YOUR GUIDE TO A GREAT WAY OF LIFE
BD 2.000 (SR 20)
December 2012 ~ Vol. 16 ~ Issue 12 www.bahrainthismonth.com
New Beginnings Thinking Forward
Featured This Month:
Festive Fare | New Year’s Eve | National Day Events
HAPPENINGS ~ DINING ~ ARTS SCENE ~ CLUBS & SPORTS ~ KIDS’ EVENTS ~ AFTER DARK ~ SAT TV
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Benvenuti a casa.
Contents December 2012 Cover Story:
124 Festive Fare Favourites We round-up the best festive fare offerings around town as we get set for a season of festivities, in the company of
family and friends.
Happenings: Bahrain This Month reviews events happening around town during the month of December 2012:
23 Trial of Wits: Matching sails for annual race 40 The Beauty of Lettering: Calligraphy at its best 42 Festivities Abound: What our social clubs have in store this month 44 Family Fair: Bargains at The British School of Bahrain 46 Sporting Celebrations: National Day sports tournaments 23-46 Calendar: Events during December
60 A Well-Rounded Partnership We talk to the Japanese ambassador to the Kingdom, His Excellency Shigeki Sumi, about the status of ties between
the two countries.
64 Embracing Change George Saounatsos tells us about his plans to enhance both the operation and performance at Bahrain Airport Services in a challenging environment.
98 Bystander At BTM we sought out investment opportunities available within the Kingdom and took in national days for our German and Turkish friends. The Indian community celebrated Diwali and Americans watched their election. There was also time to admire the latest vehicles from Kia and Nissan, as well as to sample some Mexican and Vietnamese cuisine.
66 Engaging Destination Having secured its position in the local market, Puneet Singh, the new general manager at the Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel, chats about his plans for the coming year.
70 Thinking Forward As a new year is upon us we talk to executives from Wassim El Sayegh (Sovereign Group) to Pegasus Real Estate, Jaguar Bahrain, VIVA and The British School of Bahrain.
December 2012 5
RADO TRUE THINLINE EXTRA-THIN HIGH-TECH CERAMIC WATCH ENGINEERED TO ACHIEVE A HEIGHT OF 5 mm Lisa Ray
Contents December 2012 Destination Report:
92 Cruising in Style The chance to indulge in some opulence was too great a
temptation to ignore; we set sail in a floating five-star cruise liner for a sumptuous weekend.
Downtime: 95 Fall from Grace: The sky falls in on 007 96 Gadgets: Whiter than white 98 Music: Another crown in the bag 100 Computer Games: Crying out for absolution 101 Websites: Indestructible vagabond! 102 Apps: Devils, nuns and predators 103 Movies: A flight at dawn
Motoring: 105 Luxury Options: The Lincoln line-up 107 Wheels: Mercedes GLS 500 111 Showcase: 2013 Range Rover
Dining: 121 A Trip to Venice: What’s up at The Lagoon Park 122 Happenings: Where to dine this month 124 Feature: Festive Fare 137 Showcase: Cucina Italian Restaurant
141 Music Festival: DJ Andy Norman sets the pace 142 Happenings: Where to be seen this month 144 New Year’s Eve: Find the best place to celebrate 147 Showcase: Fire and Ice at The Diplomat Radisson Blu
Showcase: 153 What’s New: Timeless notes 154 Marketplace: Latest products and services 36
165 166 167 168
WIN WIN Tarotscope AD Index Last word December 2012 7
pa n e r a i . c o m
history a n d heroes.
luminor 1950 3 days - 47mm
Manama: Asia Jewellers, Sheraton Complex, +973 1 753 4444
Bahrain This Month December 2012
Publisher and Chairman George F. Middleton Email: email@example.com Publishing Director David M. Robertson Editorial queries: firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Consultant Dr. Paul Balles Assistant Editors Alison Coldridge Elma Bartholomew
Staff Writer Maryam Toorani Contributors James Claire (dining), Simi Kamboj
Perhaps it’s the change in weather but, for the first time in a while, I’m sensing a much more optimistic disposition to the situation in which we have been embroiled over much of the past two years. I think I’ll put it down to the impending start of a new year and the opportunity for a fresh start that such an occasion always affords. Of course, my new-found outlook could have something to do with the short cruise Anne and I took a few weeks ago aboard a truly opulent vessel. It was certainly a chance to recharge the batteries. Then again, there was the close shave in Oman driving a spanking, brand new Mercedes. It did, though, demonstrate the safety aspects of the vehicle, which we feature in our test drive page this month. As is customary at this time of the year, our pages are packed full of seasonal activities in the second half of December. From celebrating National Day to a new year we are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting where we would like to go. You can read about the options available in our happenings, dining and after dark pages. The sense of something new is also reflected in our business interviews; both George Saounatsos and Puneet Singh have only recently taken up respective residence at Bahrain Airport Services and the Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel. As we discover they have no shortage of ideas as to how to move their businesses forward. The same sentiment is shared in the series of interviews that constitute our annual review. From Wassim El Sayegh, at the Sovereign Group, to Aziz Mithaiwala (Pegasus Real Estate), Stephen Harris (Jaguar Bahrain) and Karen Moffat at The British School of Bahrain, there is cautious optimism about our prospects for 2013. Many of us will no doubt be spending time discussing ‘21 December 2012’ during the course of the month, the date on which the Mayan calendar predicated the end of the world would arrive. I’m fully expecting, however, to be out and about on New Year’s Eve celebrating the great way of life the Kingdom has to offer!
Bystander Editor Anil Ravi Shankar Print Production Manager Sabu Sebastian Layout and Graphics Dalal Al-Sabbagh, Romeo San Miguel, Rodolfo A. Reyes Jr. Staff Photographers Shankar Kunhambu, Subeesh Kumar N S Administration and Finance Samson Vaz, Marlyn Ragasa Personnel Manager Bassem A. Al Khabbaz Sales Manager Mayukh Majumdar Media Sales Marise Prata Dos Santos, Shani Davel Circulation Manager Fawaz Al Balooshi Distribution Team CM Abdul Rahman, Rafeeq Mohammed, Gopal Arul Kumar, Epegenio Tempra Jr. Distributor Al Hilal Corporation Photography Picture Arabia: email@example.com Printing Press Dar Akhbar Al Khaleej W.L.L., Bahrain Published monthly by
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Cover Picture: December is always a time to celebrate. YOUR GUIDE TO A GREAT WAY OF LIFE
BD 2.000 (SR 20)
December 2012 ~ Vol. 16 ~ Issue 12
George F. Middleton Publisher and Chairman
New Beginnings Thinking Forward
Join us on Facebook
Bahrain This Month is a member of BPA Worldwide
www.facebook.com/bahrainthismonth Featured This Month:
Festive Fare | New Year’s Eve | National Day Events
HAPPENINGS ~ DINING ~ ARTS SCENE ~ CLUBS & SPORTS ~ KIDS’ EVENTS ~ AFTER DARK ~ SAT TV
December 2012 9
Invest In Bahrain 2012 Under the patronage of His Royal Highnessâ€ˆthe Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, 'Invest in Bahrain 2012' was held at the Bahrain International Exhibitions and Convention Center. The event held last month was a platform to attract foreign direct investment into the Kingdom and was attended by a number of businessmen, and investors from the Middle East, Europe and China
HE Abdul Nabi Al Sho'ala & Abdulla Juma
HRH the Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa
HE Dr Hassan Fakhro, Industry & Commerce Minister
Dr Essam Fakhro
Abdulaziz bin Hamad Al Aqeel
Huda, Ahlam, Khulood, Reem, Vicky & Khulood
Christine, Lito, Monett, Donald & Arvin
10 December 2012
Raman & Saami
Hala & Fay
Shaikha, Shafi, Rahul, Vineeth & Abilash
Varghese, Juzer & Mohammed
Shaikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani
Jaffar & Hussain
Haifa, fatima & Halia
Wael & Dinara
Ahmed, Abdulla & Hassan
Nader & Eline
HE Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor, Central Bank of Bahrain
Hameed & Sayed
Daniel & Hamza
German Unity Day Celebrations HE Sabine Taufmann, German Ambassador and Gernot Taufmann, hosted a reception to celebrate Germany's Unity Day. The reception was attended by HE Sameera Rajab, Minister of State of Information Affairs, HE Abdulla Abdullatif, Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs, diplomats and VIP guests. The event was held at HEâ€™s official residence in Saar last month
HE Abdulla Saif, HE Sabine & Gernot Taufmann
Dr Natter, Rocio, Philipp & Corinne
HE Sameera Rajab, HE Sabine Taufmann, HE Abdulla Saif & HE Abdulla Abdullatif with members of the diplomatic corps
HE Sameera Rajab & HE Sabine Taufmann
Ahmed, HE Sabine Taufmann & Fatima
Dr Haus, Dr Bernd, Schaher, Michael & Michael
Gernot, Anisa, HE Sabine Taufmann & Mohammed
Astrid & Hans
Harry & Gitta
HE Karim Al Shaker
Andrea, Mark, Kaorau, Heinz, Lena & Denise
Ingo & Kerstin
Hazar, Khalid Al Khateeb, Tareq Wafa, Abdul Hameed Hatim, Rashid & Erika
12 December 2012
Khalifa Rumaihi & Dr Dhafer Al Umran
Courtney & Helen
Nicole & Soraya
Nabeel Ajoor, Ahmed Jawahery & Waleed Sharif
Turkish National Day Celebrations HE Ahmet Ulker, Turkish Ambassador hosted a reception to mark the 89th Anniversary of the Proclaimation of the Republic of Turkey. The reception held at the InterContinental Regency was attended by HE Sameera Rajab, Minister of State for Information Affairs, HE Abdulla Abdullatif, Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs, diplomats and VIP guests
Feyza, Begum, Tolga, Saadet, Fikret, Lale & HE Ahmet Ulker
HE Abdulla Abdullatif, HE Ahmet Ulker & HE Sameera Rajab with members of the diplomatic corps
Lale, Dr Dhafer Al Umran & HE Ahmet Ulker
Agus, Mona, Shanjida & Mehdi
Demet, Harry & Sarala
Kardelen, Faiza, Ferhan Begum & Saadet
14 December 2012
HE Sameera Rajab & HE Ahmet Ulker
Ahmed bin Hindi & Sofyan Almoayed
Jassim Al Zayani & Mirna
Eser, Sinan & Yousif
Akram Miknas & Qays Zu'bi
HE Ahmet Ulker, Haji Ahmad Jumat & Rosita
Tolga & Begum
BBBF Poppy Ball 2012 The Bahrain British Business Forum (BBBF) held its annual Poppy Ball at the Crowne Plaza Bahrain last month. The guests of honour were Chelsea Pensioners and war veterans, Late Company Sergeant Louis John, Late Sergeant Allen Michael Geoffrey and Sapper Riley Michael Barry. HE Iain Lindsay, British Ambassador also attended the event. All proceeds will go towards the Chelsea Hospital Building Fund and the Mother Child Welfare Society
HE Iain & Bridget Lindsay
Allen Michael Geoffrey, David & Riley Michael Barry
Gillian, Alex & Ruth
Sarah, Steph, Julie Anne, Tom & Dot
Lorraine, Mavada & Laura
Sharon, Paul & Tamara
Sameer, Jeannie, Sadiq & Khalil
16 December 2012
Sana & Khalid Al Zayani
Sue & Heather
Nicky, Bill & Mel
David, Carol & Tara
Dr Dhafer Al Umran, Louis John & Ebrahim Kooheji
Deena & Ian
Debbie & Andy
Anita & Lisa
Adrian & Konstantinos
Di & Rob
Rita & William
Brian & Paul
Pippa & Steve
Anne & Lydia
Ron & Austin
Unwrapping a Magical Month at Kempinski
The season of warmth, joy and good cheer is here! Unwrap a magical month of delicious treats, remarkable feasts and festive activities designed just for you by an expert team of hoteliers. Join us with your loved ones as we rejoice at Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre and ring in a very merry season for all. For additional information or to make your reservation, visit our Festive Season Stand located in front of T-Spoon, open all day, or call (+973) 1717 1000. Email: email@example.com www.kempinski.com/bahrain
Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre MANAMA BAHRAIN
Kia Quoris Car Launch Under the patronage of HE Dr Hassan Fakhro, Industry and Commerce Minister, A. A Bin Hindi, sole distributors of Kia Motors in Bahrain, launched the allnew flagship sedan Kia Quoris in a glittering ceremony at the Bahrain City Centre. The event was attended by HE Joonha Yu, Korean Ambassador, Kia Motors corporation regional headquarters Middle East and Africa sales general manager Hojong Ryu, group chairman Abdulla bin Hindi, chief executive officer and president Ahmed Bin Hindi, KIA Motors Bahrain managers, officials and members of the media
HE Dr Hassan Fakhro & Abdulla bin Hindi
The Kia Quoris
Mohammed, Ahmed & Abdulla bin Hindi with Hojong Ryu & K.T. Lee
Ahmed bin Hindi, Hojong Ryu & HE Joonha Yu
HE Joonha Yu, Hojong Ryu & Thomas
Abdulla bin Hindi, Shaikh Issa bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Saleh bin Hindi & HE Joonha Yu
John, Kartim, Momen & Yakoob
Abdulrahman & Sofyan Almoayed
Faisal & Neila
Mohammed bin Hindi & Duaij Al Rumaihi
Fatima & Issa
Salah Al Tattan, Nabeel & Mohammed Ajoor
Dancers at the launch
18 December 2012
Peter, Thomas, Davis & Jacob
U.S. Embassy 57th Presidential Election Celebration The Embassy of the United States hosted a reception marking the 57th presidential election at the Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa last month. HE Thomas Krajeski, US Ambassador spoke about the important issues facing voters in the United States and the two candidatesâ€™ divergent visions for the direction of the country. During the reception attendees followed the polling centers in the different states in America on the day of the election via a live feed on large screens at the event. Government officials, academics, journalists and NGO representatives attended the reception
HE Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa, Chairman, General Organisation of Sea Ports (GOP) & HE Thomas Krajeski
Stephanie Williams, Erin & HE Sameera Rajab, Minister of State for Information Affairs
Dr Yousef Mashal, HE Thomas Krajeski, Dr Fouad & Dr Abdulla Al Hawaj
Dr Dhafer Al Umran, Bonnie & HE Thomas Krajeski
HE Thomas & Bonnie Krajeski with Khalid Al Zayani
Nasser Alarayedh, Dr Dhafer, HE Shaikh Daij, Hamid Al Zayani, Nabeel Ajoor & Larry
Joyce, Daniela & Michael
Huda, Doris & Kelly
Duha, Jehan & Fatima
20 December 2012
Layla & Fakhria
David, Beverley & Karla
Samar, Janan & Lori
Iro & Ron
Wendy & Jaap
Hana & Hind
Ala & Aida Al Shaikh
Shaikh Ali Salman
Sparkling Seasonâ€™s Greetings
PAUL on Facebook paul-bahrain.com/facebook
*Products available from the 12th of December
MWPS Crystal Ball Charity Dinner Dance The Crystal Ball Charity Dinner Dance was organised by the Migrant Workers Protection Society (MWPS), which will donate funds raised to support abused women, improve living conditions of low-income workers and offer support to those in need. Bollywood actress, model and former beauty queen & Bahrain resident Jacqueline Fernandez was the guest of honour at the event held at the Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence and Spa. During the event, MWPS also launched its new website and logo to reach a wider range of audience
Jacqueline, Beverley, Mala & HE Mohan Kumar, Indian Ambassador
Yousif, Adeela, Omran & Nabeel
Beverley & Shubha
Krishnan, Florine, Mona Almoayyed, Meharu & Teresa
Hannah, Cyril & Sabitha
Malika, Mariam, Shamima & Nalini
Percy & Manijeh
22 December 2012
Marietta & Jacqueline
Preeti, Lakshman, Dr Buelah & David
Mehdi & Shanjida
Lynette & Priya
Sahid, Mohidul & Rafqi
Shereen & Lanka
Kiran, Mala & Nalini
Khosi & Seba
Esky & Emma
Svetlana & Geg
Claude, Joe & Ever
Fauzia, Jacqueline & Imtiaz
happeningsthismonth When? December 12-17 | Event? Kingdom Match Race | Venue? Bahrain Sailing Club
Trial of Wits Set sail for the Kingdom’s most prolific maritime race this month; teams from throughout the region will be competing against one another in the sailing world’s second-highest ranking band. A decade ago, the Kingdom Match Race was born as the brainchild of the Bahrain Maritime Sports Association (BMSA) president Shaikh Khalifa bin Abdullah Al Khalifa. Today, this once-small event has grown larger than anyone dreamed to host sailing teams from around the Arab world and Western Asia. This month, the race returns with more teams, more adrenalin and more publicity than ever before. And the course is no picnic. “A match race has been described as a chess match on the water,” explains Mohammed Daij Al Khalifa, a member of BMSA’s event committee. “It is a race between two boats, usually identical, over a prescribed course. Each team tries to outwit the other through superior crew work, tactics and strategy.” This event, which coincides with the Kingdom’s National Day celebrations, boasts 12 teams of four or five people, including some of the world’s best teams. “Twenty-four races must take place before the semi-final and final. To accommodate all of the races and the time they take, Also this month
we have spread the event over four days and kept an additional day in case of bad weather conditions,” Mohammed adds. “After all, the boats are powered by their sails and therefore the wind!” Each day’s races begin between 8 or 9am and are stopped at either 2 or 3pm. Although the teams are not judged on their time, the races tend to take between 20 and 30 minutes. “This event is huge; it is internationally recognised and sponsored by Omega Watches,” says Mohammed. “Twelve to 14 countries are taking part and in addition to having a fun few days sailing, the teams have the chance to win prize money and Omega timepieces.” However, it’s not all about those sailing. The current weather is perfect to spend time outdoors and you can relax on The Bahrain Sailing Club’s beautiful rooftop area or on the beach whilst watching the race proceed. Most of the action happens close to the spectators’ stand so as long as you arrive early you will be assured a prime viewing position. “We will have additional entertainment ongoing at the venue,” Mohammed explains. “Kids can amuse themselves in the playground area and teenagers and adults can make use of the water sports facilities. Furthermore, there will be plenty of food and drinks available at the beach side café.” E Call 17 836-078.
36 x Arts & Culture - 42 x Clubs & Societies - 44 x Teens & Kids - 46 x Sports & Recreation
World days Celebrate world days this December. When? December 1 Event? AIDS Day Raise money to help cure those who suffer from this lifethreatening disease. When? December 2 Event? Day for the Abolition of Slavery Focus on the contemporary forms of slavery that occur every day. When? December 3 Event? People with Disabilities Day Consider the hardships of living life with physical and mental difficulties. When? December 4 Event? Hug Day If you don’t hug those you love often, at least make sure you do on this day. When? December 10 Event? Human Rights Day Stand up for the basic rights that every person on this planet should be entitled to. When? December 18 Event? International Migrants Day Recognise the efforts, contributions and rights of migrants worldwide. When? December 20 Event? Go Caroling Day Flex your vocal cords in the leadup to Christmas by singing carols.
December 2012 23
When? December 5 Event? Photo competition Venue? N/A Your snaps of Manama could be printed on touristic calendars and postcards. E Email manamacompetition@ moc.gov.bh. When? December 5-10 Event? Faulty Towers dining experience Venue? InterContinental Regency Bahrain Enjoy a three-course meal whilst you watch a live comic performance. E Call 36 663-509 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. When? December 7 Event? Championship dog show Venue? BIC Both pedigree and non-pedigree dogs can be entered into this prestigious competition. E Visit www.csbpa.com.
When? December 21 | Event? Sanitarium concert | Venue? Alumni Club
Rock On This month marks the return of the third annual Sanitarium concert. The event, which started in 2010, is considered to be Bahrain’s premier rock concert and offers local and regional bands the chance to showcase their talents to the audience. This year’s event will feature six local talents playing different rock and metal genres, including Sanitarium’s own band “The Experiment” which is made up of members from various rock and metal bands in the Kingdom. Also participating in this year’s concert is Metaholic, the band which made its debut in last year’s concert and recently had its song “Lucid Dream” picked as the sound track for the local movie Silveraven. Plus, look out for upcoming talents M.U.S.T, Berserk and The Hoob.
When? December 13 | Event? Comedy evening | Venue? TBC
When? December 7-14 Event? Drawing competition Venue? Seef Mall Let your little ones unleash their artistic side during this annual drawing event. E Call 17 825-757 or 39 637-291. When? December 10 Event? Stage performance Venue? Crowne Plaza Bahrain The Indian Ladies Association’s ‘sneha’ kids will host a show with a famous singer. E Call 39 873-357 or 33 087-487.
Headlining will be the Thee Project, one of Bahrain’s most recognisable acts, with comedic vocals dealing with the everyday life of the average Bahraini matched with heavy guitar riffs and drums. Gates will be open from 5pm and tickets will be BD4 (main standing area) and BD6 for VIP seating. E Call 39 775-095.
Comic genius David Golshan will be in Bahrain for the first time this month, all the way from LA. He will be here to give fans an unforgettable night full of laughter, sarcasm and fun. The stand-up comedian and actor performs regularly across the United States and Europe and was recently featured on Bravo’s hit series’ Shahs of Sunset, The Millionaire Matchmaker and Jewelry Girls. Tickets cost BD30 for the first two rows, including a buffet, or BD20 for the middle rows and BD10 for seating nearer the back. More comedians are expected to be announced. E Call 33 126-616.
When? December 7 | Event? Championship dog show | Venue? BIC
When? December 12-17 Event? Kingdom Match Race Venue? Bahrain Sailing Club The region’s top sailing teams will compete on the water. E Call 17 836-078. When? December 13 Event? Comedy evening Venue? TBC David Golshan will be in Bahrain for an evening of stand-up. E Call 33 126-616. When? December 21 Event? Sanitarium concert Venue? Alumni Club Watch the region’s top rock bands battle it out on stage with their best tunes and moves. E Call 39 775-095. When? January 17-25 Event? Art festival Venue? Al Aali Shopping Complex Numerous artists will unite in the New Year for this festival. E Visit www.alaaliartfest.com.
