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MOTORING | seasonal shopping | gadgets

Your Guide To A Great Way Of Life



H atim Dadabai on quality, education and commitment at BIHR Fouad Saliba Striding Septuagenarian

DIGITAL EDITION January 2018 ~ Vol. 22 ~ Issue 1







• Bahrain Shopping Festival • Autumn Fair • Alice in Wonderland • Schools and Child Expo • Comedy Night




When the festive energy of Spain meets the warm spirit of Bahrain, something incredible happens. Welcome to the new La Vinoteca Barcelona, the home of authentic Spanish food & culture in Bahrain. Enjoy our little piece of ‘España’ right in the heart of Adliya.

19 Yousif Ahmed Al-Shirawi Avenue, Block 338, Adliya, Bahrain +973 1700 7808 | | lavinotecabarcelona vinotecabh

Turkish Festival From 19th to 25th of January

Mercure Grand Hotel Seef Presents

Turkish Festival From 19th till 25th of January 2018 Enjoy the charming Turkish nights Daily from 8 Pm till midnight at Neyran Restaurant






Dress your watch RAYMOND WEIL creates a variation on the shine watch inspired by the world of ballet. A symbol of freedom, elegance and movement, the timepiece asserts its character as a true performer through the versatility of two interchangeable straps crafted in leather. A jewelry watch representing a perfect ally for women and naturally adapting to their style and their desires. Join the discussion #DressYourWatch

Special Edition - shine

Issue 245

Contents January 2018 HAPPENINGS

Bahrain This Month previews events happening around town during the month of December 2017: 19

Circus Skills

International circus performers take up residence for a range of fun shows. 20

Bargains Galore

The return of Shop Bahrain. 22 Comedy



Giggles guaranteed at the Laugh Out Louder Night. 24 Education


The big expo for parents and kids. 26 Dance


Bahrain Ballet Centre students take to the stage to perform the ballet Alice. 28

Bollywood in Bahrain

Nitin Mukesh pays tribute in song to Bollywood great Raj Kapoor .


30 Often



Copied, Never Bettered

New season offers at the island’s favourite Irish bar. 31 Feel

the ‘One Love’

Special concert marking the birth of legend Bob Marley. .


INTERVIEWS Dedicated to Bahrain

Hatin Dadabai on the commitment of Bahrain Institute of Hospitality and Retail to training young Bahrainis for a competitive marketplace .




Targeting Young People


Committed to Helping

Korean Ambassador, HE Koo Hyun-Mo speaks about his mission to increase knowledge of Bahrain among his country’s youth. Dr Arathi Krishna on her work to help fellow Kanadigans.


A Magnetic Personality

Madan Perattur, a well-known name on the party scene, talks about his life journey and beliefs.



46 Bystander

A Man of Steel

Runner and Ironman contestant Fouad Saliba explains what keeps him pounding the pavements.


From Barcelona to Barhain

Exexcutive chef Joan Gomez talks passionately about his trade and all things food.

This issue’s Bystander pages feature Bahrain’s National Day celebrations as well as those of Thailand and Japan. There are also lots of Christmas parties as well as foodie events in the shape of A Taste of Korean and Lulu’s Italian Festival. Our snappers were out and about across the island, did they spot you having fun?

January 2018 3

Issue 245

Contents January 2018 50



My Life in Cars

Dick Potter on the quandary of buying new or used cars. .52 Motoring Enthusiasts Gain Brand Recognition BMW clubs across the region are recognised by the parent company. 53-53 Motoring


BTM brings you the latest news from the motoring world on the island. 55


True-Blue Italian

Paolo Arca returns to Oliveto. 56

A Kitchen For Kings


A Turkish Escapade

Behnaz Sanjana samples Ramee Grand’s Rasoi. The annual Turkish Festival is back at Mercure Grand Hotel Seef. 60

Italian Kitchen Adventures

The return of the popular Italian Master Chef Competition. 62

Haute Dining

Our pick of the fine-dining venues you should try in the coming year. 64-66 Table





68-69 Gadgets: The newest gizmos in town 70 Music: Top Tunes

71 Computer Games: The hot games of the month 72 Websites: The coolest sites on the web 73 Movies: New releases 74 Apps: Essential apps



2018’s Travel Hotspots

The year’s hottest, must-visit destinations.




The Land of Perón, Pelé and the Amazonia An exciting trip across South America.


What’s New: Must-have products 88-94 Marketplace: Latest products and services 95-97 Business Bites 87


102 Tarotscope 103 AD Index 104 WIN WIN





December 2017 5


Bahrain This Month January 2018

Publisher and Chairman George F. Middleton Email: Editorial Director Liz O’Reilly Editor Apple Sharma Contributors Behnaz Sanjana, Dick Potter, Shoba Subrahmanyan

First of all, let me take this opportunity to wish each and every one of our readers a very happy and healthy New Year. To launch 2018, we have a packed edition for you this month with more news pages and interviews than ever before. Across the island, as we wind down from the festive season, there is still plenty happening. January will see the launch of Boulevard Circus, on the Corniche, with daily shows from international acrobats, gymnasts and more. This month also sees the return of Shop Bahrain with offers across many hotels and malls, the hugely popular Taste Tour and Festival City erected at Bahrain Bay. You’ll find details of these and many other events in our happenings pages. Our interview section features an extensive chat with Hatim Dadabai, the man at the helm of Bahrain Institute of Hospitality and Retail which, in its almost 20-year history, has trained thousands of Bahrainis to join the workforce. We also met Korean Ambassador HE Hyunmo Koo, who spoke about targeting youth to achieve growth in Bahrain-Korea business and cultural relations, and we (literally) caught up with 71-year-old athlete Fouad Saliba who explained what motivates him to hit the road…for miles and miles and miles. In our dining section we welcome the return of a prodigal son, Paolo Arca, who is back at Oliveto and promising great things for the future. Behnaz Sanjana gives her verdict on the offerings at Rasoi at the Ramee Grand and there’s lots of news on coming offers. You told us you would like to see travel in the magazine and we listened. This month sees the introduction of a new Travel Section in which we’ve rounded up the top 10 destinations to visit in 2018, some of them may surprise you, they did me. We also feature Shoba Subrahmanyan’s adventures in South America, of which I was more than a little jealous! As always we have our regular round-ups of news from the worlds of motoring and business and the latest films, gadgets and more in the Downtime section. As we head into 2018, there are many challenges ahead and you will see Bahrain This Month adapting to meet the ever-expanding reach of the digital sphere. I hope you enjoy the new facets of the magazine and urge you to check us out online for regular updates throughout the month.

Print Production Manager Sabu Sebastian Layout and Graphics Romeo San Miguel Photography Editor Roanna Fernandes Mona Abdul Jabbar Staff Photographers Subeesh Kumar N S, Ranjith Mohan Administration and Finance Samson Vaz, Marlyn Ragasa

The only Lifestyle Magazine distributed with the GDN

Corporate Affairs Director Bassem A. Al Khabbaz Media Sales Randa Ghazi Howais Distribution Team CM Abdul Rahman, Gopal Arul Kumar Distributor Al Hilal Corporation Printing Press Dar Akhbar Al Khaleej W.L.L., Bahrain Published monthly by

RED HOUSE MARKETING P.O. Box 20461, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: (+973) 17 813-777, Fax: (+973) 17 813-700 Email: © Copyright Reserved 2005-2014 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.

COVER Cover Picture:

Bahrain Institute of Hospitality and Retail

Licensed by the Ministry of Information Publication Code: TA001 ISBN 1 899 348 09 3


George F. Middleton Publisher and Chairman



Gulf and international subscriptions available on request.

Connect with Bahrain This Month:

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Hatim Dadabai on quality, education and commitment at BIHR Fouad Saliba Striding septuagenarian

DIGITAL EDITION January 2018 ~ Vol. 21 ~ Issue 12







• Bahrain Shopping Festival • Autumn Fair • Alice in Wonderland • Schools and Child Expo • Comedy Night



Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube www.instagram/bahrainthismonth


January 2018 7

Bahrain National Day


BAHRAIN TOURISM AND EXHIBITIONS AUTHORITY and the CAPITAL GOVERNORATE celebrated National Day with festive shows and more at Bab Al Bahrain.

CITY CENTRE BAHRAIN celebrated National Day with a traditional Bahraini band and Ardha dance performances.

Saud & Mohammed

Lilyane & Filo THE RITZ-CARLTON, BAHRAIN celebrated National Day at its premises.

Radim, Magej & Pervaiz

Tyler & Rylee

Radim & Kristine

Khaes, Rochelle & Sophia

RIFFA VIEWS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL celebrated National Day at its campus.

THE K HOTEL celebrated National Day at its premises

A traditional performance

The cake-cutting ceremony

8 January 2018


Thai National Day The Thai Embassy hosted the National Day of the Kingdom of Thailand at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The Prime Minister, HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa attented the event. The cake-cutting ceremony

HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa

Ebrahim, Hathai & Namrin

HE Dr A Saj U Mendis, HE Domenico Bellato & HE Alok Kumar Sinha

Douha & George

Laura, Hathai & Vice Adm John C Aquilino

10 January 2018

Abdulla & Santana

Shamir, Juzer, Shukri & Dolia

Jin, HE Hatun Demirer

Waleed Al Raees, Talal & Khalil

Sadiq Dawani, HE Hatun Demirer, Khalifa Rumeihi & George

HE Alfonso A Ver & HE Agus Salim Haji Yusof

Pnuy & Thikij

Shaikh Salman Al Khalifa

Joy & Kratai


Japanese Emperor Birthday HE Kiyoshi Asako, Japanese Ambassador, hosted the celebration of the 84th birthday of the Emperor of Japan at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain. Top officials, ambassadors, businessmen and invited guests attended the event. The cake-cutting ceremony

HE Kiyoshi Asako & Majid Al Zayani

Ryusuke, Tonomi, Machiko & Moto

Narmin, Yuki & Hatai

Fezan & Hussain

Turkish Jazz A Turkish Jazz night took place at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain. Elein, Ali, Sebahat, HE Hatun Demirer, Ayten & Hazal

Ayhan, Irem & Selen

12 January 2018

Yasser & Rana

Gozde & Baris


Khadil, Filis & Sarhash


Zee, Anna Marie & Nataliia

Thomas & Anna Marie

Stephen, Mark & Aisling

Jerome & Helen

National Day Dinner Anna Marie Dowling hosted a National Day celebration dinner at her residence.

Rose Mary, Ires & Anna Marie

Antoinette, Anna Marie, Han & Marcel

Rodolphe & Carla

Marcel, Martin & Anna Marie

January 2018 13


Darwish Mannai, Nasser Al Arrayedh & Simi

Dinner Reception The Indian Embassy hosted a dinner reception for the business delegation led by Anil Khaitan, President of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Atul Anand, HE Alok Kumar Sinha, Anil Khaitan & Gyanender Singh

HE Alok Kumar Sinha & Khalid Almoayed

Abdulla Juma

Edward, Manoj Bhatia & Hameed Rahma

Jalil Al Ansari


Surendra & Rajasekharan

Festival of India in Bahrain The Indian Embassy, in association with the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and with the support of Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, organised an Indian classical dance programme at the Cultural Hall.

French Gourmet Showcase Nabil, HE Alok Kumar Sinha & Abdulla Dosari

Performers on stage

14 January 2018

Under the patronage of HE Cécile Longé, French Ambassador, Business France Export and the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bahrain showcased gastronomic products at the French residence. Rim Jalali & HE Cécile Longé

Jean Philippe & Kosta

Vineeth & Sajil

Emma & Esteban


Freya & Grace

Erin, Tara, Maddie & Ella

Christmas Carols The British Embassy Christmas Carols took place at the embassy premises.

HE Simon Martin & Sophie

Rachel, Jane, Adam, Sophia, Emilia, Frances & Jeanne

Emily, Lucy & Georgia

Tricia, Stephanie, Rev Chris & Darshan

Caren, Elaine & Kirsty

Grace & Erin

January 2018 15


Laura & Dominico


Filippo & Cristina


Christmas Party HE Domenico Bellato, Italian ambassador, and wife Laura hosted a Christmas party at The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa. HE Domenico Bellato, Luciano, Laura & Alessandro

Layan, Sari, Qays & Karina

Stefano & Nancy

Elena & Emma

Frank, Oyvind & Eirik

Martina & Michela

Bjarne & Oddbjorn

Norwegian Christmas Party A Norwegian Christmas Party took place at The Domain Hotel & Spa. The Consul of Norway to Saudi Arabia attended the event. Honorary Consul Eivind Fondenaer & Frank

Alexander & Nina

16 January 2018

Astrid & Russell

Erin, Rodas & Amilia

Michael, Amelia, Sebastian & Elena

Victoria, Maya & Jassim

Jerome & Trime


January 2018. HAPPENINGS Down on the Farm

Ongoing till April 1 | Bahrain Farmers Market | Budaiya Botanical Gardens

The much-loved Farmers Market is back for the winter season, running weekly on Saturdays from 8am-noon. Head down to the Budaiya Botanical Gardens and take your pick of fresh, locally grown produce as well as plants and seeds. Take the chance to meet the people who actually grow our food and interact with local producers. It’s also a great chance to show kids where their food comes from and there are usually snack options available to keep the hunger at bay as you browse the stores. Call 39 444-231.

Girl Power

Ongoing till January 14 | She - Women’s Art Exhibition | Hend Gallery

Enter the Dragon

Ongoing till January 6 | Night Market | Dragon City

Following the success of last year’s event, Dragon Night Market is back. It’s a family-oriented, outdoor event which features the unique triple combination of a great shopping, dining and entertainment experience. Held against a Chinese-themed backdrop, tenants of Dragon City, as well as hosted vendors, are exhibiting their products at Dragon Plaza, with attractive promotions on products ranging from electronics, children’s toys and clothes to accessories and more. There are also food stalls serving delicious snacks and cuisine. Visiting families are guaranteed to have a great time with an exciting entertainment line-up, and colourful event mascots. The market also includes Productive Families, in support of the traditional products made by local families from their homes. The night market runs from 4pm-10pm daily. Call 32 296-366.

Circus Skills Ongoing till April 28 | Boulevard Circus | Al Fateh Corniche

A showing of the works of female artists — abstract painter Balqis Fakhro; Riham Elshamy, whose colourful creations give her art a slightly comedic edge; Zakeya Zada, a self-taught artist who is inspired by the strength and beauty of women across the world; Taiba Faraj, whose art was recently showcased at Bahrain Financial Harbour, Ghada Khunji, the internationally successful photographer; painter Maria Kermadi; Marwa Al Khalifa, who works in various materials and takes her inspiration from Bahrain; Mariam Fakhro, whose works have been shown extensively across the island; Mayasa Al Sowaidi, whose works often concentrate of women and their place is society; and Hela Ammous, the Tunisian creative whose work has also gained international acclaim. Running under the patronage of Shaikha Hind bint Salman Al Khalifa, president of the Children and Mothers Welfare Society, the exhibition exposes some of the many different categories of women’s art across the region. It is open daily, except Fridays, from 9am-1pm and 4pm-8pm. Call 17 325-121.

Boulevard Circus is coming to town. Organised under the patronage of HE Shaikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, head of the Capital Governorate, it will see two performances daily for all the family to enjoy. Acrobats, jugglers, balance and flying artists, magicians, and comedians and clowns are being brought in from Russia, China and Ukraine. Shows are daily at 4.30pm and 6.30pm and tickets cost BD4 or VIP BD8. Call 38 769-181/37 366889/35 695-660. 19 January 2018


Out of the Box

Ongoing till January 31 | Exhibition - An Ode to Life | Bahrain Fort Museum

THE BOX is an independent collective of creatives based in the Kingdom. The name highlights a box’s multiple dimensions, representing the myriad of concepts, talent and ideas the collective will introduce to a global audience. For their first show, the collective, made up of Faisal Samra, Jaffar Al Oraibi, Zuhair Al Saeed and Latifa Al Khalifa, presents ‘An Ode to Life’, a group of public sculptures at The Qal’at al-Bahrain site. The concept of the exhibition is to create awareness of environmental issues and also act as a commentary on how we litter and pollute our ecosystem. The artworks on show are: ‘The Headstones’ by Faisal Samra, a sculpture project made up of collected plastic and debris; ‘On Consumption’ by Jaffar Al Oraibi; and ‘recycling…reforming’ by Zuhair Al Saeed. The exhibition is open daily 8am-8pm. Call 17 567-171.

Preserving an Art Form

Ongoing till January 31 | Exhibition An Ode to Life | Bahrain Fort Museum

January 1-15 / 6th Bahrain International Sculpture Symposium / Bahrain National Museum Sculpture is a bold and noticeable ancient art form. Its importance throughout time has not diminished and at the Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities (BACA) this art form is commemorate with an annual symposium. This year, it will be led by the honorary head, one of Egypt’s most renowned sculptors, Adam Henein, along with more than 10 artists from Bahrain, the Arab region, Asia and Europe. Since its inception, the symposium has attracted sculptors from around the region and the world in a unique environment of cultural exchange and creative collaboration. This edition celebrates ‘Muharraq the Capital of Islamic Culture 2018’. Upon completion, the final sculptures will be located in the historic old capital of Bahrain, Muharraq. Call 17 298-777.

Bargains Galore

Road Works

The fourth-edition of the Bahrain Shopping Festival ‘Shop Bahrain’ is set to be the biggest nationwide festival with a unique line-up of events and entertainment, a fantastic shopping experience and numerous prizes. The 30-day event, aimed at celebrating the Kingdom’s hospitality and tourism offering, is organised by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) to kick-start the Kingdom’s robust 2018 tourism calendar. It will include an impressive line-up of activities and promotions for the entire family to enjoy, including numerous prizes and raffle draws. There are 27 hotels participating and 22 shopping malls. The popular Taste Tour returns, with 44 restaurants signed up, and there will be raffles prizes throughout the month, including 20 new cars and airline tickets to be won. As well as entertainment and promotions across the malls, the calendar of events also includes a ‘Festival City’ located at Bahrain Bay which will host a variety of activities and carnival games for all age groups as well as a market, entertainment and live performances and acts in both English and Arabic.

On the Road 2 is a continuation of Zuhair AlSaeed’s earlier exhibition, On the Road 1, which showcased in 2015. The On the Road series continues to document the memory of the roads and their relation to local childhood, incorporating nostalgic elements and a pining to the past in a fast-moving world where memories are often quickly lost. Born in Bahrain in 1980, Zuhair’s art is inspired by social and environmental issues and he describes his work as being rooted in everyday reality. His pieces have been displayed in Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco and the UAE and he is the winner of the 2008 Zain Dream Innovation Initiative. Open Sunday to Thursday, 8am-8pm. Call 17 298-777.

January 11-February 10 | Shop Bahrain | Various

20 January 2018

January 7-31 | Exhibition On the Road 2 The Art Centre Fort Museum

When? Ongoing till April 1 Event? Bahrain Farmers Market Venue? Budaiya Botanical Gardens E Call 39 444-231. When? Ongoing till January 6 Event? Night Market Venue? Dragon City E Call 32 296-366. When? Ongoing till April 28 Event? Boulevard Circus Venue? Al Fateh Corniche E Call 38 769-181/ 37 366-889/35 695-660. When? Ongoing till January 14 Event? She - Women’s Art Exhibition Venue? Hend Gallery, Muharraq E Call 17 325-121. When? Ongoing till January 31 Event? Exhibition An Ode to Life Venue? Bahrain Fort Museum E Call 17 567-171. When? Ongoing till September 20 Event? Exhibition The Stamp Seal: Hallmark of Dilmun and its Hidden Art Venue: Bahrain National Museum A fascinating exhibit detailing the role of seals in the ancient civilisation. E Call 17 298-777. Date? Ongoing till February 28 Event? Exhbition HOUE’ 2010 Venue: Bahrain National Theatre installation by French-Iraqi artist Mehdi Moutashar. The HOUE installation is exhibited at the theatre’s foyer, allowing visitors to directly interact with it. Houé is an Arabic word formed from two letters: an aerial letter, the aspired ‘h’, developed from a double movement – concentric and eccentric, and the waw (O) which follows a helical layout. E Call 17 298-714. When? January 1-15 Event? 6th Bahrain International Sculpture Symposium Venue? Bahrain National Museum E Call 17 298-777.


Layla & Ameera

Henny & Hussain Dawani

Caroline & HE Alfonso A Ver

Hamza & Raghda

Noor & Hameeda

Amna & Basma

Taste of Korea The Korean Embassy held the ‘Taste of Korea’ food festival at The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa. Jina & HE Koo Hyunmo

Noora, Amina & Joo Young

HE Agus Salim Haji Yusof & Wani

Sam, Thomas, Els & Maria

January 2018 21


Expo Extravaganza

When? January 4-5 Event? Yoga Workshop Venue? Namaste Internationally renowned teacher Max Strom presents one of two workshops looking at the healing power of forgiveness, releasing stress through movement and the power of conscious breathing. ​E

January 11-13 | 8 in 1 Expo | Bahrain Internationa l Exhibition Centre

The 8 in 1 Expo showcases various fields with participants from across the region taking part in six exhibitions: Bahrain International Expo, Bahrain International Modern House, Bahrain International Technology Expo, the International Health and Beauty Expo, Fashion Time Exhibition and Perfume Expo. Running over several days at the international exhibition centre, it promises a range of displays, activities and products to cover just about every taste. It’s open daily 10am-10pm.. Call 17 877-060.

When? January 6-9 Event? YACEP course with Max Strom Venue? Namaste A wide ranging continuing education course for those who are already familiar with the yogic discipline. E

Shop Local

January 12 | Pop-Up Farmers’ Market | Ritz-Carlton,

Bahrain Fridays, January 12, February 9, March 9 Vendors from the island’s famous farmers’ market will be heading to the Croquet Lawn at the RitzCarlton, Bahrain throughout the winter season – January 12, February 9 and March 9 – offering farmfresh produce as well as dates and spices. Visitors can savour the flavours of a traditional Bahraini breakfast, at BD4++, smell the aromas of freshly baked bread, enjoy arts and crafts such as face painting and henna and lots more. The market runs from 8am-2pm. Call 17 580-000.

Comedy Central January 12 | The Laugh Out Louder Night | Elite Resort & Spa Enjoy a night of comedy with Atul Khatri and Sonali Thakker in the third edition of Laugh Out Louder. Mumbai-born YouTube personality Atul Khatri is one of India’s most successful stand-up comics, who was rated among the top Indian comedians by CNN-IBN and was the only Indian to perform in the Hong Kong International Comedy Festival in 2014. He is also the winner of the CEO’s Got Talent award by FremantleMedia and has performed with The Comedy Store, The Canvas Laugh Factory and East India Comedy. He covers areas from human behaviour to politics with a sardonic twist and promises a great evening’s entertainment. Also on the bill is Sonali Thakker, who’s been described as a “part-time stockbroker, a dance enthusiast and a full-time Gujju who performs comedy on the weekends”. She is an exciting new comedy talent who finds her humour in topics such as travel and shopping. Tickets are priced at BD8 for regular seats and BD20 for VIPs, with an entitlement of front-view seating with a complimentary drink and a chance to win a dinner date with both the celebrities. The event starts at 6pm and runs until 9pm and is presented by Sphere Advertising and Events Company. Call 37 792-969 / 37 772-969. 22 January 2018

When? January 7-31 Event? Exhibition On the Road 2 Venue? The Art Centre E Call 17 298-777.

