO A NEW RIDE

Would we be going too far if we said a new car could put a spring in your step? Absolutely not! There’s nothing quite like the feel and smell of a brand-new car to lift your spirits. If we had to pick one, it would have to be the dreamy new 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA which was recently launched by Al Haddad Motors. With powerful proportions, progressive lines, and a redesigned interior, the new Mercedes-Benz GLA is something we’d all love to get our hands on right about now. www.bahrainthismonth.com

One of the best ways to recharge your emotional batteries is giving back to your community. It’s important to remember that this year has been rough on all of us, with some parts of the community being affected even more than the rest. If you’d like to lend a helping hand, you could either volunteer or donate to a number of causes that directly support these individuals. Check out @ oneheartbahrain on Instagram or reach out to the Migrant Worker’s Protection On Facebook if you’d like to help. December 2020 19


bystander

Lasheen Jewellery Grand Opening

LASHEEN Jewellery held the grand opening of its second branch in the Kingdom at Al Raya Mall, Juffair. The branch was inaugurated by the owner of Lasheen Jewellery, Lasheen Peedikakkal, in the presence of invited guests. The event included a raffle draw in which five lucky winners won a custom two-sided 18K Gold Cartouche pendant.

Rolls Royce Ghost graces Bahrain

Rolls Royce Bahrain launched the much-anticipated new Ghost this November at an exclusive event held at their bespoke showroom in Sitra. The event itself was well-organized with social-distancing being a cornerstone. Rolls Royce is touting the new Ghost as “the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce yet” and features all-wheeldrive as well as rear-wheel steering. In addition, the rear-hinged “coach” doors can now be opened and closed electrically with the touch of a button. The now-illuminated “Pantheon” grille fronts Rolls Royce’s tried and true 6.75 liter twin turbocharged V12 engine that is mated to ZF’s robust 8-speed automatic. 20 December 2020

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bystander

Korean Film Festival Held at Bahrain Bay

The Korean Embassy in Bahrain held the 8th edition of its annual Korean film festival, Korea Movie Weeks, at the STC Drive-in BH in Bahrain Bay, in accordance with all governmental guidelines for combating the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The opening show was attended by dignitaries from the government, diplomatic missions and UN offices as well as international organisations accredited to the Kingdom of Bahrain and fans of Korean cinema. Approximately 1000 movie-goers attended the three-day long film festival, despite the restrictions of the pandemic. The Korean Embassy hailed its successful event thanking the audience who followed protocols of the STC drive-in BH cinema in order and promised its continuous efforts to host many cultural events in the Kingdom.

CALL FOR MORE INFO 17522733

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December 2020 21


tablehopping

FESTIVE FEASTS!

Good food is certainly not a scarcity on the island. Here are some places you can grab a wonderful meal this festive season.

IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME CHRISTMAS MAGIC

Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa brings you the first-ever al fresco Magnifique Christmas Eve Brunch on December 24, from 7pm onwards at Saraya and Fiamma restaurants. For BD36, including selected beverages, and BD18 for children aged six – 12, enjoy the glittering lights with curated Yuletide feasts complemented by top-class live entertainment. The evening will be complete with traditional Christmas carolling and jolly ol’ Santa Claus to enliven the celebrations, not to forget elevated ALL SAFE measures to create Christmas memories that will last a lifetime. Call or WhatsApp 38 885-789.

CHRISTMAS BY THE SEA

‘TIS THE SEASON The Merchant House will host a sumptuous Christmas Brunch priced at BD28 per person, or BD38 per person, including the selected drinks package (unlimited Bloody Mary). From 12.30pm – 3.30pm, there will be live entertainment by Anna to add a festive mood to the meal. Children aged five – 10 years will enjoy a 50 percent discount. Call 16 671-000.

22 December 2020

From noon to 4pm on December 25, relish The RitzCarlton, Bahrain’s famous Christmas Day Brunch, curated by Executive Chef Yann Bernard Lejard and his team of culinary masters. Delight in a lavish spread of live stations inspired by Christmas traditions around the world, a sumptuous seafood and prime rib corner and a delectable selection of heavenly desserts. There’s live entertainment, festive activities, a special visit from Santa Claus and more, for BD40, including soft beverages, or BD49 per person, including select beverages. Call 17 586-499.

MERRY TEA TIME Get cosy in elegant surroundings and experience Bay View’s legendary Christmas Afternoon Tea at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay. Enjoy seasonal finger sandwiches, warm scones and bespoke festive pastries including gold éclairs, monte bianco, spiced pear French canelés and mini yule logs with amarena cherries. The delectable bites are available daily from December 1 to December 26, from 4pm -9pm, for BD26.500 per couple, or BD31, inclusive of a glass of sparkling apple and date juice. Call 17 115-000.

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tablehopping

IN THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS Don’t miss out on Santa’s visit to Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain as he spreads Christmas joy. Savour an incredible festive feast with chefs on hand to rustle up your favourite dishes, delivering a perfect culinary experience over a lovely Christmas Brunch, replete with Christmas carols and uplifting music. The revelry will take place on December 25 at Silk’s Restaurant and The Gallery Lobby Lounge, from 12.30pm – 5pm, priced at BD43, inclusive of selected beverages and sparkling. Special rates and offers are available for group bookings. Call 17 460-017.

SHARE THE CHEER Consider it an unforgettable family Christmas dinner at the InterContinental Regency Bahrain’s Medzo, as you indulge in specially curated selections of festive delicacies and a delectable dessert buffet at your table, on any day between December 1 and 24. The delicious dinner is priced at BD18 for the Soft Beverage Package, or BD28 for the Special Beverage Package. Live entertainment is available upon request. A minimum of 10 people is required per booking. Call or WhatsApp 17 227-777.

A COSY AFTERNOON Celebrate December 25 with a delicious Christmas Day lunch at Crossroads, Bahrain, located at the Marriott Executive Apartments. Join in for a traditional homemade feast in a cosy, festive atmosphere from noon – 3.30pm. The festive delicacies are priced at BD16+++ per person. Confirmed bookings between December 1 and 15 can get a 15 percent discount. Call 17 363-999. www.bahrainthismonth.com

X-MAS CHEER Crowne Plaza invites you to gather with dear ones for a special Christmas Day Brunch on December 25, priced at BD25 – 33, at The Harvesters Pub and at The Backyard. Guests can choose to dine between noon – 4pm, or from 6pm – 10pm. Call 17 531-122 or 39 920-163.

FOR A JOLLY TIME Join in the revelry at Keizo Restaurant, located at the exquisite Al Areen Palace & Spa by Accor, and make it a festive season to remember. Enjoy Christmas Brunch on December 25, featuring a selection of gastronomic delights complemented by live music by DJ Mysterioo Arif, a live Christmas choir, magician and a joyous meet-and-greet with Santa up close with special guest host, Baraa Abdulla from Bahrain TV. The fantastic afternoon can be enjoyed from 12.30pm – 4.30pm; with Package 1 for BD35, or Package 2 for BD45. Call 36 057-494. December 2020 23


tablehopping

RING IN THE NEW YEAR

NEW YEAR’S EVE REVELLERY Ring in the New Year with live music and an enhanced menu at CUT by Wolfgang Puck that includes special delicacies such as beluga caviar Italian and chestnut agnolotti on December 31, from 7pm onwards. The best part? Guests get to craft their own dining experience with an á la carte menu of their choosing. An optional special four-course set menu curated by Executive Chef Brian Becher is also available on request. The culinary extravaganza is priced at BD40 (minimum spend) per person, or BD60 for the special set menu. Call 17 115-000.

START THE YEAR RIGHT Welcome the first day of 2021 in style at New Year’s Day Brunch hosted at Crossroads Bahrain, in the precincts of the Marriott Executive Apartments on January 1, from noon – 3.30pm. The meal is priced at BD 15+++ per person. Confirmed bookings between December 1 and 15 can avail of a 15 percent discount. Call 17 363-999.

24 December 2020

TO NEW BEGINNINGS New Year’s Eve Dinner will be a fabulous affair at Salero Restaurant, The Westin City Centre Bahrain’s newest outlet. Get ready to welcome the new year on December 31, from 7pm - 1am, for BD30, including soft beverages, or BD40, including selected beverages. Book your table before you miss out. Call 17 171-441 or WhatsApp 33 538-150.

A SUPER SPARKLING NIGHT Who stole 2020? Grab your best suit, spandex, cape, mask or tights and bring your superpower to the New Year’s Eve party at Crowne Plaza Bahrain’s The Backyard and find out! Entertainment includes a live band and DJ. The fun evening costs BD55, inclusive of a threecourse menu and open bar from 8pm – midnight. Doors open at 7pm. Call 17 531-122 or 39 920-163.

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tablehopping

HELLO 2021! Celebrate the first day of the new year with a marvellous gastronomic spread at La Med, located at The RitzCarlton, Bahrain. Guests can savour a festive buffet of international specialties from noon – 4pm, for an afternoon full of great food, fun and entertainment with family and friends. The meal costs BD40, including soft beverages, or BD49 per person, including select beverages. Call 17 586-499.

AN ELEGANT EVE Head to Baharat Restaurant at Le Meridien City Centre Bahrain on December 31, from 7pm - 1am for an evening to remember. Enjoy the restaurant’s fantastic culinary preparations for BD30, including soft beverages, or BD40, including selected beverages. Kids aged between six and 12 years enjoy a 50 percent discount. Call 17 171-441 or WhatsApp 33 538-150.

RING IN THE NEW YEAR Savour a wonderful New Year Eve Set Dinner Menu at The Merchant House on December 31 with live entertainment by AQ’s Jazz Experience from 8.30pm – 11.30pm. The five-course menu, inclusive of a bottle of sparkling grape is priced at BD98 per couple. Make your reservations for early seating, from 6pm – 8.30pm, to enjoy a 20 percent discount. Children aged six – 12 years enjoy a 50 percent discount, with juices and soft drinks. Call 16 671-000.

YOUR EXCLUSIVE WORLD Gather your family and friends and create ‘Your Own Bubble’ while enjoying the different cuisines from all the restaurants at the InterContinental Regency Bahrain on December 31, from 9.30pm – 2am. Prices are BD32 for the Soft Beverage Package, BD42 for the Special Beverage Package, or BD60 for the Bubbly Package. Kids under 12 years dine at BD16. A minimum number of guests is required for exclusive venue booking. Call or WhatsApp 17 227-777.

www.bahrainthismonth.com

December 2020 25


tablehopping

WHERE THE GREAT FOOD IS AT!