24 December 2012
Top Dog Now in its 21st edition, this dog show is ideal for animal lovers to enjoy a day out with their pets and families. There will be two rings, one for non-pedigree with ten classes including the most handsome dog, waggiest tail and dog most like its owner. The ‘Best in Show’ will also win BD50 with all monies from the non-pedigree section being donated towards the Dogfather. Ring two is just for pedigree dogs and will be judged by three expert judges from the United Kingdom. All dogs will be grouped by breed and presented by their owners. The winners will win special rosettes with the ‘Best in Show’ dog gifted with BD50. E Visit www.csbpa.com.
When? December 5 | Event? Photo competition | Venue? N/A
When? Throughout December Event? Winter Wonderland Venue? Bahrain City Centre Win prizes, decorate cookies and experience an arctic winter. E Visit www.facebook.com/ BahrainCityCentre.
The Best of Bahrain The Ministry of Culture’s photo competition will close this month and certainly the results will be tough to judge! Every participant has to submit up to five images that best reflect Manama, with the winner’s shots to be printed on postcards or calendars. E Email manamacompetition @moc.gov.bh.
happeningsthismonth When? December 5 Event? Winter bazaar Venue? Villa 38, Mansour Garden, Saar Shop for handmade products ideal for gifting to your loved ones. E Call 39 194-692.
When? December 5-8 | Event? Pantomime | Venue? British Club
When? December 5-8 Event? Pantomime Venue? British Club Watch the pantomime version of Sleeping Beauty. E Email manamatheatreclub@ gmail.com.
Christmas Tree Lighting and Carol Singing
When? December 6 Venue? K Hotel The K Hotel’s Xmas choir will sing carols while the tree is lit. E Call 36 021-836. When? December 6 Venue? Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain Head here for carolling, festive food and of course the huge tree! E Call 17 460-000. When? December 11 Venue? Elite Resort & Spa Stop off at the Elite Resort to buy festive goods and see the tree. E Call 17 313-333. When? December 12 Venue? Sheraton Bahrain Hotel Stop by the Sheraton’s lobby to see the lighting of the hotel’s tree. E Call 17 533-533. When? December 12 Venue? Elite Crystal Hotel Listen to the beautiful tones of the Elite choir as the tree is lit. E Call 17 360-360. When? December 13 Venue? Gulf Hotel At this tree-lighting ceremony, kids will meet Santa Claus. E Call 17 713-000. When? December 19-24 Venue? Crowne Plaza Hotel Bahrain The Crowne Plaza team will serenade the crowd with carols. E Call 17 531-122.
26 December 2012
It’s Behind You! As one of the most recognisable children’s tales of all time, it makes sense that the Manama Theatre Club (MTC) chose to perform Sleeping Beauty this Christmas. The actors will bring the tale to life but not as we know it — in pantomime style! Gather your family and get ready to “boo” and shout “he’s behind you!” whilst sitting back and enjoying a memorable show. “The show follows the traditional fairy tale but has a modern twist,” explains MTC club chairman Rory Adamson. “There will be all of the traditional panto scenes with dames, good fairies and baddies and lots of opportunity for audience participation.”
Christmas Crafts If you’re looking for original hand-made Christmas gifts, this sale provides the perfect chance to get all of the presents you need. Bringing together locally based artists and designers, the Winter’s Tale Bazaar offers you the chance to buy limited edition art, bags, candles, silk scarves, cards, jewellery and accessories for adults and children. A proportion of the sellers will be donating funds raised towards charitable causes, including charities that help kids receive the education they deserve. E Call 39 194-692.
Directed by Hannah Turner and Carrie Lunt-Bell, the performance includes a cast of approximately 20 adults and 20 children. “We haven’t staged a pantomime for eight years and thought this was a great event suitable for the whole family,” adds Rory. Tickets can be purchased at the British Club and at Great Deli Café in the Saar Najibi Centre. They cost BD5 for members and BD7 for non-members, a portion of which will be donated to a children’s charity. E Email email@example.com.
When? December 6 | Event? Christmas carols | Venue? British Embassy
When? December 6 Venue? Diplomat Radisson Blu See the Diplomat’s tree and decorate a gingerbread house. E Call 17 531-666.
When? December 5 | Event? Winter bazaar | Venue? Villa 38, Mansour Garden, Saar
When? December 5 Venue? Sofitel Bahrain Watch the lighting of the Sofitel tree accompanied by carolling. E Call 17 636-363.
There is no better way to get into the spirit of Christmas than having a sing-song. The British Ambassador and his wife will be hosting one such carolling session on December 6, inviting all British passport holders and their families to join in the merriment at the British Embassy grounds. Many traditional carols will be sung amidst an array of tinsel and festive refreshments. Tickets are free of charge and will be issued strictly on a first come first served basis. E Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
happeningsthismonth When? December 5-10 | Event? Faulty Towers dining experience | Venue? InterContinental Regency Bahrain
Eat, Drink and Laugh Join Basil, Sybil and Manuel on their first visit to Bahrain for an international sell-out dinner comedy show. A globe-trotting show will be making an appearance in Bahrain this month, courtesy of Punchline Media. The events team is bringing an internationally acclaimed crew to the Kingdom to perform the very best moments of Faulty Towers. The much-loved British series will be reprised during a unique interactive theatre and dining experience that you wonâ€™t want to miss. The actors will take attendees on a two-hour comical adventure of immersive, highly improvised and site-specific comedy theatre with only a third of the show scripted. The team is set to serve up mayhem alongside the delicious â€˜70s inspired three-course meal, which is included in every ticket price. Six teams of cast now tour the world non-stop crossing Europe, Scandinavia and Asia. The Bahrain performances will feature Amanda McKay as Sybil, Geoffrey Reczek as Manuel and Kevin Whittle as Basil. The experience will be open for five nights for dinner at 7.30pm and there will be additional lunch sittings at 1pm on Friday December 7 and Saturday December 8. Tickets are priced at BD35 for dinner and BD30 for lunch. Tailored discounted packages are available for corporate, group and Christmas party bookings. E Call 36 663-509 or email email@example.com.
German Ambassador's Reception HE Sabine Taufmann, German Ambassador and Gernot Taufmann, hosted a reception on the occasion of the visit of a delegation of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Potsdam, of Ghorfa-GS Al-Mikhlafi and the official opening of the RMA Rheinau/Bahrain premises. The reception was held at HE's residence in Saar last month
Abdulla Juma, Abdul Hameed Kooheji, Dr Tawfeeq Almoayed, HE Sabine Taufmann, Ahmed Jawahey & HE Abdul Nabi Al Sho'ala
Rene Kohl, Victor Stimming, Lamia, Zeenath, Abdul Hussain Dawani & Tareq Wafa
Prof Piorr, Ralphe & Christophe
28 December 2012
Pressel, Stephen & Ruhmke
Abdul Hamid & Rashid
Nabeel, Maxine & Siggi
Janos & Simone
Miglena & Manfred
happeningsthismonth When? December 10 | Event? Stage performance | Venue? Crowne Plaza Bahrain
Silver Celebrations One of the Kingdom’s most prominent all-female organisations is currently recognising a milestone; celebrate with them at a charitable event showcasing the talents of incredible children.
The Indian Ladies Association has proved what a group of dedicated ladies can achieve in a short time. Since 1956 the group has conducted a great amount of charity work including the conception of ‘Sneha’, a group that provides relief for mothers of special children. The concept that started with one child has become the most endearing project of the association and is currently the focal point of all its activities. Today it has 20 children on its roll and is celebrating 25 years in operation. This month will include the grand finale of the celebrations. On December 10 children from Sneha and various other centres are set to perform a stage show with celebrity input; Usha Uthup will be coming to the Kingdom from India to show her support and to wow the crowd with her popular jazz and playback songs. Other silver jubilee events that have already occurred include an English essay writing competition organised for students from mainstream schools. The purpose of this event was to create awareness amongst the school children of kids who have special needs and the social responsibility everyone has towards them. A ‘Mural Meet’ was hosted in November at Ramli Mall giving children from ten other special centres the chance to help paint a ‘One World’ mural. E Call 39 873-357 or 33 087-487.
Mövenpick Hotel Vietnamese Food Festival Launch The Mövenpick Hotel hosted a dinner to mark the launch of the hotel's Vietnamese Food Festival in partnership with Emirates Airlines and Mövenpick Hotel Saigon, whose three top Vietnamese chefs were present throughout the week long festival
Patrick, Sencha & Heinz
Kim, Rogier & Kjell
30 December 2012
Silvia, Heinz & Lena
Thieu, Nguyen & Kim
Isaac, Jamal & Issa
Amal, Abdulaziz, Mohammed & Sumaya
Chihiro & Mayumi
Patricia & Sharon
Mariam & Rashad
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happeningsthismonth When? Throughout December | Event? Winter Wonderland | Venue? Bahrain City Centre
BAHRAIN CITY CENTRE
Let it Snow! Winter has arrived in the Kingdom this month as the largest shopping centre unveils a grand display of snow, arctic creatures, an igloo and much more.
32 December 2012
Bahrain City Centre has succeeded in getting the Kingdom in the holiday spirit this month. In addition to the large choice of shops, food outlets and entertainment venues available, shoppers will be privy to experiencing a great deal of festive cheer with fun and interactive displays that will be in action throughout the month. The Winter Wonderland campaign promises fun for every member of the family. Avid shoppers have the chance to win BD5,000 worth of sparkling diamonds and the little ones will be in awe of the magical snow-covered village, erected in the Central Galleria. This year, everyone will be able to experience an authentic frosted festive season. Look out for the life-sized igloo, snow-capped trees and a host of fuzzy winter characters including a giant snowman, penguins and seals. Plus, during each weekend of the Winter Wonderland there will be roaming mascots for children to interact with. So don’t forget to bring your camera! The Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel gingerbread chalet, in front of T Spoon Café, will host cookie-decorating workshops for children. These will be held every Friday in December from 3-6pm for a nominal BD2 entry fee. All funds raised in this initiative will be donated to the Palm Association, a local charity aimed at supporting Bahraini families in need.
Prizes galore! Spend BD30 or more in one day at any store during the Winter Wonderland campaign, and if you redeem your receipts at Customer Service, you will have the chance to win one of four dazzling diamond sets, worth BD5,000. The diamonds will be displayed at Al Zain Jewellery, located on Level 1 of the centre and the winner will be announced on January 2. All shoppers who spend BD50 or more will be gifted with a limited edition snow globe, providing a cute reminder of the snow-filled experience. Make sure you don’t miss the final chance to win; two trivia questions will be posted online each week with clues to be found at the Winter Wonderland display in the Central Galleria. Those who post the correct answers on the centre’s Facebook page will have the chance of winning Bahrain City Centre Gift Cards worth BD50 to spend on a shopping spree at the mall. Winter Wonderland will be up and running until December 31, so make sure you visit the centre at least once during the month to enjoy all it has to offer. E Visit www.facebook.com/BahrainCityCentre or Twitter @BahrainCityCtr.
happeningsthismonth When? December 7-14 | Event? Drawing competition | Venue? Seef Mall
Our Bahrain If your children have a knack for art, encourage them to participate in the Kingdom’s annual kids’ drawing competition to outline what it is they most love about the country. Ten successful years of the Little Picassos’ Drawing Competition proves the event has become popular with Bahrain’s promising youth sector. Since its launch in 2002, the competition’s themes have ranged from family values, friendship, environmental awareness, road safety, to last year’s theme of love and endearment to Bahrain. This time, Little Picassos is held under the patronage of Shaikha hind bin Salman Al Khalifa, president of the Children and Mother Welfare Society. The theme “Bahrain-Nuna” is in celebration of its decade of success. Bahrain-Nuna, which is the first line of Bahrain’s national anthem, encourages children of all ages to envision how to build a stronger country, now and in the future. “This year’s event promises to offer children a fun and memorable experience. Parents can be present to support the children while they let go of their creativity and imagination to show the world why they love Bahrain”, says Mahin Al Wazzan, business manager of Information Affairs Authority, the event’s organisers. There will be three winners in each category: under seven years, seven to 12 years and 13 to 18 years. A panel that includes well-known artists will judge the children’s works of art and the winners will be announced on December 15 when prizes will also be awarded. This year, 100 per cent of the registration proceeds will be donated to the General Directorate of Traffic’s Car Seat Campaign in order to give 500 car seats to low-income Bahraini families. E Call 17 825-757 or 39 637-291 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bahrain Career Expo 2012 Under the patronage of HE Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Deputy Premier, and organised by the National Society for the Support of Education and Training (NSSET) in partnership with Tamkeen and supported by platinum sponsors VIVA and Alba, Bahrain Career Expo 2012 was held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre. The opening was attended by HE Dr Hassan Fakhro, Industry and Commerce Minister, HE Dr Majid Al Nuaimi, Education Minister, HE Jameel Humaidan, Labour Minister, officials & dignitaries
Jalal, Rashid, Fatima, Mohammed, Ameena & Ahmed
Lamuel, Eman, Ramlah, Dalal, Reem & Jamal
34 December 2012
HE Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa opens the expo
Eman, Shaikha & Naeema
Juzer, Vineeth, Mohammed & Abdul Sattar
Art Festival At A l A a l i nd
17 - 25 Jan 2013 ART | MUSIC | FOOD
www.alaaliartfest.tv watch art live!
Contact : 17 007270 / 17 581000, E-mail: email@example.com
happeningsartsculture When? December 1-31 | Event? Exhibition | Venue? Naqsh Gallery
When? December 1-15 Event? Art exhibition Venue? Block 338 Architecture and design will be showcased at this year’s Market 338. E Call 17 717-441. When? December 1-31 Event? Exhibition Venue? Al Bareh Art Gallery Refine your artistic skills with a host of workshops taught by field experts. E Call 17 717-707.
The Beauty of Lettering A new artistic hub highlights a different type of art; the beauty of calligraphy is spotlighted through different forms and exhibitions. Since launching in 2011, Naqsh Gallery has expanded its franchise to open a second branch and coffee shop in Al Aali Shopping Complex. Focused solely on Arabic calligraphy, the gallery introduces a specialised art form into the Kingdom’s growing cultural scene. “Our aim is to celebrate local creativity. What we offer is very centralised to the region, allowing people to experience all the true art that Bahrain has to offer,” says founder Mohammed Maskati. The gallery’s design, located next to gate two of the mall, is a work of art itself. Taking inspiration from the architecture of traditional gulf houses, it integrates indigenous elements with contemporary design. The sleek concrete and glass finish is combined with the rustic feel of wooden engravings and fulllength traditional lamps are suspended from the dome ceiling to further enrich the ethnic ambience. “Naqsh displays the works of 20 different established artists from all over the world but still opens platforms for up and coming artists every few months as part of the gallery’s initiative to support Bahraini artists,” Mohammed adds. December’s exhibits This month, art appreciators can enjoy three different exhibitions at the gallery. Ali Al Khufi, born in Iraq and currently based in London, will be displaying four different directions
36 December 2012
from his latest collection. The artist is passionate about freestyle Arabic calligraphy and mixes contemporary colours. Egyptian born Heba Nasser, who currently resides in Paris, will be exhibiting a more subdued and contemporary collection. Her artworks are unique due to their calm and colours. Mohammed, himself, will be exhibiting for the very first time. He will showcase his pieces that blend different materials like wood, glass and acrylics. The artist prefers to use geometric shapes and patterns with sharp edges and applies Arabic calligraphy in different styles. Open for all Aside from the regular exhibits, Naqsh hosts interactive activities throughout the year. The new year will welcome the launch of a cultural dialogue programme where monthly events such as workshops, music concerts, book launches and poetry talks will be held. “We believe in making art accessible to everybody in all its different forms. Just a simple gathering at the coffee shops offers an artistic experience,” continues Mohammed. With the theme of providing for everyone, the gallery only sells copies of the original works, making the prices all the more affordable to budding collectors. Already having a variety of events under their belt including film screenings and a talent show, the gallery’s team are currently planning for something unique. “For the first time ever in the Kingdom, we will host an exhibition for the visually impaired,” the founder says. E Call 17 591-313.
When? December 1-31 Event? Exhibition Venue? Naqsh Gallery Explore the world of calligraphy with three unique exhibitions. E Call 17 591-313. When? December 4 & 11 Event? Screening Venue? La Fontaine Travel the world through a series of documentary screenings. E Call 17 230-123. When? December 5-13 Event? Exhibition Venue? Bahrain Arts Centre The island’s most creative women join hands in an annual exhibition. E Call 77 442-222.
When? December 6 – January 12 Event? Group exhibition Venue? BFH art gallery Eleven artists use different methods to explore the meaning of ‘walls’. E Call 17 102-600. When? December 9-24 Event? Exhibition Venue? Bin Matar House Mark your calendars for a series of exhibitions, lectures and musical nights. E Call 17 322-549.
Tearing Down Walls If Walls Could Talk is an exhibition featuring the works of 11 contemporary artists as they each explore the defining characteristics of ‘walls’ from structural, theoretical and philosophical perspectives. Hanin El Mardi, Leon D, Eman Ali, Mercedes Gonzales de Garay, Fran Stafford, Jenine Sharabi, Yasmin Sharabi, Karima Sharabi, Dalia El Mardi and Rana Jarbou are the exhibiting artists. The exhibition will explore boundaries, separation and the definition of designated areas. Obstructive or constructive, walls surround us within and around our homes and schools, places of worship, work, entertainment and leisure. Made of stone, brick, cement or wood; high or short; decaying, century-old walls remind us of the past and newly constructed walls reflect the ideals of our time. Walls are constructs of our society, but they can also develop within us, obstructing our ability to see our full potential. Also exhibiting is Khalil Rasool who explores the narrative of abandoned Kayakoy city in southwestern Turkey through a series of his photographs. His collection features images of crumbling walls of abandoned churches, schools and homes whispering stories of lives surrendered to the politics of religion and the barriers of nationalistic ideology. Half Bahraini, half Turkish, Khalil Rasool has lived in both Bahrain and Leicester, UK, where he completed his university studies. His deep appreciation of nature and his ability to utilise his photography as a tool for narrative is clearly reflected in his work. E Call 17 102-600.
38 December 2012
Crossing Seas If you missed the first showing of Tim MackintoshSmith’s travel adventures make sure you catch this month’s documentary screenings. Magician and Mystic follows Tim in Turkey where he watches an illegal whirling dervish ceremony. His journey continues to the Taurus Mountains where he meets the last of the Turkoman nomads. The traveller also crosses paths with a Muslim magician performing the Indian rope trick in Delhi. The last documentary, Trade Winds, explores the place of Islam in Hindu-dominated India and communist China, and tells the story of the Islamic trade empire in the 14th century. E Call 17 230-123.
When? December 9-24 | Event? Exhibition | Venue? Bin Matar House
When? December 6-January 12 | Event? Group exhibition | Venue? BFH art gallery
When? December 4 and 11 | Event? Screening | Venue? La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art
The Shaikh Ebrahim Centre is ending the year on a high note by hosting a joint exhibition with famed Bahraini painter Balqees Fakhro and renowned sculptor Khalid Farhan. Also in the line up of events is a performance by Nehawnd Band who will offer audiences a musical experience from Jerusalem on December 10. E Call 17 322-549.
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happeningsthismonth When? January 17-25 | Event? Art festival | Venue? Al Aali Shopping Complex
AL AALI SHOPPING COMPLEX
Artistic Variety Art in every style, size and form imaginable will be displayed at Al Aali Shopping Complex in the New Year. Make sure you visit for your chance to meet the artists and pick up some tips.
40 December 2012
Art Fest 2012 showcased works from over 70 of the Kingdom’s artists over the course of four days. Next January, thanks to overwhelming demand, the annual exhibition has been extended to nine days with an even bigger roster of participants. The event is ideal for anyone interested in art; you can meet the artists, take part in workshops to boost your own skills and network within the artistic clique of Bahrain. Both established and upcoming artists from across the island are invited to showcase their talents as well as sell their work. A host of creative disciplines will be displayed including painting, sculpting, fashion designing, music, photography, calligraphy and pottery. During the art extravaganza, the Al Aali Shopping Complex will be transformed into a canvas, creating a live gallery with different forms of art. The idea is to inspire, captivate and enthral visitors whilst providing the unique opportunity to witness some of the Kingdom’s finest creative minds. Also, in an effort to inspire others, different workshops will be held throughout each day of the event by renowned artists. Visitors can sign up to participate in a whole range of artistic
workshops to receive expert guidance and learn new techniques from those well known artists. Budding photographers are offered an opportunity to showcase their skills through the event’s exciting photography competition. You can showcase your own talent and submit your best works. Art Fest will additionally explore the idea of food as an art form. An open-for-all food carving and cake decorating competition will be a highlight of the festival’s calendar [DASH] perfect for all arty chefs to sign up for. Some of the well-known artists who participated this year included Abbas Al Mousawi, Abdul Rasool Alghayb, Mariam Khalil Janahi, Ella Prakash, Aziz Qasim, Mahmood Al-Mulla and Haider Akbar Haider Ali. Many of these artists have shown their support and have already signed in for the 2013 Artfest. The festival will raise funds through the sale of art where 20 per cent of the proceeds will be donated to various charitable causes in the country. E Call 39 323-696 or 39 994-858 or visit www.alaaliartfest.com.
Dancers of the Brazilian show troupe “A Taste of Brazil”, dressed in colourful costumes will leave you spellbound with their fantastic dance shows on the New Year’s eve party. An authentic Brazilian floor show; an eye popping spectacle priced BD 55.000++ at the Flamingo Bar and Silk restaurant, and BD 65.000++ at the Gallery. When the big night’s over, don’t worry about driving home late, for you can take advantage of our overnight package. A unique and fabulous experience awaits with our Silk’s or Flamingo’s package priced BD 185.000++ per couple, or our Gallery’s package priced BD 205.000++ per couple, inclusive of the Gala buffet, shows, drinks and overnight stay in one of the hotel’s exquisite rooms.