For Art’s Sake January 17-March 7 | 44th Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition | Arad Fort

Date? January 8 Event? Bahrain Writers’ Circle Monthly Meeting Venue? Umami Restaurant Guest Speaker: American author Siobhan Fallon in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy. Join fellow writers and enthusiasts to hear what she has to say. E Call 39 574-795. Date? January 9 Evetn? Bahrain Writers’ Poetry Circle Meeting Venue? Umami Restaurant Join in an evening of learning and discussion with likeminded enthusiasts. E Call 39 574-795.

Now in its 44th edition, the Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition celebrates the creativity and ingenuity of the Kingdom’s artists. Every year, members of the arts community gather to present their finest work, uninhibited by a subject or theme. The result is a colourful display of styles, techniques and different mediums of expression. Held under the patronage of HRH Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain, the exhibition this year moves to the stunning surroundings of Arad Fort where it will present a collection of local and international artists residing in the Kingdom.

When? January 11-February 10 Event? Shop Bahrain Venue? Various E When? January 11-13 Event? 8 in 1 Expo Venue? Bahrain International Exhibition Centre E Call 17 877-060.


Car’s The Star

When? January 12 Event? Pop-p Farmers’ Market Veue? Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain E Call 17 580-000.

January 17-21 | Bahrain Auto Fair | Bahrain Financial Harbour

In a first of its kind for the Kingdom, this show, which is part of the Shopping Festival, will feature a classic car show, motorbike display and a number of modified vehicles. Bahrain International Circuit will be providing various activities such as a kart racing track and there will also be the chance to view racing equipment. Around 40,000 visitors are expected to attend and there will be a wealth of familyfriendly entertainment and activities and a food court, beside many other upcoming exciting activities still to be confirmed. Opening days and hours are January 17, 3pm-10pm; January 18 and 19, 3pm-1am, January 20, 3pm-10pm; and January 21, 10am-10pm. Call 17 006-911 / 32 311-226 / 35 913-099.

Education Showcase

When? January 12 Event? The Laugh Out Louder Night Venue? Elite Resort & Spa E Call 37 792-969/ 37 772-969. Date? January 15 Event? Bahrain Writers’ Creative Workshop Venue? Umami Restaurant And evening of networking and discussion on a shared interest. E Call 39 574-795.

Focus on Islamic Art

January 18-20 | Bahrain Schools & Childcare Expo

January 18-June 30 | Exhibition Al Fann

Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre

Bahrain National Museum

The 4th Annual Bahrain Schools and Childcare Expo is an annual one-stop platform that aims to offer A-Z coverage to the entire family’s needs all under one roof. There are three main sections — the Education Zone, which focuses on private schools, nurseries and education service providers; The Mother & Childcare Zone, which aims to put together all mothers’ and children’s needs in one place; and The Youth & Entertainment Zone which offers entertainment options and activity centres for all family members catering to all ages and tastes. The showcase brings together exhibitors from all over from the Kingdom as well as reputable international entities. It gives parents the opportunity to gain the information necessary to make the best educational choices for their child. Call 17 300-363.

Al Fann is an exhibition of art from Islamic civilisation which showcases the great and multifaceted nature of Islamic culture through the spectacular al-Sabah collection from Kuwait. Broadly divided into two parts, the display illustrates a chronological progression broken into four stages, from the very beginnings of the Islamic period up to and including the three great empires of the sixteenth century, and tackles themes that run transversely through Islamic art – mainly, calligraphy, geometric decoration, arabesque and figurative art and jewellery. The museum is open daily from 8am-8pm. Call 17 298-777.

When? January 16 Event? Tru Active Pop-Up Shop Venue? Words Bookstore Café Tru Active hosts its first ever Pop-Up Shop with the launch of a new collection — Arabian Frost. As part of the group’s Get Active initiative, there will be a variety of talks and yoga classes held at the pop -up store to raise awareness about health choices and local active communities. Yoga sessions will be 3BD, all proceeds will go to a local charity here in Bahrain. Events will take place from January 17-20 with schedules to be announced from January 6. E Call 33 942-621. When? January 17-March 7 Event? 44th Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition Venue? Arad Fort E When? January 17-21 Event? Bahrain Auto Fair Venue? Bahrain Financial Harbour E Call 17 006-911 / 32 311-226 / 35 913-099.

Pop And Shop January 18-19 | Bahrain Pop Up Market | Hopscotch Rustic Kitchen Pretty, funky fashions, gorgeous unusual jewellery, tasty eats plus homewares and arts from some of the Kingdom’s most talented individuals, all will be on offer at the latest edition of Bahrain Pop Up Market which returns to its regular home this month. Running over two days from 4pm-10pm, head down to Hopscotch and enjoy the music of DJ Enzo while you shop for items quirky, fun and fabulous. Around 20 vendors are expected and places are still available. Call 37 119-590. 24 January 2018

Jewellery Arabia 2017 Jewellery Arabia 2017 took place at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre. Kooheji

Khalid Kooheji & Khawla

Sharif Group

Rico, Waleed Al Raees & Ernst


Fawzi & Chadi


Mohammed Aseem & Shaziya


Shaziya, Soukaiwa, Tessitore & Rinupal

The Island's First Performing Arts Studio Established In 1982



FRIDAY, 19 TH JANUARY 2018 6 P.M. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.) CULTURAL HALL Tickets available at Bahrain Ballet Centre (Barbar), McDonalds (Saar), Al Najma Club (Juffair) & Royal Country Club (Riffa)

January 2018 25


Dance Away

January 19 | Ballet - Alice | Cultural Hall

Parents and kids, prepare to travel through time and down the rabbit hole to a world filled with peculiar characters and scenes, as the Bahrain Ballet Centre prepares to showcase Alice, an adaptation of the popular kids’ story, Alice in Wonderland. Around 120 kids and adults will take to the stage as part of the studio’s 35th anniversary dance show, to perform a 90-minute rendition of the Lewis Carroll classic. The performance narrates the adventures of a little girl named Alice, using classical dance forms of ballet, modern theatre, contemporary, ballroom and even puppetry! Audiences will be lost in time as they stop over for a tea party with the Mad Hatter, run into the eccentric Cheshire Cat and watch as the Red and White Queens battle it out for the crown along with their armies! Tickets are priced at BD10 (VIP) and BD6, available at Bahrain Ballet Centre, Barbar, McDonalds, Saar, Royal Country Club, Riffa, and Al Najma Club, Juffair. Doors open at 5.30pm for a 6pm start. Call 33 719-180 / 38 432-888.

Art Talking

January 20-March 20 | Exhibition - Between Muharraq and Seville Bahrain National Museum

This is a gorgeous showcase that explores the beauty of Arabic calligraphy and the mystery of the Arabic language. A collaboration between Bahraini artist Ebrahim Bussad and Spain-based Orientalist artist Elisabeth Bolza creates an artistic dialogue that connects East and West through a series of collage works about the city of Muharraq. The museum is open daily 8am-8pm. Call 17 298-777.

Good Enough to Eat

When? January 18-20 Event? Bahrain Schools & Childcare Expo Venue? Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre E Call 17 300-363. When? January 18-June 30 Event? Exhibition - Al Fann Venue? Bahrain National Museum E Call 17 298-777. When? January 18-19 Event? Bahrain Pop-Up Market Venue? Hopscotch Rustic Kitchen E Call 37 119-590. When? January 19 Event? Ballet - Alice Venue? Cultural Hall E Call 33 719-180/ 38 432-888. When? January 20-March 20 Event? Exhibition - Between Muharraq and Seville Venue? Bahrain National Museum E Call 17 298-777. When? January 22-25 Event? Food is Culture Venue? Bahrain National Museum E Call 17 298-777.

January 22-25 | Food is Culture | Bahrain National Museum

Food is Culture is a creative experimental project that aims to bridge the mediums of art and food. Running in parallel with the Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition, this experiment sheds light on creative processes that take place when two individuals (from different creative disciplines) collaborate. Every year five artists and five chefs get together and work to produce a creative product: be it a painting, installation, video, cake, drink, all of these or something completely different. The result of their two months’ work, which is documented in a short film and a publication, will be presented during the course of the week, where they share and display their collective creations. The museum is open daily from 8am-8pm. Call 17 298-777.

Shopaholics Paradise January 24-February 1 | Autumn Fair |

Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre Bahrain’s biggest annual shopping event, the Autumn Fair, returns for its 29th year. Held under the patronage of the Bahrain Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, the popular consumer show offers a wide range of fashion, accessories, household appliances, home décor, cosmetics, speciality foods and more from around the world for sale at competitive prices. More than 750 exhibitors from 18 countries are set to converge at the largest show of its kind in Bahrain to form a 15,400sq/m retail extravaganza with more than 160,000 visitors expected to attend over the nine-day period. Entry is BD1, with under 12s for free. Opening hours are noon-10pm on January 24, 10am-2pm and 4pm-10pm on January 25, noon-10pm on January 26, 10am-2pm and 4pm-10pm on January 27, 28, 29 and 30, and 10am-10pm on January 31 and February 1. On January 28 and 29 the exhibition will be open to ladies only from 10am-2pm. Call 17 550-033. 26 January 2018

When? January 24-February 1 Event? Autumn Fair Venue? Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre E Call 17 550-033. When? January 24 Event? CookBook BookClub Venue? Words Bookstore Café Regular get together at which members pick a recipe from the chosen book to prepare and bring the finished dish to the meeting where they enjoy a delicious feast. Email info@ with your name and mobile number if you would like to join and you will be added to the WhatsApp group. E Call 17 690-790.


Khaleem, Gianna & Laura

Sharif & Vinit

Italian Fest Lulu Hypermarket inaugurated its Italian Fest at its branch in Hidd. HE Domenico Bellato & Juzer

Luisa & Giovani

Khaleem, Stuart, HE Domenico Bellato, Juzer & Jawahari

Mahesh, Biju & Rafi

Abdul, Santa & Ahmed

January 2018 27


The Meaning of Life

January 30 | Talk and Movie Night | La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art

On the occasion of the visit of the president of the French syndicates of professional naturopaths, Cosimo Diciola and Dr Dejana Subsol, who is the founder of AIMA (Académie Internationale de Médecine Alternative), La Fontaine will screen the movie A Quest For Meaning. A paradigm-shifting film, full of wisdom, laughter and hope to make this world a better place, the movie is about finding one’s place in the Universe. We are all prisoners of a logic which has proven destructive for mankind and planet Earth. To break the deadlock, Marc and Nathanaël try to question the fundamental beliefs of modern society: separation, competition, individualism. To understand the greedy logic of today’s system and seek the possible solutions, they go and meet those who are building the world of tomorrow: farmers, wise men, philosophers and ecologists. The event starts with a gathering at 6.30pm, followed by a talk on naturopathy, alternative medicine and introduction to AIMA at 6.45pm, with questions at 7.30pm. The film screening starts at 8pm and tickets are priced at BD10+, which can be used as credit at the restaurant on the same evening. Call 17 230-123, email or visit

Bollywood in Bahrain

February 2 | Raj Kapoor Musical Tribute | Crowne Plaza, Bahrain Raj Kapoor was one of Bollywood’s most successful stars acting in numerous films and famous as much for his singing as his stage presence. Now, the master is brought to life by playback artist Nitin Mukesh in a night of musical tribute at which Randhir Kapoor, the legend’s son, will be the chief guest. Tickets are priced from BD10-BD25. Call 37 209-729/39 411-812.

Industrial Strength

February 6-8 | Gulf Industry Fair | Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre

The increased industrialisation of the region requires a framework for industry to develop while reducing its impact on the environment. The Gulf Industry Fair will bring to the forefront the need for eco-industrial development (EID) considerations in supply, consultancy and planning for growth. EID at Gulf Industry Fair will showcase mutually beneficial connections between industry, natural systems, energy, material and local communities as central factors in designing industrial production processes. GIF has established an unrivalled innovative marketing platform for specialist industrial product and service providers, distributors and agencies representing key segments. And it offers various specific zones to deal with different sectors of the market, including: aluminium; energy and environmental protection; logistics and industrial facilities; industrial metals; industrial processes and manufacturing; ports and maritime industries; industrial safety and security; and training for industry. One of the biggest expos of its kind in the region, the fair is being held under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain, and is organised by Hilal Conferences & Exhibitions. Call 17 299-123. 28 January 2018

Persian Art in Focus

February 1 | Exhibition Life Journey | La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art

Fereshte Shishine, an accomplished artist, presents an exhibition titled ‘Life Journey’. She has studied with various masters and has a degree in art from the Academy of Fine Arts in Tehran. As a youngster, she enjoyed detailed work and, in particular, the poetry and intricacy of Persian miniatures, having worked under the great masters such as Behzad and Sussan-Abadi. She later moved to Europe and developed her skills in still life, portrait, landscape and etching. She has lived and worked in Spain, England, France and Switzerland and has participated in many collective and individual exhibitions. Her paintings are easily recognised by her deep appreciation for colour composition, sharp focus on light and her unique attention to particular details. A common characteristic of most of her works is the accidental presence of draperies and delicately knitted fabrics somewhere on the canvas. She has donated some of her pieces for reproduction to charitable organisations such as UNICEF and the Marie Curie Institute. The exhibit opens at 6pm, followed by dinner and a live jazz performance at 8pm, priced at BD30+. Call 17 230-123, email info@ or visit www.

Date? January 26 Event? Bahrain Half Marathon Venue? Seef Mall A 21.0975km race organised by Bahrain Road Runners. Further details are still to be confirmed. E When? January 29 Event? Monday Night BookClub Venue? Words Bookstore Café Regular meeting at which members get together to share thoughts on a chosen book selection. Email info@ with your name and mobile number if you would like to join in you will be added to the WhatsApp group. E Call 17 690-790. When? January 30 Event? Talk and Movie Night Venue? La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art E Call 17 230-123, email info@lafontaineartcentre. net or visit www. When? February 1 Event? Exhibition Life Journey Venue? La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art E Call 17 230-123, email info@lafontaineartcentre. net or visit www. When? February 2 Event? Raj Kapoor Musical Tribute Venue? Crowne Plaza, Bahrain E Call 37 209-729/39 411812 When? February 6-8 Event? Gulf Industry Fair Venue? Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre E Call 17 299-123.


Cris & Adrian

Yara, Inga & Anna

Apollo Club Opening Al Safir Hotel Hotel & Tower held the grand opening party of Apollo Club at its premises in Juffair. Shantharam, Asha & Ashish

Kareem & Muss

Taliya, Anjela & Yuliya

Nataei & Galina

Ramesh, KC Rajesh, Ashish, Asha, Shantharam, Rashed, Saeed & Khalid

January 2018 29

afterdark happenings JJ’S IRISH RESTAURANT

Often Copied, Never Bettered

The island’s favourite Irish bar has offers and entertainment all week through. Opened in July 1999, JJ’s quickly built a reputation for quality – quality food, quality beverages, quality service and, of course, quality entertainment. It all started with the building of JJ’s itself, with over 80 per cent assembled in Ireland, shipped over and pieced back together, a mammoth task but worth every bit of effort. A spokesman says: “Great effort has also been placed into the selection of draught ales we serve. We hope you will sample a good selection, which have been cared for by our professionally trained staff and served at an ideal temperature. A cold draught always goes down well during the Bahraini summer heat.” Feeling hungry? Well, as the Irish have a saying for everything, remember this one: “Festa anocht agus gorta amarach” which means “a feast tonight and a famine tomorrow”. The JJ’s

30 January 2018

menu has a fine choice of traditional Irish dishes complemented by the finest dishes from across the globe. You may also want to try the house speciality recipe Chicken Marty Guerey, which has become so popular that other restaurants have adopted it – though JJ’s is the only place you’ll find the real deal. One of the quintessential elements of JJ’s continued success is the emphasis on atmosphere. As a traditional Irish pub, the aim is to entertain you in many different ways, be it watching your favourite sporting event, listening to great music from across the years or, as the night birds will tell you, dancing to the early hours with the resident DJs. The spokesman adds: “There’s one thing you will realise, there is no better place to spend your well-earned leisure time.” So head down to JJ’s and take advantage of the following offers throughout the week: Daily, ‘Ladies in JJ’s Wonderland’, from noon

to midnight, girls pay BD1 for selected drinks. Sunday is quiz night with great prizes for the winning team on each round. Entry is free and there’s a special offer on brews. Monday is the night when JJ’s turns into the island’s number one karaoke hotspot with Microphone Madness. Jump on stage, grab the mic and the spotlight and relish your four minutes of fame – participants are rewarded with a free selected shot and there’s a special brews’ offer. Wednesday is the Weekend Warm-Up with an acoustic session from house band Toxic and then Thursday sees JJ’s bringing in the weekend with constant promotions on drinks and eats to get the party started. Frantic Fridays means only one thing — GOOD TIMES! Head to JJ’s from 6pm for the afterbrunch party with Toxic. Saturday is recovery time with the Hangover Irish Break-fest! Every Friday night needs a morning cure, and JJ’s has you covered with a traditional breakfast menu served from 9am through till noon. Grand Stand Saturdays offer the option to chill out (or get excited) with all the big games on TV. There are three big screens plus 10 42-inch LED screens covering every part of the venue. you can even check out two different commentaries at the same time and, with everything from football, rugby and cricket to international clashes on a weekly basis, there’ll be something for everyone to enjoy. And as the night goes on, Toxic are back on stage to round off the weekend before it’s time to do it all again! Call 33 843-005.

CHILDREN OF THE RESOLUTION When? January 11 Event? Resolution Vibes featuring Ahmet Kilic Venue? Oliveto Restaurant

When? Every Sunday Event? Pie & Pint Venue? Wembley, Atiram Premier Hotel Enjoy a variety of comforting pies washed down with a malt beverage for BD6.500. E Call: 33 640-009. When? Every Wednesday Event? Big Trivia Quiz Venue? Wembley, Atiram Premier Hotel Starting at 8pm hosted by DJ Ian Fraser, featuring lots of trivia, general knowledge, sports, movies, music and more. E Call: 33 640-009.

A brand-new year needs to be celebrated in style! Vibes, in partnership with HD Productions Bahrain, will be organising a phenomenal party to do just that. Don’t miss out on the high-energy atmosphere and fun-loving party crowd from Bahrain. With acclaimed DJ Ahmet Kilic, this promises to be an event to remember. DJ Ahmet’s musical style is rooted

in funk, nu disco, soul, deep and progressive house. He has gained a great reputation in Europe and across the Middle East’s growing ‘Disco’ scene. There’s also UK hit DJ Andy Collins to warm up the night with one of his renowned deep house sessions. With a dress code calling for ‘fab and glam’, and such an action-packed agenda, this promises to be an event to

remember. Doors are open from 8pm to 2am. Entry is free for those on the guest list up to 11pm only, after which the cost is BD10. Call: Leo 34 518-079 or Ahmed on 32 223-323. L

FEEL THE ‘ONE LOVE’ When? February 8 Event? Bob Marley Birth Anniversary Venue? Coral Bay Resort Mark your calendar as Miami Events joins hands with Coral Bay to prepare for an exciting event that will definitely be loved by all. Join in to celebrate the 73rd birthday of reggae’s international musical and cultural icon, none other than the shining star, Bob Marley. His birth anniversary tribute will be featuring his son, Ky-Mani Marley, for the first time in Bahrain, with a live performance from Konfrontation Band to kick off the smokin’ reggae classics. There will also be a special performance from the number one reggae band in Bahrain, The Legendz Reggae Roots, as they join in the celebrations too! Ky-Mani Marley had no interest following in the footsteps of his world-famous father and was more inclined to play sports. However, the seed that was planted by Bob’s legacy sprouted in 1997 when Ky-Mani teamed up with hip-hop artist Pras of The Fugees and collaborated on a cover of Eddy Grant’s

When? Friday Event? Ladies’ and Jammers Night Venue? Harvesters Pub & Terrace, Crowne Plaza, Bahrain Two free complimentary selected beverages for ladies and a chance to jam on stage with the band E Call: 17 531-122 When? Every Saturday Event? Ladies Night Venue? Blue Moon Lounge, Four Seasons Bahrain Bay Two free drinks for all ladies from 6pm-midnight. E Call: 17 115-000. When? Saturday and Tuesday Event? Cocktail Night Venue? Harvesters Pub & Terrace, Crowne Plaza, Bahraiun Order a cocktail and have a second free from 9pm-1am E Call: 17 531-122. When? January 1 -31 Event? Burns Night, Gulf Hotel, Bahrain Venue? Sherlock Holmes Buy a single and receive a double shot of Scots beverage, special rates on double shots are available. E Call 17 713-000.

Electric Avenue. This was the defining moment in Ky-Mani’s journey, which would lead him to pick up the torch his iconic father lit so many years ago. The Marley surname calls to mind Jamaican royalty, brings world-wide recognition and represents pioneer status in cultural, political and social revolution. So, you know where to be to uplift your spirit to the sky and celebrate One Love! Hit the Coral Bay dance floor by the Arabian Sea for a surreal day and night of non-stop dancing, the best reggae music and good times with fun friends. Call: 17 312-700

When? January 4 Event? Ladies Night Venue? Bushido Lounge Free drinks for ladies from 9pm to midnight. Dress to impress! E Call: 17 583-555. When? Ongoing Event? Latin Sessions Venue? Calexico Bahrain Live Latin music sessions featuring Johanna Roldan Garces and The Cali Quartet at 7pm. E Visit CalexicoAdliya January 2018 31

bystander Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies

The K Hotel

Gulf Hotel

Bilal, Nitai, Volker, Neil & Shiva

Sally, Hilda & Garfield

Shivanand, Rishith Sai, Ranna, Alina, Sincy, Ruby, Aashil & Jimmy

Layan, Nory, Ales & Jen

Bennigan’s Amwaj

Staff and guests at the ceremony

Cucina Italiana

Mirna, Yasma, Ibrahim & Jana

32 January 2018

May & Homey

Pauly, Princy, Aldrin & Aaron


Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies

Golden Tulip Hotel

George Issa and family members Amani, Michel, Paul & Bishr

Dona, Tess & Rose

Priyanka, Yohaan & Tushar

Yuvrai, Vijay & Lopa

Susan, Shannon & Ruby

The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain

Alfred, Mau, CJ & Donna

Antonio, Suzy & Angelo

Felma & Kevin

Nancy & Adam

Sofitel Bahrain

Ali, Huda, Anais & Khalid

Spencer & Sydney

Lloydy, Lia & Nellie

Moni & Ola

Huda, Neyran & Armina

Ravindu, Alex, Jessica & Roezanne

Ali & Anais

January 2018 33


Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies

The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa

Kosta and family

Ani & Starla


Ana & Maya

Vivianne, Laura & Luciano

Younis & Vito

Nicole, Ryan, Elias & Tariq

Lelina & Larissa

Wyndham Garden Hotel

Julie & Jayden

Lloyd, Mukul, Zuliana, Stephen, Cynthia & Fred

Sallyann, Susan & Shannon

Benat, Kelly, Lara, Arielle & Arvy

The Domain Hotel and Spa

Lara, Baidr & Munazza

Tanvi, Rita, Frank & Maria

34 January 2018

Neshika & Bambi

Carol, Hira, Drona & Harry

Oliver & Rahul



Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies

Downtown Rotana

Fatema, Momen, Saif & Kinzy

Janet, Marwa & Eyaz

Sharel, Angel, Rosa & Yuan

Golden Sands

Godfrey, Dipa & Asif

Vikas, Amitabh & Gopi

Anvi, Niharika & Fiana

Lantern’s Amwaj

Ghizlane & Cara

Hettie, Carmel & Jamie

John & Aisling

Mary, Freida & Gertrude

George, Marina, Elita & Latif

Lettuce, Paul, Louise & Taylor

Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa

Rocco & Yassine

Kumar & Riva

Risha, Avaleigh & Zara

Vanessa, Mohammed & Axell

January 2018 35




This stalwart institution produces passionate professionals with in-depth knowledge and sharp skills to enrich the global hospitality and retail sectors.