FRIDAY UNWINDING Head to Gallery 21 to be treated to the elegant outlet’s authentic Brunch set menu every Friday, from noon – 4pm. The Standard package for the lip-smacking menu is priced at BD19.500, inclusive of water, soft drinks and selected mocktails, while the Premium package is available for BD27.900, inclusive of water, soft drinks, selected mocktails and selected beverages. Call 17 -711600 / 32 234-664.

GRILLED TO PERFECTION Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain presents al fresco dining with a scrumptious barbeque served at your table. Take in the refreshing outdoors, taste your favourite bites while watching live football matches on a large screen. Make the most if the relaxed evening as you order your barbequed treats grilled the way you like by the poolside for only BD12. The selection includes fine Frankfurt sausages, Shish Tawouk, beef tenderloin and lamb chops. Enjoy a live band every Wednesday and Thursday from 7pm to 11pm whilst enjoying cocktails and delicious bites. Call 17 460-017.

PATRIOTIC FLAVOURS In celebration of the 49th Bahrain National Day on December 16, Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa offers Bahraini nationals a 25 percent discount at all dining outlets. Here’s your chance to embrace the celebratory national vibes and take your palate on a wonderful international culinary journey at any one of the hotel’s award-winning restaurants for a flavour-packed dining experience. Call or WhatsApp 38 885-789.

A DELIGHTFUL OCCASION In the spirit of National Day jubilations, Salero Restaurant, at The Westin City Centre Bahrain, invites guests to rejoice with a spectacular brunch spread on December 16. The meal is priced at BD22, including soft beverages, or BD30, including selected beverages. What’s more, Bahrain CPR holders can enjoy a whopping 50 percent discount. Call 17 177-441 or WhatsApp 33 538-150.

26 December 2020

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bystander

Lunch with Ironman World champion at ZULU

Owner of ZULU restaurant in Adiya’s Block 338, Faisal Abdulrahman, hosted a lunch with Ironman World champion Kristian Blumenfelt from Norway, and invited guests. Kristian Blummenfelt is a Norwegian triathlete and Olympian, competing at both short course and 70.3 distance. He is the current world record holder for the 70.3 distance.

28 December 2020

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dining

AUTHENTIC FLAVOURS OF SPAIN! W

ith my dreams of travelling to Spain in the stunning Iberian Peninsula steadily dashed by the effects of the current pandemic – I decided an exploration of Spain’s gastronomical offerings at The Westin City Centre Bahrain’s newest restaurant, Salero, would be the next best thing… and oh, was I right! The first thing I noticed when walking into the restaurant was the absolutely stunning interior which set the tone for the experience and is, as most people would say these days, Instagram-worthy! Colourful paintings, a wicker basket ceiling, jovial music and warm lighting create an ambience that’s relaxing and exhilarating all at the same time – perfect for a modern Spanish dining concept. After being seated at one of the cosy tables, we were introduced to the wonderful Head Chef Juan Pérez, who gave us a brief on the traditional delicacies in store for us. To begin, we tucked into the Tabla de quesos an assortment of traditional Spanish cheeses including Manchego, Mahón, Tetilla and Idiazábal paired beautifully with black grapes, dried fig cubes and candied walnuts. Chef Juan then popped by our table with an interesting vegetarian starter - deep fried eggplant fritters, drizzled with sugarcane molasses and served with a side of Salmorejo dip. These were followed by a plate of Gambas al ajillo - sautéed shrimps with garlic, chili, a www.bahrainthismonth.com

in’s Bahrag new excitinrestaurant, h rah Spanis, makes Fads Salerog ’s tastebu Bai dance.

sprinkle of parsley and generous drizzle of olive oil. It’s a dish that proves that quality ingredients, put together with skill, can bring out the most thrilling flavours in a dish – the heat of the chillies coupled with the flavour of the garlic and rich olive oil do just that!

If you truly want to get the best experience out of a visit to a new restaurant, one of the best practices is to ask the team for a recommendation. Chef Juan mentioned that the most popular item on the menu was the Slow cooked beef cheeks with raisins, known as Carrillada de ternera a baja temperatura con pasas. The beef cheeks are steadily simmered for 36 hours leaving you with a beautifully tender cut of meat that can literally be eaten with a fork. It’s topped with chopped cauliflower, almonds and parsley for freshness and given a splash of lemon for acidity. The result is a beautiful mix of flavours and textures that you’ll never quite forget. No wonder it’s a favourite!

restaurant prides itself in serving traditional Spanish cuisine so in keeping with that, our Paella had a crispy, savoury crust at the bottom of the pan known as Socarrat, so we took some joy in scraping the bottom of the pan! To end the night (with what I would happily describe as a ‘sweet dream’) we helped ourselves to a beautifully prepared Crema Catalana. It’s light, creamy and has a perfect layer of caramelised sugar that adds a pleasant crunch. What a glorious end to a culinary adventure! It’s clear to see that Salero is the original and authentic addition to Bahrain’s dining scene that we never knew we needed!

One of the most popular Spanish dishes is Paella so I definitely had to try some, especially since Chef Juan made it a point to mention that rice is “the boss in the kitchen!” We opted for a vegetarian Paella which was loaded with white mushrooms and hazelnuts and cooked in a flavourful vegetable broth which is made in-house from scratch. The December 2020 29


Explore our online shop! We are now on Homiez. Secure your favorite Mercedes-Benz Accessories and Collection items now on Homiez and have them delivered right to your doorstep. Scan and shop now.

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motoring

SIR LEWIS?

Here’s what Dick Potter has to say about 7-time world champion – LEWIS HAMILTON I actually wrote this article shortly before the two Grands Prix here in Bahrain but Ed asked me to wait in case anything happened of note. My goodness, great call Ed, as the world champion contracted the dreaded COVID-19 after the first GP denying him participation in race 2 and there was unfortunately the most spectacular crash of the season by Romain Grosjean of the Haas team, along with other notable events. The current pandemic brought many unknowns to the world of sport, but it appeared to have one safe assumption amidst all the uncertainty: there was only ever one team and one driver that the F1 paddock collectively agreed, was the safe bet to take both the 7th straight constructor’s title and 7th driver’s title, respectively. Indeed, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and British born Lewis Hamilton did not disappoint, breaking several long-standing records along the way. The F1 circus descended upon our lovely island and my mate and racing aficionado, Karl, reliably informed me that at the start of the 2020 season there were eight F1 records in danger of being broken. Five have now fallen to Hamilton and there would have been a very good chance that the most laps led in a drivers’ career could also be achieved by Hamilton here in Bahrain. For the first time ever, over consecutive weekends, Bahrain had the honour of hosting back-to-back races on two different track configurations. There were a total of www.bahrainthismonth.com

144 laps up for grabs, Hamilton only needed 68 laps to take this and yet another record away from the great Michael Schumacher, maybe the next GP we will see this fall to Lewis. Lewis won the Kingdom’s inaugural night race in 2014 and again in 2015 and 2019. Hamilton, however, may be said to be suffering from that what is commonly dubbed the “marmite factor” (whereby he is either loved or disliked). He has an Instagram following of 20.6 million known as Team LH, yet he probably has the same number of active critics that find his divisive actions off the track, contentious to the point of switching allegiance. From his, at times, dubious fashion choices, controversial political viewpoints, conversion to veganism and tongue in cheek comparisons to the lifestyle of Kimi Raikkonen, the recently crowned 7-time world champion was never going to please everyone.

from his peers at present. “Celebrity Net Worth” list Hamilton’s worth to be $285 million. Given his reputed annual salary of $54 million -he is still a long way off the likes of Federer or Woods- but, not too shabby eh? A far cry from 2007, when on Hamilton’s first visit to the Kingdom he was invited to play the Royal Golf course. He was allegedly extremely flattered that they gave him a free set of clubs to play with, I wonder if such a magnanimous gesture would still impress him today? Safe driving F1 drivers and F1 fans alike. dickpotter@redhousemarketing.com

Like Michael Schumacher before him, with constant success comes the monotony the spectator feels toward the seemingly inevitable result and the yearning for an alternative outcome. This is neither Hamilton’s fault nor anything that will change anytime soon- given the Mercedes team’s dominance and that of Hamilton’s skill as a driver. Despite his persona or how he chooses to conduct his personal life, undeniably, behind the wheel of a racing car he has something just a bit special to offer. It is undoubtedly this ability that separates him December 2020 31


motoring news

ACCELERATING DEVELOPMENT OF COMBAT VEHICLES Luxury car brand, Bentley Motors, reignites their state-of-the-art technology with their truly luxurious Continental GT or Flying Spur. Through the work of their Human Machine Interface (HMI) team, led by Graeme Smith - the specialists responsible for Bentley’s infotainment systems, users can now experience the brand’s enduring design values on screen. The HMI team have worked to give the digital screens integrated throughout the vehicles the classic Bentley look with digital designs in harmony with physical interiors. The ability to connect with smartphones, view 3D digital mapping, summon up music, movies (for the passengers) and control the cabin ambience at the touch of a finger all comes from pixels and microprocessors rather than cables and gears. The screens are enabled with 30 different languages, including right-to-left and vertical reading too. One of Bentley’s latest digital design innovations is the new dim screen mode, for those times when you don’t need any navigation or infotainment to distract you from the road ahead.