Celebrate the night
wake up in style.
happeningsclubssocieties When? Throughout December | Event? Various festive happenings | Venue? Various
When? December 8 Event? Christmas fete Venue? Dilmun Club The BSPCA will host its annual festive sale with all donations going towards the centre. E Call 17 593-479. When? December 14 Event? Christmas fete Venue? British Club Shop for gifts, play games and sing carols at this festive event. E Call 17 728-245. When? December 14 Event? Christmas market Venue? Bahrain Rugby Football Club Stop off for a drink and bite to eat after browsing the range of goods on sale. E Call 17 695-809. When? December 7 Event? Kid’s Christmas party Venue? Dilmun Club The Bahrain Irish Society is celebrating Christmas with a children’s party. E Email info@ bahrainirishsociety.com.
Festivities Abound! Alison Coldridge Whether you are partial to a bit of caroling, a mince pie or two or festive shopping for gifts, the Kingdom has it all to offer this month to ensure your holiday season is as joyous as possible. There is so much going on in the Kingdom this month that it proved too difficult to focus on a single event. Therefore, we chose to round up all of the festive festivities that we heard about to give you the widest choice of which to attend. So if you’re someone who eagerly anticipates the arrival of Christmas, you’re about to fill up your festive calendar quickly! Gift ideas Bursting with festive food, decorations, gift ideas and a generally merry atmosphere, Christmas fairs are a lovely way to spend a few hours of your weekend. The first of the bunch will be hosted by the BSPCA on December 8 at the Dilmun Club and will be filled with party wear, jewellery, knick-knacks and accessories. The 500 fils entrance fee will be donated towards the centre’s animal care. Visit the British Club on December 14 to browse both commercial and non-commercial items from 2pm-5pm. A number of games will keep the little ones amused and the event will be followed by carol singing by the poolside.
42 December 2012
On the same day will be the Bahrain Rugby Football Club’s Christmas market; stop off here for a festive brew and bite to eat followed by a look at the wide variety of products on sale. Drink, eat and be merry! If you are looking for a place to celebrate the imminent arrival of Christmas Day, start by attending a party, caroling session or tree-lighting event. The Indian Club will be holding its annual Christmas Tree Function and the Bahrain Irish Society will host parties for both kids and adults at the Dilmun Club, on December 7 and 13 respectively. Dig in to lavish Christmas Eve and Day dinners at the British Club and return again for the club’s New Year’s Eve dinner dance event on December 31. The Bahrain Rugby Football Club will ring in the New Year with a gala and the Dilmun Club plans to host a similar event. The sound of Christmas Revel in the recognisable songs of the festive season at two musical extravaganzas. The YMCA Bahrain Choir Cantata will be impressing attendees with renditions of classicical tunes on December 8 and the Manama Singers will be hosting Christmas carol events on December 14 at the Golden Tulip Hotel. The children’s matinee will be at 4pm inclusive of a visit from Father Christmas, followed by a 7pm show for the adults.
When? December 13 Event? Christmas party Venue? TBC The Bahrain Irish Society adults will celebrate Christmas. E Email info@ bahrainirishsociety.com. When? December 14 Event? Christmas carol concert Venue? Golden Tulip Hotel Listen to the Manama Singers’ rendition of traditional and modern carols. E Visit www.manamasingers.com. When? December 24 Event? Christmas Eve dinner Venue? British Club Dig in to a sumptuous set-menu dinner, complete with a romantic candlelit ambience. E Call 17 728-245. When? December 25 Event? Christmas Day lunch Venue? British Club Enjoy traditional fare with all the trimmings, plus a visit from Father Christmas. E Call 17 728-245. When? December 31 Event? New Year’s Eve party Venue? British Club Celebrate 2013’s arrival with a buffet, a magician and dancing. E Call 17 728-245. When? December 31 Event? New Year’s Eve party Venue? Bahrain Rugby Football Club Ring in the New Year with live music, great food and dancing. E Call 17 695-809.
happeningskidsteens When? December 7 | Event? Family Fair | Venue? British School of Bahrain
Around the World Looking for a quick getaway? With this unique tour of the world there is no need to endure packing or make travel arrangements; simply bring your family and have fun. Imagine walking through a native cave and leaving your handprint; having your picture taken in front of the Taj Mahal; or sampling the delicacies of Italy, Scotland, Jordan, India and Thailand all in one day. The British School of Bahrain (BSB) is hosting an International Family Fair this month, allowing visitors to experience 24 countries without leaving the school’s grounds. Children and parents can sample each country’s cuisine, learn about its culture and see how the natives dress. Plenty of action Test your taste buds by stopping off at the fair’s various food stands. A traditional South African barbeque will serve burgers and hot dogs while an authentic tea house will offer four types of tea experiences: Chinese, Japanese, Moroccan and English. Each experience lasts approximately 20 minutes and will be served by BSB senior students. Additionally, a grab-and-go section will supply a large variety of baked goods for sale. Browse the products of 90 vendors who will be selling a range of goods, including arts and crafts, imported items, baked goods, jewellery, clothing, toys, books and so much more. Keep an eye out for the entertainment that will be provided
44 December 2012
by the students throughout the day and get in the festive mood by visiting Santa’s grotto — your little one may be rewarded with a present! Of course, no fair is complete without games. Stock up on tokens and participate in a multitude of activities to win great prizes. Additional entertainment will include a bouncy castle, electric train, cotton candy stand and other customary rides and treats. “Each year we donate ten per cent of our fundraising efforts to a local charity and this year we are supporting children with cancer, through the Future Society for Youth,” says Amanda Fergusson, marketing manager at BSB. A raffle will take place providing the chance to win VIP tickets to Deepak Chopra’s appearance in the Kingdom next February. A BD500 shopping voucher to Bahrain City Centre as well as BD300 cash will also be up for grabs. Other gifts include restaurant, salon and gym vouchers, jewellery and artwork. Raffle tickets can be purchased during the fair for 500 fils each. Visiting will also give non-BSB families an opportunity to sign their children up into any of the school academy courses for the second term. The academy offers sports, music, drama and many other individual and group classes. The event is open to the public and entrance costs BD1 for adults while children aged two and under can get in for free.
Natural Kids Organised by the Tribal Fitness group, Outside Action is a junior’s event that will allow youngsters to discover how to move and have fun in nature. The carefully designed programme gives an introduction to basic and safe Parkour movements in the park. Kids will also learn and apply movement techniques such as climbing ropes and trees, scaling rocks, lifting safely, balancing on logs and self-defence. Little ones will get to explore the outdoors and gain valuable experience through learning practical skills they can use in life, sport and play. The exclusive event runs from 9am to 12 noon for those aged 3-4 years and from 1pm to 4pm for those aged 5-7 years, from December 16-17 at Abu Subh Park in Budaiya. E Call 39 473-710.
E Call 17 610-920.
happeningssportsrecreation When? Throughout December | Event? National Day events | Venue? Various
When? December 7 Event? Open Bodybuilding Championship Venue? Bahrain Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Federation Divided into six entry categories, this competition will be a true test of manpower. E Call 17 721-557. When? December 8 Event? Fundraiser Venue? Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain Gyms and health clubs will host a sporting fundraiser in aid of charity. E Call 17 460-000. When? December 8 Event? National Weightlifting Championship Venue? Bahrain Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Federation This annual and popular event will test the strength of all its participants. E Call 17 721-557. When? December 14 Event? Half Ironman Triathlon Venue? The Lagoon, Amwaj Islands The final part of the Bahrain Triathlon Challenge is set to be the hardest event yet. E Call 39 132-102.
Sporting Celebrations Alison Coldridge As a Kingdom with an aptitude for sport, it’s not surprising that a large number of the festivities marking His Majesty King Hamad’s Accession Day and Bahrain National Day are sport-related. The days surrounding National Day, on December 16, are filled with competitions that will provide a fun and friendly way for the country’s residents to unite. The planned tournaments will highlight all manner of sports and offer something for everyone, from testing personal strength to equestrian skill. The games will begin with a test of manpower in the Open Bodybuilding Championship on December 7. This event, organised by the Bahrain Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Federation, includes six classes: under-23 age category, 70kg, 80kg, 90kg, above-90kg and an above-40-years masters’ competition. The following day will be an equally hefty event — the National Weightlifting Championship. Both events are set to be held at the club’s premises in Um Al Hassam. However, this is subject to change. One of the country’s favourite sporting arenas will also hold a prestigious competition. The First World Military Endurance
46 December 2012
Championship scheduled for December 15 will display the equestrian talents of the Kingdom’s finest horsemen. Participating riders are expected from 19 countries including Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Brazil, Jordan, the UK, Ireland and Yemen. The 120 km ride will take place at the Bahrain Endurance Village. Avid golfers can partake in a tournament on National Day, at the Royal Golf Club. The full-day event, starting at 7.30am, will prove who the real pros are as the top players continue on to the second round, scheduled for the following day. Additionally, the club will host the King Hamad Trophy from December 19-22. This event will include participation from some of the top players from around the GCC. All are welcome to partake in the December 16 event while the latter is reserved for professionals. However, anyone can watch. The Bahrain Tennis Club will hold its yearly competition in celebration of National Day at the organisation’s premises in Juffair. All are welcome to take part and compete to win the first place trophy. There will be various categories allowing a wide ranges of abilities to be involved. And those with a knack on the bowling lanes can join in with the Awali Bowling Club’s tournament, set for December 16 at Bapco Club. Categories include adults, youths and juniors with prizes up for grabs in each division.
When? December 15 Event? Military Endurance Championship Venue? Bahrain Endurance Village The first of its kind, this championship will showcase the Kingdom’s finest horsemen. E Visit www.equestrianbahrain.com. When? December 16 and 17 Event? Golf tournament Venue? Royal Golf Club All are welcome to take part in this golfing event. The top tier will continue to day two. E Call 17 750-777. When? December 16 Event? National Day competition Venue? Bahrain Tennis Club This championship will include numerous categories for all to compete in. E Visit www.bahraintennisclub.com. When? December 16 Event? Bowling competition Venue? Awali Bowling Club Celebrate National Day by taking to the bowling lanes with friends and competitors. E Call 17 753-666. When? December 19-22 Event? King Hamad Trophy Venue? Royal Golf Club The GCC’s top players will participate in this annual event in celebration of the King. E Call 17 750-777.
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The Days of Russian Culture Opening Night Under the patronage of HE Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Culture Minister, The Days of Russian Culture, featuring a five day spectacle of Russian culture, orchestra and dance was opened by HE at the Cultural Hall and Bahrain National Museum. The event was attended by HE Victor Smirnov, Russian Ambassador, HE Sameera Rajab, Minister of State for Information Affairs, dignitaries and guests. The festival was organised by the Culture Ministry in collaboration with the Russian Embassy
HE Victor Smirnov, HE Sameera Rajab & HE Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa
Vera, Michael, Fatima & Gala
P.B. Higgoda & Khalid Maskati
Ahmed & Shaikh Khalid
Roza & Natalia
Ana & Craig
Ehtibar, Maksud & Dinara
Sara, Rafa & Jawaher
Ali & Maria
Nilda, Ernie & Anne
Valeria, Yan & Galiena
Francis & Carmen
Chirag & Charlaine
48 December 2012
Oswald, Shalini & Amy
HE Victor Smirnov, Russian Ambassador, Vera Smirnova & Bonnie Krajeski
Atik & HE Karim Al Shaker
One of the dances being performed at the event
Bahrain Irish Society Gaelic Games The Bahrain Irish Society as part of the Bahrain Irish Festival hosted its annual Gaelic Games. This year's tournament is celebrating 20 years of Gaelic Games on the island. The event held at the Bahrain Rugby Football Club (RFC) in Saar was organised by the Bahrain Irish Society and the Arabian Celts Gaelic Football Club Brian & JK
Labhooise, Aisling & KT
Niamh, Linda & Kate
Tara, Marie-Claire, Rebecca, Sara, Christine & Sarah
John, Pat & Jim
Siobhan, Gabby & Serena
50 December 2012
Kieran & Denis
Allan, Sinead, Keara, Majella & Liz
Liz & Katie
Polly & Roisin
Josie & Aideen
Cliona, Yvonne, Lorraine & Clodagh
Players and spectators enjoying the games
Helen, Floss & Bob
Leanne, Shaunag & Aoife
Tricia, Mary & Claire
Erin & Laura
Sile & Sandra
Olivia, Maeve & Annie
Charlotte, Cara & Eva
Azadea Appreciation Month 2012 Azadea Group held an Appreciation Month 2012 event for employees that included an awards ceremony, dinner and lots more. The event was held at the Elite Resort & Spa last month
Natasha & Dalia
Fadi, Remya & Jawad Y. Al Hawaj
Joanna, Shoba & Dom
Vimal & Allan
Rona & Ponciano
Fadi & Ibrahim
Osmat, Maher & Mishal
Allan with Abdulwahab Al Hawaj
Jenny, Jennifer, Remya, Prabha & Chethana
Seelan, Reji, Parminder & Sunil
52 December 2012
Natasha & Abdullah
Cesar & Hanine
Alian & Susan
Marwan, Birginia, Eman & Arshad
Hussain Al Hawaj & Jassmin
Ahmed Al Hawaj & Tolu
Alia, Luminita & Fatima
Shekar, Sudesh & Alex
Tareq & King
Ray, Biju & Golam
Irresistible India 2012 La Bonn V the events company presented 'Irresistible India - the second in the series' under the patronage of the Indian Embassy at the Sofitel Thalassa Sea and Spa last month. The high profile event showcasing the renowned Abhinava Dance Troupe was patronised by many dignitaries and ambassadors
Mala & HE Mohan Kumar, Indian Ambassador
Ashalatha Shetty & Meera Ravi
Eveline & Tony Jashanmal, Nayar & Rhizlaine
Rulla, Liliane, Lynne & Marise
Renuka Ravindran, Dr Mustafa Al Sayed, HE Mohan Kumar, HE Sameera Rajab, Minister of State for Information Affairs & Mala Kumar
Jasmin, Dina & Mariam
Mala, Tomoko, Romina & Stephanie
Maya, Yulia & Sari
Martina & Vivian
Hussam & Deena Saif
Charu & Sonam
Ali & Sarva
Salma, Iva, Sawsan & Lena
Steen, Hans, Armi & Bjarne
54 December 2012
Abhinava Dance Troupe performs at the event
Indian Ambassador's Diwali Party HE Mohan Kumar, Indian Ambassador & Mala Kumar hosted a Diwali party to celebrate the Indian Festival of Lights. The was party attended by a number of diplomats, dignitaries and VIPs was held at HE's official residence in Saar last month Mala Kumar, HE Abdul Nabi Al Sho'ala & HE Mohan Kumar
Anne, Ashalatha & Uma
Juzer & Maria
Dr Malhotra, Mala, Raj, Yagna & Yajur
Srinivas & Suvasini
56 December 2012
Mala, Bridget & HE Iain Lindsay, British Ambassador
Mona Almoayyed, Khalid Al Zayani, HE Mohan Kumar, Huda Al Saie & Adel Fakhro
Bonnie, Leylan & Rocio
Vani & Dr Krishnan
Sofyan, Leylan, Muneera, Wendy & Jaap
Mala Kumar & Kanika
Renuka & Kiran
Souheil & Liliane
Bharti & Ashalatha
Khalid & Balqees Almoayed with Mala
Marietta & maria
Irwin & Sharon
Jassim Al Zayani
Ashok & Fazal
Rachana & Rajneesh
Mohan & Radha
ILA Dandiya Rass Masti A celebration to mark the festive season of Navaratri will was hosted by the Indian Ladies Association (ILA). The association's Khushi Se â€Ś Dandiya Raas Masti was held tomorrow at Crowne Plaza Hotelâ€™s Conference Centre
Raka, Shantini, Gopika, Manorama, Roshini & Aarti
Shivani, Shriyal & Richa
Sunantha, Reena, Princy, Nalini, HE Mahmood Al Mahmood, Wilson & Dimple
Mallika, Krishna Kumar, Sajna & Nysha
Aditi, Rithu & Keerthana
Achala, Vishwa, Madonna & Ursula
Salman, Mariam & Ahmed
Manali, Vaishali, Rachel, Pritika & Sumaya
Rony & Lina
Sejal & Amina
Suvasini, Reena & Parul
Dheeptha & Ashalatha
Kausar & Sangeet
Roxanna & Suha
Karan & Gopika
Kiran & Dhruv
LuLu Prize Distribution 8 people received the keys to their new Toyota Land Cruiser as part of LuLu Hypermarket's Summer Surprise promotion, wherein any customer who spent BD 5 at any LuLu Hypermarket was eligible for the draw. The event was held at Ramli Mall
58 December 2012
Juzer Rupawala, regional director, LuLu Hypermarkets, LuLu managers & Ramli Mall management with the winners
A Well-Rounded Partnership xxxxx Bahrain was the first country in the GCC we imported oil from; years later key Japanese banks established their regional headquarters in the Kingdom, which was developing into a financial centre
H.E. Shigeki Sumi
Simi Kamboj Celebrating 40 years of diplomatic ties with Bahrain this year, the Japanese Ambassador to Bahrain explains why the Kingdom remains important to Japan.
60 December 2012
Bahrain and Japan have had a special relationship that commenced with joint economic interests and is now blossoming into a multi-faceted partnership. The first barrels of oil from Bahrain’s Awali fields were shipped off to Japan in 1934. “Bahrain was the first country in the GCC we imported oil from; years later key Japanese banks established their regional headquarters in the Kingdom, which was developing into a financial centre. It’s now heartening to see Japanese companies participating in the downstream sector, building refineries and petro-chemical plants,” remarks His Excellency Shigeki Sumi, the Japanese Ambassador to Bahrain. Earlier this year when HM King Hamad toured Japan the significance of his visit was not lost on the Japanese. “This was the King’s first official visit anywhere outside South-East Asia,” he notes. For Japan, it’s important that Bahrain remain the business hub in the region, as several Japanese businesses have their regional bases here. “The process of reforms initiated by HM King Hamad is a great initiative and should continue. Many recommendations of
the Bassiouni report have materialised and we hope the process endures. Japan supports dialogue based on transparency and the will of the people,” he affirms. The ambassador is critical of interest groups who use violence as a means to achieve political goals. “People should be realistic; when they say they want reforms, they should note whether the process is leading to a better situation or worse. We feel that people in Bahrain want things to normalise because business and investment is at risk. We hope the voice of the silent majority will prevail.” The Kingdom remains one of the safest destinations in the world, notwithstanding the recent disturbances and Japanese investors remain committed to their plans in Bahrain, he believes. Japanese pharmaceutical player SBI Pharma has decided to set up its regional office in Bahrain. The company is considering to build a multi-million dollar plant that will turn Bahrain into a regional pharmaceutical hub. Kintetsu World Express, a major Japanese logistics company, will foray into Bahrain over the coming months with a logistics hub to service the neighbouring market of Saudi Arabia. Also testing the Bahrain waters is Teikoku Electric, which is on track to set up its regional base on the island next year.
Look-east policy Given the Kingdom’s requirements, Japan can be of assistance in a number of sectors where it has developed advanced technology and expertise, such as renewable energy, waste management, water desalination and higher education. The education ministry is currently in talks with Ritsumeikan University for running educational courses in IT, finance, energy training and management in Bahrain. “An emeritus professor from Kyoto University visited Bahrain recently and made several proposals for recycling water and management of waste. Another proposal for tapping solar energy with Japanese technology will soon be submitted to the Kingdom for consideration,” His Excellency informs.
Frederique Constant Watch Launch Asia Jewellers held a launch for the new range of Frederique Constant watches at the Jewellery Arabia event
Mr Sebastien & Mohammed Jaffar
Fatiha, Mr Sebastien & Nadia
Mohammed Jaffar addresses the media at the launch
Faces This Month Celebrations galore, parties and more enjoyed by residents of Bahrain, young & not so old!
Judy Catellino, (2nd right) celebrated her 50th birthday in Goa with friends & family, including sister-in-law Monica, brother Adolf & sister Annie
Nicole & Trevor
Gail & Johnson
Svetlana celebrated her birthday with heartthrob Geg & friends, John, Alan, Maria & George at Mei N Yu Restaurant at Amwaj last month
Rosslyn & Mike
Laura & Tom
Svetlana with her cake
Combined Farewell & Birthday Party A farewell party was held for Dr Patricia Geprgieva & Jurgen Frans celebrated his birthday as well, at the Elite Seef Residence Poolside
Rosi & Dr Patricia
Dr Maria & Jurgen
Simona & Boico
Kevin and Abla Bonner's Halloween Party Kevin and Abla literally converted their villa and garden into a spooky haunted house for an amazing Halloween Party. Attractions featuring very realistic props flown in from the USA, plus convincing actors made the evening very eventful. Revival band members, Brian, Greg, Tom, Paul and Viv entertained the guests into the early hours of the morning. Friends and family came from around the world to attend this event!
Rebecca, Monika, Mandy & Lynne
62 July 2010 BTM
Salman & Chris
Neil & Kevin, the host
Eimear & Kev
Rebecca & Craig
Dave the Joker
businessthismonth When? December 10-12 | Event? IT forum | Venue? BIECC
HE Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation
The Digital Age If you think your business could do with an elevation on the technology front, attending a distinguished forum this month may be well worth your time and effort. After two successful years, Meet ICT is back in Bahrain with a bigger agenda and even wider objectives. The 2012 edition will garner some of the most celebrated international experts from the field of information and communication technology (ICT). Participants come from a variety of sectors and will share their global experiences throughout the programme. The forum kick-starts with a conference featuring distinguished speakers and renowned panellists. Each will discuss and debate the top issues affecting the industry regionally. “As always the conference will spread its usual support to the Middle East and North Africa region for ICT development but it will also go beyond by reaching out to an international audience,” says Ubaydli Ubaydli, the event chairman. “This will not only help the delegates from the region to share the experiences from their international counterparts, but also let international companies benefit from taking part.” Conference members are tipped to include CEOs, CIOs, managers and key government decision makers and project managers. Topics to be discussed range from innovations in information technology, cloud computing applications, cyber security challenges and threats to ICT trends and standards. Successful social learning and connected mobile enterprises will also be explored. Also this month
64 x Interview - 68 x Spotlight
A sidelining initiative included as part of Meet ICT is the Business Matching Sessions Forum. Business industry owners and managers from different countries around the world will be able to match with partners or customers and consider opportunities worth billions of dollars. A trade exhibition will also be on hand, providing an excellent platform for companies, consultants and research organisations to display and demonstrate their activities and services. Exhibiting allows companies to present their products not only to local customers but also to an international target audience. Learning from the experts Three workshops will be held in parallel to this event, covering advanced ICT topics that will be conducted by experts in their respective fields. The first workshop will introduce IT governance and examine the need, value and benefits of governance in any IT organisation. Discussion on various frameworks, processes, tools and how it all ties together will also be held. The IT project management workshop looks into the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet business requirements. The last and final workshop covers the first steps in moving an organisation into cloud computing. E Visit www.meetict.com.