Hatim Dadabai


ack in the late 1990s, Dadabai Holding, one of the pioneers of homegrown hospitality in the Kingdom, saw a dearth of well-trained Bahrainis in the sector. This led to the start of a training centre to groom young locals for the budding hospitality industry. “The initial idea was to train students to work at our own hotels,” says Hatim Dadabai, managing director of Dadabai Holding. “What started in 1999 as a mere in-house training service has now grown to what we know today as the Bahrain Institute for Hospitality & Retail (BIHR), a full-fledged academy for aspirants of hotel and retail management.” The original institute offered entry-level courses in fast food, food preparation, pastry making, front office and housekeeping, comprising just five classrooms, three professors and 48 students. Growing from strength to strength, it is now a renowned college with a dedicated campus in Barbar, state-of-the-art facilities and collaborations with the world’s best hospitality and retail schools. The BIHR first established a tie-up with the prestigious American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) USA, which is the largest training and certification body worldwide 36 January 2018

for hospitality training programmes. It has a licensed network in 120 countries and 1,800 colleges. “We were the first in the Middle East to translate the entire curriculum of the AHLEI to Arabic, for the benefit of our citizens,” comments Hatim. “In the last 18 years, we have trained and facilitated employment for over 8,500 Bahrainis. Our work is not limited to teaching only; we guarantee our students jobs, so they can start off their careers on the right path and build an upward professional graph from there on.” Alongside the focus on Bahrainisation of the workforce, Hatim observes that the country’s retail and hospitality sectors have seen tremendous growth in the last decade. “With the number of new hotels, malls and hypermarkets springing up, the need for skilled Bahrainis has risen manifold. The demand was, and still is, much more than the supply. Today, this market needs an additional 10,000 vacancies to be filled. So, the professional scope in these fields is tremendous,” he says. He remembers that, initially, the local population was reluctant to set foot in the hotel and retail industries. “But today they have realised that with the sound training they receive from BIHR, the opportunity that these

sectors present is phenomenal. Everyone starts out with the basics, but with the right training, growth knows no bounds. The world-class fivestar hotel chains that have come to Bahrain of late have their own growth graphs for their employees. Working with such names comes with the added benefit of excellent professional exposure and opportunities to work in some of the best countries in the world,” he says. “Ninety per cent of our students are Bahraini and 60 per cent are female, this in itself shows that the market dynamics are changing, with the youth of Bahrain eager to make a mark, especially young women who previously had limited opportunities in this sector.” The institute has a close rapport with the very best operators in the business. They recruit its students. The Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Golden Tulip, Sheraton, Radisson and Sofitel are just some of the hotels, along with the big retail chains. “We have six Career Days organised throughout the year, in which 99 per cent of the students secure placements, which is testimonial to the high standard of training they receive. The recruiters see their capability and pick them up even before they complete their courses,” says Hatim.

Hospitality par Excellence BIHR has entered into a partnership with the Hotel and Tourism Management Institute (HTMi), in Sorenberg, Switzerland, to provide the internationally recognised Diploma in International Hotel & Tourism Operations. Hatim says: “The two-year course offers cutting-edge programmes of study, and is designed to equip students with the necessary skills to undertake roles in service industry operations. The study course is an exact replica of the one taught by HTMi campuses in Switzerland and Singapore, and meets the requirements of five-star hotel companies worldwide. “Bahrainis and expatriates living here can undertake this course without even leaving the country. The tuition fees are also half of what they would pay to study the same course in Switzerland.” He continues: “We also welcome international students to come study in Bahrain, and we have 16 nationalities on campus this year. Providing such a rich, multicultural atmosphere benefits our Bahraini youth as well, elevating the discussions in the classroom to a higher level, opening their minds to new cultures and broadening their horizons.” Not only do the HTMi programmes offered at

the Bahrain campus offer a prestigious Swiss certification, but also imbue the knowledge and skills essential to Middle Eastern and Asian hospitality. Hatim explains: “As the course is a replica of the one taught in Switzerland, our students have the opportunity to learn the ropes of classical Swiss hospitality. And with Dadabai Holding being in the hospitality business, BIHR further imparts the skills and qualities essential in the international hospitality industry. We are aware of what it takes to succeed in the field, so, besides classroom tuition, we provide practical training, personal development, leadership skills, language skills and much more, creating international leaders of the future.” BIHR also arranges for international personalities to address audiences in Bahrain and finds a way for students to benefit. “We have hosted eminent personalities like John Maxwell, Robin Sharma and Deepak Chopra, and these seminars are free for our students and alumni. Also, the events are planned and executed by the students, giving them a taste of event management,” explains Hatim. The management of BIHR appreciates the consistent support received from Tamkeen and

the Ministry of Labour in Bahrain. “We are glad that the government, through the Economic Development Board of Bahrain and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism have given a much-needed push to the tourism sector,” says Hatim. Those with a diploma from BIHR can opt to acquire a bachelor’s and, subsequently, a master’s degree at HTMi Switzerland or Singapore, or another university in the world. There is also the exciting option of continuing the second semester of the programme in Sorenberg, Switzerland. “The HTMi diploma opens many doors within the vast hospitality industry. Students can choose their field of interest, be it front office, food and beverage production or service, housekeeping or other important ones like accounts, maintenance, sales and marketing, human resources and many more. Our students have also gone on to start their own businesses and have become highly successful entrepreneurs today.” Ali Sulaibeekh - Director, BIHR January 2018 37

interview TESTIMONIALS OF HTMi STUDENTS Lulwa Marhoon, Bahrain My fascination with the subjects grew as did my passion for this profession. Though it is hard work and full dedication is needed for success and progress, I feel proud of my accomplishments and look forward to achieving higher goals. I’m currently working in the front office at Le Méridien, Bahrain. Catherine Bijoux, Seychelles I enjoyed studying at HTMi Bahrain and I am very proud to be placed well in my career. I am now working in the HR department in a resort in Seychelles. Zoheb Walid, India I came from India to study at HTMi Bahrain campus. I’m happy to be part of this team, all faculty and students were very helpful when I first came to Bahrain. The classes have a positive vibe and we were never bored, each module offers something different with a new methodology of teaching. I love my HTMi Bahrain Campus. I am currently working in food and beverage at The Westin, Bahrain. Learning the Retail Ropes Students interested in making a mark in the retail sector will largely benefit from studying

38 January 2018

at BIHR, thanks to its tie-up with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), which is the most recognised national retail training provider in Australia. In collaboration with ARA Retail Institute, BIHR is committed to providing retailers with the skills and knowledge to develop the performance of their business and their human capital. Its programmes are designed and facilitated by leading specialists to ensure they are practical, current and relevant to the needs of the industry. Students are acquainted with a range of necessary skills, including: retail buying, financial matters, visual merchandising, marketing, operations, and sales and service strategy. “Our retail courses ready students to work anywhere in the customer service sphere – be it shopping conglomerates, corporates or even hospitals,” says Hatim. Besides academics, pupils are involved in several activities and 16-18 weeks of technical on-campus training, so they are well versed in all facets of their field. He continues: “The kids come in quite raw and it’s great to see them leave the institute as well-groomed individuals ready to take on the industry. Students also acquire a range of soft skills like business English, IT, selling skills as well other customised adaptations as deemed fit.” The faculty that teaches at the institute comprises a mix of experts from Europe and

“BIHR houses simulated lab environments to enable students to easily adapt to the operations of the real world outside. The college is equipped with specialised hospitality and retail labs, where they are familiarised with the hardware like POS machines, credit card terminals, cash registers etc. making the transition between study and work life easy. This brings Bahraini children at par with others in the sector, enabling them to get picked up first for jobs abroad and at home in multinational companies.” Nigel Veigas – Executive Director, BIHR Asia, who have the backing of experience and extensive knowledge in their areas of specialisation. They are screened and hand picked by the associated international bodies. Those conducting the Diploma in International Hotel & Tourism Operations also undergo further teacher training and partake in exchange programmes at HTMi in Switzerland to hone their teaching capabilities. BIHR Experience in Saudi Arabia Due to the outstanding achievements of the BIHR in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Dadabai Holding has taken a pioneering initiative to offer its distinguished experience to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) by establishing The National Academy for

interview Facilities on Campus in Bahrain BIHR’s sprawling 60,000sq/ft campus houses up-to-date equipment and study materials, in keeping with current industry standards. Amenities: Main kitchen Demonstration kitchen Refrigeration and stores Sufra - fine dining restaurant Coffee shop (Al Waha) Library and resource centre Research centre Locker rooms (male and female) 24 classrooms IT facilities and labs Auditorium Higher Training. So far, more than 4,500 trainees have graduated from BIHR’s branch in KSA, all of them being employed in different avenues of the hospitality and tourism sectors. A Second Chance The BIHR also has a six-month apprenticeship programme for secondary school dropouts, who otherwise would have no road ahead to further learning or to make their living. “We take them under our wing to train them in hospitality skills from scratch, to enable them to land secure jobs in the market. We groom

them to get back on track and positively contribute to the country’s work force,” says Hatim. “The medium of instruction is Arabic, and it is a more technical and vocationoriented course that has produced many success stories that we are proud of. “The running of this institute is Dadabai Holding’s way of giving back to the community and leadership of the Kingdom. We have put in our own resources, monetary and material, to ensure the smooth running of BIHR, and we will ensure that it continues to prepare smart, young professionals to enrich Bahrain’s human resources,” says Hatim. The BIHR looks forward to welcoming more students through its doors year after year, polishing them to become smart professionals in the dynamic hospitality and retail worlds. BIHR would like to praise the wise leadership of the Kingdom of Bahrain for their great initiative in supporting the private sector institutions, particularly in the field of education. “The astute government has recognised the importance of education by taking on a proactive role in building opportunities for the youth. BIHR has been and continues to be dedicated to its efforts in developing the hospitality and retail industry, and preserving and improving the great reputation that Bahrain has gained in the field of academic and vocational education,” says Hatim.

BIHR and its affiliates are members of the following organisations and offer programmes validated by them. • • • • •

Hotel and Tourism Management Institute, HTMi, Switzerland Australian Retailers’ Association, ARA, Australia The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, AHLEI, USA The Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality, CTH, UK Emirates Academy, UAE


‘Silver’ QQA Seal of Recognition from the National Authority of Qualifications & Quality Assurance of Education and Training

ISO 9001:2008 Certified Institute

‘Top Institute’ Awarded by Higher Council for Vocational Training, Kingdom of Bahrain

January 2018 39

bystander Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies

Crowne Plaza Hotel

Management and staff

Mercure Grand Hotel

Ahmed, Mahmood & Sukhwinder

Jijo & Josen

Rania, Miranda, Laisa & Boushra

40 January 2018


TARGETING THE YOUNGER GENERATION Korean Ambassador HE Hyunmo Koo speaks about a haunting previous experience and his hopes for his tenure in Bahrain.


is Excellency has been in the country since April 2017 and feels at home here, saying: “The people are extremely friendly and open and even the government officials. I can feel a good atmosphere of tolerance and coexistence of the various religions.” During Ramadan he attended more than 40 majlises, adding: “It was quite an experience for me, coming to Bahrain and seeing this side of the culture.” But he is no stranger to the Middle East having been in Tripoli, Libya, in 2011 and 2012, a traumatic time during the crisis. He explains: “We had to evacuate Korean nationals and foreign workers employed by Korean companies and we also had to evacuate the embassy for three months. We came back when the opposition forces came in and Colonel Gaddafi was killed in the October. “For two months during 2011, I spent time with Chris Stevens, the US Ambassador who was killed. I was dispatched for talks with the opposition and he was there as the US representative in Benghazi. He later became ambassador. He was a very nice person and very optimistic about the future of Libya.” Did the death of Ambassador Stevens make him consider a change of career? His Excellency replies: “It did, but I decided to carry on. I think it was one of the most difficult times I have experienced during my career. At that time NATO was bombing Libyan forces and I could hear the bombing day and night, and firing. It was scary even though I am a retired soldier, having done national service.” So Bahrain is a much quieter posting where he says his focus is on promoting Korean products and culture – there has already been a series of cultural activities such as a B-Boy visit, and Korean food and film festivals. He says: “We are targeting the young generation [to increase awareness of Bahrain]. Older people [in Korea] still have good memories of Bahrain when it was the gateway for the whole region. The first flight from Korea to the Middle East, in 1976, came to Bahrain. But young people don’t know that we have such a

Korean Ambassador HE Hyunmo Koo

long history of friendship – this is the 41st year of diplomatic ties between the two countries and we have a number of further cultural activities planned. “The other thing I want to do during my tenure is to expand cooperation in new areas such as defence and IT, which is a well-known Korean strength. We have nine companies with offices here, including Samsung and LG, but I would like to see more – perhaps gaming companies, which I know are in discussions with their counterparts. In October we had six Korean companies visiting to look at the new opportunities available.” Bahrain’s Economic Development Board opened a new office in Seoul last July and had a presence at a major fintech seminar in Korea. His Excellency adds: “The EDB is setting up a fintech hub in Bahrain and I see that as something Korean companies could be involved with. We need to work with the EDB as I think Korean businesses don’t know much about Bahrain – that it has great opportunities, is cheaper than other places in the region and

is a gateway to Saudi Arabia. I hope to see more support for start-ups building their businesses in Bahrain.” Trade between the two countries, currently, is approximately USD700 million per year – Bahrain exports USD450 million to Korea in aluminium, chemical products and crabs while Korea exports USD250 million in automobiles, heavy equipment and electric goods to Bahrain. The Korean community in Bahrain is around 150-strong with another 200 travelling in from Dammam. His Excellency feels there is definitely room for growth in both the number of Korean workers and the trade between the two countries. He concludes: “We are always in talks about visits between the two nations and I hope to create a Friendship Group. I’m also expecting a high-level visit from the Korean health sector to discuss a Memorandum of Understanding, following general cooperation launched last June between our health ministries for Korea to provide an IT system aimed at reducing health wastage. There are many, many areas in which cooperation and friendship can be enhanced.” January 2018 41


COMMITTED TO HELPING Dr Arathi Krishna, on a recent visit to Bahrain, spoke to Behnaz Sanjana about her work for the welfare of non-resident Indians.


r Arathi is the deputy chair of the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Forum of the Indian state of Karnataka, from which she hails. She says: “The chief minister of Karnataka is the chairman of the NRI Forum, which was started back in 2008. We have implemented a new policy for the welfare of Kanadigans [locals of the state] working abroad.” Dr Krishna’s role in acquiring a budgetary sanction for and implementing this policy has been pivotal. She says: “We can only estimate that around 800,000 Kanadigans are working abroad, out of which around 400,000 are in the Gulf. So, we are trying to create a database of this information from the rural level up.” One of the forum’s aims is to create a network of non-resident Kanadigans on an interactive cloud-based website that will have a database of Indians and Indian organisations across the globe. A main objective of the NRI Forum is to connect with citizens living outside India to address their needs and concerns on a sustainable basis. “At the district level, there has been a committee set up with one point of contact to receive NRI grievances and pass them on to us. We want that even the villagers whose relatives are working abroad can reach out to us, in case they face any problems,” says Dr Krishna. The forum also facilitates a pre-departure orientation given at the district level. “This is especially for blue-collar workers heading for the Gulf,” she explains. “The orientation will give them knowledge about the rules and regulations of the foreign country, and how to conduct themselves there.” Skill development programmes for technical workers such as plumbers and electricians will also be held under the policy’s plans, enabling them to be adequately trained to do their job in a foreign country and draw a salary on a par with others there. NRIs who wish to do their bit for their community back home can do so through the forum. Dr Krishna says: “They can adopt a district or village, or donate towards infrastructure of an area. We will facilitate the 42 January 2018

Dr Arathi Krishna

correct channeling of funds, and provide accountability and credibility to donors.” Another arena she is putting efforts into is getting recruitment agents to register with the government and curb illegal agents who land gullible domestic workers in trouble abroad. And, at Dr Krishna’s behest, the NRI Forum has introduced many other beneficial initiatives including the NRK card that affords nonresidents perks and privileges from banks and insurance companies, as well as providing assistance to those returning to India for good. There are also plans in the pipeline to implement a marriage and property protection act as well as a separate police contact for NRIs to register their complaints and to get speedy justice for their pending court cases in India. With several years’ experience at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC, Dr Krishna is familiar with the trials that NRIs face, and she

is determined to help. Her work to safeguard their interests has led officials of other states to look to her for guidance on related matters. On a personal front, she has been an inspiration for young women to forge their own way ahead. Married and relocated to the USA at 19, Dr Krishna continued learning and working, and acquired a master’s degree in public policy from George Mason University. Since returning to India, she has set up the Krishna Foundation to provide educational opportunities for economically disadvantaged children and improve the facilities in rural schools. “The foundation provides them with what they need most to live a better life – multipurpose community halls, uniforms for poor children or a bus to school,” she says. “I have also been meeting a large number of people from all walks of life in the rural belt and will strive to enrich their quality of life.”


Patricia & Joel

Martin & Anne

Vicky & Roisin

Marcelo & Sandra

Thanksgiving Dinner Four Seasons Bahrain Bay held a Thanksgiving dinner by Wolfgang Puck at its AZURE Pool & Lounge.

Rumena, Iolanda, Josie & Sandra

Josie & Brian

Jamela & Patricia

George, Ires & Robert

Jan & Karin

An ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001 Certified Company

January 2018 43


A MAGNETIC PERSONALITY Madan Perattur, a well-known name on Bahrain’s party circuit, talks to Behnaz Sanjana about his life journey and beliefs.


professional boxer and martial arts instructor in his youth, Madan Perattur started off in the hospitality industry with the Dadabhai group of hotels. “In 1999, Wrangler was a restaurant that could seat 60 people, and under my watch it evolved into Bahrain’s first hip-hop and R&B club,” says Madan. “Today, the country has a big hip-hop fan base, and my company, Miami Events Bahrain, organises such events to cater to this crowd.” Being in the entertainment business is his passion, allowing him to be creative and have fun. He says: “I love what I do. It’s all about giving people an atmosphere in which they can have a great time after some hard work. It’s challenging to keep up with the everchanging nightlife trends, but it’s something that keeps me active and on my feet. I enjoy working with my team, who are more of a family to me.” Remya Management, a hospitality management firm jointly owned by Madan and Shaa, looks after the operations at popular venues, including Coral Bay Resort, JJ’s Irish Restaurant, Torino Restaurant and Lounge, and Yard House at Diva Hotel in Juffair. “At Coral Bay we oversee the smooth functioning of the C Hotel, Rayes Restaurant, LaTaverna, Fish Mania, the pool and beach areas as well as the gyms and spas for men and women,” he explains. The venue has hosted top international artists such as Serani, Kriss Darlin, Sean Kingston, Carabao Rock Band and DJ Epps. Grammynominated Jamaican reggae fusion singer Wayne Wonder, and G-Unit’s DJ Whoo Kid have also graced the resort’s stage. Madan co-owns Miami Events Bahrain, an establishment that brings never-before-seen events to the island. “We aim to bring nothing but the best in entertainment to promote tourism in Bahrain and also boost certain sectors of the economy. Our concerts attract crowds from all over the GCC. We are constantly trying to raise the bar higher with every event we do,” he says. Madan has new plans for the coming days. “People will be pleasantly surprised when all is revealed. To begin with, we are excited to be celebrating the birth anniversary of music legend Bob Marley at Coral Bay with his son 44 January 2018

Madan Perattur

Ky-Mani Marley in February,” he reveals. Building lasting relationships with his clients is at the core of Madan’s work philosophy. “I try to be their friend first before being an entrepreneur, and, as a result, we have a big fan base that looks forward to coming to our venues. A personal touch is key in our business, and I ensure that my team members understand this concept and practise it in their day-to-day work,” he says. Listening to customer feedback night after night is another top priority. “We do our best to deliver what customers ask for. People appreciate our care and going the extra mile for clients results in my outlets always being packed with people.” Having a ‘can do’ attitude is probably the main ingredient to the recipe of his success. He believes: “When you impregnate your

subconscious with negative thoughts, you bring lack, limitation and frustrations into your life. To realise your desires and overcome your frustrations, affirm boldly several times a day. Those who are full of confidence and faith are born to succeed. But fears and doubts will not take you far.” His time as a trained boxer has taught Madan to handle many life situations tactfully. “Honestly, challenges are what make my job interesting and exciting,” he says. He is a simple man who derives contentment from simple things. “Every day after we close our operations successfully, I consider it an achievement that we managed to make our guests happy with a great night, in spite of the issues that may have arisen. As long as my team and guests are smiling, I’ll be smiling too.”


Dr Khaldoon & Sameer Abdulla Nass

Ayat, Ashraf & Tanya

International Conference Applied Science University, in association with London South Bank University in the UK, hosted an International Conference on Sustainable Futures under the patronage of HE the Minister of Education in Bahrain, Dr Majid bin Ali Al-Nuaimi, at The Grove Hotel, Amwaj.