BRINGING DESIGN VALUES TO THE SCREEN

NEXT BREAKOUT PERFORMER INFINITI launched the all-new QX55 SUV in a one-of-akind streaming concert experience from Los Angeles. The show-stealing QX55 was unveiled by global superstar Aloe Blacc, whose music connects to INFINITI with its verve and unmistakable sound. The QX55’s design retains all of INFINITI’s daring design hallmarks, delivering a fresh interpretation of the FX silhouette. The elegant and flowing lines reach from the hood, over the front fenders, across the doors, and over the rear wheels. Twenty-inch wheels are standard on all QX55 models, which fill the wheel arches and assert the SUV’s dynamic presence. The rear of the QX55 accentuates the subtlety of the automaker’s design and interpretation of Japanese minimalism by coupling an uncluttered liftgate with handsome, understated technology to deliver a lasting impression. Digital “piano key” taillights combine 45 separate LEDs in a single housing to create an elegant light signature, recently featured on the stunning QX60 Monograph design study. Under the hood of every QX55 is INFINITI’s awardwinning and innovative Variable Compression Turbo fourcylinder engine that makes 268 horsepower and 380 Nm of torque. That power is shifted through a confident Continuously Variable Transmission with manual shift mode and delivered to INFINITI’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system, which is standard on all QX55 models. 32 December 2020

Luxury car brand, Bentley Motors, reignites their state-of-the-art technology with their truly luxurious Continental GT or Flying Spur. Through the work of their Human Machine Interface (HMI) team, led by Graeme Smith - the specialists responsible for Bentley’s infotainment systems, users can now experience the brand’s enduring design values on screen. The HMI team have worked to give the digital screens integrated throughout the vehicles the classic Bentley look with digital designs in harmony with physical interiors. The ability to connect with smartphones, view 3D digital mapping, summon up music, movies (for the passengers) and control the cabin ambience at the touch of a finger all comes from pixels and microprocessors rather than cables and gears. The screens are enabled with 30 different languages, including right-to-left and vertical reading too. One of Bentley’s latest digital design innovations is the new dim screen mode, for those times when you don’t need any navigation or infotainment to distract you from the road ahead.

www.bahrainthismonth.com


motoring news

IN SAFE HANDS Al Haddad Motors has recently become the sole licensee partner for Avis in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Avis Bahrain now has two prime branches located in Muharraq and in Salmabad with a few more locations to come online shortly! Avis Bahrain offers its clients an array of transporting solutions including car rentals, short term leasing, long term leasing, and outbound car rental. Avis Bahrain operates a diverse range of fleet to meet different requirements. The Avis Bahrain fleet consist of a range of compact, mid-size, full-size, executive, four-wheel drive, multipurpose and commercial vehicles, vehicles from a range of manufacturers and include the world’s leading premium brand Mercedes-Benz. Avis was voted as the Best Car Rental Company in the Middle East at the 2020 Middle East Traveller Awards ceremony that was held online. Avis Bahrain has also been voted as the Leading Car Rental Company in Bahrain by the World Travel Awards for three consecutive years from 2018 until 2020. For more information kindly contact Avis Bahrain on 32-001-152. You can also visit @avisbahrain on social media.

STRAIGHT TO YOUR DOORSTEP Al Haddad Motors recently joined an innovative and comprehensive e-commerce platform based in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Homiez, to showcase the latest products from Mercedes-Benz. Al Haddad Motors officially signed the contract with Homiez at the Mercedes-Benz Service Centre in Salmabad in the presence of Al Haddad Motors and Homiez representatives. Present at the signing was the Al Haddad Motors Aftersales Manager, Ian Beattie, Parts Manager, Jorge Roldao, Marketing Manager, Imran Ali, Marketing Executive, Ali Ameeri, as well as the Homiez Sales and Customer Service Manager, Habib Mansoor, Senior On-Boarding and Account Manager, Arjun Unnikrishnan, and Accounts Management Team Leader, Mahmood Hassan. A wide variety of Mercedes-Benz Genuine Accessories and Collection Items can be found listed on the Homiez app and website and customers are able to order their favourite items and have them delivered directly to their homes. The products that can be found on Homiez include Electronics, Men’s and Women’s Fashion and Accessories, and Babies’ and Kid’s toys. For more information, contact Al Haddad Motors on 17-785-454.

www.bahrainthismonth.com

December 2020 33


bystander

Gulf Air Bahrain GP 2020 at BIC Seven-time F1 world champion, Lewis Hamilton, won a drama-filled Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020 at a brilliantly floodlit Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir. The Red Bull pair of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon joined Hamilton on the podium. Hamilton crossed the finish line under safety car conditions, as the chequered flag was waved by National Taskforce for Combatting the Coronavirus

34 December 2020

(COVID-19) member and Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Hospital Infectious Disease Consultant and Microbiologist Lt Col Dr. Manaf Al Qahtani. Dr Al Qahtani was one of many of the Kingdom’s frontline health workers, first responders and their immediate family members invited to enjoy the event. Their invitation came following the directives of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime

Minister, in appreciation of their tremendous efforts in Bahrain’s national response to COVID-19. The 57-lap night racing spectacle had three major incidents on track including a fiery crash involving Romain Grosjean, who crashed his Haas into the barrier just moments after the start, resulting in an immediate red flag.

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bystander

Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix at BIC

BIC Chairman, Arif Rahimi, commented: “It has been a great honour to welcome frontline heroes, first responders and their families to BIC over the past two weekends, as we recognise their efforts in keeping Bahrain safe.” The highlight of the Formula 1 Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix 2020, held in early December at the Bahrain BIC Chief Executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa International Circuit (BIC), was a stunning first career added: “The range of emotions over the last two win for Racing Point’s Sergio Perez. weekends is something that I shall never forget. Perez emerged victorious after 87 hotly contested “We’ve had the pride of welcoming frontline heroes laps around BIC’s 3.543-kilometre Outer Track, to share the F1 experience with us; the shock of featuring incredible drama throughout. Joining Perez Roman Grosjean’s horrific accident; the relief when on the podium were Renault’s Esteban Ocon and he walked away from the incident; the compassion of Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll. his emotional visit to BIC a couple of days later to

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meet the individuals who helped save his life; the excitement of seeing an up-and-coming young driver take to the wheel of a Mercedes; the thrill of racing on a completely new track; and the pleasure to have F1 here for a unique series of two races. “It somehow feels fitting for us that such a difficult year concludes with a unique event which we hope has acted as a positive memory for those watching. The F1 Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix was the penultimate round of the 2020 FIA F1 World Championship. It was also the second race of Bahrain’s first-ever F1 double-header.

December 2020 35


motoring news

MOTORING WITH THE MENACE

Two wheels (and legs) Versus Four What is the Resolution? By Sangeeth Mullassery

W

e have the right of way - It›s the law! Perhaps that’s what the epitaph on the tombstone of every pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist tragically cut down on our roads should read. Or as I like to put it - you can tell the driver of the car that after they’ve run you over. Thoughtless, callous words? Are you ready to come find me and present me with a haymaker? (Perhaps I deserve it). In any case, you should know that as an avid cyclist, I’ve been cycling on these very roads since I was 10 years old. Technically I never stopped cycling on road - and this was way before Iron Man thrust the glamour of carbon fiber bicycles that cost more than a compact car into the cognizance of folks here in Bahrain. So, in a manner of speaking - I think I’ve earned the right to voice my opinion on this subject. Even more so because I’ve been on all sides of the motoring realm; behind the wheel of every type of land (and water) going automobile invented - whether it has two, three, four, six, and even ten wheels attached to it. And at the risk of incriminating myself, I am going to admit that I was never a law-abiding comb-over expat motorist either. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and yes, I was an idiot - I’ll be the first to admit. But I’d like to meet a man who hasn’t - either here in Bahrain or elsewhere. It happens - people aren’t perfect. The result 36 December 2020

of those actions can be disastrous and tragic sometimes the damage is limited to the person perpetrating the crime and sometimes there are perfectly innocent victims as well. I am one of the lucky few who’ve managed to wise-up without accruing such untoward incidents and

I probably have used up all guardian-angel credits to date. Make no mistake though - I do not condone any of those actions, and because I’ve been down those roads, I know enough today to champion every road-safety cause there is.

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motoring news

Speaking of safety; every time I get on my bicycle and head out towards Belaj Al-Jazayer and take the familiar loop down past the roundabout at the end and turn up towards AlAreen, my mind is filled with the same sense of law-based hubris as the majority of every cyclist (and motorcyclist) out there. “The guy driving the car should see me” goes the thought process, and “I’m well inside the yellow-line so there’s no way I’m in any danger”; or perhaps the worst one - “I’m in a group of forty cyclists and I’ve got a safety car covering us - what could possibly touch me now?” The next time you start getting those thoughts, I urge you to think about the scenarios I mentioned earlier. You may very well be spot-on as far as the law is concerned, but the

guy driving that ten-year-old Mitsubishi Canter with wooden brakes going 120kph on an 80kph road, late to the job site because he just got off a 14-hour shift isn’t. Or more likely - his sleep deprived brain doesn’t have the capacity to process the consequences of his actions at that given moment in time. Or how about a lorry driving cross-country that loses a tire just as it comes past your cycling group? I’m pretty sure that I can come up with a thousand different scenarios where your safety as a pedestrian (out for a walk / jog / 10K run), cyclist training for 70.3 or otherwise, and of course as a motorcyclist can and will be severely and gravely compromised.

Close the roads off to motorized vehicles on Fridays? Sure, let’s do it… because imposing the will of a privileged few is more important than acceptance of the larger problem at hand. Cycling lanes? Infrastructure development to expand existing streets, clean and maintain them for those dedicated lanes - let’s have at it; and what will we say when a cyclist is mowed-down whilst in the apparent safety of the cycling lane? What we are essentially trying to change with haste is a near century of motoring culture. Is it the wrong culture? Not at all - Bahrain has never been the place where major highways were ever shared with anything possessing less than four wheels. If you think about it, we’ve even never had these many delivery bikes around till 2018. Bicycles? Forget about it. If you’ve been in Bahrain for over twenty years, you’ll remember a time when pedestrian www.bahrainthismonth.com

crossings were the topic of concern. Why? Simply because for 10 months in a year, it’s too damn hot and when it isn’t hot, it’s raining - so outdoor activities didn’t exactly gain traction among most locals or expats. “So where do we safely cycle / run / jog / train?!” I hear you yell approaching near-whiteout rage. I’m not here to big-brother you and tell you what you can and cannot do; all I can do is advise. As far as I am concerned, any major highway or

street that sees a regular amount of traffic is a no-go safety wise. There are tons of roads to the south of the island that are fairly deserted on early weekend mornings. Are they safe? Not exactly - but manageable in terms of outright risk. Is it worth the drive? If it means being able to drive back home at the end of the day and not to a hospital, then, yes absolutely.