When? December 2-5 Event? Conference Venue? Gulf Hotel Industry experts will gather for the Middle East Maintenance Conference and Exhibition. E Call 17 810-724. When? December 2-11 Event? Quiz Venue? Seef Mall Gear up for the second edition of the Tamkeen Business Quiz Show. E Call 17 749-759. When? December 3 Event? Course Venue? Bahrain Financial Harbour Dr Paul Ekman will hold a workshop on how to separate fact from fiction. E Visit www.themakeoverexperience.com. When? December 7-9 Event? Summit Venue? Ritz-Carlton Bahrain The Manama Dialogue is a pillar of security architecture in the Middle East. E Visit www.iiss.org. When? December 10-12 Event? IT forum Venue? BIECC Find out all you need to know about information and communication technologies. E Visit www.meetict.com. When? January 8 and 9 Event? Conference Venue? Diplomat Radisson Blu Implement change management in a specialised conference. E Call 17 744-898.
December 2012 63
Embracing Change xxxxx Re-engineering our processes, streamlining our operation, optimising the use of resources, benchmarking our key performance and improving training for our human capital will allow us to significantly enhance the level of service
Simi Kamboj The aviation industry is doubtless faced with an extremely challenging business environment. George Saounatsos, CEO of BAS, speaks of navigating change to revitalise the business model.
64 December 2012
Through the course of his first year at the helm of Bahrain Airport Services (BAS) as the CEO, George Saounatsos has had his hands full. The global economic cycle as well as the political unrest resulted in a major setback to the Kingdom’s travel and tourism agenda. Business has improved marginally this year, with BAS handling three per cent more flights and 10 per cent more passengers. But its fortunes are inherently linked to the success and volumes of the national carrier Gulf Air, which accounts for almost 60 per cent of traffic at Bahrain Inetrnational Airport. “Let’s be pragmatic. We’re situated within an hour’s distance from three major hubs — Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha — which constitute the home base of three aggressively expanding global airlines. The economies of scale achieved by these airline-airport systems generate an extremely competitive environment for our national carrier and, consequently, for the airport and BAS,” observes George. Given the scenario, all stakeholders in Bahrain will have to work closely and support each other to build a competitive model that can withstand external competition and protect the aviation business in Bahrain. On the internal front, George’s main challenge stems from what he terms their “corporate fatigue”. Operating in the aviation business for more than 35 years now, it’s inevitable that an organisation the age and size of BAS, with accumulated issues not sufficiently addressed in the past and grown over the years, would experience signs of “fatigue”.
His brief, therefore, is to transform the very DNA of the company, to revitalise BAS and turn it into a competitive, flexible and efficient organisation with a performance-based and customer-centric culture. In a quest to reshape their business model to meet changing market dynamics, George is spearheading a number of organisational changes. "Re-engineering our processes, streamlining our operation, optimising the use of resources, benchmarking our key performance and improving training for our human capital will allow us to significantly enhance the level of service," he says. BAS has acquired a new cargo handling system which is in the process of being activated. A new resource management system scheduled to commence in December will optimise the planning and day-to-day allocation of resources and shift patterns for staff. Departmental efficiency as well as operational performance and service agreements with airlines will now be monitored through a performance monitoring system, developed in-house for all company divisions. It may be early, but the results have begun to trickle in. Thanks to effective cost control measures, the company posted a healthy growth in 2012 and was able to raise staff remuneration by more than 13 percent, despite inflationary pressure. In the long run, George is keen to explore possibilities of new and diversified revenue streams in the regional as well as in emerging markets. Finally, for a service provider, it all boils down to the way each individual staff — be it a check-in agent, a dispatcher or a loading supervisor — handles passengers and customer airlines. “Responding to the rapidly changing business environment requires BAS to deliver consistent and reliable services to satisfy airline requirements and offer a pleasant travelling experience to our passengers with a touch of real Bahraini hospitality through our front-line staff,” he says.
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Simi Kamboj Having gained a foothold in the market, it’s time for the Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel to make its mark. Puneet Singh shares his plans.
66 December 2012
This autumn, it’s easy to imagine that the worst is over for the travel and tourism industry. As the festive season kicks off, we speak with the incoming general manager on the Kempinski’s run in Bahrain so far. “Within a year of opening, we’ve attained the number two slot in the Bahrain market. It’s quite remarkable, considering that this was a turbulent time for the Kingdom,” he notes. Puneet has worked with the Kempinski group for almost his entire career. Having been part of the pre-opening team at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates hotel, he is no stranger to the workings of a mall hotel. “There may be some facilities we lack, for instance, a ball room, but there’s much more we offer, given our unique relationship with the Bahrain City Centre. Our long-term strategy is to be the market leader in this segment.” Puneet is aware that this cannot be accomplished until the Kempinski connects very well with Bahrain’s local community. “While the business traveller and the GCC tourist remains important to us, we want to extend a warm welcome to Bahrain’s residents as well,” he says.
Towards this end, Kempinski will make a concerted effort over the next six months to reflect local tastes and budgets. “The food at Saveur, our international restaurant, is being modified slightly to integrate with the regional taste. We’re also relooking at our pricing options to add value for our customers and compete with the select top restaurants at the Bahrain City Centre,” he says. When it opens in January, the Arabic restaurant Baharat will showcase the finest in Middle Eastern cuisine together with belly dancing performances along with live entertainment. The access to Baharat, from the fountain area, is being converted into a sheesha tent where guests can savour the outdoor ambience. This festive season, the Kempinski will set up a Winter Wonderland Chalet inside the mall, where children can decorate Christmas cookies crafted by the chefs, with the proceeds going to charity. “We’re hosting ‘Santa's Culinary Wonderland' every Saturday until the 15th with interactive festive themed entertainment for the young ones, together with an elaborate Afternoon High Tea Christmas buffet. Being the most family friendly hotel in Bahrain, we allow local families coming for the Friday Family Brunch complimentary access to our swimming pool as well as the Camelo Kids’ Club, where children can engage in activities such as wall climbing and other pastimes,” offers Puneet. Diversity in clientele is essential; Kempinski is geared towards the MICE market, all the while leveraging on joint promotions with sister properties across the GCC. He can see the market gradually stabilising and, for all the disturbances, Bahrain today is “safer than many of the top 200 cities worldwide”. The competition looming over the horizon will only serve to market the destination better, Puneet thinks. “By virtue of new investments, the size of the market is growing and the confidence in Bahrain is on the rise. Expectations will go up, naturally, but we’re fine with that. We’ll continue to add value and maintain our standards,” he affirms.
xxxxx Within a year of opening, we’ve attained the number two slot in the Bahrain market. It’s quite remarkable, considering that this was a turbulent time for the Kingdom www.bahrainthismonth.com
xxxxx At the Best Western Group, the attention to detail is remarkable. Guests will find everything they need in their suite, be it drinking water, bedside radio alarm clocks and even bathroom scales
Modern Living BEST WESTERN AL OLAYA SUITES
As the only all-suites hotel in the heart of Exhibition Avenue, the Best Western Al Olaya Suites offers a compelling proposition for families and corporate travellers alike.
68 December 2012
Visitors stepping into this 18-storyed tower off Exhibition Avenue may well be in for a surprise. Change is in the air, with the property now flying under the Best Western flag. “Needless to say, standards have gone up with the Best Western management taking over,” observes general manager, Ved Prakash, referring to the rebranding exercise at Best Western Al Olaya Suites Hotel. “The property is brand new, but we’re making some changes in accordance with the chain’s international specifications and format.” With 100 keys, the all-suites hotel offers a variety of accommodation to choose from. There are 34 studio rooms with an open kitchen and 34 junior suites with one-bedroom and living room apartment. For families with children needing more space, there are 32 executive suites, or two-bedroom apartments measuring over 950 square feet. Designed in contemporary Italian style, every suite features LCD televisions, 42 inches in the sitting area and 32 inches in bedroom, in addition to modern fittings, safety lockers and mini bar.
“At the Best Western Group, the attention to detail is remarkable. Guests will find everything they need in their suite, be it drinking water, bedside radio alarm clocks and even bathroom scales,” notes Ved Prakash. With higher standards in service, facilities and maintenance, the hotel is gradually finding a foothold in the international market. The online business channels have opened up, thanks to the Best Western network worldwide. A young and energetic management team has been actively forging relationships with corporate clientele for business during the working week. “We’ve reserved three floors for our corporate clients. The suites are sound-proof and equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi and tea and coffee maker. Guests are provided complimentary breakfast and drop at the airport. They can avail all the facilities at our business centre, including audio visual equipment.” As part of the grand opening promotions, the hotel is offering a flat 50 per cent discount on early bird bookings.
Dining concepts A hotel management graduate from IHMC-PUSA New Delhi, Ved started his career at the Sofitel in Delhi, but he’s no stranger to the Bahrain market. He harbours ambitious plans to overhaul the hotel’s food and beverage segment, an area especially close to his heart. “We’re expanding the range of our multi-cuisine restaurant, Zeitoon. We’ve flown in a new chef specialising in continental and Mediterranean cuisine, especially towards this end,” he says. Theme nights at Zaytoun will celebrate such cuisines as Indian, Chinese, Arabic, Continental and Mediterranean. During the lunch hour, the restaurant will offer a daily business buffet. The coming winter months will witness barbeque nights by the poolside on the 18th floor. Guests can also lounge around the roof-top pool enjoying drinks by the fountain area. Those looking to jive can head towards the Lapalapa Mexican bar on the 17th floor. With 100 covers, the Al Majlis banqueting hall is suited for parties and business conferences alike. A valet parking facility that accommodates 138 cars ensures that visitors do not have to worry about parking space, a luxury on Exhibition Avenue. E Call 17 161-616.
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Safeguarding Wealth Simi Kamboj Most people prefer not to think about what’ll happen to their property after their death. Failure to plan properly can cause grave problems and expense for your family, warns the Sovereign Consultancy team in Bahrain.
Making a will is often a sensible way for an individual to put his or her affairs in order. But the administration of a deceased's estate can often be costly, can result in long delays and very often, involves a large bill. Setting up a trust on the other hand, can eradicate delays, costs and protect assets from future creditors as well as provide anonymity. The Sovereign Consultancy team in Bahrain gives us a lowdown on the concept of trust and what it can achieve: What is a trust and how does it work? Setting up a trust is a better alternative to making a will during one’s lifetime. A trust is a financial tool whereby property is transferred from one person (the settler) to another (the trustee), who holds and administers it for the benefit of specific beneficiaries. The assets are managed by the trustee or team of trustees, as per the terms and conditions of the trust deed, which also lays down the rights and interests of the beneficiaries. What are the merits of setting up a trust? With a trust, you can make any number of arrangements for the distribution of your assets in a very convenient and flexible way. You may wish to provide a source of income for your spouse or make provision for the education of your children. A trust can also be used to overcome forced inheritance claims, a particular problem in countries of Islamic tradition. How far does a trust assist in asset protection? A common motivation for establishing a trust is to preserve family assets against mismanagement and spendthrifts.
70 December 2012
An individual may want to ensure that the wealth accumulated over a lifetime is not dissipated or divided up, but it preserved as one fund. The fund can then accumulate further with provision for payments to the members of the family as necessary, preserving some assets for later generations. How is the trust structure relevant for family businesses? Setting up a trust may ensure that the business built by the settler will continue after their death. If the company shares are transferred into a trust prior to the death of the settler, the unnecessary liquidation of the family business can be prevented. In case family members have little business experience, the trustees can be instructed to retain the business, keep the company running and provide payment to members of the family from dividend income. Will a trust assist in holding international property? A portfolio of international property can be held under one single trust. In some circumstances, depending on local laws, a ‘local company’ may be required to be set up under the trust. How does one determine the credentials of trustees? Reputable and well-regulated jurisdictions such as Gibraltar have been at the forefront of best practices in the area of trusts. Professional trustees are required to be licensed used the Financial Services Ordinance 1989 and are regulated by the Financial Services Commission (FSC). Sovereign Trust International Ltd is one such licensed professional trustee. The company is regulated and covered by professional indemnity insurance. Call your Sovereign consultant for a free chat. E Call 17 151-571/72.
annualreview PEGASUS REAL ESTATE
Managing Expectations xxxxx The mid-segment of the residential market is at the forefront of recovery. Sales have stabilised, but pricing and location remain key it’s been a learning curve for developers. It’s clear now that only quality buildings with convenient access, adequate parking and other facilities will see any demand, notes Aziz, citing the instance of Platinum Tower in Seef, which Pegasus exclusively markets. With modern amenities such as a fitness centre and swimming pool, Platinum Tower boasts 65 per cent occupancy and more tenants are in the process of doing their fit-outs.
Simi Kamboj The Bahrain market appears to be stabilising after a wobbly last year; however, its future course will depend on how well the Kingdom takes control of its security situation.
72 December 2012
After a quiet year, interest seems to be picking up once again on the real estate front. Rental values appear to have bottomed out, while the midsegment of the residential market is at the forefront of recovery. Sales have stabilised, but pricing and location remain key, observes Aziz Mithaiwala, managing director, Pegasus Real Estate. Buyers now want more value and are shy of paying anything upwards of BD75,000 to BD85,000 for a two-bedroom apartment, with a typical area of 110 square metres, he notes. Local banks have shown more flexibility as far as access to credit is concerned, but they favour completed projects with ready title deeds. “For newer and under construction projects, a crucial criterion for many lenders is the developer’s repute and experience in the market,” he observes. Expatriates have once again started relocating to Bahrain, sparking off leasing activity in pockets such as Juffair, Amwaj Islands, Seef and Hamala. On the office front, a market that’s highly sensitive to rental rates is now seeing confidence returning, which has underpinned values. After further corrections of about 25 to 30 per cent, the office space has finally stabilised. To an extent,
360-degree services Given that activity levels remained modest this year, Aziz took this time to consolidate his position in the market by adding a slew of diversified services. “Pegasus Care” now undertakes to manage individual properties and provides complete project maintenance which includes rent collection, apartment cleaning and repairs, and accounting and valuation services. “For investors residing overseas who don’t have the time to care for their property, we can save them much worry. From managing their property to getting a rental return, we undertake to do all this regardless of the owner’s presence in Bahrain,” offers Aziz. Pegasus currently offers this service at Abraj Al Lulu, at various projects in Juffair as well as Amwaj. The company is leveraging its advisory services through its embedded experience in the development sector. “We’re in discussion with many developers, advising them about the overall changing dynamics of the market. For instance, small local families and youth are pursuing smaller villas and decent size apartments that provide a modern lifestyle, but at the same time, are low maintenance. We’re helping developers conceptualise projects that are more likely to find buyers and bring rental returns.” The coming year will see Pegasus taking on operational management of varied projects, including leasing services and beyond. “Investors and end buyers including expatriates are still interested in the real estate sector in Bahrain, provided the security situation remains under control. We’re planning to enter the residential mid-segment market in 2013 to tap this interest”, Aziz says.
Innovative Service xxxxx More people want to experience the Jaguar brand in Bahrain and we want to provide them VIP treatment; more so, after the car is sold
Simi Kamboj With an ambitious growth plan for the coming year, Jaguar is out to win hearts in Bahrain — through exceptional customer service.
74 December 2012
Jaguar is set to leap forward in Bahrain during the coming year, believes Stephen Harris. The new man in charge of Jaguar in Bahrain has set forward ambitious plans for the brand, which will be fuelled by a slew of innovative customer service initiatives. “More people want to experience the Jaguar brand in Bahrain and we want to provide them VIP treatment; more so, after the car is sold. Customer satisfaction is our priority and we aspire to be the best in Bahrain,” he says. Jaguar is introducing ‘service while you fly’, a first of its kind initiative in Bahrain, enabling customers flying out of Bahrain to have their car serviced in their absence. A Jaguar representative will pick up the car at the airport and bring it to the workshop for service. After maintenance, the car will be brought back to the airport in time for the customer’s arrival
“Basically, we will service and take care of the customer’s car while they’re travelling out of Bahrain. We’re introducing a hotline number that customers can call to avail themselves of this facility,” he says. With tourism from the GCC picking up once again in Bahrain, GCC Jaguar owners have become a potential growth area for Jaguar Bahrain, with the launch of a ‘service on the weekend’ initiative catering to the GCC visitors. A Jaguar representative will pick up the customer’s car from his hotel, bring it into the workshop for maintenance and then drop it off at the hotel after service, all before the weekend is over. For customers who cannot afford to wait too long for their cars, Stephen is introducing an express ‘same day service’. “After-sales service is a major growth area for us and we want to thrill and delight our customers in this respect,” he affirms. Stephen has brought in a professional service manager from the UK, who is entrusted with overseeing the new initiatives. Once the market stabilises, Stephen hopes to achieve 20 to 25 per cent growth in sale of new cars. He’s offering attractive trade-in packages for existing Jaguar customers to acquire their dream Jaguar model. New engine models have been introduced for the XF sports sedan as well as the XJ, the full-size luxury sedan. There’s more excitement in store for the coming year, when the manufacturer launches the Jaguar F-Type; an all-new, two-seater, Jaguar sports car. The new Jaguar F-TYPE represents a return to the company’s heartland: a two-seater, convertible sports car focused on performance, agility and driver involvement.
Secondary market The secondary sales segment has witnessed spectacular growth in recent years, outperforming new cars. For those who want to experience the brand for the first time, there’s no better opportunity, he feels. “We have attractive packages for customers who want to purchase three to five year-old Jaguars. We offer up to three-years and unlimited mileage guarantee on used cars. In addition we have a three-year service plan, wherein we take care of the car for a monthly fee, leaving the customer with complete peace of mind,” he promises.
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Nurturing Talent Dream of a career in football or just want to meet your favourite Reds? You can now realise your dreams through an active collaboration with Manchester United!
76 December 2012
For a football-crazy nation such as Bahrain, this is news to celebrate. Through its partnership with the legendary football club Manchester United, VIVA Bahrain is offering football fans in Bahrain a piece of the action with their favourite club. The newly launched ‘VIVA Manchester United Membership Card’ offers fans benefits that include attending live matches at Old Trafford and meeting the team and Sir Alex Ferguson. Alongside a host of privileges bundled up in an exclusive BD39 membership scheme, it is valid for the 2012-2013 football season. All fans have to do is subscribe to this premium membership card, which could entitle them to be one of the lucky four from Bahrain to spend two days with the Reds. This includes travelling with them in their private jet from Manchester to one of the European Championships games, staying in the same hotel, taking the same routine as them before the game and accompanying them back to Manchester after the game is over. Expanding on its association with United, VIVA launched a nation-wide Manchester United Soccer Schools programme earlier this year. It successfully enabled 18 young football enthusiasts to undergo international football training with world-class coaches at one of the best residential football training camps in the UK. In addition, VIVA has become part of several grassroots football initiatives through its partnership with the Bahrain
Football Association. By extending the official sponsorship of the national football league, the telecom service provider has successfully connected with local sports clubs and provided local youth with an opportunity to enhance their sports programme. By way of its support of the national football league, the company endeavours to share the association’s vision of elevating the sport in the Kingdom and ensuring a brighter future for football in Bahrain.
Beyond football Widening its horizon to extend to other key sports in the Kingdom, the company has entered into a strategic alliance with Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) through its sponsorship of the world-class VIVA Karting Track. This cooperation aims to spark interest and participation in motor sport among the local youth by using the karting track as a platform to introduce Bahrain’s talent to the world. That’s not all. VIVA has also partnered locally with the Royal Golf Club to work alongside them in promoting the game across the Kingdom through the prestigious Corporate Night Golf League. The agreement aims to encourage young Bahrainis to participate in this sport. E Call 124 or visit www.viva.com.bh
THE BRITISH SCHOOL OF BAHRAIN
Committed to Excellence With ambitious expansion plans for the coming year, this education establishment continues to contribute strongly towards education in the Kingdom. Since its inception in 1995, The British School of Bahrain (BSB) has grown from strength to strength. Opening with a mere 85 students, the school has doubled in size since 2008 with 1,589 children on its roll now. “We lost students in the wake of the unrest last year, but we’ve more than replaced the numbers who left. We’ve grown despite difficult conditions and we maintain a very positive outlook on Bahrain,” says Karen Moffat, head of the school. Karen estimates she will have 2,400 students in three years’ time. To keep up with this growth, BSB is expanding its facilities, with a major building project over the next two years. As well as housing additional classrooms, the new building will accommodate a library and multi-media centre, a dance studio, a music centre and a 400-seater auditorium. “We have students from across 65 nationalities, yet we remain grounded in the Bahrain community,” believes Karen. “As part of our community focus, we will be launching a Community Centre for Adults that will offer a range of recreational and skills-based evening courses including IT, Photoshop, cookery and languages.” A recent teachers’ enrichment programme for the Early Years Foundation Stage has proved so successful that Karen hopes to roll out a Teachers’ Academy for training all kindergarten teachers in Bahrain. With its newly opened sporting academy and the arts academy, BSB offers a rich range of extra-curricular activities not only to its students but to outside children as well. The school remains up to date with technology with a web-based library management system, interactive whiteboards and 1:1 connectivity for all students using iPads and MacBooks. E Call 17 610-920.