Ghassan & Samir

Hadeel, Fatiya, Jumana & Wafa

David & Prof Waheeb Al Khaja

Noora, Dr Rawia & Noora

Noor & Hend

Dr Bin Shams

Abdulla Al Khaja & Ghassan

January 2018 45


Fouad Saliba



An inspiration to many, 71-year-old Fouad Saliba shares his passion for running, long distance triathlon, and his determination to continue racing at his age.

ouad Saliba’s love of running was first born on a chilly spring morning in Canada in 2001 whilst accompanying his wife to a race. “It was so cold that morning that I signed up last minute thinking five kilometres isn’t too long and would still be better than standing still freezing in the cold,” he says. Wearing street clothes and without any training, Fouad went on to finish his first race in just under 40 minutes. Spurred on by his experience, it wasn’t long before Fouad was training and participating in full and half marathons, as well as shorter distance races. His first marathon was in Chicago in 2003 and he has since gone on to participate in 15 others, including Boston, London, Berlin, Stockholm and Dubai. “I am continuously striving to outperform myself, testing my limits and raising the bar higher, race after race,” he says. 46 January 2018

In recent years his focus has turned to triathlons. “My history with triathlons dates back to 2012 when I was 66,” he says. “I started off with short sprints and Olympic-distance triathlons, eventually my wife suggested I should try a half Ironman.” Accepting the challenge, Fouad went on to finish his first 70.3 Ironman in Augusta in 2015 – a physically gruelling competition that requires contestants to swim 1.9km, cycle 90km and run 21.1km. Despite his age, in the two years since his first half Ironman, Fouad has successfully completed 33 races in various running and triathlon distances and is showing no signs of slowing down. “I am getting stronger and stronger and I am more motivated than ever to keep racing and achieving,” he says. This determination was on full show this year at the 70.3 Ironman event at Punta del Este, Uruguay. Despite suffering an accident prior to the race,

Fouad went on to finish first in the age 70-74 category, ahead of his competitor by 16 minutes and 52 seconds. He also achieved a personal best finish time of 6:49:16 and with the result secured the status of All World Athlete Gold, cementing his position in the top one per cent of his age group worldwide, for the second consecutive year. When listening to Fouad, it’s clear that his motivation for running and racing has been born out of a pure, simple joy for the sport. “There is something about running you can only understand and appreciate once you start,” he explains. “I consider endurance racing to be the best remedy for aging – when you race, you have a goal and a finish line; as you get older, you need such targets to keep you alert, focused and motivated.” A civil engineer by profession, Fouad, a Lebanese-Canadian naturalised Bahraini father of three, has lived most of his life on the island and is coached by his wife, Myrna. A highly qualified professional in the field of sports, Myrna has been by Fouad’s side throughout his journey, helping him overcome the hurdles and mental struggles of racing and providing inspiration during challenging times. “I learned a lot from her, and I am grateful for her patience with me and how she always builds my confidence and believes in me, even when I doubt myself,” he says. “When I tell her she takes full credit for my success, she says ‘the credit is yours, you did the work, I just showed you the way’.” Having spent the last three years touring the world and competing in various events at a rate of five to six 70.3 Ironman races per year, Fouad is almost continuously training. To ensure adequate recovery and avoid injury, Myrna has devised a personalised training regimen for him involving a variety of workouts that target all three triathlon disciplines. Perhaps surprisingly though, Fouad does not follow a strict diet. “Our daily food fits quite well with any athletic diet plan: a lot of vitamins and minerals from vegetables, fruits and nuts; lean protein, as well as healthy carbohydrates and fats to replenish energy,” he says. “I don’t think I would be eating any differently had I not been doing sport.” The pair certainly seem to make a successful team, as evidenced by Fouad’s outstanding performances in recent years, including three qualifying slots earned by his own merit for the 70.3 Ironman World Championship in 2016, 2017 and 2018. And although his finishing times would typically be considered below average, when adjusted for age his performances would actually rank him way ahead of many younger competitors. “People who think the

elderly are slow are oblivious to the fact that age and performance are negatively correlated,” explains Fouad. “My wife and I used to struggle with the idea that we are always in the lower quarter percentile of race finishers; today we prefer to think we are the fastest of everyone our age who is chilling out at home not competing.” It’s unfortunate that Fouad and others his age are not well served by the Ironman one-sizefits-all rule that dictates the same cut-off time for all age groups, whether 20 or 80 years old. Through their courage and dedication, elderly triathletes, such as Fouad, are changing the sport and creating new demographics that need to be accommodated. “Ironman is a wonderful brand and perhaps the Rolls-Royce of triathlon long distance racing, but the system is less than perfect, and somewhat non-intentionally discriminating,” says Fouad. “I hope Ironman can consider implementing gender and age group appropriate cut-off times. It is only logical, fair and equitable for all.” As he begins his preparations for the 70.3 Ironman World Championship in South Africa

from January 2018, Fouad has some advice for other seniors who want to get into an active sport: “Do it without any fear! It is never too late; you can start at any age,” he says. “You just need to do it carefully and gradually, and always listen to your body. There are people who are participating in half and full Ironman races well into their 80s.” And although clearly passionate about his racing, when he finally gets the chance to slow down Fouad also enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren. “I am very attached to them, they are my elixir of life and a very special part of me,” he says. “I also like to explore the world and learn about different cultures – it’s an enriching experience and an eye-opener to the problems around us. It makes us appreciate more what we have.” An inspiration to many, young and old, Fouad believes in never giving up and in surrounding oneself with positive energy. He epitomises author Rikki Rogers words: “Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t do.” January 2018 47


FROM BARCELONA TO BAHRAIN! APPLE SHARMA Bringing quintessential Spanish cuisine to the island, executive chef Joan Gomez talks passionately about his trade and all things food!


ecently revamped, and boasting an allnew look, La Vinoteca Barcelona is one of the few restaurants in the Kingdom that serves authentic Spanish tapas and Mediterranean culinary delights. Leading the team is the enterprising Joan, born in Barcelona into a family with strong links to the food industry. “My father was a chef, and in my home there’s always been a tradition of cooking,” he says. “From a very early age, I remember cooking in the kitchen, if not with my father, then my mum, who’s an even better cook than him!” Joan got his first taste of professional cookery when he started working with his father and at various restaurants along Barcelona’s coast. “This was a key part of my career as it showed me the old-school way of cooking, which I still implement in some of my menus today,” he says. At the age of 17 he joined the cooking school of Sant Pol de Mar and worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in Pamplona (northern Spain). He then moved to London for three years and worked as head chef at several restaurants before moving to Sydney, Australia, where he later worked with chef Antonio Facchinetti, who showed him the secrets of Northern Italian cuisine, one of Joan’s favourites. After a few short stints in Bangkok and Vietnam, he moved back to Barcelona to work with Michelin-star-famed Carles Gaig, who introduced him to Barcelo International, a chain of luxury hotels in Spain and the Caribbean. It was during this time at Hotel Barcelo Raval that Joan began working closely with the Torres company, doing different grape pairing dinners around the world – Germany, Turkey, Bangkok and Sri Lanka. This eventually brought him to Bahrain to lead the project of restaurants for BMMI, including La Vinoteca Barcelona. “This is my fourth year in Bahrain and it has been an amazing experience in a country that I love,” says Joan. “Every restaurant needs to listen to their guests’ needs – they are the key to success. And this is what we did in Vinoteca; now we have a new space that’s much more intimate. It offers the same spirit and magic but with an upgrade – simple but tasty cuisine and affordable for everyone.” According to Joan, the new menu has the 48 January 2018

Joan Gomes

same principles as when it was first introduced – passion for ingredients, respect for guests and innovation. “We came up with a brilliant and simple idea of reducing the size of our tapas and their price, and to be more flexible by offering either a quick dinner or a gastronomic experience with a long set menu,” explains Joan. “We’ve also been working with our sister company, Alosra, to bring specific products that were previously really expensive but are now available to us at a more reasonable price. “To me, every meal, if cooked with soul, becomes an experience. This is the heart of our new offer – the team behind the cooking. Yes, I lead the kitchen, but I’ve had the pleasure of

working for four years with almost the same team, my sous chef Mohammed Hassan and junior sous chef Zablon Loy, among others. And when you have a good team, you have the building blocks of success.” Joan is extremely passionate about the ingredients he uses, most of which are sourced locally – 90 per cent of the fish comes from Bahrain as do many vegetables. “Some of the products we buy directly from Spain or Holland, and, when in season, we look for the best produce, such as white truffle from Italy or herbs from Provence, France,” he adds. Of Joan’s many signature dishes, there’s one worth mentioning that makes its appearance on the new menu – Polenta Crust Safi, served with homemade hollandaise sauce, local winter vegetables and black lemon salt. Joan draws inspiration from his ingredients and guests, and although he has worked with some outstanding chefs, his father, chef Juan Gomez Velasco, is his favourite. Of his food philosophy, he says: “Good ingredients sourced with passion, cooked and treated with respect, filtered with creativity and seasoned with team work.”


Akeel & Ameena

Zinab & Abdel Latif

Gala Dinner American Mission Hospital held its AMH Island Classic Gala Dinner at The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa. Ali, George Cheriyan & Julia

Maryam Al Muqla, Khamis Al Muqla, Abdul Wahab Al Hawaj & Faisal

Saskia, Shem, Katya & Gemma

Allison & Gerry

Abdul Wahab Al Hawaj & Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa

Jawad Christmas Market The Jawad Christmas Market took place at Jawad Dome in Barbar.

Santa Claus

Habib & Ammar

Judith & Ameena

Ameena, Kareem, Julia, Amelia & Faisal

Haseen, Deepti & Payaam

Adam, Riyaz & Layla

Adnan, Mohammed & Joury

January 2018 49


MY LIFE IN CARS DICK POTTER To buy new or buy used, that is the question.


s far as is practicably possible, I try to avoid the Sitra Causeway. I shall leave you to speculate why. At the ubiquitous standstill there recently, and actually noticing the profusion of car dealers there, got me thinking. Do residents in Bahrain generally buy new or used cars? It’s a conundrum that every car buyer has to face at some time or other. Given the demographics of Bahrain’s population – including its expatriate population – one might generally conclude ‘locals’ buy brandnew, expatriates buy used. Indeed, many buyers, including myself, have at times elected for both options. I remember a time in Bahrain when it was commonplace for expatriates to buy a new car prior to returning to their home country to save on associated import duty. This practice doesn’t seem so commonplace nowadays. Price aside, I find the new car smell intoxicating; being the first driver is also a pretty special experience. Of course, new cars spend less time in the workshop, and if your new set of wheels is in the workshop under warranty some dealers may offer a replacement car. A nearly-new used car could even afford some remaining portion of the newcar warranty. A used one, on the other hand, 50 January 2018

usually costs more to maintain and may spend more time in the workshop. Perhaps just a day here and there, more for bigger repairs, and it all accumulates. Opting for the used car option could mean inheriting someone else’s problems. It’s a roll of the dice really. However, whilst you’d be foolish not to do a bit of investigation to lessen the likelihood you’re buying a pile of scrap metal, you still cannot guarantee some issues won’t go undetected. No matter how well a car has been maintained, at around 30,000-plus miles it’s inevitable some bits and bobs are going to wear out. Consequently, maintenance and replacement costs will be higher for an older vehicle than a new one. Unlike depreciation, repairs and maintenance are hard costs that must be shelled out for as and when they arise – car dealers do well on spare parts generally! What about the legwork required to actually getting your hands on your vehicle? Once you’ve chosen it, or at least narrowed down the make you’re interested in, the new car search can simply be delegated to the salesperson. In the used car territory, the legwork is generally down to you. Granted, in a country with more than its fair share of transient expatriates, we are spoilt in terms of choice. However, it


involves trawling the Internet, countless phone calls and visits to multiple private sellers or driving from garage to garage to look at cars. These are just some of the delights awaiting your time and patience. For me, it makes more sense to buy a quality used car despite depreciation. Yes, a new car loses between 20 and 30 per cent of its value the moment it rolls out of the dealer’s parking lot. There’s also less mental trauma with a used car. No need to throw a fit when you see the first dent or chip in the bodywork or paint. Now, I do appreciate that, to some, depreciation is not important and it has little effect on that owner who keeps and drives his car until the wheels fall off. After more than a decade or two, that old banger won’t be worth much in terms of trade-in or resale value anyway. We’re probably all guilty of having had an emotional bond to a car at some stage or other of ownership. Safe to assume, such bond is possibly missing in our relationship with, say, the dishwasher or the vacuum cleaner. Yes, a car is a special purchase. It can convey status and provide pleasure, but will it make you any smarter, better looking or more interesting? Email



Motoring Enthusiasts Gain Brand Recognition

This international manufacturer has put regional brand clubs on the map.

52 January 2018

The official BMW Club Middle East Umbrella has globally recognised regional clubs, giving them a formal connection to the manufacturer as well as access to a wider network of peers around the world. The brand’s owners, drivers and enthusiasts in the Middle East will now be able to celebrate their passions with the formation of the new BMW Club Middle East Umbrella on the instructions of the BMW Clubs International Council. Supported by the BMW Club & Community Management (BCCM), the first clubs to come under the new Umbrella are the BMW M Club Bahrain, BMW Car Club Saudi Arabia, BMW Car Club UAE and BMW Motorrad Lebanon. They were formally recognised during a recent international council meeting held in Cape Town, South Africa. With the official recognition gained from being part of the Umbrella, more clubs will be able to join in. The international affiliations will allow members access to a wider network of peers, not to mention the opportunity to be linked with like-minded individuals who share their passion. “We are thrilled to see our extremely passionate regional clubs formally recognised by the BMW Club, and are really looking forward to seeing them flourish and grow thanks to the expanded network and support that this move will bring,” says Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa, BMW Clubs Middle East chairman and president of the BMW M Club Bahrain. The Middle East is the latest region in the world to be included on the official list of Umbrellas. This decision has come thanks to the acknowledgement

and support of local BMW distributors in the region, who had seen the high level of regional interest surrounding the brand. The move is a significant one that will bring together around 6,000 BMW enthusiasts across the region. The BMW Group With its three brands — BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce — the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the group operates 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries. In 2015, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.247 million cars and nearly 137,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2015 was approximately USD10.89 billion on revenues amounting to USD108.98 billion. As of December 31, 2015, the BMW Group had a workforce of 122,244 employees. The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. Euro Motors is the Kingdom’s BMW dealer. Call 17 750-750.


Making Itself Heard

A Worthy Winner

Renault Middle East has announced its sponsorship of The Voice Arabia and The Voice Kids. The season premiere of The Voice Kids aired on MBC in December 2017 and Season 4 of The Voice Arabia will go out in 2018. “The Voice is the region’s most popular TV show, and was the natural choice for us to make a bold statement in the Middle East and raise awareness of our growing brand with the show’s wide-ranging family audience,” says Renault Middle East managing director Marwan Haidamous. “With a completely renewed model line-up, including SUVs, electric vehicles, city cars and sedans, which have all been rigorously tested right here in the region to meet the needs of our Middle Eastern customers, Renault is stepping into the spotlight with this bold marketing campaign.”

The 2018 Hyundai Ioniq, the company’s innovative model that offers three electrified powertrains, earned the Women’s World Car of the Year Supreme Award – the top prize given by the all-female jury comprised of respected international automotive journalists. Jurors called Ioniq a “clear winner” among more than 400 initial contenders, and also awarded the vehicle the top honour in the competitive Green Car category. The Ioniq is the first eco-focused vehicle platform in the world to offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric models. Hyundai’s approach for the Ioniq line delivers an uncompromising design and driving experience coupled with the latest in safety and convenience technologies.

A New Line-up Euro Motors, the exclusive dealer and distributor for Jaguar Land Rover in the Kingdom, announced an incredible line-up of vehicles set to be launched in 2018. The first quarter of 2018 will see the debut of the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. Both were first revealed at the Design Museum in London in October 2017. Jaguar Land Rover’s pinnacle SUV has been subtly restyled and engineered to be a more refined and luxurious vehicle offering a modern ecological drive. The Range Rover Sport received a mild facelift along with numerous

upgrades and additions to its interior, making it the brand’s most dynamic luxury SUV yet. Spring 2018 will see the launch of Jaguar’s first compact SUV, the E-PACE. With its sculpted bonnet and muscular rear haunches, the E-PACE is a dynamic, agile SUV with the

lines of a coupé. Euro Motors Jaguar Land Rover will also be providing its customers with a five-year warranty, a free five-year service package and free road assistance services for five years for all its models.

Range Diversifies Porsche Middle East and Africa concluded 2017 with the most diverse model line-up in its history following a year of milestones which saw the announcement of several new Porsche sports cars. Arrivals included the new generation Panamera, including the fastest model in the series, the new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. The brand’s iconic 911 range saw new additions in the form of the 911 GTS range, 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series and 911 GT3. Dealerships across the region also opened up order books for several new models which are set to arrive in early 2018, including the highly anticipated third generation Cayenne, the record-breaking 911 GT2 RS, an all-new Panamera Sport Turismo, 718 GTS range as well as the refined 911 Carrera T. Commenting on the year’s developments, Deesch Papke, CEO at

Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE, says: “Our aim has never been to purely chase sales volumes, but rather, to continuously evolve our sports cars by ensuring that they fulfil our customers’ needs and desires. “June 2018 will mark the 70th anniversary of when the first Porsche sports car was approved for road use and we are looking forward to celebrating such an important milestone in our history.” January 2018 53


Upgraded Performance Subaru debuts the 2018 WRX STI with performance, comfort and safety upgrades. The restyled front fascia shows a sportier attitude, highlighted by a more aggressive front end with a larger lower grille opening. Both STI trims feature redesigned LED Steering Responsive Headlights and new roof rack mounting brackets. A comprehensive handling enhancement for the 2018 STI includes the revised suspension tuning as featured on the WRX, plus a revised DCCD AWD system, significantly upgraded brakes and this model’s first-ever 19-inch wheels. The DCCD system now uses electronic control for quicker and smoother response. The yellow-painted brake calipers identify a significantly upgraded Brembo Performance Brake System that now uses stronger monoblock 6-piston calipers in front, monoblock 2-piston calipers in the rear, and larger drilled rotors all around for better heat dissipation. New brake pads provide significantly greater surface area for improved braking feel and fade resistance. The STI also offers the Recaro seats (standard on STI Limited, optional for base trim). Powered by a 305hp 2.5-litre turbocharged BOXER engine, the WRX STI brings rally-bred performance technology to the road with Multi-

Mode Driver Controlled Centre Differential (DCCD) Symmetrical AllWheel Drive. Standard handling technologies include Active Torque Vectoring and Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control. As well as interior improvements, Subaru revised the front structure of the WRX STI for enhanced frontal collision performance. And the AVH feature replaces the Hill Holder and Hill Start Assist functions and offers greater functionality, holding the vehicle on all road grades.

A Middle East Debut MG Motor has launched its new MG RX5 compact SUV across the region. Revealed at this year’s Saudi International Motor Show in December, MG RX5 will go on sale in the Middle East this month. MG’s new ‘hero SUV’ is set to appeal to explorers across the Middle East. There will be a choice of two well-equipped trims, based on the two available powertrains. The MG RX5 boasts an attractive, futuristic design that is instantly recognisable, notably at the front where the stylish square LED headlamps, imposing wing-shaped grille and innovative foglamps endow it with real on-theroad presence. Sporty five-spoke, two-tone 18-inch rims combine with a sharp waistline that rises from front to rear. At the rear, a chrome plate stretches out to the dual tail lights. Inside the cabin is high grade-material, chrome edging and soft-touch material covering 80 per cent of the surfaces. A supersize, opening panoramic sunroof floods the interior with light, accentuating the best-in-

class space that it offers. Helped by the 2,700mm wheelbase, and total length of 4545mm, rear leg space (982mm) and head space (987mm) are significantly better than that offered by rivals. The flexible rear space incorporates adjustable, fold-flat seats with split/fold function, while there are multiple storage spaces throughout the cabin and a large boot area. Useful technology includes remote, onetouch opening of the rear hatch, keyless entry, a start button and an AutoHold function. A remote smart application allows the driver to operate vehicle functions such as remote start and stop air conditioning, vehicle tracking and aftersales appointments – it even reminds owners of the services needed for the car. And for a hi-tech generation, there is a 10.4-inch highdefinition infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Navigation on the 2.0T version and a 8-inch colour navigation system for 1.5T models. Power is derived from a choice of two turbocharged engines – 2.0T and 1.5T units,

which are mated to six and seven-speed transmissions respectively. Delivering maximum power of 221hp and torque of 350 Nm, the 2.0T engine can accelerate the MG RX5 from 0-100kmh in 8.2 seconds, while the efficient 1.5T powerplant returns top figures of 169hp and 250 Nm. A smart 4-wheel drive system with new generation electromagnetic torque management guarantees impressive offroad performance. The new vehicle also has a range of safety features, including standard ESP with traction control, a curving braking control system and MSR (Motor control Slide Retainer), all contribute to a safer journey.

Water Saver Nissan earned a top rating in the 2017 Global Water Report issued by CDP, marking the first time the company has made the report’s “A list” of businesses recognised for their water stewardship. The company also achieved a leadership-level ranking in CDP’s Climate Change Report for the fourth straight year. CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, ranks global businesses each year for their efforts to manage water use 54 January 2018

and cut CO2 emissions. Nissan was one of 74 companies on this year’s water “A list,” out of more than 2,000 that provided data to the project. Nissan is working to reduce and manage water use at all of its production facilities. The company deploys technology and promotes water-use reductions based on the local water situation at each plant and engages in supply-chain management for water.


TRUE-BLUE ITALIAN BEHNAZ SANJANA The Italian eatery that has ruled the bylanes of Adliya for many years has regained its former glory, thanks to the return of its original soul.


aolo Arca first arrived in Bahrain to work for a restaurant in the late ‘90s. He moved on to Saudi Arabia, but Bahrain drew him back, and he started the famed Oliveto, that wowed guests with honest Italian fare. Paolo headed back to Italy in 2014, but destiny has returned him to his much-loved Bahrain. “I am very happy to be back,” he says. “It feels great to be back at Oliveto and see all the familiar faces again.” Oliveto is not just a concept that Paolo has put into action. Over the years, he has breathed life into the establishment, making it a food entity to reckon with. The restaurant has seen many a difficult time, even being gutted by fire. But it has always bounced back stronger and ready to give guests a fantastic Italian gastronomic experience. Although it sports an upgraded look today, with a very contemporary-chic ambience, Paolo, with the help of executive chef Valter Piergiovanni, has ensured that the food retains its original charm. Paolo says: “Real Italian food is simple, not complicated like the food we find these days. It is minimalistic and must be respected in its true, original form.”

He thinks that Italian food is misunderstood by nouveau foodies today, and has lost its essence to the need for being ‘new and improved’. This is exactly the sentiment echoed by chef Valter, and together, they strive to serve people authentic cuisine in its original form. Chef Valter, who feels equally passionate about Italian food, says: “I have worked in 21 countries, and it’s very rare to find a restaurant like this.” He is intent on executing Paolo’s vision of serving Italian fare in its most elementary avatar. “When you want to serve fish, you have to make sure the fish is as fresh as can be. Then you don’t need to work hard to bring the true flavours to the table, instead of masking it with several different additions.” Paolo adds: “No dried or preserved foodstuff is used here. We even grow our own basil to give our dishes the original taste.” The restaurant is credited with introducing Bahrain’s dining enthusiasts to the Italian flavour profile, with porcini mushrooms, Sardinian caviar and burrata cheese, sourced from the finest farms in Italy. “Nowadays they are commonly imported, but it’s all about how you treat these ingredients. If you try a fusion of flavours, the


hero ingredient is killed,” states chef Valter. Like all Italians, the pair are fiercely zealous about their pizza. Paolo says: “Pizza is supposed to be light, and easy to digest, a favourite for adults and kids. But the dough needs to be made right, for it to not sit in your stomach a whole day after it’s eaten!” Chef Valter rues the Americanisation of Italian trademarks, saying: “Our food is not meant to be burdened with butter, garlic and eggs, and topped with processed cheese. For instance, true Alfredo is simply tagliatelle tossed with good quality butter and parmesan – two elements for an outstanding dish.” Oliveto is ready to impress its patrons with a new winter menu. Chef Valter is excited for diners to try the Fiorentina, a gorgeous Tuscan-style steak with tomatoes, onions and roast potatoes. Old signatures however, like the salt-crusted hammour, will be a permanent star. “Our guests complain when they don’t find it on the menu,” he says. Adding his own personal touch by hobnobbing with his guests every evening, it is plain to see that Paolo brings a palpably positive vibe and energy to the restaurant, something that guests look forward to as much as they do Oliveto’s true Italian flavours. January 2018 55


A Kitchen for Kings There are individual pages dedicated only to mutton, chicken, seafood and vegetarian kebabs respectively, saying a lot about the kitchen’s versatility. For mains, the Red Snapper Delight arrived first. In a verdant sauce sat a large chunk of the fish, its charred edges luring us to quickly dig in. The mildly sweet flesh was offset by the slightly bitter spinach and fenugreek sauce. The garnish of crispy fried greens added a different textural element to the dish. A clever deviation from the fiery red Murgh Makhani was the Hariyali Murgh Makahani – a moss green curry with a green tomato base. This is one of chef Kuldeep’s innovations that is a fine balancing act between sour, spicy and sweet and had us mopping up the creamy gravy on our plates with plump naan. The Dum Aloo Bhojpuri – potato and cottage cheese boats in a thick orange-brown gravy – is at once sweet with the raisins and piquant with the slivers of ginger and Indian spices. It makes for a genial vegetarian accompaniment. This restaurant in the commercial quarter of the island is a cornucopia of rich Indian flavours, much to Behnaz Sanjana’s hearty delight.