December 2020 37


motoring news

«Indemnify yourselves against all risk” is the motto I like to apply to most everything I do in everyday life. So, does this mean that I side with the errant motorist? That I’m indirectly saying that if a cyclist or a pedestrian uses the highway then they deserve what fate befalls them? No - not at all. However, based on any number of scenarios similar to what I’ve mentioned, does it appear that any of

You put me behind the wheel of a car, and as distracted as I may be, I know what to watch out for and the kind of precautions I need to take as I approach a motorcycle, a cyclist or a pedestrian since I’ve been one of them. I know that a cyclist who’s squeezed into a narrow hard-shoulder could hit debris and instinctively fork left into traffic as a reflex action - so I’d plan for that. But that›s not the case for a motorist who has no comprehension of these facts. For that matter, most motorists are unable to comprehend the consequences of actually colliding with a pedestrian or a cyclist until long after it actually happens. Do you want to blame mobile phones? Consider this first Does your car have an infotainment screen? Yes. Are there shops that actively retrofit

38 December 2020

those motorists are out to intentionally hurt any pedestrian or cyclist or other road-user? Of course, there will always be the few impatient nut jobs who are a genuine risk to society, but what about your average Joe who’s distracted because he or she has just had a bad day or otherwise? Their intentions were never malicious and they never set out to hurt anyone. And when they do, their

infotainment screens into older vehicles that even bypass motion-based safety protocols such as disabling video functionality? Yes. Are there mobile-phone holders that affix themselves to the dashboard or windshield and provides an eye-line cinema experience?

lives are just as equally destroyed as the ones whom they’ve hurt. It is important for us as pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists to understand what it is like from the point of view of a motorist who has never ridden a bicycle, a motorcycle or even jogged alongside a major highway (yes, they do exist and more so in this region).

Yes. So how does one enforce active driverattention? The simple answer is that you cannot - try as anybody might, short of having infrared eye-scanning lasers at every lamppost actively scanning the eyes of every motorist as they drive by, it is a near impossible task.

www.bahrainthismonth.com


motoring news

So, we’ve covered the problem at length - what are the solutions? Cycling lanes? Perhaps… yes. Car-free zones or days? Questionable plausibility but let’s say we can make it happen. Harsher fines and jail time? Sure, let’s do that as well. Is any of this going to prevent another mishap? Absolutely not. Do motorists need to be educated better? Yes, absolutely - situational awareness and readiness around pedestrians and cyclists must be inculcated into every new learner at the driving school. However, the only way we can ensure that another cyclist, or pedestrian doesn’t get injured or killed, is

to change the way we think when we are out on the roads. Cyclists and pedestrians need to understand that regardless of what the law says, they will be the ultimate losers in a tug of war between them and a two-ton missile. Once you understand this, take active action to indemnify yourself; if you must cycle or run, do a bit of reconnaissance first - check out the roads around Zallaq, the highways and roads around Durrah, and Al-Areen. Compared to near any road around the kingdom, these places have relatively decent shoulder-space and perhaps more importantly - sparse traffic

on Friday mornings. Cycle or jog on the left side (your vision should be towards oncoming traffic) - this allows you to see what’s coming at you and may allow you to take evasive action should something seem out of the ordinary. Always assume that the driver of the car or truck is distracted and does not see you regardless of how many you are in number or the kind of lights or high-visibility jackets you have on. And finally, it goes without saying that if you’re cycling, having on proper gear is an added layer of insurance you ought to have.

If we want safer roads for everybody, we need to start with a change in our own thought processes; and that starts with a situational awareness of how things have been shaped over the years. Both sides need to stop denigrating the other and learn the constraints that are attached to the situation and adapt accordingly. This is the only way forward. Safe Motoring! Need car advice or an industry-specific consultation? Reach out to Sangeeth on sangeeth@brakemycar.com or follow him on Instagram using the handle @sangeeth911 www.bahrainthismonth.com

December 2020 39


business bites

A PARTNERSHIP FOR ADVANCEMENT The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Al Tamimi & Co have signed a memorandum of understanding which signals a new level of cooperation between the professional body and the region’s largest corporate law firm; Al Tamimi & Co. ACCA and Al Tamimi share a common purpose to advance the reputation and profession and drive growth within the legal and accounting profession. Al Tamimi practice clients and ACCA stakeholders will now all be able to benefit from shared insights into the changing needs and challenges of the accounting profession. The partnership also seeks to increase the awareness and reach of both organisations, encouraging wider engagement and creating connections between ACCA members and Al Tamimi Practice clients. The MoU will drive activity tackling the most important day-to-day challenges for firms such as Economic Substance reporting, Tax implications, Corporate Structuring and best practice.

A FUTURE IN INFORMATION SECURITY NGN Training Center celebrated the graduation of 144 Bahrainis who attended a remote free training course in fundamentals of information security. This course is in line with NGN’s aim to enable Bahrainis to meet the requirements of the labour market while supporting the efforts of Bahrain’s digital transformation, and building a knowledge economy as stipulated in Bahrain Vision 2030. The CEO of NGN Training Center, Yaqoob Al Awadhi, stated that providing specialised training services facilitates the integration of Bahrainis into private-sector facilities, while developing and intensifying the skills and abilities of job seekers and increasing their employment opportunities. The graduates represent the first batch to complete an ambitious program recently launched by NGN Training Center in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, which aims to provide free qualitative training for 5,000 Bahrainis in diverse fields of information security.

BRIGHT BEGINNINGS The national carrier in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Gulf Air, has announced the appointment of Shams Al Doseri as Country Manager for its Muscat station after relocating from Ethiopia back into the Middle East. The Sultanate of Oman has been served by Gulf Air since 1957 and is one of the airline’s key routes in the GCC. Ms. Al Doseri will represent Gulf Air in the Sultanate of Oman after gaining a wide experience in sales and outstation roles. She is the first Bahraini woman to run a Gulf Air outstation, and will take on the challenge of further strengthening Gulf Air’s growth in Oman by utilising her experience gained whilst spending nearly 10 years in the airline’s Sales department in Bahrain in various roles and abroad.   Gulf Air highlighted its commitment to invest in its Bahraini workforce and their career development, providing opportunities for Bahraini nationals to take over senior positions in the company as part of its efforts to support the Bahrainisation programme in the Kingdom.

BUSINESS AS USUAL In a time when the world has slowed down as a result of the global pandemic COVID19, Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC) and high-end shopping destination, MODA Mall, have quickly adapted to the new normal - enforcing all necessary safety measures while continuing to launch customer focused campaigns. BWTC and MODA Mall Deputy General Manager, Chris Gibson said: “Emerging global trends have shown that every sector has been affected, further impacting market dynamics. Businesses have had to review their requirements as a result, we have seen that office rentals have adapted to flexible working environments with an increased shift towards working from home. However, offices in high-end segments remain robust with a minor decline of 1.4% year-on-year, and we are proud to announce that Grade A developments such as BWTC have continued to hold an occupancy rate of over 90%,” he added. MODA Mall together with its Retailers have adapted their business models to provide consumers with safe, accessible shopping environments while MODA Mall reportedly continued to launch campaigns. 40 December 2020

www.bahrainthismonth.com


business bites

EXCELLENCE IN ISLAMIC BANKING Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) has received the award for ‘Excellence in Islamic Banking – Bahrain’ at the 2020 Finnovex Awards, which was held on the sidelines of Finnovex Middle East 2020. The hybrid virtual and live event comprised of panel sessions, workshops, and an awards ceremony which were held in November at the Conrad Dubai, United Arab Emirates. “Through embracing digitisation, streamlining complex banking operations, launching

innovative Islamic banking services and supporting community initiatives, BisB has played a vital role in contributing to the development of the Islamic finance industry in the Kingdom of Bahrain,” said BisB Chief Executive Officer, Hassan Amin Jarrar. During Finnovex Middle East 2020, Chief Corporate & Institutional Banking, Wesam Baqer, delivered a virtual session entitled ‘Redefining the Corporate World with Digital Innovations’,

which shed light on the bank’s journey in the face of the global pandemic, highlighting the Bank’s digital corporate innovations launched during 2020. Finnovex Middle East 2020 brought together thought leaders from top banks and financial institutions from the region and beyond to discuss the future of financial services which is currently being reshaped by disruptive technological innovations in various fields.

TWICE THE PRESTIGE Bahrain-based Fintech company, BENEFIT, which is known for providing electronic financial transaction services on a regional level, has received awards for being Bahrain’s ‘Best e-Wallet Payment System – BenefitPay’ and ‘Most Innovative e-Payment Product’ at the 2020 Global Economics Magazine Awards. BENEFIT received the awards for its role in offering innovative and practical payment solutions in Bahrain - most notably the BenefitPay mobile app, which introduced simplified payment transactions to both individuals and companies. BENEFIT Chief Executive (CE), Abdulwahed AlJanahi, Chief Executive (C.E.) of BENEFIT highlighted that the awards are a testament to the innovative services in light of their role in launching a variety of digital payment solutions that are easy, fast and secure. “This milestone achievement further cements our leading position as a FinTech industry player on a local and regional level, affirming our commitment to launching latest e-payment experiences and services that serve the needs of the public in the Kingdom of Bahrain,” he said. Since its launch in the Kingdom, BenefitPay has secured more than 500,000 registered users.

Working Towards Greater Outcomes A professional service firm headquartered in Bahrain, Gulf Future Business (GFB) Group, has launched their new division - GFB Outsourcing Services (GFBOS). GFB Outsourcing Services will offer a range of select and specialised services to local and regional clients to optimize their operations, reduce operating costs and inefficiencies, mitigate risks, and achieve higher growth rates. GFB Group CEO of GFB, Ahmed Al Hujairy, said: “For companies to improve operating efficiency and gain a considerable advantage over competitors, they must continuously rework their operating model, and reinvent their production and service delivery processes, making use of digital solutions and outsourced resources, to remain competitive and profitable.” The services include business consultancy for eCommerce, ICT and Digital Marketing. GFBOS is available to companies in different sectors such as Education, Hospitality, Healthcare, Information Technology, Government, Real Estate, Travel & Tourism, Agriculture, Banking and Energy.

www.bahrainthismonth.com

December 2020 41


commerce

THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS WHAT MAKES IT SUSTAINABLE?

The sports ecosystem is quite complex. At the most basic level we have the leagues which is where the players belong. This level itself is supported by the coaches, therapists, sports doctors, etc. We then move on to suppliers – so shoes, rackets, balls, cars, etc. Next is fan engagement or branding, marketing, and all forms of interaction outside of the league itself. The physical infrastructure to enable the sport comes next i.e., the stadium, the track, the arena. There is also a vast number of people and an entire ecosystem that manages the clubs within a given league. This then brings us to the layer of managing partnerships and sponsorships for the leagues as well as players. To further buffer this system there is the media layer that connects the league with its audience. Just by themselves, the major leagues of the world generate significant revenues and based on broad level estimates, the revenues of sports are varied and provides benefits to a vast ecosystem that supports it.