December 2012 77
Manoj & Yogesh Bhatia Diwali Manoj & Yogesh Bhatia hosted a Diwali open house to celebrate the 'Festival of Lights' at their residence in Tubli. The party was attended a number of VIPs and well wishers
Yogesh Bhatia, HE Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, HE Abdul Nabi Al Sho'ala, Manoj Bhatia, Bharat Bhatia, Hemant Bhatia & Hameed Al Rahma
Yogesh & Hemant Bhatia with HE Shaikh Khalifa bin Daij Al Khalifa
HE Ali Saleh Al Saleh, Shura Council Chairman
Huda Sangoor, Yogesh Bhatia, HE Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa, Manoj Bhatia & Bharat Bhatia
Ahmed bin Hindi
Tariq Bukamal, Yogesh Bhatia, HE Jehad Bukamal, HE Mohan Kumar, Indian Ambassador, Manoj Bhatia, Abdulrahman Al Ammadi, Hemant Bhatia, Sameer Zayani, Bharat Bhatia & Vivek Bhatia
Ahlam Janahi & Deema Haddad
Dr Yousef Mashal & Yogesh Bhatia
Kamal Saleh, Yousef Saleh & HE Ali Saleh Al Saleh with Manjo Bhatia
Fathima, Harsha Bhatia & Vicky Mouawad
Poonam, Nisha, Harsha, Snehlata, Urvashi & Jessica Bhatia with HE Shaikh Khalifa bin Daij Al Khalifa
Manoj Bhatia, Sameer Al Zayani, Yogesh Bhatia, Urvashi Bhatia, Harsha Bhatia, Ayesha, Afnan Al Zayani, Kushi Bhatia, Palak Bhatia, Poonam Bhatia, Snehlata Bhatia, Jessica Bhatia, Nisha Bhatia, Hemant Bhatia, Vivek Bhatia & Bharat Bhatia
78 December 2012
Lalchand Gajria Diwali Lalchand Gajria held a Diwali open house to celebrate the Festival of Lights. The open house held at Lalchand's residence in Gajria Tower in Sanabis was attended by a number of dignitaries & VIP guests
Ranjit, HE Shaikh Khalifa bin Daij Al Khalifa, Lalchand Gajria, HE Mohan Kumar, Indian Ambassador & Vijay
Khalid Kanoo, Lalchand Gajria, HE Karim Al Shaker & Vijay
Abdulrahman Fakhro, Lalchand Gajria & Sharif Ahmadi
Nabeel Ajoor & Shawki Fakhroo
Vijay, Bharti, Zahra & Ranjit
George, Mehdi, Vijay & Bob
Dhanraj, Lalchand & Parikshit
Zahra, Ranjit & HE Shaikh Khalifa bin Daij Al Khalifa
HE Abdul Nabi Al Sho'ala & Lalchand
Mohammed Yateem & Kumar
Mala Kumar & Bharti
Natasha & Lalchand
Lalchand Diwali Party The Lalchand family hosted a Diwali party at their residence in Mahooz to celebrate the Indian 'Festival of Lights' last month. The party was attended by a number of VIPs
Mukesh, Deepali, Harsha & Anu
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Vishal, Kamel Saleh Al Saleh, Yousif Saleh Al Saleh, HE Ali Saleh Al Saleh, Lalchand, Jayant Lalchand & Rajeev
Mohini, Lalchand, Mukesh, Deepali, Harsha, Jayant & Anu
Hemant Patel Diwali Hemant &â€ˆUrvashi Patel hosted a Diwali party to celebrate the festival of lights at their residence in Sehla
Urvashi, Mala & HE Mohan Kumar, Indian Ambassador, Hemant & Chirag
Mukesh, Chirag, Sajid, Hemant, Adel & Khadem
Layla, Hassan, Khatoon & Ingrid
Faisal, Hemant, Chirag & Mohammed Malim
Hament & Mr Al Gosaibi
Chirag with Mohammed Salahuddin
Yousif & Ibrahim
Sara & Abdul
Indukumar & Prakash Bhatia Diwali Mr & Mrs Indukumar P. Bhatia & Mr & Mrs Prakash I. Bhatia hosted a Diwali open house for a number of VIPs and well-wishers at their residence in Tubli last month
Abdulla Juma & Indukumar
HE Karim Al Shaker & Indukumar
Abdul Hussain Dawani, Abdulrahman Fakhro & Abdulrahman Juma
Yousif & Farouk Almoayyed
Prakash, Pallavi, Nor Hayati, HE Ahmad Shahizan, Malaysian Ambassador, Indukumar & Mala
82 December 2012
Prakash & Mohammed Salahuddin
Prakash, Adel Al Saffar, Indukumar, Khadem & Sajid
Bhavika, Prisha & Sachi
Kewalram Diwali Party The Kewalram's hosted a Diwali Party to celebrate the Indian 'Festival of Lights' at Baboo Kewalram's residence in Baqer Gardens, Sehla last month. The party was attended by a number of VIP guests, business leaders and well wishers
Baboo Kewalram & HE Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa
Mubarak Kanoo & Hassan Kamal
Kishore Kewalram, HE Shaikh Khalifa bin Daij Al Khalifa & Baboo Kewalram
Kishore Kewalram, Hameed Rahma, Dr Mustafa Al Sayed, Baboo Kewalram, Ali Makki & Waleed Kanoo
Jai Kewalram, Kishore, Adel Fakhro, Hishang Kewalram & Vinod Kewalram
Veena, Karishma, Poonam, Stephanie Williams & Anoop Kewalram
Mohammed Ajoor & Kishore
Chirag Patel's Halloween & Birthday Party Chirag Patel hosted a party for a number of his friends to celebrate Halloween and his birthday last month. The party was held at the Patel residence in Sehla
Job, Chirag & Thili
Chirag & Charlaine
Jocelyn & Krasen
Daphne & Neil
Amy, Charlaine, Faaiza & Zilia
Yagna & Payal
Tessa & Sid
Chirag with his friends
December 2012 83
RedTag Store Opening Dubai-based value fashion chain, RedTag Group, has opened its 9th store in the Bahrain, located in Enma Mall, Riffa, bringing the total number of locations in the Middle East to 99 stores. Present at the opening ceremony was the sponsor of RedTag stores in Kuwait and Bahrain Walid Kamal, RedTag group acting country manager Samir Motegheria and mall officials
Omar, Samir, Nahid & Arshi
Moinudeen, Eshan & Ashin
84 December 2012
Walid Kamal cuts the ribbon to open the store
Karen & Aarti
Samir, Walid Kamal, Khalid, Ali & Khalid
RedTag staff members
DJ Nathan At Coral Bay Coral Bay hosted the return of Ministry Of Sound with one of the Ministry's top resident DJs, Nathan C. who rocked the house with the latest of Electronic and Balearic House beats
DJ Nathan C.
Joy & Amr
Alisha, Hannah & Clare
Kisho & Julia
Mimi & Catherina
Hannah & Laura
Ramee & Murad
Fabiola & Gareth
Jatin, Purnita, Suja & Brije
Ray & Emily
Koko, Bechara, Jennifer & Rabih
Jason, Mary & Alaine
Khaled, Romashka & Nabeel
December 2012 85
Mexican Food & Cultural Festival At Sofitel The Sofitel Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa held a week long festival of Mexican food, music and culture. The opening was attended by HE Arturo Trejo, Mexican Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
HE Arturo Trejo & Jassim Al Zayani
Jassim, Nael & Bushra Al Zayani with Dr Jihan & Dr Dhafer Al Umran
Manal & Ebrahim
Bert Plas & HE Arturo Trejo
Ali & Safa
Deyra, Coen & Osama
Charbel Hanna & Basel Qabouq
Sofia Sahagun, Dr Imelda Widen & Christina Diaz Couder
Lara & Maisa
Ahmed & Jessica
NEW YEARS EVE 2012
EVERYBODY JOIN THE FUN
Come ring in the New Year with us! LIVE BAND • DINNER BUFFET • BOTTLE OF WINE • WELCOME DRINK • PARTY HATS AND NOISE MAKERS • LOTS OF PRIZES • MUSIC TO DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY!
Doors open 8:00pm • Tickets BD30
For Bookings — Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
hardrock.com/bahrain • @hardrockbahrain
©2011 Hard Rock International (USA), Inc. All rights reserved.
86 December 2012
Hellenic Community BBQ
A New Destination in Luxury Living
The Hellenic community in Bahrain held a barbecue to celebrate OXI Day. The event was held at the Elite Seef Residence Poolside
Lilian, Ron, Kostis, Iro, Irene & Yiannis
Sherin & Yousif
Isabella, Anasathiya & Anamaria
Kostis & Eleanna
Dimitris, Nasilis & Isofia
Evi & Ron
Irodion & Caroline
Evangelos & Ria
Katrina & George
Nickolas, Tanya & Savvas
T. +973 17 1616 16, F. +973 17 1616 17, P. O. Box 75845, Exhibition Road, Kingdom of Bahrain email@example.com, www.bestwesternolaya.com
Grigoris, Harris, Savvas & Valanto
December 2012 87
Sophie's Halloween Party Sophie hosted a Halloween party for a number of her friends at her residence in Abraj Al Lulu last month
Tom & Michael
Riley & Noah
88 December 2012
Cathal, James & Henry
Olivia & Ella
Ruri & Cathal
Rasila & Surya Savani Diwali Party Rasila & Surya Savani hosted a party for a number of friends to celebrate Diwali, the Indian 'Festival of Lights' at their residence in Budaiya
Kushang, Surya & Renu
Joyce & Dr Ram
Vijay, Anu, Bharti & Surya
Parul, Shivani & Hemant
Aryana, Hisham, Rasila & Reham
Anoop & Ramesh
Geetha, Gigy, Rasila, Surya, Shaheen & Sureka
Srini, Bharath, Swetha & Latha
Veena, Kalpana, Meenal & Saanvari
December 2012 89
bystanderthismonth The Hotelier Middle East Awards 2012 was held at the Ritz-Carlton DIFC in Dubai, last month. At the awards, Crowne Plaza Bahrain's Alena Miatlushka won the HR Person of the Year 2012. Crowne Plaza Bahrain is the only hotel in Bahrain that has had the unique distinction of winning at these awards 3 years consecutively. Seen here, Alena with Pascal Eggerstedt, general manager, Crowne Plaza Bahrain
Ahmed Zayani & Sons WLL conducted bumper raffle draw at their showroom in Zinj last month. The raffle draw promotion offered customers who purchased a brand new Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge from Ahmed Zayani & Sons during their “Ramadan Festival Promotion” the opportunity to win the fabulous new 2012 Dodge Charger. Seen here, Riyadh Ahmed Al Zayani, Director handing over the Charger key to the winner of the grand raffle, Hasan Mohamed Darwish in presence of Ahmed Zayani staff
Costa Coffee is promoting a book swap campaign, to gather coffee and book lovers in Bahrain. Bought a book, read it and want something new? Exchange it at Costa. The books are completely free of charge. The Costa book swap takes place every third Saturday of the month at Costa Coffee Lagoon, in Amwaj, and every first Wednesday of the month at Costa Coffee Seef Mall extension. Seen here is Amy, the mastermind behind the book swap activity
As a gesture of appreciation, Junaid for Perfumes recently conducted a get together at their head office in Sitra for the committee members of Al Noor Charity Welfare to honour them for their immense dedication and hard work towards the upliftment of the underprivileged in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The visit was graced by Shaikha Lamya Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, the President of Al Noor society, Shaikha Lulwa Bint Khalifa Bin Ali Al Khalifa, the Honorary President and the members of the society, who were of Junaid for Perfumes’ factory followed by a presentation about the creation of perfumes at Junaid’s First Motors, the official dealers for Hyundai in the kingdom of Bahrain and a subsidiary of Al Zayani Investments (AZI) recently handed over more than 25 Hyundai’s to one of Bahrain’s leading car rental companies, Trans Gulf Car Rental following a purchase deal that was signed earlier this month. Seen here are, Sooraj Kumaran, Fleet sales manager, First Motors, Ranjan Tripathi, sales and marketing manager, Trans Gulf Car Rental & Baijuraj Kandath, maintenance manager, Trans Gulf Car Rental
Café Italia, our award-winning restaurant has a stylish modern yet casual atmosphere. Café Italia prides itself in serving authentic Italian cuisine; Beech wood-fired Neapolitan Pizza and has an extensive variety of fine beverages.
90 December 2012
The Vision 2030 of the Kingdom of Bahrain was at the center of attention when Sunny Kulathakal, Managing Editor of Gulf Who’s Who Directory 2011-12 presented the copies of the Directory to some of the Ministers, Indian MPs and the British Parliament recently. Mr Kulathakal, is also the Executive Vice President of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO). Seen here, at the GOPIO meeting in London regarding the upcomig GOPIO Convention in Kochi, Isaac John, chairman, GOPIO Media Council, Veerendra Sharma, MP, Sunny Kulathakal, & Paresh Rughani, motivational speaker
CAFÉ ITALIA PIZZERIA & RESTAURANT Location : Road 3825, off Sh.Isa Avenue, Adliya Telephone : 17 744 774 Fax : 17 742 229 e-mail : Ciadliya@alialsharif.com Smoking & non smoking area available
Bizarre Lounge Halloween Over 150 spirited revellers, donned in everything from simple to extravagant costumes, joined in on Halloween celebrations at Bizarre Lounge’s “Are You Afraid of the Dark” Halloween Party in Kempinski Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre
Maya, Snej, Natalia & Vlada
Yvonne, Ibrahim, Sari & Deanne
Gloria & Leeroy
Dexter, Bride of Dracula & Bugsy Malone
Oscar & Stasia
Natasha, Derio, Natalia & Zeid
Dexter, Bride of Dracula & Bugsy Malone
Jacob & Alexa
Youmn & Dimy
Kamal & Tanya
Elena & Andy
Alex & Irina
December 2012 91
All Aboard Luxury Red House Marketing’s chairman George Middleton and his wife Anne were invited to join the pre-inaugural sailing of a luxurious cruise liner; an all-encompassing resort that offers a relaxing getaway.
The Celebrity Reflection cruise liner is the epitome of luxurious modern sailing. The 3,030-passenger ship is the fifth and final fleet member of Celebrity Cruises’ hugely successful Solstice class of ships, and offers every passenger a truly memorable experience. With 1,255 crew adding outstanding service levels to the sophisticated demeanor, the ship incorporates top design elements and refinements forged from the best of its previous fleet. Celebrity Reflection can be thought of as a lavish floating hotel resort; equipped with every conceivable amenity and facility likely to be required by you. One can shop in the duty-free boutiques, keep up with fitness routines individually or at classes, and pay a visit to the full-service hair and beauty salons. For those planning a wedding reception, private cocktail party or business meeting, the cruise liner offers a new series of options for hosting and entertaining groups. The ship’s conference centre can accommodate an impressive 220 guests. Sweet dreams The ship promises each passenger a great night’s sleep, every night. Just like a hotel, the three-room choices differ in size and price; however, even the most modest rooms boast an ocean view and en-suite bathroom. Additionally, 85 per cent of the rooms have balcony access, so you will never feel entirely enclosed. You don’t need to worry about staying connected with the outside world as satellite television channels are available on interactive flat TV screens together with internet facilities on demand. Opt to stay in one of the 72 staterooms or in the 34 new AquaClass suites, which feature stunning 79-square-foot verandas, to take advantage of enhanced facilities. These include larger balcony areas, a veranda hot tub, 24/7 butler service and premium extras including spa services at an inclusive rate.
92 December 2012
On-board entertainment When you aren’t up on deck catching some rays, take advantage of the wealth of activity available to all. Every evening there are variety shows, guest entertainers and custom performances by aerial performers, acrobats, comedians and other Vegas-inspired specialty acts. Sing along to Broadway tribute shows and be transfixed by world-class song and dance shows hosted in a unique theatre environment. Alternatively, you can fill you days in a state of complete relaxation at the ship’s utopian spa, AquaSpa by Elemis. Treat yourself from head to toe and experience every spa option you are accustomed to in the sauna, aromatic steam room, cold room, sensory shows and modern Hammam. The spa’s expanded 883-square-foot Persian garden includes six heated tiled beds, each with a different sensation to offer passengers. Plus, indulge in treatments such as a bamboo massage, manicure and pedicure, acupuncture, herbal remedies and even a 24 carat gold facial — bliss. Refreshing choices Inclusive of 12 dining outlets, you will be spoilt for choice as to what and where to eat. The ship has an expansive array of lounge bars, and alternative cuisine options to suit every palate. For a fine-dining experience, “Blu”, “Murano” and “Qsine” boast expansive iPad menus with exquisite choices. Celebrate the flavourful joys of outdoor grilling in the new “Lawn Club Grill” where you can cook your own meats. At “Michael’s Club” you are invited to savour one of up to 50 international craft beer selections whilst listening to the live guitarist. The intimate atmosphere features inviting leather chairs and an extensive collection of fine whiskeys, scotches, cognacs and bourbons. Alternatively, relax in your own private Wi-Fi equipped cabana called “The Alchoves” or stop off at “The Porch” for a casual coffee and sandwich whilst admiring the sea views. If you have an aptitude for creativity, make sure you visit “The Art Studio”, which runs interactive classes, hands-on demonstrations in different artistic forms in addition to culinary lessons, taste tests and chef-prepared dinners. E Visit www.celebritycruises.com.
Cellar Masters Wine Bar
Spa Persian Gardens
December 2012 93
Fall from Grace elma bartholomew If Skyfall was supposed to be a tribute to the James Bond franchise marking 50 years of its success, it has failed to be as glorious as it claims to be. No, this is not the typical whining session where it ends up as a compare-and-contrast of new and old Bond films. Neither is this one of those episodes where you will have to go through the typical claim, “It isn’t half as good as the book.” That’s only because it goes without saying. I shamelessly confess that Skyfall is my first Bond movie. I hope you’re done with the gasping show because I also have to admit to never having regretted going for a movie like I have for this one. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying it’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen. I’m saying that I will never see Bond movies the same way as I used to. This is probably because there is no room for disappointment in such giant franchises. However, insulting human intellect is the last thing I expected from a series of movies that I respected, even if not adored. It would seem that the logic-free storyline and wooden acting of Daniel Craig would be reasons enough to dislike this movie. What stung most was the aftertaste. Ian Fleming had carved a man of grandeur out of carefully chosen words. How could such a magnificent character, supposedly wrapped in wit, intelligence and charisma, be brought to a degree of puppetry? I’m sure there are millions who found this movie Also this month
extraordinary, but we live in a world where The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part II made more money in the Box Office than a Bond film. I rest my case. What was most shocking was Sir Roger Moore’s statement. The 86-year-old star loves the new 007 flick so much that he apparently wishes that when he wrote his book, Bond on Bond, including the opinion that Sean Connery was the best Bond, he’d been able to include a chapter on the latest man to take on the role of the suave secret agent. Talking to NBC, when asked if he’d revised his opinion of who was the best Bond, he stated, “If I had been able to see Skyfall before finishing the book, I would have then had to have written a chapter about Daniel Craig, who is a superb Bond.” Whether he’d like to agree or not, I’m declaring him senile. I see no other explanation to someone thinking Craig is better than Connery, as Bond or otherwise. Not all things have gone wrong, of course. It wouldn’t reap the most amount of money a 007 movie has ever made in 50 years if it was absolutely horrible. I can honestly say I loved every item of clothing the man donned. That accounts for something, doesn’t it? We live in an age where villains are more loved than the protagonist. Brilliant acting and use of graphics aside, I do not understand why they had to give Javier Bardem a role straight out of The Dark Knight trilogy. Has the film industry lost all hope in originality that it needs to accommodate signature qualities of others? Then again, who am I to comment when I just went through with The Man with the Iron Fists?
On the table
New Potato Technologies has created a fantastic and very unique iPad gaming case which has been designed to convert your iPad into a miniature foosball table.
Twelve South has launched a new version of their BookBook iPhone case which is compatible with Apple’s larger iPhone5. It is designed to let you carry the phone as well as cards and cash.
96 Gadgets x 98 Music x 100 Computer games x 101 Websites x 102 Apps x 103 Movies
December 2012 95
Whiter than White After the iPod revolution, the tech world has been drowning their products in the snowflake hue. Stick to the theme of a white Christmas in your shopping with gadgets in the pale shade.
Editor's pick! I hear you
Iconic amp makers, Marshall, unleash their brightly hued headphones that are beautifully cushioned, with retro-styled snugness and feature a headband which uses the same vinyl used for the brand’s amplifiers. They are also foldable which means they should fit in your bag nicely.
A thin line
Philips’ svelte, 42-inch, highly fashionable telly, the Edge, features an oversized single pane of glass that hangs millimetres above the ground to give it a floating effect. It also has Wi-Ficonnected Smart TV and uses passive 3D tech.
In your head
Nocs NS400 Titanium earphones have the sound performance to match their sleek looks. With a mic on board to intercept calls, titanium housing and noise-isolating silicone sleeves help deliver a rich, natural bass performance.
What’s that noise?
Bang & Olufsen’s new passive, in-wall loudspeaker, Beovox, can be rotated and tilted towards your eardrums. The sound quality is as good as you would expect and thanks to its superlight construction you can stick it to the ceiling too.
Always connected Going retro
Prop the Tivoli Model One Frost Collection up in your living room and not only will you get an AM/ FM radio with a three-inch full-range speaker and an analog tuning dial, but it will also look the part with its white lacquered wooden cabinet and silver knobs.
96 December 2012
Stay online with the mobile Wi-Fi device that supports 3G speeds of up to 21MBPS. Originally in black, the Huawei Mi-Fi dongle now comes in a lovely, glossy white and will connect to your Wi-Fi devices both home and away from home.
From all angles
The Nintendo 3DS is the latest handheld console to bring 3D gaming to the masses. It’s had a bit of time to build up a decent catalogue of games since release, so now is a great time to be picking one up and jumping into some portable 3D gaming.
Music takes control
Most Beats kits stamped with the uber brand of Dr Dre himself have been middling at best. However, these big prosumer cans offer some of the best audio we’ve experienced. Topping that, they are beautifully designed as well.
The J1 is Nikon’s smaller and cheaper alternative to the flagship V1 camera. Understandably, it doesn’t support the features of its bigger brother but it is still a high quality snapper for photo-happy people or those who want to catalogue their Christmas moments.
Denon’s network music system is a fully realised, next-gen supersystem now with AirPlay as standard. The main unit integrates an amp, CD, web radio/streamer, iPod dock and FM tuner. The Ceol also does a great job as a music streamer.