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Located at the Ramee Grand Hotel and Spa in Seef, Rasoi is the Indian Maharaja residing on the hotel’s second floor. It’s a bright, spacious setting aptly accentuated with gold motifs, giving the space a touch of subtle splendour. Live music in the evening hours contributes to the royal feel of the restaurant. What I found most impressive was the extensive repertoire of delicacies from the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent. A quick chat with chef-incharge Kuldeep Ratoori, who comes backed with experience from working with some of the best names in the Indian food business in Dubai, explains it. Papadums work unobtrusively to distract hungry diners from the heavenly aromas floating about, and hardly warrant a mention. But the crunchy crisps at Rasoi were elevated to a whole new level accompanied by spicy green mint, sweet orangehued pineapple and tangy deep brown tamarind chutneys. These homemade relishes are a fitting prelude to the myriad flavours to come. For appetiser, Chef Kuldeep suggested the Frontier Mix Grill - an assortment of mouthwatering kebabs presented on a slate-grey stone platter – ubiquitously Indian, but presented in a cool, contemporary way. My favourites were the Tandoori Mutton Chop – a perfectly cooked rack of goat meat infused with Indian spices, and the Malai Jhinga – prawns in a creamy ivory masala that retained the fresh flavour of the ocean. The Murgh Malai Tikka did not disappoint, neither did the chicken and corn Seekh Kababs. Flipping through Rasoi’s menu, guests will appreciate the generous curation of vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare, breads, rice dishes and desserts.

Rasoi’s Kacche Gosht ki Biryani was the highlight of our meal. The meat is marinated in yogurt and spices for 24 hours and then cooked along with superior basmati rice. This marination and the long hours of cooking over gentle heat is the secret behind the perfectly cooked, tender mutton and long grains of rice, transporting the taste buds straight into culinary heaven. Even after gorging on so much delicious food, I did not feel like a sitting block of lead. The food was not overdone with fat and spices, something that is easy to do with this particular cuisine. I jumped to the idea of sampling the Malai Kulfi that came highly recommended from among the many other tempting treats for dessert. The dense, creamy texture of this essentially Indian ice cream was not overtly sweet, perfect when eaten with the accompanying rose syrup and golden falooda (thick, homemade vermicelli). With its wholesome flavours and conveniently central location in Seef, Rasoi has just the right ambience in which to catch a quick working lunch or to entertain business associates. Sharing a meal with loved ones here is a great way to celebrate special occasions. Call 17 111-999.


Dine in Style A favourite haunt of many, this restaurant, located in the heart of Adliya, boasts culinary delights to satisfy even the most discerning guests. Spanning across three floors, The Foundry is a multistoreyed venue, featuring an exclusive, cosy bar, a stylish dining room and an urban chic roof terrace with its own separate kitchen, facilities, menu and bar. The funky rooftop terrace is ideal for al fresco dining, making it a perfect spot for enjoying the cool weather in a sophisticated setting. The eatery hosts a Friday roof terrace brunch, which offers a special menu and cool tunes. With a new smoker and a specially designed barbecue menu, this is one brunch not to be missed. It is served from noon to 3pm, priced at BD21++ with a beverage package for BD10++. Guests can also stay after the brunch and enjoy drinks at the bar. Check out the restaurant’s Instagram account (thefoundrybh) for regular updates on upcoming events and parties.

The venue also hosts regular Wednesday theme nights, which have become wildly popular, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Advance reservation is recommended. The Foundry is taking part in the Shop Bahrain Festival, so head down to savour the specially priced tasting menu and enter the raffle for a chance to win a car! You can now order deliveries through the Wasel app straight to your doorstep, from the comfort of your home or office, and enjoy your

favourite Foundry dishes. Any of The Foundry floors can be booked for corporate or private events and, occasionally, the entire venue can also be hired out for large parties. The restaurant has great experience in throwing intimate cocktail or dinner parties as well as huge events. Contact the reception for a selection of menus and price lists. Call 69 960-000 or follow Instagram @ thefoundrybh.

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A Turkish Escapade This hotel takes you to the world of the Ottomans for an evening full of rich Turkish tradition. The ever-popular Turkish Festival continues in January 2018, promising visitors a peek into traditional Turkish culture. The event, which takes place at the Mercure Grand Hotel Seef, will include folk performances, delicious culinary delights and much more. Touted to be one of the most distinctive in the world, Turkish culture has had an impact on life from China to Vienna and from the realms of Russia to North Africa for many centuries. The 6th Turkish festival — that runs from January 19-25 — is staged at Neyran, Mercure Grand Hotel Seef’s signature restaurant. Guests and visitors can partake in Turkish festivities from 8pm until midnight. Neyran is the perfect platform for the festival, with its charmingly rustic décor that lends it the feel of an idyllic bistro somewhere in the heart of the Mediterranean. The hotel invites patrons to discover the allure of Turkey, its vivid ethnicity, great history, heritage and hospitality through this dazzling festival. There will be a wide array of dishes prepared by well-known chefs specially flown in from Istanbul. Guests can look forward to a fusion of central Asian, Caucasian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisine. To keep guests entertained, the festival features various live shows as well as programmes of art and music performed by Turkish artists. “I urge members of the community to grab this opportunity and discover the various regions of Turkey without leaving Bahrain,” says Ahmed Hishma, director of sales and marketing at Mercure Seef. Run by French multinational corporation Accor Hotels, Mercure Hotels stands by the slogan ‘In Harmony with People and Places’. The Mercure Grand Hotel Seef is an all-suite hotel ideally located in the Seef district, the heart of Manama and the business and shopping centre of the Kingdom, ideal for business and leisure travellers alike.

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Vegans Rejoice! Enjoy mind-blowing dishes as this popular restaurant adds delectable new options to its already sensational menu. Maki is renowned for producing some of the best contemporary Japanese cuisine on the island. With its latest menu additions, boasting innovative dishes such as Tartufo Freekeh, Vegan Crispy Salad, Edamame Yuzu Ponzu and Spinach Pomegranate Salad, you are bound to come back for more. Whether you’re a vegan, or not, get your palates ready to enjoy these new creations that are just as healthy as the existing ones on the menu. Founded in Kuwait, in the early 2000s, Maki quickly became a restaurant-goer’s dream choice for its varied and imaginative dishes, including Yara Maki, Fusion Temaki and Filo Shrimp Tempura. “In our efforts to cater to different segments of the market, we have recently added some new vegan-inspired dishes which we guarantee will be loved by non-vegan

eaters,” says Amer Zeitoun, co-founder and nutrition expert. A must-try is the Vegan Crispy Salad, a combination of fresh rocket leaves, assorted lettuce, carrots, pink pepper, rice pearl, avocado, crispy harusame, sweet potato, cassava, beetroot and exotic cress, with Maki’s special sauce. The Tartufo Freekeh exemplifies Maki’s notion of contemporary JapaneseMediterranean cuisine. Accompanied with Himeji and shitake mushrooms, truffles, shiso cress, saffron aioli sauce and black truffle oil, this traditional Middle Eastern ingredient has surely taken many diners back in time to their mothers’ comfort food. Drizzled with a peanutsesame dressing, the Spinach Pomegranate Salad has quickly become a guest favourite. Expect more new dishes in the New Year that are destined to make you return to this culinary haven. Call 17 522-733, 36 999-102 or email

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Italian Kitchen Adventures This popular annual cooking contest makes its return this month.

60 January 2018

Set in the heart of the bustling district of Juffair, Cucina Italiana has been a firm favourite for its warm atmosphere and authentic Italian cuisine, with woodoven pizza, since it launched in 2011. Renowned for its fresh ingredients and homemade pastas, the eatery conducts regular cooking classes and demonstrations and it’s about to launch season five of its popular annual cooking competition – Cucina Italiana Master Chef – which sees participants battling it out over several weeks for the coveted black apron. The first heat gets under way on January 14, with six elimination rounds running over Sundays and Tuesdays for the following weeks. In the first round, 36 contestants will compete against each other with two being chosen from each heat to go through to round two – the semi-final – taking place over two evenings, February 4 and 6. From this challenge, four will be chosen to go through to the final and battle for the chance to be crowned Italian Master Chef 2018. Ingredients will be provided by the restaurant and, throughout the competition, the executive chef and two sous chefs will be on hand to assist and observe. To take home the prize, contestants will need to impress the expert judges with dishes being scored on: Taste and texture – does the dish make you want more? Presentation – does it have that wow factor that would make it suitable as a restaurant dish? Authenticity – is it Italian using Italian cooking methods? And balance and portioning – is the serving the right size for one person and are the

ingredients and taste balanced? No written instructions are allowed at all, so competitors have to know their recipes from memory. They will also be quizzed on their dishes and the answers may influence the scoring. A spokesman says: “This will definitely be a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of the contestants. Hurry up and register for the fifth season of Italian Master Chef for a chance to become the next grand winner! Don’t forget all contestants will benefit from gaining a certificate and gifts.” Entry is BD10 and registration is now open. For more details regarding the competition email manager@ or check out social media on Facebook: Cucina Italiana Bahrain, Instagram: CucinaItalianaBahrain and Twitter CucinaBahrain. Call 17 111-999.


Delivering the Best in Class This establishment strives to offer high-class hospitality to its loyal patrons. Atiram Premier Hotel aims to give clients unmatched food and beverage experiences in an elegant atmosphere. The hotel prides itself on the courteous service provided with utmost dedication to all guests, along with a sense of warmth, friendliness and fun in the Atiram Premier way. The professional chefs have taken special care in creating menus and buffet spreads for the hotel’s dining outlets. The culinary team has mastered popular cuisines such as Chinese, Italian, continental, Middle Eastern, Thai and Indian, ensuring clients repeatedly return for the delicious food. Level-5, the all-day diner, will leave you spoilt for choice between lipsmacking continental or Middle Eastern fare – from appetisers to desserts. For a nutritious and filling breakfast, pick from a platter of steak and eggs or French toast. You can also opt for a lighter breakfast to start the day on a healthy note. End the evening with the midnight buffet, prepared with the best ingredients. Breakfast is laid out between 6.30am and 10.30am and is priced at BD4.500. The Express Lunch Buffet from noon to 3pm costs BD4.500 with one soft beverage or BD5 with one drink. The lavish midnight buffet costs BD10. Night birds in Bahrain flock to the hotel’s Club Cavallo, Coda Jazz Lounge and Wembley Sports Bar which cater to elite residents and leisure travellers alike. Besides this, the Marhaba banquet hall has the perfect ambience for your social gatherings, birthday parties, wedding

and engagement ceremonies, product launches or corporate meetings. Options for food, décor and modern banqueting facilities are available to suit your preferences and budget. Arrangements for sound and light, audio-video systems, DJ and MC, a photographer, videographer and magician can be provided to make your party a grand success. Call 17 811-811.

Sabine & Miro

Anniversary Party Atiram Premier Hotel held a party to celebrate Coda Jazz Lounge’s first anniversary.

The cake-cutting ceremony

Said, Damian & Don

Annu, Dihann & Prakash

Jelena & Nuria

Rose & Isabella

Julia & Louise

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Haute Dining Plums, The Ritz-Carlton Baharin

Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain This award-winning property offers luxurious dining to the jet-set, thanks to its proximity to the airport. It truly reflects Bahrain’s cosmopolitan and rich lifestyle with its culinary offerings. Silk’s restaurant offers various theme nights on different days of the week, which warrant a try – after all, variety is the spice of life. Sheraton Bahrain Hotel This hotel, a landmark of Manama, is the first choice of royal dignitaries and Bahrain’s business community. Savour the authentic flavours of China at Soie with friends, family and colleagues in a charming Oriental ambience. If you fancy the delicate flavours of Persia, head to Golestan for a fine fusion of contemporary and classic elements.

With the start of the new year BTM highlights the best gastronomic spots around town for you to celebrate life in the company of great food and a feel-good atmosphere. They’re places you must try this year. Crisp table linen, stewards in smart attire and shining silverware is what the mind conjures up with the term ‘fine dining’. The food and beverage industry has evolved since the classical era, and Bahrain is a hotbed of luxury gastronomy native to various corners of Earth. Here’s a round-up of some of the best venues that deserve our mention. Gulf Hotel Bahrain Bahrain’s indigenous five-star brand is as up there alongside the multinational hotel chains of the world, especially when it comes to fine dining options. Royal Thai restaurant is fit for discerning customers who know the finer points of Thai cuisine. A variety of modern and traditional favourites are on the menu, to be enjoyed in elegant Asian décor. Sato is the place to savour authentic Japanese delicacies, while La Pergola caters to a quintessentially Italian palate. Rasoi by Vineet is the only venue in Bahrain where you can sample the ingenious creations of Michelin-starred chef Vineet Bhatia, where the Indian fare is innovative, modern and, most importantly, outstanding. Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay The iconic structure is home to dining outlets 62 January 2018

par excellence. Celebrated chef Wolfgang Puck’s CUT by Wolfgang Puck is touted to serve some of the most sought-after steaks in the Kingdom, and re Asian dazzles diners with the chef’s modern take on ancient Asian cuisine. Vento is a mélange of authentic Italian flavours, fantastically mixed beverages and the best Arabic shisha in town. The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain This five-star heavyweight has been on the island for a while now and is a hot favourite when one is seeking to dine at the very best. From Mediterranean specialities to innovative Indian and Mexican cuisine, this hotel has it all. Plums is a must-try for succulent steaks that draw the sophisticated crowds in, and Primavera is known for delectable Italian. Cantina Kahlo’s characteristic Mexican food and interiors stand in stark contrast to La Med’s understated elegance. Take your pick!

Downtown Rotana This hotel has two outlets that’ll take you far away from the hubbub of Manama, even though you’re at the centre of it all. Teatro Downtown beckons with its open kitchen serving up Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Italian bites. It claims to be the city centre’s hottest destination to be seen at, and has a sushi bar, pizza oven and two tandoors to show off its versatility. The other hotspot is the rooftop Alto Lounge and Restaurant, offering panoramic views of the capital while you enjoy delicious Middle Eastern fare. Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa This towering property has two noteworthy pockets of culinary genius within its sophisticated confines. Ruka gives diners stunning views of Seef from the 24th floor. The menu features the best tastes of Japan – sushi, robata, teppanyaki and ramen in an ambience designed to impress. Rasoi greets you with

The Orangery, Tea Room & Patisserie

hearty aromas of Indian food. The food is enriched with exotic spices that impart flavours fit for royalty. The Domain Hotel and Spa Located in the Diplomatic Area, the hotel’s Le Sauvage takes the fine dining cake, along with Imari, the sleek Japanese venue. While the former is known for its cured meats and mouthwatering steaks, Imari usually has a range of promotions to tickle the Japanese food fan’s taste buds. InterContinental Regency Bahrain Legendz Steakhouse shares its passion for prime cuts, fine grape and warm service, while it’s at Medzo that you can taste Italian fare that speaks the language of today’s urbanite. The dining room is a sophisticated one, lending the right dose of cheer for entertaining and being entertained. Al Areen Palace and Spa Keizo is a veritable dining paradise, especially

Keizo, Al Areen Palace & Spa

La Vinoteca Barcelona Located in hip Adliya, this upscale restaurant is the only all-Spanish eatery on the island, known for its robust flavours that result from using top-quality ingredients, a stylish outdoor seating area and family-friendly entertainment. If you crave something out of the ordinary, opt for the degustation menu for the real taste of Spain, or start the night right with small plates of tapas.

Anglo-Dutch dishes. Open for breakfast right up to a late dinner, the sumptuous flavours will ensure you’ll be returning for more, time and again. The Orangery, Tea Room and Patisserie This quintessentially European venue at Palace Hotel is especially known for its delicate hightea and patisserie offerings, but does a mean lunch and dinner as well. Its surroundings are as much appreciated as the food it serves. Cake lovers (aren’t we all?) will be on cloud nine just looking at the sheer variety of baked treats available. Monsoon Step into the tranquil environment of this Balinese palace in Adliya,to enjoy the true flavours of Far Eastern cuisine. The varied choice of food and the characteristic ambience makes it stand out from the crowd of other finedining spots in the area.

Royal Thai, Gulf Hotel Bahrain

when the weather is balmy. Seat yourself at the man-made island for an uber romantic evening, highlighted with fine Asian gastronomy from the kitchen. The staff are thoughtful enough to go the extra mile and decorate your table with candles and flowers, if you so wish. A perfect 10 for special occasions. Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa This ultra-luxury hotel perched on the pristine beaches of Zallaq boasts a bundle of extravagant dining options. Pashawat lures you with a Middle Eastern spread, replete with an exciting ambience and live entertainment. Lovers of seafood should head to La Mer, where they can watch their selection of fish being prepared live. Dine out at the venue’s jetty with breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf.

Café Amsterdam This one fits the bill no matter what your mood, with its bright interiors and tasty

Maki Bahrain The swish set head to Maki at the Bahrain World Trade Centre for exciting flavours, textures and aromas that Japanese food affords. This restaurant is a must-visit for tastes that transcend cultural boundaries, enthralling diners with innovative Japanese cuisine.

Soie, Sheraton Bahrain Hotel

January 2018 63


WORLD SUSHI CHAMP IN BAHRAIN Chef Pepi will wow guests at The Gulf Hotel Bahrain’s awardwinning Japanese restaurant, Sato, from January 22-26. Originally from Macedonia, but now based in Denmark, Chef Pepi has received many awards and is the winner of the prestigious World Sushi Cup 2013 in Tokyo. He studied classic Japanese sushi education in Chiba, Japan, and is accredited as a Sushi Head Chef by AJSA (All Japan Sushi Association) and the World Sushi Skills Institute. What he aims to bring to the table is a solid understanding of cultural differences, a strong track record of working cross-functionally and understanding of the whole value chain from raw product to the customer’s plate. Call 17 713-000.

THE RETURN OF THE CHOCOHOLIC Sheraton Bahrain Hotel’s Al Safir restaurant will see the comeback of the popular Chocoholic Friday Brunch from January 5 onwards. The great news is that guests can benefit from the Buy 1 Get 1 offer on this sweet extravaganza. The brunch offers live cooking counters, seafood items, cold cuts, international main courses, as well as an extravagant selection of desserts. A crepe station and loads of chocolate awaits you every Friday from 1pm-4pm, with live entertainment. The deal costs BD34 inclusive of unlimited selected beverages, or BD28 inclusive of soft drinks. The price for children is BD10 and kids below four years eat for free. Call 17 533 533.

When? Every day in January Event? Tacos Festival Venue? Margarita Mexicana, Gulf Hotel Bahrain Featuring the live Taco cart, offering five different taco flavours to choose from with exclusive beverages accompanied by live entertainment. E Call 17 713-000. When? Every day Event? The Blue Hour Venue? Blue Moon Lounge, Four Seasons Hotel Signature cocktails and bites at BD3 from 6pm-8pm on weekdays and 4.30pm-8pm on Friday and Saturday. E Call 17 115-000. When? Sunday to Thursday Event? Grab & Go Offer Venue? City Lobby Lounge, Downtown Rotana Select your favourite freshly homemade sandwiches, salads, quiche and more from 7am-4 pm. E Call 1311 9999. When? Every Tuesday Event? Kababna


Venue? Silk’s restaurant

Silk’s restaurant and the Outdoor Terrace at the Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain will serve Swiss fondue every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday from 7pm onwards. Celebrate the classic Gruyere cheese fondue with a selection of breads and dipables as you tuck into the heavenly cheesy sensation. A wide selection of authentic, freshly prepared cheese fondue specials is also offered. There’s even a chocolate fondue to finish off the meal. Prices start at BD12++ for two people and a set menu is available upon request. Call 17 460-017.

with your choice of 16 different marinades at BD18 from 7pm-11pm. E Call 17 460-017. When? Every Thursday Event? From the Heart Of The Ocean Seafood Night Venue? La Mosaique Restaurant, The Crowne Plaza Bahrain A lavish bounty from the sea


available at the seafood buffet

Bahrain Bay Kitchen at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay will stage the International Friday Winter Brunch every Friday up to February 9, from 12.30pm-3.30pm. This lavish culinary offering features five unique food stations serving Arabic, Western, Indian, Japanese and Chinese delicacies. Guests can savour winter-inspired dishes made with seasonal ingredients, such as stews, barbeques, roasted chestnuts, fondue, raclette and more. Diners receive a special chestnut giveaway after their meal. Shisha is also available on the restaurant terrace during brunch hours. The brunch is priced at BD25++ inclusive of non-alcoholic beverages, or BD35++ inclusive of alcoholic beverages. Call 17 115-500. 64 January 2018

Bite into succulent grilled kebabs

night, 7pm onwards. E Call 1753 1122. When? Every Friday, January 5-26 Event? Bonfire and Barbeque Venue? Saffron, Al Areen Palace and Spa Enjoy bonfire and barbeque with a movie screening from 7pm-11pm featuring unlimited grills for BD12++. E Call 17 845-000.



When? Saturday-Thursday

As part of the National Day celebrations in December, Saar Mall saw the official opening of the dip n dip branch on its premises. Owned by Mesaed Al Madi, the brand is a chain of outlets offering various sweet and chocolatey treats on iys menu, such as delicious crepes, waffles, hot coffee and cold drinks. The opening ceremony was attended by famous personalities including Taffash, Jassom and Umm Hilal along with chairman of the board, Hassan Bokhowa. Visit

Event? Business Lunch Venue? Waves Seafood Restaurant, The Crowne Plaza Bahrain Three course lunch from noon4pm, for BD8 per person. E Call 1753 1122. When? January 1-31 Event? High Tea


Venue? Cappuccino, The Crowne Plaza

Enjoy a Pirates of the Caribbean-themed brunch at Crowne Plaza Bahrain’s La Mosaique and The Harvesters Pub & Terrace on January 26 from 12.30pm-4pm. This swashbuckling, fun party has an array of unique dishes from various cuisines and costs BD31 for adults and BD8.750 for kids aged 7-12 years. La Mosaique offers free pool access for the family and Harvesters will have an after-brunch party at the terrace with a live DJ playing the coolest party music. Call 17 531-122.

Enjoy a three-tier high tea set

Bahrain consisting of savoury bites and a delightful selection of mini cakes, pastries, scones and teas between 3pm-6pm. E Call 1753 1122. When? January 9-31 Event? Szechuan Promotion


Venue? China Garden, Gulf Hotel Bahrain

Teatro, the award-winning restaurant at the Downtown Rotana, has an amazing deal for early diners. Stop by for dinner from 6pm-8pm daily, except Tuesdays, and get 25 per cent off your food bill when you order from the à la carte menu. Grab this offer to savour delicious fare at one of the hottest dining destinations in central Manama. Free parking is available. Teatro is closed on Sundays. Call 13 119-999.

Headed by Master Chef Ding, Bahrain’s award-winning Chinese restaurant brings you an exotic array of Szechuan spicy flavours. E Call 17 713-000. When? January 10-30 Event? Seabass Promotion Venue? Sato, Gulf Hotel Bahrain

SOUTHERN DELIGHTS Texas Roadhouse, the popular award-winning American steakhouse chain, officially opened its doors to steak lovers at The Avenues – Bahrain. The menu features a wide selection of appetisers, fresh salads and soups, and signature ‘fall-off-the-bone’ beef ribs. Don’t miss the most flavourful bone-in ribeye steak, steak kebab and beef brisket along with delicious attractions like fried pickles, mashed potatoes and combo appetisers. Texas Roadhouse desserts are delicious too — the Big ol’ Brownie and Pistachio Caramel Crunch will make you want more. Visit Facebook page TexasRoadhouseME.