Consumer Product Direct Revenues Attendance (incl. gate,parking, Fans Concessions) Licensing Host cities Media

Corporations

Favourable Leases Guaranteed Revenues Network TV Local TV Pay-per-view Cable Radio

Sponsorship Ownership (i.e. Expansion Fees) Advertising Gate

Indirect Revenues/Benefits

Provide market for media League, Team Exposure Tax breaks, tax exempt land, new publically funded facilities Exposure, publicity

Exposure, pullicity, cross promotion synergies with corporations

Corporate Affilitaion

Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/240258072_What_is_the_sports_product_and_who_buys_it_The _marketing_professional_sports_leagues

42 December 2020

Business Expert, Pria Masson Tanwar, delves into the business world of sports. With the Formula One races at the forefront for the region, this month I decided to delve into a business that surrounds our lives, entertains us and has sustained despite the pandemic - Sports. As a business, it meets the hallmark criteria of sustainability and scalability – and this holds true for the core sport as well as the entire ecosystem that sustains it. As a primer of sorts, for any business, to understand the dynamics, understanding the product is the most essential step. And sports is a vast topic. To simplify it into a single product, we need to look at the reason sports exist at their most basic level – to entertain. Sports are actually a very specialised form of entertainment – and one that has sustained since the time of gladiators. Today however, the business has come a very long way. It is now a sophisticated system that comprises a significant backend support, that uses advanced technologies such as Natural Language Generation (NLG) which uses structured data to create thousands of human-sounding narratives at a rate faster than even the best sports journalist could write. This frees up the actual journalists to write more analytical pieces and reach the audience in unique ways.

From a financial perspective however, while sporting is a high revenue generating business, the costs are also high. The infrastructure required, the equipment, the training process, the constant media engagement to stay at the top of the audience mind – all of this is expensive. In addition to the high running costs on infrastructure and support systems, the salary costs of most leagues comprise and excess of 50 percent of the total cost base. Usually, these would continue despite utilisation of the players or the facilities. At every layer, the system is complex. This pandemic, however, has shown us that the core aim of entertaining shines through. Across the world, several sporting events have seen players play to an empty stadium. However, the rights to broadcast the same games, the online events, the sponsorship, branding, and marketing, all have helped to ensure that the primary loss is the gate fee. The significant audience that witnesses these from their television sets are still active and waiting to be entertained.

National Football Leage (NFL) Major League Baseball National Basketball Association Indian Premier League European Football Market National Hockey League Formula 1

Revenue (USD Billion) 15.26 10.4 8.76 6.8* 34.3 5.09 2

* Value of the League Source: Statista

Pria is a business expert, consultant and advisor. You can follow Pria at her Instagram handle businessclues33 or read more of her articles at www.business-clues.com www.bahrainthismonth.com


Community News

BACA AND UOB DELEGATION EXPLORE MUHARRAQ AND MANAMA

T

he Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) Director General, Shaikha Hala bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, accompanied an official delegation from the University of Bahrain headed by the Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Bahrain, Dr. Fuad Al-Ansari, during a tour of several sites in the cities of Muharraq and Manama. The delegation was familiarised with BACA’s achievements and work in preserving historical

buildings during the tour which included a visit to the Pearling Route, Qaysariyah Market, post office, Bab Al Bahrain and more. The delegation was briefed on the Pearling Route, which was listed as the second registered site on the World Heritage List in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and includes a series of heritage and historical buildings, in addition to the squares and the visitor center.

A HEALING HAND

The Bahrain Red Crescent Society (BRCS) organised a series of training courses on first aid for volunteers at the Hidd quarantine centers. Around 80 volunteers at the center completed the training which were held with the aim of providing them with the necessary emergency skills when dealing with people infected with COVID-19. The association also organised training courses on how to resuscitate the heart using an automatic defibrillation device, which was attended by a number of nurses, technicians and health workers in the quarantine center. A number of BRCS first aid instructors with longstanding experience in the field attended the courses. BRCS expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the medical teams and all workers in the health sector, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, administrators, technicians and volunteers, who work around the clock to enhance the health and safety of the Kingdom’s residents. www.bahrainthismonth.com

December 2020 43


gadgets

GADGETS

Our hunt for gadgets this month took us down a very different route with Christmas just around the corner!

Motherboard Wrapping Paper Pac Man ornaments Pacman – gaming classic and instantly recognisable too. These ornaments are colourful, nerdy and magnificent, a great addition to any gamer’s Christmas tree. These are made from recycled paper too, so you’ll be doing your bit for the environment when you geek out this Christmas.

Wookie Foot Stocking This officially-licensed Wookie stocking is bound to be a firm favourite with Star Wars fans. The perfect thing to hang over the mantlepiece this Christmas. Just don’t think too long and hard about what happened to the poor Wookie it belonged to. 44 December 2020

This nerdy motherboard circuit wrapping paper looks more like an intricate circuit board blueprint than something you’d use to wrap up presents. A brilliant way to give geeky gifts this Christmas, even more so if you wrap up something geeky inside too.

White Walker Game of Thrones bauble Winter is coming and with it, Christmas and these brilliant White Walker baubles. Jon Snow might know nothing, but everyone knows Game of Thrones fans will love these tree decorations, even if they are slightly creepy. www.bahrainthismonth.com


gadgets

Star Trek 7-inch Spock and Tribbles table centrepiece

Spock from Star Trek is a Vulcan. Emotional holidays like Christmas baffle him. That’s captured perfectly in this Christmas decoration for the discerning geek.

Die Hard Christmas tree decorations No Christmas would be complete without a belly full of mince pies and Die Hard on the television. Show your love for this classic film series with these handmade Die Hard tree ornaments.

Weeping Angel tree topper For the Dr Who fans out there, this Weeping Angel tree topper might be the perfect addition to the top of your tree. We’re not too sure it’s in keeping with the spirit, but it’s certainly nerdy!

Game of Thrones ‘Christmas is coming’ decoration Declare your undying love for all things GoT with these geeky Christmas decorations. Christmas is coming and there’s no Night’s Watch to stop it.

Star Wars Death Star tree topper If you love Star Wars, then this is the must-have decoration. Weak thermal exhaust port not included, so you don’t need to worry about it blowing up. It does, however, include awesome lights, sounds and remote control too.

All this nifty décor can be found on

www.amazon.com

www.bahrainthismonth.com

December 2020 45


games

GAMES

WHAT IS IT?

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is an action role-playing video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the 12th major instalment and the twenty-second release in the Assassin’s Creed series, and a successor to the 2018 game Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Set in 873 AD, the game recounts a fictional story of the Viking invasion of Britain. The player controls Eivor, a Viking raider who becomes embroiled in the conflict between the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Templar Order.

GAMEPLAY

The player will have the choice of playing Eivor as either male or female and is able to customise Eivor’s hair, warpaint, clothing, armour, and tattoos. The variety of weapons available to the player has been expanded to include weapons such as flails and greatswords. Combat has been changed to allow dual wielding of almost any weapon, including shields, and every piece of gear that the player collects is unique. There is also a hidden blade and the return of social stealth for those who prefer to stick to the shadows.

GRAPHICS

Valhalla’s vast interpretation of The Dark Ages of Britain is massive, and when coupled with a significant portion of Norway, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla presents a staggeringly large playground through which you ply your trade. No matter where you are, it’s absolutely stunning.

CALL OF DUTY:

BLACK OPS COLD WAR

Black Ops Cold War is the 17th overall instalment in the widely-popular Call of Duty series and is set during the early 1980s of the Cold War. Its campaign follows CIA officer Russell Adler as he pursues an alleged Soviet spy, Perseus, whose stated goal is to subvert the United States and tilt the balance of power toward the Soviet Union. Multiplayer will have new game modes, more extensive customisation, and new map dynamics and elements. 46 December 2020

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla VERDICT:

The stealth action pioneer keeps getting better.

RATING:

SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES

The narrative continues from where Marvel’s Spider-Man left off, during which Miles Morales was bitten by a genetically-enhanced spider and gained powers similar to Peter Parker’s. A year after the first game’s conclusion, Morales has trained under Parker and has fully integrated himself into the role of a Spider-Man, though he has yet to gain the experience. After Parker leaves to join his girlfriend, Daily Bugle reporter Mary Jane Watson abroad as her photographer presumably to cover the ongoing civil war in Symkaria, Miles is left as New York’s sole webslinger.

BUGSNAX

Players control a newspaper reporter, who one day receives a film strip in the mail from Elizabert Megafig, a disgraced explorer. Elizabert details the mysterious Snaktooth Island, inhabited by creatures called Bugsnax who are ‘half bug and half snack’. The goal is finding and capturing different species of Bugsnax using various contraptions. Over 100 Bugsnak species are available for capture. Once captured, the Bugsnax can be fed to the local Grumpuses, which transforms their bodies based on the properties of whatever Bugsnak they eat. www.bahrainthismonth.com


websites HERE ARE SOME FESTIVE FAVOURITES WHEN IT COMES TO THE WORLD WIDE WEB!

xmasfun.com/ Default.aspx

Every year on Christmas Eve, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) tracks Santa’s journey around the globe. It’s fun to see Santa visit the countries and landmarks around the world. The site also includes games, books, videos and music to enjoy in the lead up to the big night!

XmasFun is an interactive Christmas website with some great elements. Trivia games focusing on certain categories (songs, TV/Movies etc), interactive activities and links to some of film and TV’s most famous Christmas specials make this a great website for all ages. Explore features such as Christmas crafts, fonts, graphics, recipes, jokes, music and more. Another highlight is the site’s list of random acts of kindness, which kids can add to as they try to share the Christmas spirit during this time of year.

northpole.com

santagames.net

noradsanta.org

Head to the North Pole and explore Santa’s workshop, gift shop, craft shop, reindeer barn, and more. Go to Mrs. Claus’ kitchen to see what Christmas treats she’s cooking up from her cookbook and be inspired to create some of your own. Then, head to the mailroom to write your personal letter to Santa. The Elf Pal Academy even provides numerous festive language learning exercises!

True to its name, Santa Games offers fun, interactive Christmas games at every turn. Unlock a different new game each day as the countdown to Christmas continues. Christmas songs, read-along Christmas stories, colouring pages, screensavers, craft ideas and recipes add to the enjoyment of this site. In addition, interactive features encourage kids to build a snowman, decorate a Christmas tree and create Christmas e-cards to send to friends and family.

WEAR A FACE MASK

WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN

CLEANING HANDS WITH ANTISEPTIC

AVOID CONTACT WITH SICK PEOPLE bahrainthismonth

www.bahrainthismonth.com

December 2020 47


apps

APPS REVIEW BTM BRINGS YOU THE LOW-DOWN ON THE LATEST AND GREATEST APPS NOW AVAILABLE!