A clear picture
The 8GB Flip Ultra holds up to two hours of 720p HD video and boasts a bright, two-inch screen. Pop out the trademark flick-USB to take it to your PC, or whip out the new HDMI output and showcase your work on TV.
A lot more desirable than your average digital photo frame, the lightbox-like design of Parrot by NoDesign DIA has its own range of apps and connects by Wi-Fi, USB or Bluetooth. It also takes DS and MMC memory cards.
All gadgets are available online.
December 2012 97
Familiar Faces, New Tunes OF ALBUM TH E M ON TH
The legends are back on the shelves treating their fans to a selection of fresh tracks. Meanwhile, newer faces in the industry show us what they’ve got.
Take the Crown RATING:
WHAT’S THE STORY? It is hard to believe
that it was nearly two decades ago when Robbie Williams burst onto the music scene as a member of the fresh-faced pop starlets Take That. If there is something expected of a studio album from someone in the league of a pop legend, it is the fact that it screams “comeback”. The world of pop music has drifted so far away from the ‘90s, a ninth solo album is not just daring; it’s almost suicidal.
WORTH A LISTEN?
Giving him the benefit of doubt that his music has always been a bit peculiar, this album is forgivable. While hard-core fans might think of the songs as a new twist to the genre, I prefer to be more realistic. This is probably the closest a Williams’ CD has gotten to the trash. In an attempt to prove he has still got it, he created a reason to doubt him for the first time in a long while. Take the Crown is proof that sometimes it is better to be forgotten rather than hated. There is no sign of energy. The only thing consistent about the album is that song after song, Williams reintroduces you to the same half-hearted treatment that you feared you would one day come across. However, every once in a while, an artist needs to take this step to prove that, if nothing else, he/she is at least trying.
VERDICT: You’ll be stuck with a feeling of déjà vu. TOP TRACKS: Hey Yeah Wow Wow and Losers. Aerosmith
Music from another Dimension
Sometimes you wish your favourite bands would just stop at their peak rather than ruin their reputation. Aerosmith always received respect for what they used to be. Thanks to this disastrous album, they have fallen off that throne. It’s a good thing that deleting a song from your playlist is an easy task in this digital age. The nostalgia that comes with listening to Joe Perry makes it all worth it.
98 December 2012
Take Me Home Promising love forever after to its target audience, this band takes unnecessary pride in the writing credits. From the high tempo swoon to repetitive lyrics, it’s easy to find another dozen albums just like this that didn’t make it to a single chart.
Lotus It is rarely that you find a voice worth listening to over and over again. It suffices to say that this album was a waste of such an amazing talent. This is disappointing not because it isn’t good. It is only because it isn’t great, which is expected of her.
Coral Bay proudly presents...
Sunday 16th December 9pm-onwards Featuring DJs
Andy Norman The Lovely Laura on Sax Ticket: BD10 General Admission Dress Code: Smart Casual For inquiries and reservations please call (+973) 3374 5547
Awaited Comebacks Never has there been an all-amazing list of games as there is in December. Making up for the pitiful scene in the world of music, the gaming industry has us spoilt for choice.
TH GAM E M E ON TH
COD: Black Ops II (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
The signature characteristic of Call of Duty is its impeccable storyline and it remains unaffected in Black Ops II. This is perhaps a more suitable franchise for those impatient gamers we were talking about as it packed with action and perfect for shooting frenzies.
Far Cry 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Hitman: Absolution (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) RATING:
WHAT IS IT?
Hitman: Absolution follows Agent 47, a cold-blooded assassin, who takes on his most dangerous contract to date. Betrayed by those he once trusted and now hunted by the police, he suddenly finds himself at the centre of a dark conspiracy and must embark on a personal journey through a corrupt and twisted world. Boasting a cinematic story, distinctive art direction and highly original game design, this game combines muchloved classic gameplay with features never seen before in the Hitman franchise.
Have you ever been in that “you’re on your own” situation? This is the best example of such a situation. Although not a bad game, you’re perpetually uncomfortable through every level. It probably has a lot to do with its superfluous nature and unpredictability.
Let’s begin by saying this is one good-looking game. The lighting might be a little bright with a slightly disturbing glint here and there. Still, it’s grittier than past titles. There is hardly a glitch in terms of production and it only gets better after each level. The shooting system tweaks are more than welcome. Point shooting is a slo-mo power-up which might not be a favourite of the game’s veterans. The precision shot is the winner feature that feels very natural, allowing you to steady your aim before firing.
GAMEPLAY: Much like Dishonored, this is a game that insists on your
experimentation as compared to instruction-based gameplay. It allows you to become a part of it, letting you think of it as an alternate reality. You actually need to think of ways out and, fret not; there are many solutions to a single problem. Some kills are dramatically choreographed making the thought process more gratifying. This isn’t for impatient gamers who are only looking for endless loops of action.
VERDICT: This game rewards brains over brawn.
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Assassin’s Creed 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) Attention to detail is one thing this franchise never misses out on. The new setting is overflowing with activities. The few glitches are pardonable, although the inconsistency isn’t. There isn’t much improvement to boast of. However, it is still worth the buy, especially for fans of the franchise.
E TH ON EBSITM W THE
WHAT IS IT?
Instructables is a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others. The seeds of Instructables germinated at the MIT Media Lab as the future founders of Squid Labs built places to share their projects and help others. In August 2011, it joined Autodesk, a leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software.
THE GOOD: With Instructables, you can share what you make with
the world and tap into an ever-growing community of creative experts. There are three simple ways to share what you make. One method is through photos. Share one or more photos of a project, recipe, or whatever you’ve made, quickly and easily. The second way is to share your step-by-step photos with text instructions of what you made so others can do it too. Thirdly, you could share a how-to video. Best of all, they have a guided tour.
To create a new Instructable or comment on someone else’s, or do lots of other cool things, you need to become a member. Although clean and crisp in design, there is nothing that captures your immediate interest. You really need to be interested in DIY projects to enjoy this website.
VERDICT: It has an interesting range of DIY projects.
Polyvore.com The virtual world is crammed with fashion blogs and websites. What is uncommon is finding one with focus. Polyvore offers more than just that with up-to-date styling ideas and top ideas in the industry. It has more topic-centric articles.
Vagabondish.com Since 2006, Vagabondish has featured offbeat backpacking and travel news, advice, how-to tips and tall tales from around the world. They cover every topic in relation to travel. Those with wanderlust can find all the inspiration they need.
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A Killer Game This month, feel free to be a little naughty despite what Santa would have to say. Here a few apps that invite you to the dark side.
TH PS ON AP M
In a world where evil is taking over and prayers are no longer answered, there is only one type of divine intervention left and it’s armed to death. Join the battle of light against darkness. Lead your squad to defeat the Fallen Nun and restore balance to the world in this epic tactical action game. Nun Attack delivers hours of hellish entertainment through exciting, humorous gameplay mechanics, intuitive touch screen controls and tongue-in-cheek character dialogues. Explore multiple worlds, equip your nuns with the nastiest arsenal, level them up and fend off waves of enemies and bosses, beating some faith into hundreds of demons.
WHAT IS IT?
Aren’t you tired of always being the good guy in every game? In a collaborated effort between Fox Digital Entertainment, Chillingo and Angry Mob Games, the game based on the movie has hit the app world. Instead of being the saviour, you play as the hunter. Predators has you ripping, smashing, slicing and decapitating the humans that have come to kill you.
THE GOOD: The game will have you playing through 24 intense and action-filled
missions, each with an objective to complete. Different fighting techniques will be used throughout the game making it a mix between a hack-and-slash sort of game and a dual-stick shooter. Environments that you play in vary greatly with great visuals and a feeling of depth. The control system is uncomplicated and doesn’t take much adjusting to get used to.
The fun doesn’t come to your phone for free. Priced at USD2.99, this game is worth every cent. You may need to be patient with a few hunts. It is a little hard to play on phones with small screens. There have been instances of the game freezing and attack buttons need to be pressed several times to actually work.
VERDICT: It is one of the best movie-based games so far, at least in terms of graphics.
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Devil’s Attorney Devil’s Attorney is a turn-based strategy game set in the ‘80s where you play as Max McMann, a defence attorney who is high on charm but low on moral fibre. Your objective is to free all of your clients and use the money you earn to buy accessories and new furniture for your apartment. Boost your ego and unlock new courtroom skills in the process.
MO V M IE
Flight RATING: DIRECTED BY: Robert Zemeckis STARRING: Nadine Velazquez, Denzel Washington
In this action-packed mystery thriller, Denzel Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot, who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. After the crash Whip is hailed as a hero but, as more is learned, more questions than answers arise as to who or what was really at fault and what really happened on that plane.
WORTH WATCHING? The one thing that is done best in this
movie is its camera work. Even if there were no dialogues, the shots are chilling enough to convey the suspense of the scene. The storyline is typical of such court-centred films. Another award-time entry, this isn’t the perfect movie although it does hold your attention. That being said, it does have a few avoidable scenes.
VERDICT: There is nothing extraordinary about the film.
Wreck-It Ralph A movie about a videogame villain trying to be a good guy? I approve. Wreck-It Ralph takes you back to a realm of nostalgia with vintage games and arcading days. An easy watch for family movie time, this is a feel good flick at its best. It’s nice to watch the occasional animaton movie to take you mind off things.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part II Thank goodness, it’s all over. I doubt if this movie could be stretched any further and I hope they don’t see this as a challenge. I’m sure they’ll find a way to do it. After that hullabaloo, it really was much ado about nothing.
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Al Zayani Commercial Services Showroom Opening Under the patronage of HE Dr Hassan Fakhro, Industry & Commerce Minister, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to mark the opening of the new Al Zayani Commercial Services Showroom, located in Adliya last month Afnan Al Zayani & HE Dr Hassan Fakhro cut the ribbon
Mr Safer, HE Nabeel Al Hamer & Jassim Al Zayani
Sajid & Khadem Tanzeel & Arnel
Afnan Al Zayani, Mariam Al Hamer & Yasmeen Al Hamer
HE Ahmad Shahizan, Malaysian Ambassador & Mansoor
Adnan Saroor & Raed Omar
Saher N. Obaid & Paul Brown
Mahfooda Al Zayani
Tareq Kamal & Mazin Al Umran
Nissan Altima 2013 Launch Y K Almoayyed and Sons, sole distributors of Nissan vehicles in the kingdom launched the new Nissan Altima 2013 model. The launch was held at the Bahrain City Centre last month
The 2013 Nissan Altima
Ian Butlin & Rohit
Diana, Peter, James, Paul, Ian, Natasha & Rohit
Aqsa & Abrar
104 December 2012
Bambi, Sethu & Carlos
Sonu, Vinod & Alok
Bu Nawar, Yousif & Ali
In the Lap of Luxury Treat yourself this holiday season and affordably upgrade your driving experience by taking advantage of exclusive offers. Almoayyed Motors is treating motoring enthusiasts this festive season with an offer on selected Lincoln models that will make getting your dream car that much easier. The package includes free comprehensive insurance, registration and maintenance for three years or 60,000 kms. “It is a perfect opportunity for people who want to reward themselves with something lavish; the international automakers are renowned for sophistication, quality and design. Our new offers will provide customers with the best of both worlds: luxury and peace of mind,” says general manager of Almoayyed Motors, Sandeep Mathur. Underlining the build quality of the cars, the Lincoln range offers six year/110,000km powertrain warranty, four year/80,000km bumper to bumper new vehicle warranty and 24-hour roadside assistance for all its models. The brand’s customer-focused technology, uncompromised craftsmanship, top safety ratings and best-in-class horsepower coupled with excellent fuel economy makes it standout among all competitors in its segment. The MKX comes with an array of standard features that are often optional among luxury competitors. This includes remote engine start and an advanced navigation system. The MKX is in a class of its own; combining contemporary styling, modern interiors and sophisticated technologies. The car boasts a Also this month
strong 3.7-litre, 303-horsepower V6 engine and a spacious cabin with seven seats. Standard premium innovations in the MKT include hands-free, voice-activated communications and infotainment. Drivers are also provided with an intuitive, easy-to-use system for accessing a multifunction colour display and infotainment colour display. The MKS is the flagship sedan from Lincoln. Great handling, increased power, additional standard equipment and refined technologies help drivers reduce accident risks while enjoying a smooth ride. The model sports a 3.7-litre 304-horsepower V6 engine and five luxurious seats for the whole family. One of its many significant features is the Active Park Assist that helps drivers parallel park with the touch of a button and without ever touching the steering wheel. Once engaged via a switch on the centre console, ultrasonic sensors precisely measure open spaces to find a suitable parallel parking spot. With a few actions (gear shifting, acceleration and braking), the vehicle steers itself into the open space. The driver retains full control of throttle, brakes and shifting the entire time the system is engaged. Combining full-size SUV functionality with a comfortable interior is the highly popular Navigator. Highlighted by topquality materials and numerous standard convenience and entertainment features, this SUV is perfect for families needing spacious seating for seven without sacrificing a refined, upscale ride. The Navigator is powered by a mighty 5.4-lite 310 horsepower V8 engine. E Call 17 737-373.
When? December 1, 13, 14 and 28 Event? Open Track Venue? BIC Channel your inner racer and take your car for a spin at the circuit. E Call 17 450-000. When? December 3 and 10 Event? Drag and drift Venue? BIC Experience the thrill and adrenaline of being a real life drag racer. E Call 17 450-000 When? December 5 Event? Test and tune Venue? BIC Be there as racers prepare their cars for the next BDRC round. E Call 17 450-000. When? December 6 and 7 Event? Championship Venue? BIC Watch your favourite racers battle it out to win the second round of the BDRC. E Call 17 450-000. When? December 7 and 8 Event? Championship Venue? BIC Be there as round three of the 2000cc challenge kicks off. E Call 17 450-000.
107 x Wheels - 108 x Showcase
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Lexus LS 2013 Launch Under the patronage of HE Dr Hassan Abdulla Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Ebrahim Khalil Kanoo, the sole distributor of Toyota and Lexus in the Kingdom of Bahrain, unveiled the new Lexus LS 2013 model at the the Dana Hall, Gulf Hotel Convention Center
The 2013 Lexus LS
Khalid Al Maskati, Fuad Kanoo & HE Dr Hassan Fakhro
Yaser, HE Shaikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa & Mahar
Talal Kanoo, Abdulla Taqi, Mazin, Ismail Akbar, Fawaz Taqi & Fawaz Kanoo
Eman, Hala & Fatima
Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa
Khalid Al Khateeb, Dr Jamal, Waleed Kanoo & Bashar
Layla, Zaid & Reem
106 December 2012
Waleed Sharif & Waleed Kanoo
Faisal, Sarah & Fuad Kanoo
Dr Stan, Hilde & Bijan
Dr Essam Fakhro
Mahmood, Satish & Sunil
Wasna Kanoo & Dr Nawaf Almoayed
Fawaz Kanoo & Faisal Khalid Kanoo
Takayuki & Hayato
Year of the SUV George F. Middleton Following a trip to Oman to test drive the new Mercedes-Benz SUVs, Bahrain This Month’s chairman and publisher verifies that the models are safe, stylish and powerful enough for any on-road or off-road encounter.
The new range of Mercedes-Benz SUVs, equipped with innovative technologies, combine luxury, comfort and safety with dynamic on and off-road capabilities for a relaxed and, therefore, safe driving environment in all possible conditions. Invited by Frank Bernthaler, director of sales and marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars, Middle East & Levant, I made a 750 km round-trip from Muscat driving through wadies and desert sands, motorways and narrow mountain roads. The seven-seater GL-500 was my first ‘SUVenture’. The journey began with a highway expedition where the Steer Control steering assistance system warned me whenever I veered too close to the lane edge. With excellent driving dynamics, infrared rear cameras and high levels of ride comfort the GL’s interior provides first-class comfort similar to a luxury saloon. With its balanced proportions and a large wheelbase (measuring 3075 mm), the side view underlines the vehicle’s on-road emphasis while the overhanging body at the front and rear, together with the large ground clearance, point to its offroad suitability. In both GL and ML ranges, a large, central colour screen for the infotainment system dominates on the dashboard. The control and display concept is user-friendly and provides infotainment, navigation and communication facilities. Additionally, various communication gadgets are inbuilt, including MP3, WMA and AAC file compatibility. The GL’s steering-wheel gearshift paddles offered a manual override which allowed me to combat the sandy conditions and steep sand dunes. The next day saw me swap my vehicle for an M-Class ML-500 sports styled five-seater.
This model may look like a SUV, but once you drive it you’ll get the impression of being in a high-performance sports car as with its 5.5-litre V-8 engine it can go from 0-100 kph in under six seconds. Having conquered the sands, it was time to face the wadies and mountains. One of the main hazards was dealing with the dust and sand haze being whipped up constantly in front of and behind each vehicle; a dual-zone automatic climate control with electrostatic dust and pollen filter is standard in the ML range. At the steering wheel of the ML-500 I found fingertip controls for basic functions such as the audio system, optional phone and the multifunction display. The steering wheel is also four-way with a manually adjustable tilt and telescoping steering column. The rear seats have a 60/40 split and allow for fold-down positioning, providing a flat area for transport of larger items. The ML-500 is packed with safety features. An integrated restraint system, dual-stage adaptive front airbags, side curtain airbags and an integrated rollover sensor are some of the major aspects providing each occupant unmatched safety. Combined with the anti-lock brakes, traction control and Mercedes-Benz’s Automatic Stability Programme, this SUV takes care of you!
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Driving Forward The latest addition to the Kia model line-up, the Quoris, is more than a flagship model; it is a statement of intent.
Kia Motors has carved for itself a very respectable niche within the automobile marketplace; the newest family member — the Quoris — signals its arrival within the luxury segment of the market. A fusion of design excellence and technology combine to deliver a sedan that will be more than a match when compared to more illustrious marques. At first glance, the stylish and finely honed lines indicate that this is a car that has been sculptured. Step inside and the ‘add-ons’ reveal that comfort and convenience for the driver of their passengers have been very much to the forefront in the design of the Quoris. The exterior While boasting the largest dimensions in its segment, Quoris is the next step in Kia’s dynamic and innovative design legacy with its charismatic front mask and sophisticated curves and surfaces. For a premium sedan, beauty lies in the proportions. A long sweeping shoulder and extended rear overhang combine to give it a robust stance and aura of power and dignity. A sleek and aerodynamic side silhouette is accentuated by a simple yet confident side character line to give the Quoris a feeling of spaciousness while emphasising its performancedriven design. Attention has been paid to the finer details including innovative, high-tech touches that enhance both functionality and aesthetic allure. In addition to providing a dynamic driving experience never before seen in a Kia, Quoris also employs high-strength steel throughout the chassis to ensure a higher level of protection against collisions.
108 December 2012
The elongated horizontal shape of the high-mounted brake lamp not only blends seamlessly with the stylish rear design but also offers maximum visibility for trailing motorists. Innovative puddle lamps under the side mirrors illuminate the ground for better visibility when approaching and exiting the vehicle at night while convenient pocket lights under the door handles aid vehicle access in the dark. Featuring a thin film that reflects solar heat and blocks harmful UV rays, the solar glass used for the windows not only keeps you and your passengers cooler on hot summer days but also protects the cabin interior from damage caused by the sun. Featuring electric-power closing and opening capability, the trunk lid will instantly reverse and open when an obstruction to proper closing of the trunk is detected. Passengers can also enjoy the fresh air and rejuvenating sunshine with the powered privacy glass sunroof. For added safety, the wing mirrors detect, and light up, obstructions that pose a possible risk to those inside the vehicle. The interior The exterior concept of elegant simplicity and balanced proportions is carried over to the Quoris’ interior to create the most spacious cabin in the segment. Luxurious materials and a sophisticated aesthetic design promise occupants a sensation of high-quality and understated modernity. Offering the most useful and timely data, the instrument cluster is a blend of futuristic graphics and traditional, sporty cylinderstyle gauges. The in-house designed eight-speed transmission is mated to an advanced shift-by-wire gear selector that is
packaged in a unique centre console design configuration. Sporty driving has never been so soothing and effortless. For ultimate comfort and convenience, individual settings and thermostats for driver and front seat passenger, as well as the rear, enable customised climate control. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the magical world of the premium 17-speaker audio system. With sound so lush and realistic that the cabin will become your own personal concert hall. Add another dimension to your in-car entertainment by enjoying your favourite music from your own personal music library. Drivers can conveniently access various multimedia functions without lifting their arm off of the armrest. Intuitive access to quickly recognisable vehicle and road information ensures a higher level of safety and convenience. Rear seat passengers are treated to a first-class entertainment experience thanks to twin 9.2-inch monitors set into the back of each front seat. Sit back and enjoy rich multimedia in various video formats along with premium sound quality. The array of buttons and dials conveniently located on the rear seat armrest allows back seat passengers to enjoy full control of the rear multimedia entertainment system, second row climate, seat ventilation and rear electric sun shade. Passengers in the rear can enjoy the ultimate in travel comfort thanks to Quorisâ€™ luxurious rear seats that provide three levels of seat warming capability, power reclining, and firm yet supple thigh, torso and lumbar support. The centre arm rest and integrated multimedia control box can be retracted to create ample seating for three adults. A convenient one-touch mechanism lowers or raises the automatic rear window shade for better privacy from prying eyes and enhanced protection from the sun on hot summer days. For maximum convenience, the ignition can be turned on or off with a simple push of a button. Meanwhile, the smart key entry system senses when the carâ€™s key bearer approaches and automatically unlocks the vehicle. E Call 17 408-000.
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EBRAHIM K. KANOO
Exhilaration Meets Innovation Dynamic styling, precise handling and innovative technology combine in the brand new model from Lexus.