DELECTABLY TIMELESS Plums, at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain, is a popular eatery known for its vibrant décor, prime steaks and fresh seafood offerings. The inviting steakhouse restaurant has a special treat in store for connoisseurs of classical French fare. From January 15-February 15, a special French Parisian classic menu will be available to choose from, featuring time-honoured and tested dishes that never fail to leave you in culinary heaven. Prices start at BD6 and go up to BD30. Opening hours are between 7pm-11.30pm. Call 17 580-000. 66 January 2018

Savour the taste of this healthy delicacy in true Japanese style. E Call 17 713-000. When? January 15-February 15 Event? French Parisian classic menu Venue? Plums, The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain E Call 17 580-000. When? January 19 – February 5 Event? Rasoi 3rd Year Anniversary Venue? Rasoi By Vineet, Gulf Hotel Bahrain The restaurant will be hosting an exclusive Rasoi anniversary package E Call 17 713-000. When? January 22-26 Event? Chocoholic Friday Brunch Venue Al Safir, Sheraton Bahrain Hotel E Call 17 533 533.


Playsy Opening City Centre Bahrain inaugurated the dual reality experience kids area, Playsy, at its premises. Yana, Shaikha Hessa Al Khalifa, Sama & Shaikha Naila Al Khalifa

Mohammed & Vickie Yateem

Gerhand & Errika

Salwa Yateem, Nada & Laila

Yana & Sama

Hana & Ameera

Nicholas & Jasmine

Joy, Mary, Mae, Claire & Alberta

January 2018 67

gadgets BTM brings you the latest gadgets to push your technological buttons.

Golf Ball Finder Glasses These nifty glasses are not only stylish, but will also help you save time and money when searching for lost golf balls on the course. Designed specifically to filter out foliage and grass, the tinted lenses make the golf balls shine brightly so they’re easy to find, and they even fit over most prescription eyewear. Available at www.red5.

Cable Clips

Wireless Dashboard Phone Mount Save yourself the hassle of worrying about charging your phone with iOttie’s Wireless Dashboard Mount. It’s easy to use, stable, and customisable. With this gadget, you can not only more safely use Bluetooth for music or phone calls, but also experience the magic of wireless fast charging, which is up to 40 per cent faster than conventional charging. Available at

If you need help organising the many cables scattered across your desk, then Cable Clips are the gadgets for you. Small, eco-friendly, long lasting, and good for all surfaces, they will revolutionise the way you organise your space and help you lead a clutter-free life. Available at

LifeStraw An award-winning invention that can filter up to 1,000 litres of contaminated water without iodine, chlorine, or other chemicals. It’s a must-have for hiking trips, camping or any kind of travel, and requires no batteries. It’s so simple to use, and could be potentially lifesaving in the event of an emergency. Available at

PopSockets PopSockets are a must-have for any habitual phone user. It’s a small accessory that attaches to your phone and pops out, enabling you to use it for improved grip, as a phone stand or even to wrap your headphone cords around. They come in so many different styles and colours that you can pick one that suits you perfectly. Available at 68 January 2018

Mr Coffee Mug Warmer One of the great disappointments in life is making a cup of tea or coffee, forgetting about it, and returning to find it cold. Fear no more, because with the Mr Coffee Mug Warmer, you can keep your hot beverages at the perfect temperature to enjoy at home or work. It’s so portable and easy to use that you can take it almost anywhere. Available at

Squirrel Tea Infuser This handy little helper is a great fun gift for yourself or a loved one, bringing the gift of perfectly infused tea and cuteness to anyone who needs it. It fits on any cup, and is made from soft silicone which is both food safe and highly durable, meaning you can enjoy as much tea as your heart desires. Available at

GDealer Digital Thermometer The digital thermometer is exactly what you need to make all your delicious festive treats. It’s suitable for use with meats, liquids, sweets, barbecue and even to check milk or bathwater temperature. Easy to store and with a long-lasting battery life, this is a must-have in your home. Available at

LuMee Phone Case Everyone loves a good selfie, but finding the perfect lighting when you’re out and about can be a pain in the neck. Thankfully, with the LuMee phone case, your ideal lighting is right there in your pocket. The rubberised edges not only allow for easy removal, but also provide drop protection and a comfortable grip for your phone. Available at

January 2018 69


U2 – Songs of Experience What’s the story?

Songs of Experience is the fourteenth studio album by Irish rock band U2. The album is intended to be a companion piece to U2’s previous record, Songs of Innocence (2014). Whereas its predecessor explored the group members’ adolescence in Ireland in the 1970s, Songs of Experience thematically is a collection of letters written by lead vocalist Bono to people and places closest to his heart. The personal nature of the lyrics reflects a “brush with mortality” that he had during the album’s recording.

Worth a listen?

Years in the making, U2’s 14th studio album finds the band straining to reassert its relevance in a world where rock music has long since ceded its vanguard status. These are brazen attempts to capture relevance, even by U2’s standards. Their combined effect is dire: Songs of Experience is the shameless effort of four men in their late 50s to muster a contemporary, youthful sound. Of course, the band’s aspirations toward relevance are tempered by a competing pursuit: here they strive, as usual, to guarantee longevity. They want to seem in touch; they also want to canonise another classic. This, one presumes, accounts for the inclusion of more familiar-sounding U2 barn-burners such as Love Is Bigger Than Anything in its Way, which sounds almost exactly like one expects a U2 song with that title would, and lead single You’re the Best Thing About Me, which has already failed to take hold of the popular imagination.

Verdict: A poor album from the past-it veterans.


Chris Thile – Thanks for Listening


Thanks for Listening puts a premium on songs over chops, not that there’s any lack of instrumental proficiency here. An atmospheric track like Feedback Loop, for instance, uses a slow tempo, keyboards, and echo along with acoustic instruments. After setting an intentionally lethargic tone, lyrics get at our ability to filter unwelcome opinions on social media and elsewhere. Later, the poppier Falsetto grapples with the constant derision, real and imagined, from a postelection Donald Trump, including what he might have to say about an activist musician. Other songs address fatherhood, family gatherings, and friendship in the context of the time’s technology and politics.

Arriving with plenty of laid-back swagger and street-smart lyricism, indie rock outfit QTY offer up their debut. The melodies are generally strong and straightforward; it’s a classic sound, for sure, but what they lack in innovation, QTY make up for in tight songcraft and the strangely magnetic allure of their low-key style of rock. QTY sound most comfortable delivering tuneful guitar pop nuggets like the excellent Sad Poetic and the understated New Beginnings.

70 January 2018

Brian Eno and Tom Rogerson – Finding Shore Finding Shore seems to find magic in everyday objects and scenes. The pieces have scenic titles like Idea of Order at Kyson Point and Marsh Chorus, and they all serve as simple yet surreal sound paintings, exploring minimal melodies and atmospheric elements. Early highlight Motion in Field features gorgeous piano melodies floating over a current of soft rhythmic glitches. Red Slip seems to reprise this idea, but at a much faster tempo, and with more spacious melodies.


Games Review Game: Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Rating:

What is it?

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds is the first major expansion for one of the best games of the year. The Frozen Wilds expands on Horizon: Zero Dawn with new storylines, characters, machines and experiences in a beautiful but unforgiving new area. Beyond the northern mountains, the borderlands of the Banuk tribe challenge all who dare enter to survive the extremes. But now this frozen wilderness harbours a new threat, and for Aloy, a new mystery – one she’s determined to solve.



A thrilling expansion to an already fantastic game. as you try to take them down before the machines tear you apart.

This major expansion is a wonderfully challenging 15-hour adventure that’s peppered with creative side quests, a thoughtful story and the best battles Aloy’s seen to date. To make fights more frantic, The Frozen Wilds also introduces Control Towers, which are spindly, tentacle-like machines that blast out a purple pulse of energy that lowers your shield resistance and heals hostile machines in the vicinity. Overriding or destroying these towers takes concentration and time, resulting in nail-biting tension

The Sims 4

The Sims 4 combines revolutionary Sims with powerful creative tools and all-new emotion-based gameplay, to reinvent The Sims experience. Built on the foundation of brand-new technologies that Maxis calls SmartSim, The Sims 4 is the most intelligent, relatable and personal life simulation ever. For the first time, player choice shapes not just a single moment, but the entire life journey of the Sims.


The Frozen Wild’s far-north terrain is dauntingly beautiful. Its snowblanketed mountains, ravines and fields are peppered with sparkling lakes and framed by gorgeous blue-red sunsets. It may sound like a small thing, but considering how much time you’ll spend in it if you play to the end, it’s important that the Frozen Wild’s snow feels crunchy and real.

L.A. Noire Remastered

Set amid the violence and corruption of post-World War II Los Angeles, L.A. Noire is a crime thriller that seamlessly blends crime-solving, clue-finding, car chases and shoot-outs with revolutionary new interrogation-based gameplay that will allow players to read characters’ emotions in order to reveal the truth. Players will take on the role of Cole Phelps, a decorated war veteran, who rises through the ranks of the LAPD by solving a series of gruesome murders and other crimes that bring him face-to-face with the dark heart of Los Angeles during Hollywood’s Golden Age.


In DOOM VFR, the demons from Hell have wiped out everyone inside the UAC’s Martian research facility – except you. As the lastknown human survivor, you have to restore operational stability and stop the demonic invasion. Along with all kinds classic DOOM weaponry, you’ll be armed with the ability to Teleport and Jet-Strafe so you can move fast in combat and quickly close the distance between you and the demons, then blow them to bloody bits with your Tele-frag ability. January 2018 71

websites VERDICT: A riveting online encyclopedia.

La Vinoteca Barcelona Chef Juan invited guests to experience the new La Vinoteca Barcelona in Adliya. Chef Juan, Zainab & Mohammed

Site: Rating: What is it?

If you want to learn something useful about history or technology without feeling like you are in a classroom, this is the place to go. It’s one of the most thorough and researched sites on the Web.

The Good James, Gordan & Jaffar


The articles are of the highest standard using a language which is not too academic. Perhaps most importantly, the information is taken straight from professional articles and books, which means that it is always reliable, unlike Wikipedia and other parts of the Internet.

The Bad

There’s almost too much information on the site, with a search function that is great for finding articles, but not for finding specific points or discussions within those articles. Furthermore, the layout could do with some updating to make navigation easier.

Oma & Jawahari

Nawal, Noemi & Susana The website is magic, or rather feels like it. You can think of any character in the entire world, fictional or non-fictional, and through a series of questions it will deduce the name. It’s very difficult to accomplish, but try and beat him! Melbettey, Abdulla Juma, Salahuddin & Al Aujal

x Bale & Ryan

72 January 2018

x Thamina & Nick

It’s a place which shares ideas and insights from the most successful people around the world. You won’t get life-hacks here, but you will get real information. You will learn from the mistakes of the others and their successes too. A good place to get the content from people who know what they are talking about.


Woolhouse Opening Film: Murder on the Orient Express Rating: Directed by: Kenneth Branagh Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp

Sharif Group opened the newest branch of Woolhouse in The Avenues mall.

VERDICT: A superb rendition of a classic.

James. Waleed Al Raees & Steve

The Plot:

Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian detective, decides to leave on the Orient Express. The train accidentally gets stopped because of the strong snow. Little did he know that a murder was planned and that a person on this train was capable of committing such crime. Will he solve this murder before the train starts working again?


Kishore Kewalram, Waleed Al Raees & Abdulla Abdulrahman Al-Rais

Worth Watching?

It was exceptionally smart to get Kenneth Branagh to remake Murder on the Orient Express. He knows that the trick to making another version of the classic isn’t to keep us guessing. Agatha Christie’s impeccable story does all of that heavy lifting for him. The trick is to showcase an ensemble cast of incredible actors, each of them putting their own spin on a timeless classic, and to have a grand old time doing it. He succeeds in all of these areas. The cast is dazzling and Branagh gives each of them their moment to shine, as they are interrogated one-by-one. The luscious cinematography makes even the most confined spaces seem full of portent and possibility, and the deft adaptation keeps the film sprinting swiftly from one memorable sequence to another.

Zaara & Manar

Eman & Farooq

Aamil, Abdul Hadi, Mohamed & Kamrool

A Bad Moms Christmas Coco A Bad Moms Christmas follows three under-appreciated and overburdened women as they rebel against the challenges of Christmas. And as if creating a perfect holiday for their families wasn’t enough, they must do it while hosting and entertaining their own mothers. By the end, the moms will redefine making the holidays special and find a closer relationship with their mothers.

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. He meets charming trickster Hector, and together they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

Tariq, Hassan, Manar & Mohamed

Abdulla & Ebrahim

Manar & Suhair

January 2018 73


Apps Review BTM brings you the low-down on the latest and greatest apps on the market.

What is it?

Notes on Blindness VR creates an immersive experience to help sighted people better understand the experience of blindness. The app is based on the audio diaries of John Hull (1935-2015), a writer and theologian who was completely blind for the last 32 years of his life. It combines eloquent clips from Hull’s diaries, sound effects, and visual elements to explore some of the realities he faced while coming to grips with living in a sightless world.

The Good:

The beauty of the app is that Hull’s exacting and eloquent descriptions have the power to induce a shift in the user’s frame of reference, to let him or her better understand the world that a visually impaired person experiences. It makes great use of the combination of virtual reality, narration, sound effects, and visual elements to create an immersive, empathetic environment.

App: Notes on Blindness VR Rating: Verdict: A truly brilliant educational app.

The Bad:

If the app has a shortcoming, it’s simply that it could only include a small selection of the 16 hours of audio recordings that Hull made, and that were first published in book form under the title, Touching the Rock. The included clips focus mostly on perception and give few details of his story.

App: Slack

App: Glitchamaphone

Slack brings team communication and collaboration into one place so you can get more work done, whether you belong to a large enterprise or a small business. Check off your to-do list and move your projects forward by bringing the right people, conversations, tools, and information you need together. Slack is available on any device, so you can find and access your team and your work, whether you’re at your desk or on the go.

Glitchamaphone is a music-making app that lets you create and edit your own compositions with up to five animated characters playing a variety of fun instruments. There are hand-drawn animations, natural materials in the background and environmental effects which change in response to your unique musical style. Comes with three settings and environments, each with their own unique sound.

74 January 2018


Karina, Muhanna & Hana

Christmas Party Karina and Anil Nair’s Christmas Party at the Wyndham Garden Hotel rooftop restaurant. Kyle, Yvonne, Karan, Karina & Anil Vijay, Anu & Lalit

Anu, Nighat, Sarah, Karina & Farah

Janet, Karina & Joanna

Vidhu, Parul & Anu

Rob & Anil

Shveta, Anu, Kiran & Arpita

Gagan, Hemant & Nisha

Alec, Karan, Raoul, Emily, Kyle, Natalia & Armaan

Sanjay, Sita, Yvonne, Christine & Ramya

Natasja & Serwin

Anwar, Sheran, Yvonne & Karina

Shanee & Pauline

Alastair & Melanie

January 2018 75


Mehdi & Etienne

Hypermarket Opening Majid Al Futtaim Retail held the inauguration of the restyled Carrefour Hypermarket at Bahrain Mall. The ribbon-cutting ceremony

Bilal, Saad & Mohamed

Ali & Etienne

Esther, Syra & Anastasia

Ashiq, Anish & Sreejith

Mariam & Sara

Winter Campaign City Centre Bahrain inaugurated its festive display and roaming character parade for its annual Winter Campaign. Sara, Khalid, Ahmed & Deepti

Emran, Mai & Sam

76 January 2018

Sara & Deepti




Restaurant Opening Phoenix Eatery and Shisha Lounge held a launch event at its premises located in the Bahrain Investment Gateway in Hidd. Imran, Shaima, Susmitha & Steven

Joanna & Wayne

HE Alfred Simms-Protz, Abdul Hamid Hatem & Perwin

Anna & Irina

Holger & Adrian

Book Launch Rowaq Al Balqa Art Foundation and Swiss-Belhotel Seef Bahrain held a launching event of the book ‘Dilmun Love & Peace’ at the hotel’s premises. Dr Abdul Aziz & HE Simon Martin


Melissa & Farheen

Fawaz Bokhowa & HE Ahmed Rachid Khattabi

Mohammed Khalid

Marine & Christophe

Raza, Fatema & Yasmin

Momen & Fatema

Birthday Party Mohamed Akeel celebrated his 50th birthday party with family and friends at the Wyndham Garden Hotel. Nathani’s Family

Aahad, Akeel, Ameena & Armaan

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2018’s Travel Hotspots If you’re planning this year’s vacation, here are some of the ‘must visit’ destinations set to hit our radars this year. We’ve taken some tips from the experts at Lonely Planet to bring you the low-down on the cities everyone will want to visit this year. Forget the old favourites, there’s only one European capital in the mix and it seems urban chic and culture are very much the order of the day.


Seville, Spain Capital of the autonomous region of Andalusia where outstanding examples of Moorish and Gothic architecture abound, Seville is a city of bicycles and trams. Game of Thrones fans will want to visit the castle of Almodóvar del Río and will also spot various other familiar locations around the city, which featured strongly in season seven of the blockbuster TV series. The city is home to the world’s largest Gothic cathedral, built on the grounds of a former mosque, where highlights include the Giralda, the mighty bell tower which incorporates the mosque’s original minaret, the monumental tomb of Christopher Columbus, and the Capilla Mayor with an astonishing gold altarpiece. Make sure you also pop into conTenedor, the slow-food restaurant in the boho Macarena district ,which prides itself on using local, organic produce. And visit the opinion-dividing Metropol Parasol, designed as a giant sunshade by German architect Jürgen Mayer and known locally as las setas (the mushrooms), which has become something of a city icon since its launch in 2011.

Detroit, USA

You could be forgiven for wondering wha t this urban spra wl, known for the Motown music label in the 1960 s and ‘70s and m ore latterly as the home of rapper Eminem and America’s muc hdepleted car Destroit’s famou s The Fist artw ork industry. But it seems that, in a classic Cinderel Detroit is makin la st g something of a stealthy comeb ory, According to Lo ack. nely Planet: “Mur als, markets, greenways, bike shops, distillerie s and inventive are getting the chefs city’s groove on , along with fre works like the ne sh public w street car an d sports arena downtown.” Th ere is also plen tiful discount ou shopping, alongs tlet ide the designer stores, numerou venues for live s music, with man y big names ad city to their tour ding the schedules, and the wildness of Northern Penins the ula is just a coup le of hours’ driv e away. January 2018 79


Canberra, Australia Elbphilh



Canberra Parliament House

Canberra has long had a reputation as a bit of a stick in the mud, pretty much overlooked in the wake of its much showier sister, Sydney. But now the Aussie capital is stepping out of the shadows and staking its claim as the ‘coolest little capital’. As Australia’s first city, Canberra is home to Parliament as well as several of the country’s collections such as those in the National Gallery, the Museum of Australian Democracy, the National Museum and more. Lonely Planet’s Chris Zeiher writes: “National treasures are found round almost every corner and exciting new boutique precincts have emerged, bulging with gastronomic highlights and cultural must-dos.” And, if you fancy getting away from it all, Canberra has virtually been built around Lake Burley Griffin, a pretty expanse of water used for leisure activities that include yachting, kayaking, paddle boating and windsurfing. There are several ways you can experience the sights of the lake, but one of the best is surely an early morning hot-air balloon ride over its surface!

Hamburg, Germ


One of German y’s wealthiest ci ties thanks to a international tra long history of ding, Hamburg offers a whole do. Its nightlife range of things is almost as fam to ed as its comm that The Beatle erce – it was he s spent their Ge re rman days – an club and bar sc d there is an ac ene along the riv tiv e er front catering to These days mus ic still plays an every taste. equally importa Planet praising nt role with Lone the stunning US ly D939 million Elbp concert hall. Th hilharmonie e city is also ric h in culture and abundance of m history with an useums and ga lleries. And food themselves right ies will find at home with nu merous restaura the slow-food et nts embracing hic and street ve ndors plying th sandwiches an e city’s famed fis d currywurst. h

Antwerp, Belgium an Kaohsiung, Taiw y, Kaohsiung the 17th centur

, ishment in into the political Since its establ all trading village sm a m g, in fro n fin re has grow acturing, portation, manuf an. economic, trans of southern Taiw re nt ce l ria st du in m d fro an s shipbuilding, The city shift ancient to lture s contemporary cu da go Pa in Kaohsiung Tw y’s with ease. Toda Kaohsiung is a modern urban ry landscape of ai ets, re st e cafés, wid s, rk pa de watersi public transport, d bicycle lanes an at th es nu ve l cultura d an ed ac br em have e ar e ring past. Ther city’s manufactu , and re-imagined the in the city area ith w g beaches in m its im on sw o ht tw rig also e forest of almost-pristin Fo 1,000 hectares the breathtaking s is m t n’ do t, si vi u has; yo dd If . Bu of giant doorstep tery and its hall as on with a , m an an iw Sh Ta g Guan opping mall in sh t es rg la e io th nting Nat nal Dream Mall, and drive to Ke of ro e th on el Ferris whe ul landscapes. Park for beautif

80 January 2018

Antwerp the Port House

Belgium’s second city was home to painter Pieter Paul Rubens and his works are widely displayed. A powerful magnet for everyone from fashion moguls and club queens to art lovers and diamond dealers, it has a vibrant fashion and entertainment scene as well as plenty of café-filled cobbled lanes, a riverside fortress and a truly impressive cathedral. Pay a trip to the De Koninck brewery, one of the few working breweries still left in the city, and don’t miss the Red Star Line Museum, a thoughtfully restored homage to the shipping line which took hundreds of thousands immigrants to America between 1873 and 1934. Antwerp is also a city where gastronomy meets architecture, with many restaurants taking up residence in unlikely buildings that best complement the fine-dining experience. To see this is action, head to The Jane, located in the chapel of a former military hospital, where master chefs Nick Bril and Sergio Herman can be seen preparing food in the open kitchen built on the former altar!

Matera, Italy exico

Guanajuato, M

Matera Italy

Known as “la Città Sotterranea” – the Subterranean City or the City of Caves, Matera is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Its historical centre ‘Sassi’, along with the Park of the Rupestrian Churches, has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. Matera has gained international fame for its ancient town, the ‘Sassi di Matera’. The Sassi originated in a prehistoric troglodyte settlement, and these dwellings are thought to be among the first ever human settlements in what is now Italy. The Sassi are habitations dug into the calcareous rock itself. Many of them are really little more than caverns, and in some parts of the Sassi a street lies on top of another group of dwellings. Before heading to the Sassi, spend half an hour at Casa Noha, where an excellent multimedia presentation gives details of the history of the town and its inhabitants – most of whom were forcibly relocated from their ‘cave’ dwellings to new modern properties. Another ‘must see’ is the Palombaro Lungo, the giant cistern which lies under the city’s main square and once supplied the city’s water.

e A World Heritag to ua aj city, Guan dates back to 1559 and boasts opulent colonial buildings and brightly coloured houses running exico up the side of a Guanajuato, M ravine. Known for internationally Festival nd activities Cervantino, the e also year-rou ar e er loads th , al iv st ances. There’s annual arts fe chestral perform or e Day d th r an fo tre ce ea fa th including painted your er ev ve ting u’ yo vi if t, of others in si to see and do bu join thousands u yo u re yo su re e he ak yw of the Dead, m m in a cemeter omias, a museu s! se rp co Museo de las M d re than 100 disinter town and it can view more e best eatery in th as n ow kn is Las Mercedes cuisine. tional Mexican serves up tradi

Oslo, Norway Oslo

San Juan, Pue

rto Rico

Puerto Rico

Hit hard by Hurr icane Maria just a few months ba Juan is well on ck, San the road to reco very and very de worth a visit. It’ finitely s one of the olde st European se the Americas an ttlements in d its blend of tra ditional and mod captivating. Its ern is northern coast is lined with glor beaches and, in ious sandy town, make sure to visit the distric Santurce, which t of has a raw vitalit y fuelled by stre superb restaura et art, nts and a bar sc ene that takes streets at night. over the It would be impo ssible to miss th walls of El Mor e 140ft ro, said to be th e oldest Spanis New World, whi h fort in the ch rebuffed nu merous invading enthusiasts will armies. Art love the Espaci o Emergente, a museum where modern there are a num ber of artists in offering open st residence udios and mee t and greets tw ice a month.