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS BY DR. SEUSS

The perennial Christmas classic gets the app treatment in this stunning adaption, which is basically a motion comic of the Dr. Seuss book. The pictures are animated and the narration is lovely. There are sound effects and background music, creating a wonderfully atmospheric experience. You also have the option to be read to or to read it yourself, and parents can even keep track of their kids› time spent reading. There is even a swipe lock on the parents section so that little ones don›t know that they›re learning!

SANTA VIDEO CALL AND TRACKER If you really want your kids to be good this year, this app›s best feature isn›t in its name. Yes, you can give your kid a video call from Santa and use the app to ‘track Santa’ but the best part is the Naughty or Nice Scanner, which you can set up to always show nice or always show naughty or set it on random. For the video calls, you can set up a full child profile, including their name, interests, favourite colour and all sorts of stuff. Then you get to set up the reason for the call, like your kid›s been naughty and what they›ve done to be naughty. 48 December 2020

CHRISTMAS PICS QUIZ GAME You get a photo and a jumble of letters below it, and you have to spell out what the picture is to advance. Here›s the fun twist: the photo is covered by four squares. You tap the squares to reveal the photo, but the fewer squares you tap, the more coins you get for guessing the correct answer. If you think you can guess the word without revealing any of the photos, then you get the maximum number of coins. This isn›t really complicated, but it›s some light holiday fun that›ll see you through the boring bits.

ELF YOURSELF SANTA BOOTH Spice up your Christmas selfies with some fun filters, stickers and digital costumes. This app is great in that you can resize the stickers so that the Santa hats, elf ears, reindeer antlers, beards and more actually fit the faces in your photos. www.bahrainthismonth.com


music

Kylie Minogue

DISCO Following a relatively lacklustre decade, DISCO is a welcome return to the club-friendly dance-pop that defined Australian diva Kylie Minogue’s early 21st century rebirth. This glittery, feel-good set is nothing short of euphoric, a dozen near-perfect gems that pay respect to the album’s namesake era while updating the production with thrilling results. Channelling icons like Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer, and Chic, Minogue puts her stamp on the genre with expert finesse. While it’s no surprise that she can pull this off – she’s nailed the disco sound at various points in her long career – hearing an unbroken stretch of Kylie-branded dancefloor throwbacks is a rapturous experience.

Sam Smith

Ariana Grande Positions Verdict:

A rare misfire from the pop superstar.

What’s the story? Positions is the sixth studio album by American singer Ariana Grande. The singer worked with a variety of producers on the album, including Tommy Brown, Anthony M. Jones, London on da Track, Murda Beatz, The Rascals, Scott Storch, Shea Taylor and Charles Anderson. The album expands on the R&B and trap-pop sound of its predecessors, Sweetener (2018) and Thank U, Next (2019), while incorporating elements of hip hop, neo soul and funk. Lyrically, Positions finds Grande discussing themes of romantic love. Doja Cat, the Weeknd and Ty Dolla Sign make guest appearances in the album.

Worth a listen? Positions is single-minded in its pursuit of carnality, an album devoted to Grande singing dirty over elastic, erotic slow jams. Her lyrics are often explicit, causing a slight tension with her vocals, which are always controlled and very rarely given to moments of sensuality; she never seems quite as fleshly as the words she’s singing. This cool, reserved vibe doesn’t necessarily sabotage Grande’s intent, as it does help maintain the mood. Such an intense, sustained focus does mean Positions succeeds in sounding sexy, but it doesn’t do much outside of that: apart from the title track, few songs stand out individually, the rhythm and productions are all painted in shades of grey, and Grande disappears into the setting of her own design. Maybe this is the entire point of Positions but the swift succession of albums suggests that Grande may be better off slowing her creative process down just enough to help sculpt the album into a soundtrack that has an ebb and flow instead of a single sustained thrum. www.bahrainthismonth.com

Love Goes In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sam Smith delayed, reworked and retitled his third album. The lyrics are drawn from the singer’s first real-life heartbreak. Smith previously had no trouble expressing romantic torment, and that continues throughout the reliably low-spirited and highly-expressive Love Goes. The dance-pop grooves and finely measured ballads offer few unexpected turns. They’re set apart more by a lack of gospel and soul, consequently rendering Love Goes plain by Smith’s standard – unfortunate for an artist whose instrument is anything but that.

David Bowie

The Metrobolist (aka The Man Who Sold the World) Even though it contained no hits, The Man Who Sold the World, for most intents and purposes, was the beginning of David Bowie’s classic period. Working with guitarist Mick Ronson and producer Tony Visconti for the second time Bowie developed a tight, twisted heavy guitar rock that appears simple on the surface but sounds more gnarled upon each listen. When it came time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the record’s release, the rocker’s estate and label decided to bring in producer Tony Visconti to remix the album so they could release it under its original title accompanied with variation of the originally planned artwork. Visconti’s new mix – he reworked everything but ‘After All,’ which he considered “perfect as is” – opens up the record, pumping up the bass and removing the claustrophobic guitars. Some of the appeal of The Man Who Sold the World lies within its dense murk, so the clarity comes at some cost; the menace has been removed in favour of muscle. The trade-off is in the ear of the beholder. December 2020 49


tv releases

THIS FESTIVE SEASON, CURL UP ON YOUR COUCH WITH YOUR LOVED ONES AND ENJOY THESE FESTIVE CLASSICS!

Home Alone

Does it still need an introduction? It wouldn’t be Christmas without it. And while other films come and go, there’s always a place in our hearts for Home Alone – written and produced by The Breakfast Club director John Hughes. There’s nothing quite like the moment Kevin McCallister realises the freedom he has.

A Very Murray Christmas

This NYC Christmas musical will make you nostalgic for snowy nights inside warm outlets. Bill Murray is supposed to host a Christmas special at The Carlyle, but inclement weather prevents his guests from attending. He decides to go on with the show. There are cameos from Miley Cyrus and George Clooney, and a ton of great songs to keep you singing all night. 50 December 2020

The Man Who Invented Christmas

As there are many versions of A Christmas Carol, why not brush up on the real history of Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens here), and the inspiration for Ebenezer Scrooge? Featuring Christopher Plummer and Jonathan Pryce, The Man Who Invented Christmas takes a metatrip down memory lane.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This revamped version of the classic story follows the relationship between the holiday-loving town of Whoville and a recluse Grinch. When the Grinch decides he’s finally had enough of all the holiday cheer, he sets off on an adventure to stop Christmas from coming. Instead, he crosses paths with a little girl named Cindy Lou Who, who teaches him the true spirit of the season.

The Muppets Christmas Carol Produced by Jim Henson, this musical comedydrama film is by far one of the most famous and beloved. The Muppet Christmas Carol is the wondrous, whacky, and wildly popular Henson spin on the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. What more could you want?

The Nightmare Before Christmas This modern Christmas classic directed by Henry Selick and based on the story by Tim Burton is a fan-favourite, often adored by even those voted least likely to get into the Christmas spirit. Not to mention, it was nominated for a number of awards in its heyday for good reason, including the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

www.bahrainthismonth.com


Bahrain Edition

BEAUTY | FASHION | HOME | WELLBEING | LOCAL ISSUES

December 2020 | Issue 213

BEAUTY

Our top Picks this Festive Season

LIFESTYLE Festive Décor this Holiday Season

OPINION OUIAM BIDS GOODBYE TO 2020!

INTERVIEW

Not just a Man’s WorldBahrain’s Female Biker Community

FASHION

LAYERING UP THIS WINTER www.womanthismonth.com


Salvatore Ferragamo

Loro Piana

FASHION | trend

EXPLORING STRUCTURED LAYERS

EMPORIO ARMANI

The best of high-end fashion brands have delivered once again and given us plenty of sultry inspiration on the runways with their AW2020 shows. This season is all about exploring a tailored look with structured jackets, suits and trenchcoats of every length. Keeping it classic, you could explore the spectrum of black and grey asseen on the runways of Giorgio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Givenchy, Genny, Lacoste and Loro Piana.

52

December 2020

Genny

Winter (and the festive season) are now in full swing! We all know what that means – we need to warm up, and in true Woman This Month fashion, we’re keeping it chic!

For a look that’s both: casual, yet dramatic, you can draw inspiration from the colourful look from Coach with a chic shearling jacket, leather skirt and leather shirt making a statement. Trying the trend with angelic white? We adore the white coat that was divinely structured and styled on the Genny runway.

www.womanthismonth.com


Genny

Givenchy Michael Kors

Coach

LACOSTE

FASHION | trend

Editor’s Pick! We’re in love with this Michael Kors look which got our attention this AW. It’s a look that means business with its stunning sleeves, cinced in waist, marvellously tailored details and more. Pairing the look with stunning boots and minimul makeup sure added an interesting element to draw inspiration from.

www.womanthismonth.com

December 2020

53


PEOPLE | interview

Not Just a MAN’S World Woman This Month’s Farah Baig has a chat with Bahrain’s female biker community.

Women can do anything they put their minds to. We’ve proved it time and time again, in every way and form through all that we do and put our heart and soul into. Women in Bahrain have a way of swimming against the tide and going after their passion – even if it means getting on a motorbike and turning more than just a few heads. The number of women in Bahrain’s motorbike community has steadily grown over the years, from just three or four a few years ago to about twenty skilled riders with the numbers consistently growing.