The 2013 Lexus GS marks an innovative era for the international automakers, presenting a fresh dimension of luxury and advancement in the motoring world. Inheriting the brand’s distinctive inverted upper grille combined with a wide lower grille, the chrome-plated rings around the fog lights express the quality of the brand while the side mirrors are moved to the top of the doors instead of the bottom of the windows. Interior space is also brought up a notch thanks to the re-worked side design of the new GS. The enlarged space along with the detailed styling evokes anticipation of dynamic driving performance while the rear shape of the car not only adds to the aesthetics but also yields aerodynamic benefits. A beautiful interior The car’s designers have created an environment that stirs up a sense of excitement and anticipation from the moment the driver opens the door. The front seats can be adjusted to 18 different arrangements, enabling anyone to obtain their ideal driving position. A large 12.3-inch screen displays an interactive interface to keep the driver connected with the outside world and a premium analog clock is installed in the instrument panel. For an interior ambience befitting a luxury sedan, LED lights are used to set the mood. Economy is of the utmost importance, as in all Lexus motors.
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The air-conditioning is developed to be compatible with S-FLOW (energy saving airflow control) technology. This feature determines the presence of an occupant and maintains comfort while saving energy and fuel economy. To keep the cabin fresh, a system is installed to discharge mildly acidic nano ions that are gentle on the skin and hair but still keep the air clean. As good-looking as it gets 18-inch aluminium wheels further enhance the already sophisticated look and the Mark Levinson high end audio system offers GS occupants optimum enjoyment. Eleven rich body colours are available to choose from, including sonic silver and highsaturated crimson red. Speed enthusiasts will be pleased with the availability of the car in an F SPORT grade. This model adopts an exclusive exterior and interior to express aggressive sportiness. Some of its advanced specifications include larger 19-inch wheels. “Since its launch earlier this year, the demand on the new GS has been amazing as it is available in four grades and two engines that suit all the desires and aspirations of Lexus enthusiasts. The GS comes with a highly efficient 2.5-litre engine and a powerful 3.5-litre engine options and is available in Bahrain in three grades, basic, luxury and F Sport,” says Ayman Shehadeh, Toyota and Lexus brand manager in Ebrahim K Kanoo. E Call 17 264-634.
Fourth Generation Genius
The highly anticipated all-new Range Rover is available in the Kingdom, breaking grounds in the luxury sport utility vehicle class.
Lighter, stronger and with new levels of luxury, the fourth generation Range Rover reinforces its position as the world’s most refined and capable luxury SUV. With a revolutionary lightweight all-aluminium monocoque body structure, it is 39 per cent lighter than the steel body in the outgoing model, enabling vehicle weight savings of up to 420kg. The aluminium platform has delivered significant enhancements in performance and agility, along with a transformation in fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions. In addition to the strong and rigid body, new aluminium front and rear chassis architecture has been developed with completely re-engineered four-corner air suspension. While the luxurious ride has been retained, the vehicle’s handling and agility have been significantly improved. The new suspension architecture delivers flatter, more confident cornering, with a natural and intuitive steering feel. Developed from the ground up, this Range Rover continues to capture the innovative spirit and iconic design of the first generation, which changed the world of motoring when it was launched over 40 years ago. “The model has already received an overwhelming response from customers in Bahrain, with pre-orders far exceeding expectations. The Range Rover is a true icon which has attracted a loyal following, and with the introduction of the 13MY to our showrooms, we expect this to continue for many years to come,” says Zayed R Alzayani, managing director at Euro Motors. The veichle’s clean and elegant shape derives from a fresh interpretation of the brand’s design cues. While instantly
recognisable as a Range Rover, the vehicle takes a significant step forward with a bold evolution of the iconic design language. “With the Land Rover strength at its heart, the new model has been engineered from the ground up to be even more capable and refined. While maintaining the essential, unique character of the vehicle that blends luxury, performance and unmatched allterrain capability, the new design and revolutionary lightweight construction have enabled us to transform the experience for elite vehicle customers, with a steep change in comfort, refinement and handling,” says Robin Colgan, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan. E Call 17 750-750.
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Cine Verse Get Together 'The Resurrection'. Cine Verse celebrated their comeback with member Ingrid hosting members, potential members and guests. 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' was screened. Keeping the essence of India, members were able to feel, savor & delight in the experience of the 'voyage to India' Seana, Hemant, Urvashi, Ingrid & Renuka
Marco & Shandra
Christina, Yajur & Yagna
Raj & Vijay
Rita & Mahmood
Ingrid with Cine Verse members & guests
112 December 2012
Oliver & Victoria Wedding Party Peter & Sharon Hunt held a Bahrain wedding party at their residence in Budaiya last month for Oliver & Victoria, following their wedding in the UK Oliver & Victoria with their families
Victoria & Oliver
Sybil, Sue & Victoria
Katie & Boris
Emily, Victoria, Oliver, Lewis, Kim, Sharon & Tina
Hassan & Samer
Chris, Martin, Roy & Sam
Peter, Laura & Josephine
Ralph & Tariq
December 2012 113
Bahrain German Society Dinner The Bahrain German Society held a dinner for members and guests at the Capital Club, Bahrain Financial Harbour last month. The guest speaker at the event was Karim Makhlouf, CEO, Gulf Air. HE Sabine Taufmann, German Ambassador also attended
Tareq Wafa, Khalid Kanoo, Abdul Hameed Hatim & Mazen Al Umran
HE Sabine Taufmann & Dr Dhafer Al Umran
Paola & Mazin
HE Sabine & Gernot Taufmann with members
114 December 2012
Natalie & Mary
Nabeel, Khalid & Abdul Hameed
Maike & Marco
Priya & Lionel's Wedding Reception Priya & Lionel celebrated their wedding reception with family & friends at the Elite Resort & Spa last month
Priya & Lionel
Lionel & Priya cutting their wedding cake
Prissy, Priya, Andy, Lionel, Shakunthala, Kelly, Suresh Surana & Kamath
Yannick & Sandra
Yohann & Savio
Sebastian & Walson
Bryce, Kelly, Lionel, Priya, Vita & Bryan
Jacquelin, Jason, Lionel, Priya, Joylene & Peter
December 2012 115
Mobeena & Ghazali Dinner Party Mobeena & Ghazali hosted a dinner party for some friends at their residence in Juffair
Ghazali & Mobeena
Ghazali, Mary, Mobeena & Taj
Ghazali, Farah & Mobeena
Robyn, Shaheen & Amina
Ghazali & Mobeena with friends
116 December 2012
Salam & Nina
Greg & Qutub
Dr Kalyan & Shoba Dinner
Across the Middle East and Around the Globe
Dr Kalyan & Shoba hosted a dinner party for some of their friends at their residence in Sehla last month
Dr Kalyan, Lalit & Arthur
Lynette & Fran
Paddy & Sanjiv
Indu, Lakshman & Preeti
Shailaja & Shruti
Rabbi, Trishul & Jacob
Joseph & Prabha
Aparajita, Jacob & Leila
Karina, Karan, Anil, Rajani, Naveen & Indu
Bringing you the latest models of cars to travel through the Pearl of the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain. And not surprisingly, great deals to grab followed by 24/7 customer support.
Call: +973 1723 1156 Airport Branch: +973 1732 1306 E-mail: email@example.com
www.national-bahrain.com Prabha, Shoba, Rajani, Vandana & Preeti
December 2012 117
Parikshit & Kathleen Wedding Celebrations Vijay & Bharti Boloor celebrated the wedding of their son Parikshit Boloor and Kathleen, daughter of Frances Johnson last month. The celebrations included and Arabic themed Sangeeth night held at the Boloor residence in Zinj, the wedding ceremony at the Gajria Tower in Sanabis and wedding reception at the Elite Resort & Spa
Kathleen & Parikshit
The Boloor family
Frances, Parikshit & Kathleen
Kishore, Rekha, Anoop, Renu, Jasmine, Veena & Shyam
Mahendra, Amit, Chetan & Anoop
Jyoti, Pooja, Uma, Shoba, Maya & Bharti
Sunita, Uma & Varsha
Urvashi & Ingrid
Sejal, Rani, Sheela & Mariam
Kathleen & Parikshit during the ceremony
118 December 2012
Hemant & Pradeep
Bina, Kathleen, Parikshit & Nikita
The happy couple
Parikshit, Lalchand Gajria & Kathleen
Vijay, Patil & Puranik
KN Singh & Preeti
Rani, Bharti & Ratinder
Vijay, Mukhia & Parikshit
Bobby, Parikshit, Kathleen & Natasha
Vaishnav, Vani, Kathleen, Parikshit, Cindy & Dr Krishnan
Poonam, Gopi & Rita
Kusum & Frances
Bhavna & Kalpana
Kathleen & Parikshit with the ILA Group
Vinita, Ashok & Lata
Shyam, Kishore, Chandrika, Neelesh, Renu, Dilip, Bharti, Vinita & Jayant
Parikshit & Kathleen
Ranjit, Lalchand Gajria & Zahra
Irwin, Preeti, Lakshman, Parikshit, Kathleen & the Kampani Family
Uma & Ram
Shanrtaram & Ponnuchami
The Boloor family
Ramesh & Jaya
Poonam Ranjit, Zahra & Vijay
Bina & Seema
Vijay, Bharti, Kathleen, Parikshit & Frances
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SKAL Club 40th Anniversary Gala Dinner To celebrate the 40th anniversary of SKAL International Bahrain 370, a gala dinner was hosted by the club for members and guests at the Gulf Hotel's Awal Ballroom last month. The event featured live entertainment, an auction, a raffle draw, commemorative give-aways and lots more
Jamil Wafa, Aisha & Hisham
Ron, Mohammed Buzizi & Jano
Ismail, Dr Abdulla, Caren & Waheed
Sadiq, George, Khalil & Barbara
Maya, Hisham & Jano
Maria & Suhail
Johnny & Jacob
Mohammed, Khamis, Salman, Fiona, Dr Abdulla, Monique, Marian, Abdulrahman & Shaikha
Haili & Cynthia
Imbi, Jacob & Julia
120 December 2012
Siham & A. Hameed Al Halwachi
Ian & Aqeel
Mr & Mrs Sharma
Greg & Patric
Yousif & Sara
Oana, Ahmed & Ekaterina
Stephen & Sandra
Riyad Maskati & Mirza Al Sammak
Veranda Cafe Amwaj
A Trip to Venice JAMES CLAIRE Dubai has the Marina district while Singapore has its Robertson and Clarke quays. After reporting on Bahrain’s Lagoon project at Amwaj islands for several years, it is pleasing to see our own water dining district truly come to life. Begun with much fanfare and going silent like many things, Amwaj Islands’ Lagoon dining area was always the perfect place to eat, relax and enjoy time with near and dear in the nicest venue possible, if only there had been vendors. Today there are plenty of restaurants and coffee shops to choose from and more opening now at a faster pace than ever before. The first-ever brave soul to open here was Tuga Bakeries’ Isabel Santos in February 2010. She defied everyone and opened her Portuguese bakery that has not only survived but flourished. It has constantly grown, proving what all businesses should realise. If you have something unique, of quality and sought after, then any business can prosper. Today there is every kind of conceivable dining option crossing multiple food and cultural boundaries, from American burgers to Lebanese and from cafés to international dining. You can spot Papa John’s, Chili’s, Costa, Johnny Rockets, Houseboat, Veranda, Lion Café, Leewan Al Khor, The Cave, Mei n Yu, Persian Room, Levante Café, Tea Club, Starbucks, Pizza Also this month
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Express, Noodle Factory, Al Forno and Sarai with more said to open within coming weeks. On the second floor one will also find Venice, one of the newer entrants, featuring Italian dining with a hint of Lebanese. This would be an attractive restaurant even in Adliya, but it the open outdoor deck setting overlooking the gorgeous water which wins hearts. Chef Debi Barsad has worked wonders with the food and menu. It is inexpensive, of quality and simple in its presentation. With a perfect location and unbelievable views, Venice is a reason why Amwaj’s Lagoon will thrive into the future. Banking institutions, furniture stores and supermarkets have also arrived at the Lagoon allowing you to do everything you may need on a day off in one location, without the claustrophobic atmosphere of a shopping mall. This offers the perfect interactive shopping experience, allowing families to be entertained by life and nature as they stroll along the walkways and watch children play on the grass. The vision was perfect, the timing not so much, but the future for this manmade island is beyond sensational. Fish-filled waterways and the clean ocean breeze make it a haven for diners, fitness fanatics and families. Perhaps the most perfect gift this festive season given to us all is the lovely weather in the Kingdom with cool evenings and temperate days. Amwaj Island’s Lagoon is getting better by the day, just like us all.
When? December 1-15 Event? Food promotion Venue? China Garden, Gulf Hotel Bahrain If you are a fan of dim sums, don’t miss out on the food festival here. E Call 17 713-000. When? December 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Event? Wine tasting Venue? Block 338 Enjoy platters of cheeses and vegetables with your wine at BD8.500++. E Call 17 710-338. When? December 11 Event? Wine tasting Venue? Muju, Dragon Resort Hotel & Spa Try out exquisite wines and indulge in a five-course menu. E Call 16 031-111. When? December 15 Event? Anniversary Venue? Maki Get surprise treats from the chef when you dine here on their tenth birthday. E Call 17 522-733. When? January 10 Event? Restaurant launch Venue? Baharat, Kempinski Ixir Hotel Find the finest of Arabic cuisine and décor every weekend. E Call 17 171-000.
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A Taste of Everything
Apart from all the festive fare, we have sniffed out a range of culinary events, from the launch of new venues and menus to theme nights and more.
With the unveiling of The Olive in Juffair, we saw the launch of two new restaurants. Mantraa brings you a full spectrum of the rich mystical flavours and aromas of Indian cuisine. Chef Arun Kumar Tyagi brings nearly two decades of expertise to its kitchen. Meanwhile, Franco Serra warmly welcomes you to his traditional Italian pub and pizzeria. Vesuvio, also in The Olive, offers the best of his family recipes with a wide range of fresh ingredients. The Kempinski Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre is all set to open Baharat’s doors on January 10. Are you in the mood for fine Arabic cuisine? It functions Wednesday through Friday from 7.30pm-12am. One-off events Muju restaurant and lounge in Dragon Hotel and Resort in Amwaj hosts the Grape Gourmet wine-tasting night paired with a five-course set-menu dinner on December 11. The Lebanese seafront lounge here has gained the talents of Mohammad Akta to head the kitchen. On December 15, Maki at Al Aali Shopping Complex celebrates its 10th anniversary with a free special treat from the chef for every one having dinner here. Try award-winning chef Louis Kenji Huang's maki tributes to Bahrain TV personalities, Bader and Nour. Also hosting a wine-tasting night is Block 338. Every Monday, from 7-11pm, you can try exquisite wines accompanied with cheese and vegetable platters at BD8.500++. Try out the amazing dim sums in China Garden at Gulf Hotel
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Bahrain from December 1-15. Get 50 per cent off on the sushi at Sato, the Japanese restaurant at the hotel, on December 16. On the menu Check out the seasonal specials at Franky Joe’s. The new menu includes a chicken pasta salad, chilli mac and cheese, chicken ranch spud, the TNT, Carolina sub and the roller coaster. Aroma Café has always been a favourite of the locals. You can now take a bit of it home thanks to its delivery and catering service. From birthdays to weddings, they can handle anything. Keep an eye out for a new menu at Margarita Mexicana at Gulf Hotel Bahrain. We also got a whiff of new dishes at Cucina Italiana in Juffair, where the Italian brunch is now in full swing every Friday.
Festive Fare Favourites We hope you aren’t watching your waistline this December because it’s close to impossible to say “no” to the dining offers available around town.
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Christmas Eve As always, Gulf Hotel has a lot to offer this month. La Pergola has arranged an Italian set-menu dinner at BD23++ per person. At the same price, you can find an equally exquisite meal at Fusions restaurant where you can enjoy an amazing view of Manama’s skyline. Meanwhile, Al Waha restaurant here offers a special buffet at BD19++. Celebrate “Nochebuana” together with a special Christmas Eve dinner buffet at Al Safir Restaurant in Sheraton Bahrain Hotel from 7.30-11.30pm. It is priced at BD12.500++ for adults; half that for children from four to 12 years of age. Mondo’s Restaurant at The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa offers a Christmas Eve dinner to die for. At BD25 per person, you are treated to a lavish four-course set-menu dinner from 7.30pm. Enjoy a reasonably priced Christmas Eve buffet dinner at BD5 and find a spread of continental dishes at Al Qahawah Coffee Shop in Gulf Gate Hotel with a visit from Santa. Explore the hidden secrets of the culinary world with the seafood extravaganza dinner at Mövenpick Hotel on December 24, priced at BD20++. Crowne Plaza celebrates Christmas over two days on December 24 and 25. Indulge in a special Christmas Eve setmenu dinner with a great variety of seafood cooked in Arabic and Southeast-Asian style only for BD19.950++ including a welcome drink at Waves Seafood Restaurant. Relish the flavours of India through the mouth-watering al la carte dinner with a delightful blend of spices at Spices Indian
Restaurant. In addition, try out their assorted baked goodies available in all their outlets. Legendz, Medzo and Selections at InterContinental Regency are all set to offer a dining experience of a lifetime. Celebrate Christmas Eve at either of these two dining outlets at Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa — Saraya or La Mer. The former offers a lavish buffet at BD22 per head while the latter offers a five-course set-menu dinner at BD32 per head. The K Hotel invites you to enjoy a delicious dinner in the Klouds Restaurant. Chef Sylvester Rozario’s special five-course set menu will delight guests who crave for a traditional Christmas meal. Casa Mexicana prepares a three-course set menu that includes choices of starters, soups, main courses and desserts. Welcome drinks of margarita of your choice or a glass of sparkling wine are offered as well. Enjoy all this and live entertainment by the resident singer and guitarist at BD16++. This runs onto Christmas Day as well. Hard Rock Cafe Bahrain in Exhibition Avenue has a festive three-course meal prepared for you until Boxing Day. Jim's Restaurant doesn't hold back on the festive front either. Enjoy special menus from December 21-25. Ramada Bahrain, too, has a meal to devour at Le Jardin Restaurant. How can you spend Christmas in Bahrain without trying any of the festive treats at The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain? All their dining outlets open their doors for you to have the best of the gastronomic world.
Christmas Day December 25 at Gulf Hotel is eventful as always. Try an allItalian lunch at La Pergola for BD19++. The brunch at Al Dana is perfect for a family day out. The price of BD24 is inclusive of children’s activities including Santa’s visit and other surprises. Christmas lunch at Cucina Italiana starts at noon. Priced at BD25++ per person, it consists of a glorious three-course meal including cold cuts, spaghetti alla marinara or linguine alfredo, bisque or consommé, canzone with tortellini, turkey or sea bass, dessert and a carafe of wine. The most exciting meal of the season is put together at Al Safir restaurant in Sheraton Bahrain hotel from 12.303.30pm. Including a special kids’ party, the lunch is priced at BD16++ for adults and BD6++ for children. The fun continues at dinner time. Have a go at the specialities from 7.30-11.30pm. Although most of December is celebrated with much ado at Mövenpick Hotel, the highlight of the festive season is their Christmas Day brunch. However, they are already fully booked which is why we recommend you try their Advent brunches. The Christmas Day brunch at The Diplomat Radisson Blu is one worth the visit. Served from 12.30-4pm at BD24, it is filled with all the traditional trimmings and live entertainment from the band. The kids’ corner is filled with balloons, a bouncing castle and face painting stalls. Come along with your family and friends to enjoy the warm, friendly and festive atmosphere at the Crowne Plaza Bahrain. La Mosaique Restaurant and Harvesters Pub & Terrace offer a marvellous display of Christmas favourites, along with free-flowing bubbly. There will be a supervised kids’ corner where younger guests are taken care of and can enjoy a range of fun activities including meeting and receiving gifts from Santa Claus and face painting. Priced at BD25++ per adult and BD12.500++ for children, it is served from 12.30-4pm. On Christmas Day, Elite Resort & Spa takes advantage of their pool area as they serve the ultimate outdoor brunch of the season at BD15++ per person; children below the age of 12 dine for free. Elite Seef Residence offers a special brunch on
the same day at the same price. Le Jardin Restaurant at Ramada Bahrain offers an amazing lunch buffet from noon to 3pm at BD14.500. Whether it is Italian food that you are craving or just a juicy steak, the InterContinental Regency has it all, including an international buffet. Christmas brunch at Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa is a must-try this year. It will be spread over three restaurants, Saraya Restaurant serving international cuisine, Wok with its Southeast Asian offerings and Fiamma Restaurant’s authentic Italian delights. A kids’ corner with various children’s activities and babysitters will be available as well as live entertainment from the resident Cuban band. Klouds Restaurant at The K Hotel offers a brunch to die for from 12.30-4.30pm. Meanwhile, The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain has its most popular brunch of the year on offer at La Med from 12.30-4.30pm at BD32 per person inclusive of house beverages. Jingle all the way to Muju in Dragon Hotel Resort & Spa for Christmas brunch where delicious fare and festive decoration welcomes you from noon to 5pm. Although priced at BD27 per person, buying your tickets before the day wins you a BD2 discount. Al Qahawah Coffee Shop at Gulf Gate Hotel offers Christmas lunch at BD5 with a visit from Santa.
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diningfestivefare INTERCONTINENTAL REGENCY BAHRAIN
Dreaming of the Future luxurious surrounds of Legendz on December 24 and 25. For BD33++ per person, chef Lawrence plates up gastronomic treats paired with beverages for both lunch and dinner. On New Year’s Eve, the venue features a delectable five-course set-menu dinner, a glass of bubbly and a selected wine for BD45++ per person. Medzo For those who savour Italian dining in a relaxed and contemporary atmosphere, Medzo trattoria is your home to the finest dishes cooked lovingly by chef Nicola. Whether you choose to visit for Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day lunch, he will prepare a special five-course set-menu meal featuring his classic home-style Italian tortellini and ravioli. Taste the best of Italy at BD25++ per person; the price is inclusive of wine. The restaurant celebrates the New Year with the hearty flavours of Tuscany. Take a trip to central Italy through the wonderful five-course set-menu dinner it offers along with some fun including a countdown to the midnight hour. You get all this and a beverage at BD33++ per person. Selections Culinary treasures of Europe with hints of Asia and the Middle East to round off a complete dining experience is the best way to describe the buffets offered at Selections. Featuring festive buffets filled with choices that please the taste buds, the restaurant will be open on December 24, 25 and 31. Join the Christmas extravaganza at BD28++ and the New Year's Eve do at BD30++ (inclusive of alcoholic beverages). Those opting for non-alcoholic beverages can dine at BD22++ for both occasions.