And finally, the aforementioned European capital. Inimitable Scandi style, hygge – the much-hyped cosy, intimate warmth – and sky-high prices, you’ll find them all in the Norwegian capital, surrounded by mountains and sea. Named European Green Capital for 2019, Oslo has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world and despite major building – it’s also Europe’s fastest-growing capital – it manages to remain visually green too. Oslofjord’s waterways and islands are just minutes away from the centre, as are the ski slopes and forests of Nordmarka. For foodie travellers, Maaemo is the world’s most northerly threeMichelin-starred restaurant and the whole food scene has experienced an international explosion in recent years. There’s also a thriving and eclectic nightlife offering as well as several really good galleries and museums, including Ibsen Museet where you can tour the playwright’s last home and Rod Bianco, a white cube space which shows boundary-pushing work from both Norwegian and international contemporary artists.

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Iguaccu Falls - A world heritage site

The Land of Perón, Pelé and the Amazonia! BY SHOBA SUBRAHMANYAM An intrepid explorer shares her journey across South America. Twenty-three of us landed on the shores of Buenos Aires, Argentina, filled with excitement. The Savoy Hotel, our home for the next three days, auchos welcomed us with ith the G w g in Rid an exclusive dinner, which was the ‘meet and greet’ kick-start to an adventure that would unfold over the next 16 days. Our first day began with the tour of the famous Plaza de Mayo, featuring La Casa Rosada the presidential palace, and its balcony from which Eva Perón (Evita) had addressed hordes of supporters. That same evening we went for a dinner show highlighted by a powerful rendition of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina from the musical Evita. We enjoyed a traditional menu and an exquisite list of Argentinean grapes! We were even 82 January 2018

treated to a personal tango lesson before the actual tango performance. A perfect ending to our first day! Humming the melody, we headed to bed to rise early for a whole day in the countryside on the beautiful Estancia El Ombu de Areco (estate with a ranch). Here we were introduced to the rituals that made these pampas (plains) so fascinating. We learned how a mouthwatering ‘asado’ (barbecue) is cooked and then got to eat it for lunch at a typical caso [main house]. We rode horses with the gauchos (cowboys) and they entertained us with their traditional music and dancing too. Next on our agenda was the Iguacu Falls, on the Argentinean side. Climbing aboard a small train, our first stop was the Devil’s Throat (Gargantadel Diablo). This is the biggest waterfall, 262ft, surrounded by 270 further waterfalls and a verdant jungle. The Brazilian side offered a panoramic view! We got so close to the towering falls, and got totally drenched! Words simply cannot describe this creation, an experience like no other. In fact, Eleanor Roosevelt, on her first sight of the tremendous falls, exclaimed: “Poor Niagara!” The next day we flew into Manaus, a small port from where we boarded a ship, the Iberostar, to explore the

Rural life on the Amazon

Amazonia! The crew welcomed us aboard with a cocktail, followed by a delicious dinner with an open bar policy in place for the entire four days! We were sailing on the Amazon – I learned about this in geography and here I was actually on this mighty river! The best part was the excursions on small boats called skiffs into the narrow waterways of the region. We went trekking into the jungle, where the guide introduced us to the variety and peculiarity of the vegetation. Visiting a family in the forest was a unique experience. They used their surrounding organic resources for their food and everyday living. We also got to purchase some of the traditional handicrafts from a floating market. The next day we ventured out piranha fishing! Exciting! We caught them and after the guide opened the mouth to explain how they can tear flesh in seconds, they were thrown back into the river. I’m just glad the boat didn’t tip over for they would’ve had the grandest feast ever! At dinner that evening, we were surprised to see fried piranhas as a dish. The entertainment that night was a live show where a renowned local artist enthralled us with the haunting strains of pan pipes of different sizes and tones. Later that night, the skiffs took us on a night safari, where we were fortunate to spot caiman crocodiles and even got to hold one before releasing it back. On the final day on the water we woke up early to experience an awesome sunrise on the Amazon. We got to see the fascinating phenomenon known as the ‘Meeting of the Waters’, where the black water of the Rio Negro and brown water of the Solimoes meet, but don’t mix because of variations in acidity

and temperature. We were also treated to pink dolphins dancing around our boat. After our last sumptuous breakfast on the boat, we disembarked, and flew out to Rio de Janeiro, known for its sensational electric atmosphere, surrounded by beautiful beaches. Our tour of Rio started in the old city centre, the Cinelandia Square that features important buildings such as the Rio Opera House, the Fine Arts Museum and an impressive statue of Gandhi! Then on to the


Gauchos danc

Rio de Janeiro Cathedral, probably the only one that looks like an angular beehive from the future, designed by Edgar Fonseca and intended to echo the ancient Mayan pyramids. The unique architecture is a meeting of four columns of stained glass that runs from The village home the floor to the ceiling, converging into a cross. We entered to the sounds of Gregorian chants, adding to the peace and beauty of the building. Then to the hustle and bustle of the Escadaria

Selaron where we climbed 250 steps, every inch covered in brightly coloured tiles collected from all over the world with breathtaking attention to detail, the artistic work of Jorge Selaron. The steps gained popularity in recent years after Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams filmed their Beautiful music video close by. A glassed cable car ride up Sugar Loaf Mountain, declared a World Heritage Site, is a must-see, offering a gorgeous 360-degree view of the city. And finally a tour by train that took us through the Tijuca National Park, the world’s largest urban forest to the top of Corcovado Mountain to see the Christ the Redeemer statue in all its splendor, a majestic 126ft, it is simply stunning! We also enjoyed the eye-catching views of the forest below, where Rio de Janeiro’s mountains dive into the clear blue water. A trip to Rio would not be complete without heading to The Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, watching families play soccer, every child wanting to be a Pelé or a Ronaldo, sky gliding or simply just ‘sunbaking’. That evening, we felt the pulse of Brazil at the electrifying samba show. Over too soon, it was time to say “Goodbye” to the land of Peróon, Pelé and the Amazonia. Our last dinner together was special, sharing memories of the last two weeks, sipping the finest coffee in the world!


From Corcovada Mountain

January 2018 83


Sophie, Ahmed & Tiffiny

Nikki & Mariam

DJ Night JJ’s Irish Bar and Restaurant held a DJ night party at its premises. Siyana, Wayne Wonder, Madan & Don Jamie & Gareth

Ismael & Ryen

Louis, Diona & Karen

Siyana, Shahira & Mona

Ahmed, Janis & Mo

DJ Aaron Wolf

Angel & John Cat & Joy

Celebrity Party Coral Bay and Miami Events held a party featuring Wayne Wonder. Wayne Wonder Hercy & Freedom

Betty, Freedom & Hilda

84 January 2018

Miki & Bashar

Anil & Basim

Sultan, Mo, Omar & Amin


Angela, Mark, Jo, Greg, Fatema, Bruce & Zanny

Mรถvenpick Dinner Mรถvenpick Hotel hosted a dinner at its premises.

Sumaya & Iain

Rachael & Rich

Imes, Bartholomew & Timmy

Nicholas, Leigh & Nikki

Andrew & Sumaya

Greg & Mike


Ali & Shiva

Christmas Dinner SKAL International Bahrain held its Christmas dinner at Legendz Steakhouse in the InterContinental Regency Hotel.

Mirza, Dawani, Mohammed Buzizi, Khalil & Khalid

Ron, Fares & Garfield

Khamis Al Muqla

Carlos & Mohamed

Dr Jassim


Nils & Charbel

January 2018 85


Tel: (+973) 17 813 777 Fax: (+973) 17 813 700 | P.O. Box 20461, Manama, Bahrain | Address: Villa 1533 | Road 2426 | Block 324 | Bahrain

What’s New Edited by Apple Sharma

Time Tested The Sowar 1916 timepiece from the West End Watch Company is styled after the Sowar campaign watches of World War I. This self-winding model with a small seconds dial is a rarity. It comes with a leather strap and is water resistant to 50 metres. Available at A La Mode outlets.

Cool New Threads With winter well on its way, American Eagle Outfitters’ new range focuses on hoodies, sweaters and jackets, new denim fits, washes and fabrications. For girls, the season includes the bestselling jegging in multiple rises with added stretch for unparalleled comfort. Complete the look with an eyecatching bomber or parka to stay warm. Available at American Eagle Outfitters, The Avenues – Bahrain.

A Sophisticated Sound Be amazed by LG’s Levitating Portable Speaker. The LG PJ9 is wireless and hovers directly over the levitation station, which serves as a subwoofer. The battery lasts for about 10 hours and, when the charge runs down, the loudspeaker automatically lowers to the levitation station and recharges wirelessly without interrupting the music. Available at LG’s Sehla showroom.

Love Is in the Air

Fall head over heels for Victoria’s Secret’s LOVE collection with its wide range of accessories. Whether it’s cosmetic cases, keychains, crossbody bags or mini backpacks, you’re bound to find something that’ll tickle your fancy. Available at all Victoria’s Secret stores.

Glam Fashion Lipsy’s VIP collection includes timeless, ready-to-wear pieces with a contemporary feel and a sophisticated edge. It experiments with lavish fabrics and florals make a welcome return, dominated by dark, moody lush blooms in autumnal hues. Available at Lipsy, City Centre Bahrain.

January 2018 87

marketplace ASIA JEWELLERS

An Edgy Twist This Italian brand brings a sense of sensuality with its latest Selleria double tour strap that showcases an elegant interplay of materials. Fendi Timepieces presents the new Selleria Pearl Look strap. Featuring a unique combination of precious leathers, the new double tour Selleria strap is embellished with spherical studs with pearly finishing, infusing this iconic timepiece with elegance and femininity. The interchangeable straps are now enriched with a new band studded with pearl details to give a novel twist to the collection. The combination of contrasting matt calfskin leather and shiny exotic skin celebrates FENDI’s savoir faire by mixing noble materials and textures. The strap adorns the stainless-steel watch enhanced with edges set with precious diamonds. The pearl studs on the strap light up the watch’s dial in white mother-of-pearl featuring the renowned Astuccio pattern inspired by a Karl Lagerfeld’s sketch realised in 1971 for the iconic Astuccio fur. Thanks to the patented interchangeable strap system, the Selleria timepieces can be easily customised with each strap having a new look to suit different moods. Feminine and elegant, the Selleria Pearl Look strap is dedicated to women who seek to express their bold personality and sophisticated attitude. FENDI, the Italian luxury house with roots dating back to 1925, began its foray into the world of luxury timepieces in 1988. Since then, Fendi Timepieces has unveiled some of the most iconic wrist designs for women and men, combining Italian taste and Swiss craftsmanship, and focusing on the opulence of materials and colours. All the watches are manufactured in Switzerland. Fendi Timepieces are available in Bahrain at Asia Jewellers. Call 17 535-344 or visit

Technical Specifications HEAD: F8020345H0C1 STRAP: S09EC17DA1S Case: 36mm Stainless steel with edges set with 24 diamonds, approximately 0.22 carat Rotating case back to easily change the strap Sapphire crystal White mother-of-pearl cabochon on the crown Dial: White mother-of-pearl with geometric dial design inspired by a Karl Lagerfeld sketch realised in 1971 for the iconic FENDI fur, the Astuccio Silver- coloured stitched Roman numerals and eight diamonds as indexes Hands: Silver-coloured Strap: Black interchangeable double tour FENDI Century matt calfskin leather strap with genuine elaphe edges and spherical studs with pearly finishing Stainless steel pin buckle Movement: Swiss-made quartz movement (hours, minutes, seconds) Water Resistance: 50 metres (165 feet/5 ATM) 88 January 2018


State-of-the-Art Facilities This renowned hospital offers international expertise. The University Medical Center of King Abdullah Medical City is run in cooperation with the Dr Sulaiman Alhabib Medical Group and has a team of more than 50 clinicians and other professional staff. The highly qualified professionals include Western board-certified doctors and accredited members of internationally recognised medical societies and associations. Visiting doctors also bring their specialities on a regular basis and the facility boasts a 24-hour emergency department and dental clinic. The hospital has 16 in-patient beds and offers general, laparoscopic and paediatric surgery in a theatre suite designed to the highest certified international standards and featuring the most rigorous precision systems for sterilisation and air filtration. Aside from theatres, there is a huge range of clinics available including: bariatric; dermatology and plastic surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; ear, nose and throat; family medicine and nutrition; gastroenterology; genetic diseases; internal medicine and kidney diseases; neurology; obstetrics and gynaecology; ophthalmology; orthopedics; pain management and anaesthesia; paediatrics; pulmonary medicine; rheumatology; urology and speech therapy. There is also a cardiology clinic using the latest digital 4D ultrasound imaging technology as well as the Optima CT 660 scanner.

Further state-of-theart equipment is available in the radiology department, including digital imaging equipment and a picture archiving and communication system allowing doctors access to patient records and vital information without delay. The department employs a female women’s imaging consultant as well as a musculoskeletal radiologist and a consultant radiologist. The centre’s laboratory is also equipped with the very latest technology and medical equipment guaranteeing speedy and accurate results for those needing tests. For those requiring rehabilitation after surgery or treatment for muscle or joint injuries, there is an extensive in-house physiotherapy unit with highly qualified therapists. Call 77-310-000.

January 2018 89

marketplace VOX CINEMAS

New Cinema Launched

Movie goers are in for a treat with a venue that offers one-of-a kind concepts. Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia opened its first standalone VOX Cinemas location at The Avenues – Bahrain in Manama. Spanning 4,877sq/m, the new 10-screen cinema is positioned to deliver unmatched entertainment levels to movie fans across the country. Bringing two of VOX Cinemas’ signature concepts to Bahrain audiences for the very first time, customers will now be able to watch their favourite blockbusters in the premium THEATRE by Rhodes and MAX experiences. Cameron Mitchell, CEO at Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, VOX Cinemas, says: “We are extremely proud to finally open the doors to our first standalone cinema in Bahrain and invite guests in. This next big step for our business is also the second location in Bahrain, following our recent joint venture with Cineco, which introduced the IMAX experience to VOX Cineco at City Centre Bahrain. Allowing us to continue creating great moments for movie lovers in Bahrain, our new location at The Avenues – Bahrain is designed to offer an exceptional entertainment experience for our customers. Featuring two of our most innovative cinema concepts under one roof, there is no doubt that our THEATRE by Rhodes and MAX offerings will present a very exciting new entertainment proposition for Bahrain’s residents and regional visitors.” 90 January 2018

The first of its kind in Bahrain, THEATRE by Rhodes brings unrivalled indulgence to the new VOX Cinemas venue by delivering a perfect combination of the best of film and food. With an exclusive menu created by Michelin-starred chef Gary Rhodes, THEATRE by Rhodes sets a new standard for “dinner and a movie”. The concept’s gourmet in-cinema dining allows movie enthusiasts to revel in unsurpassed VIP treatment, lavish lounge areas, dedicated in-theatre waiter service and an outstanding menu with made-to-order fine food. Dubbed as VOX Cinemas’ mega-screen experience, the MAX concept provides audiences with extraordinary sensory entertainment thanks to state-of-the-art technology that includes Dolby Atmos surround sound and dual projector systems that deliver ultra-realistic, 100 per cent digital imagery. Spacious MAX seating options also provide guests with an extra layer of comfort when

watching the biggest blockbusters. The new venue will include VOX Cinemas’ topquality food and beverage offering plus a dedicated Nutella Bar serving the much-loved chocolate spread in a variety of delicious forms, including crepes, pancakes and waffles. The new cinema is already making a name for itself, having hosted the Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere and over the coming months cinema goers will have access to a selection of highly anticipated films including The Greatest Showman, Goodbye Christopher Robin, Maze Runner: The Death Cure (3D) and Shape of Water. Tickets for all the latest screenings can be purchased at the Candy Bar and ticket kiosks within the cinema complex or online at www. or on the app for iOS and Android. Call 17 812-222.


Service with a Smile This well-known property in Juffair offers the best in four-star deluxe hospitality. Al Safir Hotel & Tower has been delighting its clientele since the year 2000 with a wide range of dining and entertainment options and topquality accommodation. It provides a great blend of local heritage and modern hospitality with a contemporary ambience. The hotel is an ISO-certified company and holds three accredited certifications – in quality management, food safety, and occupational health and safety. Al Safir is managed by Inn-Venue Hotel & Restaurant Management Co. The team is headed by director, Shantharam Shetty, and newly appointed general manager, KC Rajesh. The property features outlets known for great dining and entertainment. Savoy, the all-day dining restaurant, offers a lavish multi-cuisine buffet spread. The business lunch buffet promotion is priced at just BD5, while the breakfast buffet is ideal for families and groups. Special group discounts are available.

The recently opened Apollo Club Lounge is a modern English discotheque. This nightclub has a unique ambience with state-of-the-art sound and light systems and entertains both at the bar and on the dance floor. It is geared up to host events with famous artists in the future. The Encanto Lounge is a sports lounge offering a great selection of drinks and eats. The pool table, darts, board games and sports channels will keep you entertained for hours. Al Safir Hotel & Tower houses three banquet halls to cater for meetings, parties and

corporate events. Special deals and exclusive day delegate packages are available for training seminars and official meetings. The hotel is known to provide excellent outdoor catering for large international events like airshows, as well as small private gatherings. The menus comprise a variety of cuisines and are crafted to suit a range of tastes and budgets. Call 33 706-960, 36 373-729 for banquets and outlets, or 33 629-243 for Apollo Club Lounge.

Nadia & Natalia

DJ Night Groundrulez held a party at Club XS at Ramee Rose Hotel. Zia, DJ Swif & Newton

Ab, Khalid & Tamir

Age & Boogie

Anthony & Ayan


Store Opening American Eagle Outfitters opened its second store in Bahrain at The Avenues. Roxy, Joana & Roberta

January 2018 91



Realm of Rejuvenation Behnaz Sanjana felt her spirit being uplifted at this oasis of ease set in a serene desertscape.

92 January 2018

The scent of lemongrass has a calming effect as you enter the Al Areen Wellness and Retreat Spa, giving you a whiff of what awaits you in its cosy interiors. The spa’s Wellness Retreat Experience is designed to suit different needs – weight optimisation, detoxification and re-energising. Therapist Ni started me off with an initial consultation checking my body weight, BMI, fat and water percentages, muscle and bone mass, my basal metabolic rate and metabolic age, as well as other information such as blood pressure, sugar level and pulse rate. A magnified view of my face also helped Ni decide what type of facial I needed. The Wellness Retreat Experience is meant to relax your body, revatalise your soul and deliver expert advice on maintaining optimum fitness. It is a day-long commitment, but considering all the lavish pampering you’ll be signing up for, it isn’t a difficult one to make. Beginning with a healthy breakfast (the components of which are dictated by the aforementioned assessment), a personalised body wrap or scrub, and a 60-minute massage follows. Next comes a relaxed lunch curated for your body type, and a luxurious facial using high-end Elemis products. It’s then time to pump up the action, where a fitness coach shows you the best exercise for your wellbeing. Heading to the Wellness Room after the preliminary discussions was like stepping into an alternate dimension, far away from city cares. I was in for a body scrub first. The grainy Dead Sea salt infused with fragrant rose oil exfoliated my dry winter skin; I could feel its smoothness as the subsequent rain shower mist drizzled warmly over me. Once dry, I hopped on to the

comfortable massage table, and Ni commenced the De-stress Massage. The warm lavender-orangeeucalyptus oil made me breathe deeply, all the way to the pit of my stomach. She asked me if I had any bothersome areas of pain, and deftly worked her fingers to soothe away the stubborn tension knots from my shoulders. The gentle, but tactful, pressure and pull made my body just wind down and melt into a pool of complete relaxation. My mind easily wandered into the ‘nothing zone’ — somewhere my otherwise frazzled nerves never allow it to venture. The last treatment, after a sensational head massage, was the Elemis SOS Facial. This 30-minute session is short and sweet. It doesn’t involve any extractions or massage, so suited for my hyper-sensitive skin. After a gentle cleansing, an under-eye serum was used to perk up tired eyes and a scrub was used on the T-zone, away from my inflamed cheekbones. Then my face was covered in an invigorating vitamin C mask to brighten the skin and reduce any redness. I could tell it was working by the brief sting. But the mask was off in five minutes and was topped with a cool, herbal paste applied all over my visage. It soothed my skin, banishing any remnant burning, and smelt pleasant enough to eat. A good 10 minutes with the herbs doing their bit to calm my angry epidermis, and I could feel my skin breathing. All the goop cleaned up, eye cream and super-light moisturiser slathered on, it was time for me to return to reality. I did so wistfully, but with a definite spring in my step and no pain in my shoulders. This day-long (or week-long, if you like) slice of hedonism is hands down the best gift you can give yourself or a loved one to begin the year on a happy note. Call 17 845-000


Help for Sinus Sufferers Royal Bahrain Hospital offers safe and effective procedures for those suffering from recurrent sinus infections. The sinuses are air-filled pockets on either side of the nose, close to the eyes and in the forehead region. They open into the nasal passage which ventilate and drain them, keeping them healthy. Any obstruction to these openings can cause a build-up of mucus and lead to infection. While in most cases, the obstruction is caused by a pre-existing cold or allergies, in others it may be due to an abnormal microanatomy of the nose and sinus. Chronic sinusitis sets in when the blockage and sinus inflammation lasts three months or more. Symptoms include: facial pain; pressure; congestion; difficulty breathing through the nose; discharge of mucus; loss of sense of smell; headache, fatigue; sore throat; and bad breath. Typical treatment begins with medication, but this does not work for everyone and a surgical

option may be recommended. The latest technique in this field is Balloon Sinuplasty, a safe and minimally invasive procedure in which the sinus passages are opened. The surgeon threads a soft-tipped guide wire equipped with a tiny balloon into the nostrils and up to the area of blockage. The balloon is then inflated to open the passageway. Finally, the sinus is flushed out. This surgery is safe and relieves the pain

and pressure associated with chronic sinusitis without cutting and removing the natural structures. Recovery time is shorter compared to conventional surgery. Although Dr Avneesh Kumar most patients can be treated with this method alone, some, with infection of the Ethmoid sinuses, may need conventional endoscopic surgery. The procedure is performed at Royal Bahrain Hospital by Dr Shalabh Sharma, visiting senior ENT consultant, and Dr Avneesh Kumar, senior ENT specialist. Call 17 246-800 or book an appointment through the hospital’s mobile app (available on iOS and Android) or website on www.