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December 2020

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PEOPLE | interview Could you tell us a little bit about Bahrain’s female biker community? Alexies P. Schuckert (Philippines): We’re a community of like-minded women who try to get together weekly to ride and support each other in our passion for motorsports. For most of us, motorcycle riding is not just a passion; it’s a sense of empowerment and independence… it’s freedom. Occasionally, we team up with the guys on their bikes and enjoy larger group rides among the other various clubs around the island -all of which have always made us feel accepted, looked after, and taken care of. To sum it up, I would call this community more of an extended family than anything else. Be it female or male, this is a community of exceptional people. People who are always supportive and completely uncaring of what type of motorcycle you ride. Aliaa Maher (Jordan): The social norm of a woman riding on the back of a man’s bike is changing fast, and Bahrain has seen a sudden growth of women riders in the past three years. The Bahrain female community is fast growing with more and more women, with diverse backgrounds, including two Bahrainis, young mothers, house wives and working womenventuring into this very maledominated sport. The community has women from a lot of different nationalities. Could you highlight this further on this? NadiaShariff (India): The women riders are predominantly from the expat community with riders from America, Germany, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Jordan, Greece, Lebanon, South Africa and, of course, Bahrain! That’s great! How diverse is the community in terms of age, nationality, etc. Any mums in the group too? Nadia Shariff: I am a mum and

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I am very proud to be part of this riding community. Almost, everyone is a mum save for one or two in the group. We are quite diverse, with the age group ranging from the youngest in her early 20s and the oldest in her 60s with bikes that range from Harleys to Ducatis and Kawasakis too. The female biker community goes on very early morning rides that help me unwind and relax during the ride and still be home on time to serve my kids breakfast. How has the community grown since you first started riding in the Kingdom of Bahrain? Anne Schumacher (USA): When I started riding in October of 2010, there were quite a few women riding motorcycles here in Bahrain with the HOG chapter. At the time I started to ride, I knew of only one Bahraini woman rider. Most of the women were expatriates, wives of Harley riders who were tired of being passengers and got their own bikes. As the expatriate community is so interchangeable, contracts run out or people move away, many of the female riders that I started my journey with are no longer in Bahrain. There was a point where I was one of very few females riding in Bahrain, at least publicly. I do believe there are many sisters, wives and daughters who ride, but only with their own family. Recently, there have been a few more women who have joined the ranks of rider rather than passenger and the female community

is growing again; albeit, most are expatriate women again. I think the culture here and the image that motorcycles are for men inhibits some women from trying to ride. Sajida, we hear you’ve been a part of the community for a long time. What’s your story? Sajida Saeed Tabbara (Bahrain): I’m a retired University Professorwho fell in love with bikes at the age of six. I remember riding as a pillion when I was just eight-years-old. My father, who was a school headmaster at the time was so angry with the person who gave me a ride he nearly dismissed him from school! I was determined to have my own bike when I grew up, but females did not even ride bicycles early on in Bahrain. During my career as a Professor, I decided one day that I had to go after my dreams and created a bucket list; biking was at the top of that list. I believe I was the first Bahraini female to own and ride a bike, but there were other lady riders of other nationalities. As soon as I got my license, there was a trip organised by HOG to a rally in Jumeriah. Everyone said that I had to go although I was terrified! I had only just got my licence and had bought a Harley that was 200 kgs heavier than the one I learned on. I was told that if I didn’t muster up my courage and go to the rally, I would never do it! All the guys vowed to support me and they did. I will never forget how I was always in the middle between the Bahraini riders at the rally every time we rode. They kept an eye on me and built my confidence and I owe them that. I was a novelty and remember how my students at the university would come up to me and tell me that they had ridden with their brothers in secret, and how much they enjoyed it, but that their families would not allow them to get their licence. I supported them all and a few did proceed to become riders. One was a covered-up lady but that did not stop her becoming a rider. She went ahead, got her licence and bought a bike which she hid at

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PEOPLE | interview a friend’s house for years before declaring to her parents she was a rider. That’s amazing! What’s it been like since you became a part of the community then? Sajida Saeed Tabbara: My experience was bittersweet at the beginning... Defying stereotypes, especially as an educator, was very challenging. In 2011, a group of people waged a social media war on me and called me nasty names on a forum. I was called loose, unprincipled, a bad role model and a corrupting influence on young Bahraini women. This went on for three months until my own students at the university put an end to and stood up for me by posting on that forum in my defence. I have since ridden my bike with joy and without too many funny looks, which I still get occasionally. I have since gone on many trips abroad in the Middle East and Europe. I love riding my bike. It gives me a sense of unparalleled freedom and control. I love the feeling of comradery with other riders, especially female riders, and I feel safer in a group. How does it feel to be a part of a community of women with a common interest? Birgit Hobaugh (Germany): It is always

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great to be part of a community, to feel the sense of belonging and support in times of need. For many years, it was always the same number of ladies riding together with the men’s group. The biker community, in general, is a very close-knit community and is always there to help one another, but the fast-paced growth of this new lady biker community is amazing and clearly shows the support and encouragement provided by the group in the onboarding process of the new comers. Over the years the numbers have increased and we can finally ride together as a lady bikers group. I have been on several of these rides and gatherings. It’s great to network and sometimes just be a woman, taking photos with no inhibitions and the camaraderie of it all. How does it feel to be a group of strong women engaging in an interest that is more

commonly associated with men? Priya Shankar (India): Seeing a woman ride a bike not only grabs eyeballs but also makes heads turn…with some muted comments: both positive and negative. However, when you go out in a group, you see the respect and get open-mouthed looks or even enthusiastic waving and thumbs ups. It’s great to be part of a group that supports you and helps you understand the stress of riding, even though I must admit when I started it was a much smaller community and most of the support and training I received were from my fellow brothers and a solo sister, who played a very significant role in not only getting me on the road but encouraging me to go on road trips to Oman and Europe. I feel riders are always up for helping each other out and sisterhood/brotherhood comes foremost. When I traveled to Oman,

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PEOPLE | interview

we were three ladies in a group of twenty men. One of the things you realise as lady riders is you inadvertently look out for each other, whether it’s a trip to the women’s or overcoming a challenge. I remember, on this trip we had to cross a part which was a steep hill with soft sand. Seasoned riders were falling down like matchsticks and the three of us kept telling each other, “We can do it!” and we aced it the first time without any mishaps. When we got to the top, we jumped off the bike and hugged each other. It was an amazing feeling when a journalist walked up to us and said: “So many experienced bikers fell off their bikes, but you girls rocked it!” It also taught us that one’s ability is greater than the model and make of the bike or in this case – gender. What are some of the challenges you might’ve faced when first riding in Bahrain? Anna D (Greece, Germany):` First of all, we have to consider that every day is always our first day of riding. We never know what kind of challenges you will face during your ride whether day or night. For me personally, I was very scared. Thank God I had a riding-mentor supporting me. To overcome my fears I was riding every day. As a result, I sold my car and started using my bike as daily transportation in order to improve my riding skills.

making. If you are new in the group, inform the road captain and ride with seasoned riders. There is always a team that rides with the group, the sweepers who block the traffic for the riders and the marshals, usually for larger groups to keep the group together and liaise between the captain and sweeper. In addition, it’s important to have regular cone training, ride as often as possible and respect the drivers. Communication, not aggression by drivers and riders on the road, is vital. How often does the community of female bikers in Bahrain ride together? Can you tell us about some of the activities you participate in together? Aqeela Naser (Bahrain): We ride twice a week when the weather is good - Tuesday night and Saturday morning. On Saturday mornings we usually get together for breakfast, coffee and a catch up after our ride.

This year, we celebrated Bahraini Women’s Day which included breakfast and a photoshoot. In the past, our lady riders have supported Ride in Pink in support of breast cancer awareness, aside from charity drive rides including visits to old age homes, special needs societies etc. Has the coronavirus outbreak affected your ability to get together? Nadine Fawaz (Lebanon): Yes, as a lot of them of are a bit afraid to get out. Take me for example, I have not gone for a group ride since the pandemic started in order to protect my family and loved ones. Even though biking gear is quite safe since we need to wear masks, gloves and a helmet as a norm and maintain distance between bikes when riding, a lot of them prefer solo rides.

Anna, you’ve ridden over 100,000 kms since 2017 in Bahrain alone. Could you highlight some of the safety measures you take when riding together? What could improve the riding conditions for bikers in Bahrain? Anna Diamantidou: Make sure your bike is fit: technical wise, tire-pressure etc. Safety gear is very important so wear the right shoes, safety jacket, gloves, etc. When groupriding, respect and protect each other and follow certain road signs and protocols that both: protect the riders and inform the other vehicles of the changes the riders will be www.womanthismonth.com

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BEAUTY | news

BE ENCHANTED BY LOOTAH’S VELVET BLEND PERFUMES

LOOTAH – the UAE’s leading contemporary perfumery and aroma trend-setter – has launched its magnificent new ‘Velvet Blend’ range. Featuring three customisable gift sets, the ‘Velvet Blend’ range allows you to choose your favourite fragrant treasures from LOOTAH’s stunning selection of enchanting perfumes, incredible incenses, and fragrant ouds and oils, to be placed inside an exquisitely crafted, beautifully scented, luxurious velvet box. You can purchase your ‘Velvet Blend’ gift set online at LootahPerfumes.com.

MY WAY- A FRAGRANCE FOR A NEW GENERATION

A fragrance for a new generation, Giorgio Armani’s new fragrance MY WAY encapsulates curiosity and connections, incarnated by a woman looking for experiences that challenge her preconceptions, and take her into new, unchartered territory. This beautiful feminine fragrance will make the perfect gift this festive season!

Festive If you’ve been nice this year, you deserve to treat yourself or perhaps add our top beauty essentials this month to your wishlist.

BE IRRESISTABLE WITH GIVENCHY

Because we are seeking joy and light-heartedness more than ever before... the IRRESISTIBLE Givenchy Eau de Parfum is the new uplifting fragrance for this year! Lively, airy and ever so playful, the fragrance is bursting with energy, radiating both charm and femininity – the epitome of joie de vivre in a bottle. The new composition is presented in an ultra-feminine, decidedly Couture prismatic bottle and features a blend of luscious rose and radiant blond wood.

STAY MOISTURIZED AND PROTECTED WITH NOIX DE SHEA

Say ‘hello’ to your winter skincare saviour as you make room for Noix De Shea, an environmentally-conscious and ethically-driven brand that promises safe and complete skin hydration and care with its 100% natural, raw and fresh shea butter sourced from the villages of Benin, West Africa. Shea butter is scientifically proven to be an excellent body moisturizer while having anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and sun-protection properties. Noix De Shea also offers its own exquisite Grade A original blends that include organic Lavender, Rose Musk, Peppermint, Jasmine and Lemongrass. Noix de Shea is available for purchase online at www.noixdeshea.com.

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BEAUTY | news

THE EYE OF THE BEE-HOLDER WITH GUERLAIN

Presented in an ultra-slim gold case, the new Golden Bee Palette contains all the essentials for any eye look. Inside you’ll find 10 eyeshadows in an array of natural colours for day, alongside more festive shades for evening. All divided according to three matte, iridescent or satin finishes. Consider it a secret essential to quell any colour craving – from the more discreet to the daring. As for the brush, it comes with a double tip for two types of application. While one end is made from foam for broad sweeps, the other comes with fibres for a more precise application, graphic lines. Left under the tree, this limited-edition palette makes for the perfect gift and a precious addition to any makeup collection.

CONTOUR, SHIMMER AND GLOW WITH NATALIE BEAUTY!

We’re always on the hunt for the next best beauty product, so we were elated when we came across Natalie Beauty’s first product line - an exquisite collection of contour and highlighter sticks dubbed the Coffee Collection. The collection is inspired by all the skin-like shades of coffee, from vanilla to mocha. Through a wide range of tones, multiple uses, practical application and a natural smooth finish, Natalie Beauty aims to cater to every skin type and color. The innovative, cruelty-free, vegan formula is free of parabens, talc and lanolin. The texture is very delicate yet incredibly effective. The Coffee Contour Sticks are quite pigmented with high quality performance, while the Syrup Spark Sticks can be used as highlighters as well as daring eyeshadows.

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GUERLAIN’S ROUGE G - A POP OF COLOUR!

Guerlain has created two exclusive new lipstick shades and an exclusive new top coat. The red shade is deep, bright and matte, yet comfortable, while the woody pink colour fuses its refined pigments to the lips with one simple stroke. Entirely precious from top to bottom, these two lipsticks come engraved with the bee symbol. Used alone or on top of a matte lip colour, the top coat with its diamond-like faceted lipstick, harnesses all the shine of a mirror, making lips shimmer. As a nod to these magical foragers’ precious honeycombs, two new Rouge G cases scattered with precious rhinestones have been designed to complete this collection. The first, Golden Ruby celebrates the emblematic red and gold colour pairing used for the end-of-year festivities. The second, Golden Diamond, blends gold and silver shades for even more preciousness.

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H&M Home

LIFESTYLE | home

FESTIVE FERVOUR

‘Tis the season to give our homes a festive splash, so let's deck the halls; literally! Adorn your home (that you have spent many protected months in, this year) to best reflect your gratitude and the spirit of the joyous season. You could go all out to decorate and pay homage to your personal spaces, or simply elevate the exuberance with a few key touches - just keep it merry!

Glitzy Evenings Embellished Cushion Lifestyle

To Sink Into Armchair Angelo Cappellini

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Proclaim the Festivities Wreath Home Centre www.womanthismonth.com


LIFESTYLE | home Elegant Adornments Tree Hangings Home Centre

Sophisticated Setting Napkin Rings H&M

Frosted Pine Candle Lifestyle

Ornamental Delights Accessories Home Centre

Spread the Cheer Stem Glasses THE One Cosy Up Throw THE One

Seasoning’s Greetings Salt and Pepper Shakers Home Centre

Coasting Along Festive Coasters Home Box www.womanthismonth.com

Vanilla Notes Fragrance Set Home Box December 2020

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LIFESTYLE | opinion

GOODBYE 2020!

Ouiam el Hassani reflects on what could have been “the worst year ever”.

D

o you remember New Year’s Eve 2019? The clock ticking the last joyful seconds of a year verging its end, as it has done each and every year before. The familiarity of it all, peppered with the excitement and the anticipation of a new year, and new opportunities. Perhaps you had a party to attend to, perhaps you toasted 2020 with a drink, and giggled at the thought of those -every-year’s- new-year’s resolutions, that might make it to the end of January, but never further. You wished everyone a “Happy New Year”, you made plans for the next 12 months, you thought of countries you would visit, people you would meet, adventures you would have. Not in your wildest and craziest thoughts have you imagined what a ride would 2020 be!

third world war, and the list is long. Many lives were lost, many people are left without a job, or financial security. People not being able to see their loved ones, businesses that closed down, and an intense amount of suffering everywhere. The end of the year does not mark the end of our misery, for all we know this could last a lifetime, however 2020 will always be known

for possibly being the worst year ever! Yet we survived it (well... almost!). Isn’t there pride and bravery in living through what would definitely be labeled the worst year of one’s lifetime, and emerge from it alive? Won’t we all have our own version of the story to tell our kids and grandkids?

Yet here we are again, getting ready to welcome another year…. more uncertainty and confusion set the tone for the coming 12 months. An unusual hint of fear and caution surrounds our plans this time, creeping into our otherwise cheerful “Happy New Year” wishes, our toasts, and any plans we might have the courage to think of. There is absolutely no doubt that 2020, has been one of the strangest years we have experienced. A year garnished with natural disasters, a global pandemic, a barely missed

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LIFESTYLE | opinion Although 2020 has kicked butts all year round, it has in some way shaped the whole decade to come. In a way or another, it has made us more grateful and thankful for the smallest things. We want nothing more than things to go back to normal, the “normal” we once despised and considered unworthy of our

appreciation. We want to be able to hug a friend, or breathe some fresh air. We want to make plans and travel as freely as we once did. We want to go ahead with our celebrations, and hope for new ones to come. We want what we once had but we never once stopped to cherish. 2020 showed us how much we value

the people in our life, it allowed us to have plenty of zoom happy hours, with friends that we haven’t seen in years. It gave us the chance to take long walks, and most importantly it allowed us to just sit and do nothing, while connecting with ourselves, all of which can be a novel experience to many of us.

2020 transformed our TVs into time machines, making them transport us to our pasts through scenes of crowded restaurants and streets, where faces are unmasked, and people sit shoulder to shoulder in waiting areas, and benches at the park. The ache we now feel for a pre-COVID-19 world might seem unproductive, and this is exactly how the mind works: it plays tricks on you. We think of nostalgia as a gateway to sadness and gloominess, however, it is the exact opposite. Research has shown that the more nostalgic you are, the more optimistic you become. By remembering things about the past, it lays out a hopeful vision for the future.

So before saying Goodbye to what some might call “The worst year in one’s a lifetime”, let’s all do one thing…. Close your eyes, and ask yourself what do you feel nostalgic about when you look back at the early months of 2020, when the craziness started? What will you smile about? What will you miss?

Thinking about the present through the eyes of your future self, can tell you what is important and beautiful in your life right now. This will not change how hard this year has been for many people, it won’t make all the losses disappear, but it will remind you of what you should be grateful for today.

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FEATURE | Accessory

Faberge

Why not celebrate the holiday season with the vibrant colors of Fabergé? Gift your loved ones the stunning Fabergé craftsmanship and beautifully designed jewelry is shades of red, green and blue. The exquisite collections will have you struggling to pick a favorite piece!

E S I R O S S E C C A YOURSELF!

Fauré Le Page

t and r top brigh u o e r a e r d a bit He ries to ad o s s e c c a look. beautiful h to your p m o o n a of

A beautiful bag is a game changer when it comes to setting out your outfit. The pioneers of the monogrammed daily totes, Paris’ Fauré Le Page have come out with the beautiful Daily Battle collection. Effortlessly practical, Fauré Le Page’s Daily Battle collection is structured yet supple and has four shapes in different sizes. The totes in the collection are armed with the cartridge holder that symbolizes skill in amorous combat and are now used for personalizing with initial medals.

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Sole For Soul

We were quite excited to find these beautiful juttis in the beautiful island of Bahrain. The exciting Instagram store sells a range of authentic, leather shoes in vibrant colours. You’ll find that some are ideal for daily wear while others would add a beautiful traditional touch to your outfit with their stunning sequins, pom poms and more! The collection is a stunning example of Indian craftsmanship with pieces that are hand embroidered and painted too. Check out @sole4soul_808 on Instagram for more information.

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last word

In Her Shoes

This month we got to know the wonderful Vanesa Hochwarter an Audiovisual producer, Redactor, Yogini, Traveler and mother born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She started yoga classes in Bahrain in 2016, specialised in Prenatal yoga and Shakti dance as well as Kundalini yoga. She’s also the creator of ‘gestar en movimiento’, classes where women can go deep in their own awareness to be more healthy, expressive and creative trusting in the unique potential of each human being.

What’s your proudest achievement?

What’s your favourite film?

To live in different countries being able to adapt and transform myself to receive the challenges and blessings of life.

La vita è bella , by Roberto Benigni

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Eliminate to illuminate.

What skill would you like to learn? To sing!

What is your dream holiday destination? Japan again and again.

Vanessa Cats or dogs?

Both! Cats are pure magic and healing! Dogs are unconditional love and friendship.

What would your life be incomplete without? My wonderful family!

Name 3 things you are currently looking forward to. What’s a mantra you live by? Allow all as it is now.

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Keep learning, create more women's circles, awaken and expand the feminine consciousness in connection with our mother earth in both men and women... and keep dancing!

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Ramee Grand

The Ritz Carlton Bahrain Hotel & Spa

Royal Bahrain Hospital

Now you’ve seen your regular issue, which we hope you enjoyed, make sure to check out our websites and social media for daily updates of what’s happening across the Kingdom. You can find us at:

Al Haddad Vehicle Rental & Leasing S.P.C (AVIS)

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Babasons W.L.L (Mega Mart)

David’s Stir Fry Crazy

Fraser Suites (Diplomatic Area)

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Hotels & Serviced Residences

Fraser Suites (Diplomatic Area) . . . . . . Ramee Grand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Ritz Carlton Bahrain Hotel & Spa .

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Ambassador Stores (Seiko) . . . . . . . . . .

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Royal Bahrain Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Al Haddad Motors (Mercedes) . . . . . . . Al Haddad Vehicle Rental & Leasing S.P.C (AVIS)

27 15, 64 IBC 4 11 30 2, 3

Others Babasons W.L.L (Mega Mart) . . . . . . . .

Restaurants & Cafes

David’s Stir Fry Crazy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Lanterns Restaurant & Lounge . . .

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EXPERIENCE AN ALPINE GETAWAY AT THE WINTER CHALET

For reservations, please call +973 1758 6499.

Nikmati (enjoy) an alpine culinary adventure at our new pop-up concept, the Winter Chalet, located on the beach. Whether a fun afternoon with family or a picture-perfect evening with friends, the Winter Chalet exudes the warm and cozy atmosphere of a traditional Alpine cottage in winter, complete with crackling fire, the decadent smell of roasted chestnuts, mouthwatering Raclette, sumptuous schnitzel and a variety of fondues. A magical experience awaits, whisking you on a well-deserved winter holiday without leaving the city. Remember to wear your cold weather clothing! Blankets will be provided to keep you warm. December 10, 2020 – January 31, 2021 3 pm – 9 pm

© 2020 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

Bldg 173, Road 2803, Al Seef, Block 428, Kingdom of Bahrain +973 1758 0000


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Bahrain This Month - December 2020  

Vol.24 - Issue 12 - Your guide to a great way of life

Bahrain This Month - December 2020  

Vol.24 - Issue 12 - Your guide to a great way of life