Tania & Nadia

Sophie & Richard

Katie & Emily

Kita & Loren

Wow Factor Karaoke Grand Final Atiram Premier Hotel held the Grand Final of its karaoke contest, Wow Factor, at Wembley Lounge. Wow Factor Karaoke winner, Kari, collects her prize


Ali, Zena, Deidre. Gillian & Kate

January 2018 93


An Exciting Year Ahead Expansion is on the cards for this security solutions provider in 2018. Sector leader, G4S Secure Solutions Bahrain, experienced significant growth in 2017 and managing director, Atanu Sanyal, is optimistic this trend will continue over the coming months. G4S has seen double-digit growth in 2017, which has been one of its best years. Atanu says: “We are confident as a team and hoping to deliver double-digit growth in 2018. G4S’s highest priority is to train and employ Bahraini nationals to provide premium security to our customers.” He adds: “We work with almost all segments of the industry. I think the best opportunity for growth will be in critical infrastructure projects. We have local and global capabilities and we can add value to that segment when it comes to electronic security solutions or a combination of technology and human expertise.” The group has major expansion plans, including the launch of a facility management services operation, with hard and soft facilities. G4S will also create a manpower recruitment company offering skilled and unskilled workers to customers under its own visa. A new security guard operation is also in the pipeline with some urgency. Atanu explains: “This company needs immediate action as we already have 500 guards and, as per the Bahraini law, no security company can have more than 500 guards. “We also plan to build a new cash centre in Bahrain with an estimated investment of USD250,000 to USD300,000.” The company currently works with embassies and ministries, retail,

banking, oil and gas, construction, transportation, aviation and the telecommunications sector. It prides itself on establishing standards of excellence for the provision of professional quality security services to meet customers’ needs while addressing the security risks involved all under the banner of its corporate philosophy of empowerment, accountability, communication and teamwork. Call 17 714-409 or visit

Ali, Amjad & Shanan

Entrepreneurs Forum Bahrain India Society Young Entrepreneurs Forum took place at the Ramee Grand Hotel. Vijay, Kishor, Mohammed & Ahmed

Raj Damani & Velmani

94 January 2018

Raj Damani & HE Alok Kumar Sinha

Khalid & Thomas

Sheriff, Jacob & Madhavan

marketplace business bites

Hotel Debut

National Day Recognition

Wyndham Hotel Group, the hotel giant with an unmatched global presence of more than 8,100 hotels in 78 countries, has launched the Wyndham Grand Manama in Bahrain Bay’s iconic United Tower. Standing on a waterfront location, Wyndham Grand Manama is part of a USD2.5 billion development, with vibrant residential, commercial and retail spaces. The hotel occupies 19 floors of the United Tower, which features a twisting shape and 360-degree unobstructed views of the Kingdom, offering 263 guest rooms and suites, an adult outdoor infinity pool, a family pool with a dedicated kids’ playing area which is set to open early 2018, separate health clubs for men and women, and the Six Senses Spa to be completed by the middle of 2018. It offers 1,840sq/m of meeting space, and a rooftop ballroom.

Huda Mirza, the director of talent and culture at Sofitel Zallaq Bahrain Thalassa Sea & Spa, was one of 11 Bahrainis from the private sector publicly recognised for their outstanding professional achievements. The group was honoured at an award ceremony hosted under the patronage of HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, in celebration of the 46th Bahrain National Day. Huda says: “I am incredibly proud and honoured to be recognised amongst such a talented and outstanding group of hardworking people, and to receive this award means I am successfully accomplishing my duties as a Bahraini citizen. True motivation and dedication can lead to greater outcomes. I would like to thank His Excellency, Jameel bin Mohammed Humaidan [who presided over the ceremony] for awarding me with such a phenomenal testimony that I will infinitely cherish and be grateful for.”

Cashless Is Coming Payment International Enterprise (PIE) offers payment solutions that are convenient and useful for all market segments. However, indicating something of a change, CEO Fawaz Ghazal says: “The unbanked and underbanked population will be our segments of focus in the coming year. This wide target audience, whose financial needs are not catered for currently, is a major opportunity in the market.” He adds that 2018 is a promising year for the financial technology industry, with Bahrain moving into digital payments and financial inclusion which offers an opportunity for PIE to offer financial services and payment solutions. The company’s TAM Dinar is a cashless payment solution already deployed in several government entities, and PIE plans on working with the government to implement it as a payment method in more government locations. Additionally, there are plans to expand and diversify PIE’s financial products and services offering. This includes targeting a bigger market segment by financially including the unbanked and underbanked population. Fawaz concludes: “Although 2017 was a slow economic year, it was a busy year for PIE. We saw our network expanding by placing our TAM Here self-service payment kiosks in multiple commercial centres; our TAM Dinar was adopted in the Ministry of Justice and Bahrain Customs, who became totally cashless entities; we added several payment services to our platform namely Western Union remittance services; and we recently launched our social media channels.”

January 2018 95

marketplace business bites

Ashraf on Board

Double Awards

The Gulf Hotel has appointed industry veteran Ashraf Eid as its new director of sales and marketing. He has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality sector and has worked at prestigious hotels across the Middle East. He began his sales career with Marriott in Jeddah in 1994 and stayed with the group for 20 years before heading to the TIME Hotels Group in Dubai where he oversaw nine properties. With strong communication and leadership skills, he aims to help the Gulf team to achieve and exceed set targets with smart problem-solving skills.

Zain Bahrain, a leading telecommunications provider in the Kingdom, was recognised for its outstanding efforts in developing talent at the annual Ministry of Labour and Social Development Awards. The Human Resources Development and Training Award was presented by the Minister of Labour and Social Development, HE Jameel bin Mohammed Ali Hamaidan, to Zain Bahrain HR director, Dana Bukhammas, at the event, held under the patronage of HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The company’s corporate events manager, Ghazi Faisal Radhi, was also honoured for his hard work and dedication, receiving the Diligent Employee Award. He has been with the company for more than 10 years.

Marina Upgrade The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain has unveiled major enhancements including a revitalised marina and dock area and new outdoor heated pool experience this January. The marina enhancement features a unique, state-of-the-art European design boasting the latest in nautical technologies, fuelling facilities and safety features. Sitting on its own private curved basin, the facility also adds 10 new mooring spaces, with over half the area now exclusively reserved for larger luxury boats above 13 to 27 metres in size, along with an upgraded electrical capacity and high-quality pontoons to support the overall structure. Advanced safety features include additional safety ladders, two fire hose reel cabinets and caddy units, high-pressure fire hydrants and lockable aluminium gates on each gangway. Arriving at the dock area, guests will also experience a widened and extended pathway to the marina, along with smooth access bridges during low tides. Heading to the resort’s wet areas, guests will now be able to experience heated temperatures close to that of a traditional Turkish Hamman as the resort swimming pools have had a complete update to their heating system.

Innovation Festival Unbound Bahrain, a two-day festival to celebrate the most innovative start-ups in the GCC region, will be taking place in Bahrain on March 7 and 8 at the Bahrain International Circuit. The festival is being organised by ‘unbound’, which specialises in global innovation events, and is being held in association with the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and supported by StartUp Bahrain. It will be part of Startup Bahrain week and is expected to attract 1,000 regional entrepreneurs, who will have the opportunity to meet with leading innovators and explore over 100 emerging technologies, products and 96 January 2018

services from across the region. The festival will bring together 50 influential speakers from fintech, adtech, travel, e-commerce and more, for two days of panels and keynote speeches. Sessions will highlight the latest trends supporting the transition to a digital economy, as well as the creation of a supportive environment for innovation and e-commerce in the Gulf, the role that governments play in innovation, reaching the connected consumer and the future of finance. It will also feature a Female Founders Startup Challenge, startup-investor pitching, exhibitions and hackathons. “Having helped fuel innovation ecosystems

around the world over the past five years, I recognise the opportunity for growth of the knowledge economy of the Gulf and believe the Kingdom to be an important strategic gateway for the region,” says Daniel Seal, founder and CEO of unbound (pictured).

marketplace business bites

Technology Awarded The Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) was granted the ‘Excellence in GIS Implementation 2017’ Award for its Tasareeh platform during the GISWORX17 Conference — one of the most significant conferences specialising in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) field in the GCC. The Tasareeh platform facilitates the delivery, follow-up and assessment of applications. The project also enables users to receive automatic notifications via email regarding the progress of their transactions. In addition, it provides information on the availability of services and submission of applications 24/7. With the emphasis on indicators of the system and employees’ performance, to ensure maximum utilisation, along with accelerating the pace of delivery, it has resulted in a 90 per cent saving on time.

Mamta Signs Up, Bahrain’s largest online store, has signed Mamta Mohandas, a leading South Indian award-winning actress, playback singer and dancer, as its brand ambassador. As part of this partnership, Mamta will represent WafiApps. com at events, on all its social media channels and seasonal campaigns effective immediately. Over the past 12 years, Mamta has acted in more than 45 movies and has won more than 10 awards in Indian cinema. Commenting on the announcement, Jacob Thomas, MD of says: “Mamta Mohandas,is a strong, passionate, trendsetter and a modern-day icon which makes her the perfect ambassador in keeping with our brand ethos and values. At, our digital marketing strategy has resulted in attracting a large number of followers and, with Mamta on board, we are confident that we will achieve our objectives. We eagerly look forward to working closely with her on our upcoming campaigns.” Mamta adds: “I am proud to be given this honour to represent, a fast-growing online store in my home country. I firmly believe that will deliver an exceptional shopping experience to all its customers. Furthermore, I am also pleased to be part of Wafi Falcons, the official sporting team of and look forward to some successful campaigns.” Brought up in Bahrain, Mamta Mohandas attended the Indian School, Bahrain ,until 2002 and pursued a bachelor’s degree at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. She began her acting career in 2005. She has won several awards, with the most recent being the Best Actress Award presented by Asianet Comedy Stars 2016.

Banking Prize Kuwait Finance House – Bahrain (KFH-Bahrain) took the ‘Critics’ Choice Best Prize-Linked Retail Investment Product 2017’ award for its ‘Libshara’ Investment Savings Account during the 3rd Islamic Retail Banking Awards. Khalid Rafea of KFH-Bahrain says: “We at KFH-Bahrain are delighted to have received this auspicious award for our ‘Libshara’ Savings Account, a Sharia’a-compliant scheme which was launched by KFH-Bahrain in 2012. The Islamic Retail Banking Awards (IRBA) is the first-of-its-kind Islamic banking awards programme based on the most academically rigorous analysis of global Islamic banking efficiency performance. Winners are assessed by a panel of independent experts based on the new efficiency model developed by Cambridge IF Analytica. The ‘Libshara’ Savings Investment Account is a Sharia’a-compliant savings scheme that offers clients valuable monthly prizes. For every BD50 or its equivalent in USD saved for a period of 30 days prior to the end of the month, clients are entitled to enter the raffle and can increase their chances of winning.

Employees Recognised Under the patronage of HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, The Ministry of Labour rewarded diligent employees from the Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention and Spa for their hard work as part of Labour Day celebrations. The award ceremony was held at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain in the presence of the Minister of Labour and Social Development, HE Jameel bin Mohammed Humaidan. The property’s deputy general manager, Hameed Ali, says: “We like to encourage our employees to excel in their work and show their dedication so that they can be nominated for such prestigious awards that are considered a life achievement.”

January 2018 97






Loic & Korine

Birthday Party Sarina hosted a birthday party for her husband, Sigi, at their residence.

Birthday Celebration

Sigi, Sarina, Wani & HE Agus Salim Haji Yusof

Olivier celebrated his 50th birthday with close friends. Olivier, Deniz & Mari

Olivier & Cassandre

Frank, Deanna & Anna Lilly & Esky

Cleo & Ocea

Elena & Adrian Lea, Eden & Avalina

Deniz & Olivier

Denis & Oliver

Luc & Leyla

Pauline, Fawaz & DJ

Mari & Deniz

Sigi & Sarina

Hans, Miriam & Nicole

Zuliana & Fred

Rose, Myrra & Ratna

Chris & Sheela

Birgit, Alexandra & Sarina

January 2018 99

bystander Other Events

VOX Cinemas Bahrain launched THEATRE by Rhodes and MAX Concepts at The Avenues.

Gulf Hotels Group partnered with INJAZ Bahrain to boost and train Bahraini youth.

G4S Secure Solutions Bahrain took part in the World Islamic Banking Conference at the ART Rotana Amwaj Islands.

Entertainment + presented the musical show, The Wonderful World of Oz, at the Cultural Hall.

Florine Mathias received the ICRF outstanding achievement award for community services since its inception 2002 from Meera Sisodia, Embassy of India.

City Centre Bahrain awarded Ahmed Yousif and Aida Abdulla as the first two winners of the Fall Season wardrobe campaign worth BD1,000 each.

100 January 2018

400 Gradi Italian restaurant held an opening ceremony at The Avenues Bahrain.

The K Hotel organised a pre-Christmas culinary class in KOLORS restaurant.

bystander Other Events

TRAVA Travel & Tourism held its opening at Adliya Tower. L-R: Soma, Parvithra, Marline, Camellia, Suliman, Abdul Aziz, Berna, Lira, Saad & Uday. HE Justin Siberell, US Ambassador, attended the reopening of the renovated American Art Space at Al Riwaq Art Space.

The Korean Embassy organised the Korean Film Festival at Seef Mall.

Bahrain Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India held a press conference at the Diplomat Radisson BLU Hotel, Residence & Spa.

The Cancer Care Group held a charity dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Gulf Hotel held a Thanksgiving brunch featuring the Bon Giovi tribute band at Sherlock Holmes.

The Bahrain Tourism & Exhibitions Authority inaugurated the Bahrain Light Festival at Bahrain Bay.

The Chinese Embassy held a ground-breaking ceremony of its new building in Seef.

Azadea CafĂŠ held a charity breakfast at its premises.

IPI – Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey, Australia, held a seminar to promote sustainable development priorities at IPI, MENA.

January 2018 101


CAPRICORN Dec 22 – Jan 21

If you’ve not been feeling your best lately, then January will give you plenty of reason to be more positive as the chance of an unexpected trip abroad provides you with a welcomed ‘spirit-lifter’. However, be sure that you take a young person’s needs into consideration since any unforeseen requirements may leave you with a major headache whilst you are away. Within the home, things come to a head with a sibling who owes money and the problem could end up on your shoulders. If you do have to bail them out, just make sure you get them to stick to a repayment programme or they will learn nothing from the exercise. Card of the Month — The Devil For a detailed, personalised Tarotscope reading, contact Raphael by email:

AQUARIUS January 22 – February 21 As the new year develops, January may provide you with one or two unexpected surprises as you return to normal life. The principal hurdle to overcome could manifest itself in the form of an invoice that was left unpaid and has now developed into a serious problem. Act quickly and the matter should be resolved without too much difficulty. Leave matters as they are and you will find yourself with a major mountain to climb. Regarding family matters, you may discover a child has not been as honest with you as you would have expected and this could lead to an embarrassing revelation some time around the 17th. Card of the Month — The Knight of Swords

PISCES February 22 – March 20 You may bump into an old flame this month and it could lead you to thinking of things that might have been. It will therefore not be too surprising to receive a telephone call several days later from that very same person inviting you for a drink and perhaps something more. The only complication could be an existing partnership and you must decide quickly whether the rekindling of an old romance is the right thing to do. There’s a reason why certain relationships end, and as time passes it conveniently allows us to forget the negative things that forced a split in the first place! Card of the Month — The Nine of Swords 102 January 2018

ARIES March 21 – April 20 January is a month you will both look forward to and wish away since it brings sweetness tinged with bitterness. A successful period in your family life will find you buoyant and optimistic for the future, with a recent financial gain also putting you in a positive frame of mind. Your only down point lies in the inevitable separation you are likely to have to face with the departure of a loved one to foreign shores. It’s difficult to accept but not something that was completely unexpected. Card of the Month — The Three of Cups

TAURUS April 21 – May 20 If you have been suffering a low point at work through lack of enthusiasm, then fate may step in this month and point you towards a unique opportunity. You could suddenly find yourself presented with a position that has been a life-long ambition and any doubts or uncertainties should be cast aside. On the health front, a niggling back or shoulder complaint will finally be cured, although you shouldn’t rush back into your normal routine too quickly. The chances are you need to take a phased return to work or risk undoing the healing process completely. Card of the Month — The Magician

GEMINI May 21 – June 20 There are plenty of opportunities for change this month although some do not carry all the promise they may at first suggest. If you feel the time has come for a move from work following a successful restructuring of your finances, then choose your path wisely and be sure you firstly have a large pool to select from. Above all else, do not jump headfirst into unfamiliar territory since the omens for a career change rather than simply a company change are not good. The adage “better the devil you know” is perhaps very apt in this circumstance. Card of the Month — The Nine of Wands

CANCER June 21 – July 20 There seems to be plenty of romance in the air this month and your sign will be affected by affairs of the heart. However, Cupid’s arrow leaves a different impression upon you and what might seem to be the start of a wonderful relationship could turn out to be a disappointment. It appears that, for some of you, the absence of someone special in your life has left you feeling lonely and prone to jumping into any possible new relationship headfirst. Exercise caution because there are people out there who will break your heart if you let them – and they won’t think twice about doing it! Card of the Month — The Hanged Man

LEO July 21 – August 21 As the new year begins, you may feel slightly deflated seeing others close to you plan holidays, social events or family get-togethers. This could have something to do with the fact that a partner’s lack of attention is leaving you suffering from a sense of vulnerability. A good course of action might be to sit down and talk things through with a loved one, perhaps even plan some time away yourselves so that you can reconnect and bring some excitement back into your relationship. Sometimes a simple change of scenery is all that is required to get things on track again. Card of the Month — The Seven of Pentacles

advertisers index VIRGO August 22 – September 21 Grey days indeed, Virgo, although it is sad that they are mostly of your own making as you fall out in a big way with someone at work, leading to you having little choice but to change position. A great deal of the problem stems from your inability to accept the blame for anything you do and, as a consequence, you are forever trying to pass responsibility onto someone else. If you do not change your ways then it could be more than just your job that suffers. You might also discover that people will respect you a lot more if you show them a more honest side. Card of the Month — The Star

LIBRA September 22 – October 21 January is very much a month of choice for you, with some difficult decisions to make. Firstly, you need to address a problem within the home where a member of your family is perhaps taking advantage of your generosity and beginning to display a side to their personality that offends you. If you can, try to avoid a scene. Another problem could arise at work where a male colleague’s incompetence will result in a major system fault with some serious implications for you. You must address this matter head on and, if necessary, implement unpopular instructions. Card of the Month — The Knight of Wands

SCORPIO October 22 – November 21 You will suddenly look back on the year so far and think that something has gone missing from your life. There is a difference about you, particularly where friendships are concerned, since your circle of close companions has significantly reduced and left you wondering why. Have you become insular and detached or is a current relationship dominating your social calendar more than you might realise? Whatever the answer, honest self-analysis is required. Being in love is a wonderful thing but it shouldn’t come at the cost of friendships and other experiences. Card of the Month — The Four of Cups

SAGITTARIUS November 22 – December 21 There is love in the air this month and the person you are attracted to could cause heads to turn since they are considerably younger than you are. If you do find yourself smitten, you’re advised to take things slowly since things are not quite all they seem. Be especially careful not to dismiss the advice of a close friend. On another note, you might find yourself invited to a party and if you have to buy a present don’t just walk out with the first thing you see. It might be that someone else has the same idea, which could end up being embarrassing for everyone involved! Card of the Month — The Fool

Kevin Costner

Kate Moss

Jude Law


Hotels & Serviced Residences


Al Areen Palace & Spa . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Bahrain Institute of Hospitality . . . . . FC

Mercure Grand Hotel . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

G4S Bahrain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Atiram Hotels (Premier Hotel) . . . . . . 13

Hilal Conferences & Exhibitions (Gulf

Mercure Grand Hotel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Industry) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78

Ramee Grand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Juffair Fitness Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Ramada Manama City Centre . . . . . . 49

Primedia International . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

The Gulf Hotel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IBC

Sphere Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Bahrain Ballet Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

VOX Cinemas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Jewellery & Watches Asia Jewellers (Raymond Weil) . . . . . 2

Restaurants & Cafés

Sharif Group (GF Ferre) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Al-Abraaj . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Bennigan’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Medical & Dental Services

Coral Bay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Middle East Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

JJ’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Royal Bahrain Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Kazbah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

University Medial Center King Abdullah

La Vinoteca Barcelona . . . . . . . . . . . IFC

Medical City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

Maki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Cucina Italiana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

The Foundry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57


The Lanterns Restaurant & Lounge . 67

Euro Motors (BMW) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC JAC Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

BTM retail sales outlets BAHRAIN THIS MONTH, your guide to a great way of life, is available at the following selected outlets:

● 24-Seven Minimart, all outlets

● Midway Supermarket, all outlets

● 24 Hours Market, all outlets

● Muntaza Supermarket, all outlets

● Al Hilal Bookshops, all outlets

● Other leading Cold Stores and News Stands

● Al Jazira Supermarket, all outlets ● Alosra Supermarket, all outlets ● Amwaj Islands Market, Amwaj ● Aseel Supermarket, all outlets ● Babasons Market, all outlets ● Jawad Supermarket, all outlets ● Lulu Hypermarket, all outlets ● Mega Mart, all outlets ● Metro Markets, all outlets

All Gulf Daily News home subscribers receive a complimentary copy of BTM. You can also subscribe directly by visiting For subscription enquiries and back issues of BTM, call 17 813-777.

Photos Copies of most pictures depicted in this publication (and some which aren’t) are available from Red House Marketing, 17 813-777 or email: January 2018 103

winwin Bahrain This Month gives readers an exclusive chance to win watches from A La Mode. To win, all you have to do is correctly answer the questions. Hint: You can find the answers in this issue of Bahrain This Month.

Who got it right?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Bahrain This Month received 107 entries last month, all of which answered the questions correctly. Congratulations to everyone, particularly our three winners:

Where will you find the Boulevard Circus? ______________________________________________

Winner : Mitchel Solamillo Second Place : Francis Rodrigues Third Place : Joylita Estomo

What are the dates of Shop Bahrain? ______________________________________________ Where will the 44th Annual Fine Arts Exhibition take place? ______________________________________________

Last month’s solutions:

Ad Seek:

2. 200 Pound Beauty

2. Yum Yum Tree Hamala

1. Cinderella

To whom will Nitin Mukesh pay tribute in song? ______________________________________________

3. December 7

When did Paolo Arca first arrive in Bahrain? ______________________________________________

6. Al Safir restaurant

1. AJM Kooheji Group 3. Downtown Rotana

4. Wyndham Garden Manama

4. Scarlett Lapidus

5. Grand Ambassador Ballroom 7. Swiss-Belhotel Seef 8. FAW’s Besturn B70

When did Bahrain Institute of Hopsitality and Retail open? ______________________________________________

9. BD28,700

10. The E-Cabriolet Name:

When did JJ’s open? ______________________________________________


Which Mexican city is in the hot 10 top visits for 2018? ______________________________________________

Telephone: Email:

Which place is also known as la Città Sotterranea? ______________________________________________

CPR: Entry deadline is every 15th of the month. The winner will be selected at random. Please include your full name, CPR number, address and telephone number, and mail to: Win Win, Bahrain This Month, PO Box 20461, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain.

Which car manufacturer recognised Middle East brand clubs?

AD Seek

This is a fun game for all readers. Each of these pictures is taken from advertisements in this issue of Bahrain This Month. All you have to do is identify the ad and mark your answer below each ad clipping. So test your observation skills, and you may be a winner!

1. 104 January 2018




Bahrain This Month - January 2018  

Vol.22 - Issue 01 - Your guide to a great way of life.

Bahrain This Month - January 2018  

Vol.22 - Issue 01 - Your guide to a great way of life.