A chic hotel in the core of Manama has you covered for a fascinating end to 2012 and is all geared up to set the stage for an amazing 2013.
InterContinental Regency Bahrain takes advantage of its multiple dining and entertainment venues and offers numerous options to spend the festive season as well as the last night of the year. Whether your choice is an elegant affair like a steakand-wine dinner, a casual meal at an Italian-inspired venue or simply a fun night out at a lounge bar — this five-star venue has everything you need under its roof. Legendz This upscale steakhouse is celebrated for its cooking perfection. Guests can enjoy a refined five-course set-menu feast in the
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Downtown This is where the true countdown will resound on New Year’s Eve. Have a go at their special platter of nibbles between December 24 and 30 available at BD6++ and BD10++ per person. Leading up to the big night and beyond are footthumping performances by South-African band, Tacit. At BD20++ for ladies and BD25++ for gents, you can be part of the madness on the vibrant night of December 31 with their energetic show, sparkling bubbly at midnight, free flow of selected drinks, a DJ by the turntable pumping up the music and many exciting prizes to the early hours of the next day. Noor Lounge There is no need to wait until the last day of the year to enjoy the amazing cuisine and festive feel of InterContinental Regency Bahrain. Enjoy the Christmas spirit from December 1-25 over a cup of coffee or non-alcoholic glühwein while enjoying one of the chef’s sharing platters of festive goodies for two at just BD10++. E Call 17 227-777.
GULF HOTEL BAHRAIN
Festive Feasts Leading the scene when it comes to innovative dining and offering more than a dozen awardwinning restaurants, a five-star hotel in the Kingdom is all prepped up for the season.
December 6 is historically the day when gifts were exchanged. It also marks the start of chef de pâtissier Didier Guyon’s festive display in Café Délices, the pastry shop at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain. He has worked hard to create some amazing treats in addition to those that are already on offer. Save time and effort this season by ordering everything from roast turkey to home-made Christmas pudding and chocolate truffles from the five-star hotel. Check out the Yule log list which offers delicacies such as ‘vive le veut’ — a champagne, cream, strawberry and lychee creation — and ‘Helena’, which consists of pears, caramel and chocolate. On December 13, bring your children to the hotel's lobby to watch the Christmas tree lighting at 6pm in the presence of carols, entertainment and Santa Claus. Over the course of December, each one of the hotel’s outlets offers a gift of some sort. Begin this Christmas Eve with a delicious buffet in Al Waha restaurant for BD19++ or enjoy a traditional home-style set-menu Italian dinner at La Pergola for BD23++. The breathtaking view of the Manama skyline from Fusions restaurant provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic dinner at the same price. On Christmas Day, the hotel invites you to enjoy a brunch buffet, music and carolling, a visit from Santa Claus, a Christmas movie and games for the kids, all at BD24, as the Gulf Convention Centre comes alive with festive cheer. For those who prefer a quieter setting, the Italian restaurant, La Pergola, serves a special Tuscan set-menu feast for BD19++.
The future calls Ring in the New Year in style as Margarita Mexicana presents
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a Latin night with a set-menu dinner, live music and more at BD45++. Meanwhile, Zahle will feature a special entertainment programme by their Lebanese band and belly dancer at BD65++, which includes selected beverages. For a romantic New Year’s Eve, enjoy a candle-lit Italian setmenu dinner at La Pergola at BD45++. For the same price, you can catch the spectacular city views from Fusions, where they offer a set menu as well. Alternatively, Sherlock Holmes features an exclusive New Year’s Eve party where BD7++ covers your entry fee and a selected beverage. Al Waha restaurant offers a special buffet on December 31 for BD32++. All other dining venues within the hotel, including China Garden, Sato and Royal Thai, serve an à la carte menu with a minimum charge of BD25++ per person. You could start the first day of 2013 by indulging in a lavish New Year’s Day brunch buffet at their 24-hour restaurant for BD23.500++ including beverages. Stay and play With safety, comfort and luxury in mind, The Gulf Hotel Bahrain has put together special room packages for their valued guests on December 31. Eat, drink and be merry and wake up in the lap of luxury to begin 2013 refreshed and revitalised. For BD99++, or BD109++, you can enjoy deluxe accommodation and a lavish New Year’s Day brunch for two in Al Waha with selected beverages and a generous late check-out deadline of up to 5pm. It also entitles you to access to the swimming pool, health club and free Wi-Fi. E Call 17 713-000.
MÖVENPICK HOTEL BAHRAIN
Unmatched Excellence Setting itself apart from its competition and raising the bar of quality even higher, a hotel in the Kingdom offers a truly sensational and unique New Year’s Eve for us to enjoy.
The Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain in Muharraq is well-known for its festive celebrations. It is, therefore, no surprise that they are all out of Christmas Day brunch tickets. You can still taste the sumptuous buffet spread by executive chef Alfred Zuberbuehler and his culinary brigade on the first three Fridays of the month. The advent brunches hosted on December 7, 14 and 21 are priced at BD24++ per person. The hotel gives you the opportunity to take a part of the fivestar Christmas home through the extensive spread of seasonal treats that are available at the lobby lounge and shop all month long. Options include bûche de noël, gingerbread houses, cookies and much more. Staying close to Bahrain’s palate, they host a seafood extravaganza on Christmas Eve with the freshest catch of the day being cooked to order. Come here on the evening of December 24 and indulge in the fine dishes at a price of BD20++ including a glass of bubbly and other festive beverages. As is customary at the hotel, children can dine at half the price; those under the age
of six can join the party for free. Let’s not forget that you can also pre-order a whole roast turkey for that special meal on December 24 or 25. All things Brazilian Although the Christmastime celebrations sound spectacular, it is on New Year’s Eve that The Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain sets itself apart. This year, they bring home the “Carnivale” straight from the party-crazy land of Brazil. There is hardly a better way to spend the last few hours of 2012 than to be at the centre of a fully fledged parade. Sticking to the theme is chef Zuberbuehler, who puts together an excellent selection of Brazilian churrascaria-cooked meats and accompaniments. Meanwhile, it is the “Taste of Brazil” troupe from London that will set us all in the party mood. The glamorous dancers in glittering costumes bring the rhythms of their homeland to our shores. From salsa to samba, you’ll find it all at this five-star hotel on December 31. Add a DJ and an additional live band to the equation and you’ll notice that every corner of the venue will be buzzing with energetic vibes. Seats in the prime gallery are priced at BD65++ per person while those in Silk’s restaurant or the Flamingo bar are available at BD55++, including unlimited bubbly and festive beverages. If the beats of Brazil still echo in your head the following day then revisit the party at the Brazilian brunch on January 1 for BD24++, including shows and beverages. Children below the age of 12 can partake in the fun at BD12++, while those below six can enjoy it all for free. Safeguard the start of the new year with an overnight package of BD185++ which includes passes to the new year’s gala, unlimited beverages and breakfast on the first day of 2013. E Call 17 460-000.
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KEMPINSKI IXIR HOTEL
Middle Eastern Finesse While the rest of the nation invites you to a typical end-of-year bash, a five-star hotel asks you to join them at an exclusive opening of their new Arabic-inspired restaurant.
A one-off opportunity presents itself as chef Issam Seddoq opens the doors to Baharat on the night of December 31 for a special dinner buffet to long remember. Although officially open to the public from January 10, this venue situated on the ground floor of Kempinski Ixir Hotel will experience great footfall on New Year’s Eve. Ring in 2013 with an exclusive event, symbolic of a fresh start, at this elite restaurant that reflects Middle Eastern traits fused with a subtle blend of the contemporary. While the décor and setting of the venue boasts a touch of modernity, the food is as authentic as it gets in the wide world of Arabic cuisine. The buffet features an eclectic array of dishes from a mouth-watering selection of appetisers to a variety of juicy grills. Pile up your plates with their flawless shish taouk, lamb chops and dajaj mosahab. The restaurant is also home to a delectable range of desserts such as loukamat, baklava, katayef assafer and um ali. The one of a kind end-of-year event starts at 9pm and goes on until 2am. At BD49++, you can enjoy an elaborate gourmet buffet, live entertainment and a wide choice of shisha flavours. Add BD20 for an unlimited selected beverages package. New beginnings In addition to its monolithic counter designs with live cooking stations, saj and tandoor ovens and private dining areas, there is a lot that sets Baharat apart from other dining venues of its kind. “Diners can expect the menu to be exciting, new and fresh. We pride ourselves on serving Arabic dishes with a
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modern often unexpected twist,” Issam states. “For example, we put a new spin on salads and have upgraded marinades for our grills. Our spices and dishes stand out as all of our mixes are homemade, natural and full of flavour. We want our guests to experience a whole new perspective on Arabic cuisine in togetherness because food and family are significant to any community.” To maintain the element of surprise for those who visit the venue when it finally opens its doors, he offers little about specific dishes or the complete menu. However, he does give us a hint as to what a diner can expect. “We combine cooking techniques, methods and recipes from Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon and neighbouring countries to create an unforgettable journey of flavours for Baharat’s guests. All dishes have to be balanced accurately. Each has its own personality such as my grandmother’s secret recipe for lamb tagine cooked slowly with dry fruits in an oven set at very low heat.” On December 31, Baharat’s amazing cuisine is complemented with live entertainment which includes a skilled belly dancer to mesmerise even the hungriest of diners. A large outdoor terrace allows for the enjoyment of shisha under the moonlight. Promising to deliver an exceptional culinary experience for the whole family, the restaurant, once officially unveiled on January 10, will open for dinner on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings from 7.30pm until midnight. E Call 17 171-000 or visit www.kempinski.com/bahrain.
THE SOFITEL BAHRAIN ZALLAQ THALASSA SEA & SPA
Rocking Your World
The Xoul Show
Preparations are underway for what could easily be called the event of the year with an exciting line-up of international cuisine and exhilarating entertainment.
Start off the holiday season with an evening of joy and friendship. December 5 sees festivities begin at The Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa with the Christmas tree lighting and traditional carolling by the hotel’s choir at 6pm. Bring home a part of their festive spirit with the remarkable seasonal treats available at the in-house pastry shop. A lot of fervour With so many amazing venues within the hotel, diners are spoilt for choice. Wherever you opt to enjoy your Christmas Eve repast, they guarantee to feed you royally and will have the entire family in the mood for the season at hand. From 7-10pm on December 24, a lavish buffet including traditional dishes such as turkey and more call in your attention at Saraya Restaurant. It’s all yours at BD22 per person including soft beverages. Try their seafood restaurant, La Mer, where a tempting fivecourse set-menu dinner awaits your presence from 7-11pm. With the quality preparations and exclusive recipes they have to offer, the price of BD32 per person is a steal. Polish off your plate Christmas brunch at this opulent venue is spread over three restaurants that offer a host of cuisine choices — Saraya, Wok and Fiamma. A children’s corner resplendent with games and activities will be available. Feel free to leave your little ones here while you enjoy the evening with your friends and family as the hotel also provides babysitters in this area. The event is made alive by the rhythms radiating from the stage where the resident Cuban band performs live. Enjoy this day at BD34 per person inclusive of a free flow of selected alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages from 12.30-4pm.
No grey area A black and white themed extravaganza in the Al Nakheel ballroom is the major highlight of New Year activities at this hotel. Guests can feast on a lavish buffet with live entertainment throughout the evening by international artists like The Xoul Show, which offers an inspiring journey into classic soul music, and Tej’ai Sullivan, one of the best and most talked about Michael Jackson impersonators on the planet. Priced at BD65 per person, the evening includes selected beverages as well. If you’d prefer something a little less glitzy but adore the hotel’s location away from the madding crowd, then perhaps an intimate celebration at the Tapas Bar or La Mer seems fit. Here you will find a lavish set-menu dinner inclusive of beverages as well as live Latino entertainment, all at BD85 per person. The formal evening is for couples and families only; the party begins at 7.30pm and ends at 2am. If their Arabic restaurant Pashawat excites your taste buds, then couples and families can enjoy a formal night of Middle Eastern cuisine from 8pm to 2am. At BD75 per person, you can enjoy an Arabic-inspired set menu inclusive of beverages as well as live Arabic entertainment and a belly dancing performance. E Call 17 636-363. Caring for its patrons, The Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa has also designed a special room package of BD199 for two people, which includes one night’s stay in a luxury room, two tickets for the New Year’s Eve Black and White dinner party and breakfast on New Year’s Day.
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diningfestivefare CROWNE PLAZA BAHRAIN
Fantastic activities and promotions are in store for you at this five-star hotel.
Get set for a traditional Christmas Eve with a special dinner. Waves Seafood Restaurant invites you to indulge in a set-menu dinner with a variety of seafood cooked in Arabic and SoutheastAsian styles. Served from 7-11pm, this is priced at BD19.950++ including a welcome drink. Relish the flavours of India through the mouth-watering al la carte menu dinner at Spices Indian Restaurant with a delightful blend of spices prepared by their Indian-speciality chef. On Christmas Day, La Mosaique Restaurant and Harvesters Pub & Terrace have a marvellous display of Christmas favourites, along with free-flowing bubbly. There will be a supervised kids’ corner where younger guests are taken care of and can enjoy a range of fun activities including meeting and receiving gifts from Santa Claus and face painting. Enjoy your lunch from 12.30-4pm at BD25.000++ per adult and BD12.500++ for children. Book your table in advance to avoid disappointment. Feast on the lavish international New Year’s buffet and live cooking at La Mosaique Restaurant on the night of December 31 as you welcome the New Year, for for BD17.950++ per person including a glass of bubbly per person and unlimited selected beverages. At Waves Seafood Restaurant enjoy a complimentary glass of the finest bubbly to start the celebration. A set-menu dinner is offered at BD19.950++ and welcome drinks will be served. Over at Spices Indian Restaurant a set menu is priced at BD14.950++ per person. Alternatively, arty the night away at Harvester’s Pub with their in-house band. Entry is BD10 per person. Oscar night The main event, however, is the New Year’s Eve ball — Hollywood Oscar Night 2012. Feel like a celebrity as you walk on the red carpet; expect all the glitz and glamour of the film industry’s biggest night. It goes without saying that you need to dress for the occasion. Doors open at 8pm for the cocktail reception followed by dinner from 9pm. There will be plenty of live entertainment, a DJ and unlimited beverages all night long. Tickets are BD70 per person. Make the last night of the year memorable with the special New Year room packages starting from BD200. It includes one night’s stay for two people and a couple’s pass to the New Year’s Eve ball inclusive of the dinner buffet and unlimited drinks. E Call 17 725-550.
RIC’S KOUNTRY KITCHEN
A Second Home
Come home for the holidays this festive season to a restaurant and lounge in Juffair where American southern-style goodness is dished out in endless portions.
Holiday dining Ric’s Kountry Kitchen is a popular eatery to everyone seeking to enjoy barbecues and good old home-style cooking. A “home away from home” for many expatriates, this two-level venue offers live music and a selection of beverages. Best of all, it focuses on value for money when it comes to your dining experience. This Christmas you need to look no further than this second home for a festive dinner with all the dishes of the season that you desire. Start to finish This sanctuary of American delicacies has you covered from early dining on a daily basis right through to a fun and delicious end-of-year dinner. Start the day right with Ric’s big breakfast which is served from 5.30am until closing hours. The venue is known for favourites like the barbecue smoked baby back ribs, with meat that falls off the bone, as well as its scrumptious burgers, steaks, briskets, pastrami, rib eye and T-bone steaks and fillets — all at incredible prices. See out 2012 with home-cooked meals by Swiss chef Roland Sollberger who has prepared a lavish New Year’s Eve dinner. Concerned for its patrons, Ric’s Kountry Kitchen also ensures everyone makes it back safely with complimentary rides to your home. Good company, fine music and great beverages all combine to make this unique restaurant your best choice for the perfect meal. E Call 17 725-550.
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SHERATON BAHRAIN HOTEL
A Dining Adventure
If it’s a party, there’s got to be good food. This is in abundance at a five-star hotel that has always offered nothing short of the finest from the culinary world.
The festive season swings into full gear at Sheraton Bahrain Hotel on December 12 from 6-8pm as Santa Claus lights up the Christmas tree situated in the lobby. Adding to the celebratory mood will be the large gingerbread house prepared by pastry chef Indika Peiris and his team. Carols, cookies, glühwein and hot chocolate make the event a truly family affair.
7.30-11.30pm. Featuring the seasonal favourites you would expect at home, this meal is dished up in five-star luxury and excludes the stress of washing up at the end. Treat this as a gift to yourself and your family and dine at BD12.500++. Children between the ages of four and 12 can dine for half the price, while those younger can join in for free.
Making merry Staying away from stressful kitchen duties is made easier with the Christmas Eve dinner buffet at Al Safir restaurant from 7.30-11.30pm that is priced at BD12.500++ for adults with 50 per cent discount for children from four to 12 years of age. Those below four can dine for free. Christmas Day comes once a year, so it’s a time to celebrate the tastes of the season and to forget the worries of the waistline. This hotel’s kitchen team has thought of everything for the special lunch on December 25 from the traditional roast turkey and tender sirloin steak medallions to yummy cakes and other tempting favourites among desserts. Also served at Al Safir restaurant, this lavish meal is available from 12.30-3.30pm at BD16++ for adults and BD6++ for kids. Making younger guests happy is the specially arranged Christmas party. In case you missed out on the bountiful lunch, you can catch up for dinner later that day. Bring along family and friends and indulge in the extraordinary buffet spread served from
Year-ending do Christmas and the holidays may not be for us all, but New Year’s Eve is a global celebration. Welcome 2013 at Sheraton Bahrain Hotel and make this year’s final meal something to remember by gathering with dear ones over a dinner at Al Safir restaurant. At BD18++, adults can treat themselves to the buffet and a beverage at the midnight hour. At BD8++, children will enjoy a delicious meal, treats and festive drinks. The day after There is no better way to enjoy the first day of a new year than with a delicious lunch. Offering a tempting array of appetisers, desserts and other dishes are the kitchens at this luxury hotel. Served from 12.30-3.30pm, the midday meal is priced at BD14.900++ for adults, half the price for children from four to 12 years of age, and is free for those below four. E Call 17 533-533 or visit www.sheratonbahrain.com.
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diningfestivefare HARD ROCK CAFE
Legendary Burgers When rocking the house is a requirement on the eve of something special, there are few establishments that fit the bill as perfectly as Hard Rock Cafe.
The festive season is upon us once again and Hard Rock Cafe Bahrain on Exhibition Avenue is ready to party, giving you some great times to remember. Are you not in the mood to cook a big Christmas dinner and do the washing up afterwards? No problem. This restaurant has it covered thanks to its rock stars — head chef Rolando Magbitang and his team. Relax and enjoy the season as taste buds are tempted with a festive threecourse meal from December 24-26 including roast turkey and Christmas pudding. Considering it is often the best meal of the year, why settle for just one helping? You can dine at this venue every day. It is Christmas after all. If it’s traditional Hard Rock Cafe fare that you’re after, then that never goes off the menu so your favourites are always available. Something old, something new If you haven’t planned your New Year’s Eve festivities yet, then rock it at one locale around town that can deliver an electrifying welcome to 2013. For BD30, this happening restaurant guarantees a world of fun and entertainment for the entire family, complete with delicious meals and beverages to welcome in the midnight hour. Tickets are best booked well in advance for this popular entertainment spectacle. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Hard Rock Cafe Bahrain simply continues the legacy that began in London in 1971 — one of great music and good times. E Call 17 291-569.
Having recently implemented a revamped menu with a new look and more delicious dishes added to our trusted favourites, Café Italia will continue to provide its exemplary service, quality cuisine and a great atmosphere to create memorable dining experiences.
Open for lunch and dinner, a dining venue in the 338 food district is home to real Italian cuisine simply done right. It will continue to work its magic this month and ahead.
Festive menu As a way of celebrating the festive season, the Adliya flagship restaurant’s corporate executive chef Twedi Martatna has put together a special à la carte menu to tempt us on December 24 and 25. It features traditional fare like the oven-roasted turkey breast, stuffed with spinach and herbed forest mushrooms. He also tries his hand at hammour clam chowder, braised ox tail and sea bass. Sweetening the deal is the strawberry and balsamic cake served with homemade basil ice cream and white chocolate mousse with raspberries.
New Year’s feast All through the month, this venue in Adliya continues to serve us its extraordinary selection of signature dishes, hot starters, salads, pizza, risotto, pasta, meat and poultry, fresh seafood and more. Choose from indoor, upstairs or patio dining and breathe in the aromas from the pizza oven wafting through the ground floor dining area where the New Year’s Eve party will be hosted. Spend a minimum of BD35 per person to enjoy dishes from the regular menu and move to the beats of a live DJ while you drink sparkling bubbly all the way to midnight. This is your go-to place for an intimate evening with your near and dear where you can count down to 2013. E Call 17 744-774.
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THE K HOTEL
On the Kloud A hotel situated in the heart of Juffair, filled with a lavish choice of mouthwatering cuisines and amazing entertainment, offers a glamorous line-up for the festive season.
The holidays may come once a year but The K Hotel intends to make the festive season stretch for as long as possible. On December 6, guests will be serenaded nightly, from 6.30pm-7.30pm, by a choir singing carols of the season to put us in the Christmas mood. December 1 sees the launch of a large gingerbread house in the lobby which will release entrancing aromas. Kids will be delighted to find the treats that the hotel’s chefs have prepared for them (and for those with an inner child). For a more intimate whisper in the ear of the big guy in red himself, the four-star hotel offers children the opportunity to pass their wish list to Santa directly every night at 5pm from December 17-25. It’s Christmastime The K Hotel features an array of dining outlets, where the kitchen brigade are working overtime to make guests content and craving for more. The team is led by executive chef Sylvester Rozario who invites each of you to try their exquisite creations of the season. On December 24, they prepare a five-course set-menu dinner at Klouds restaurant. Those who long for a traditional Christmas meal will be more than satisfied by this special meal served from 7-11.30pm, priced at BD19.500++ per person. On Christmas Day, the hotel attempts to free your hands from the cooking chores at home. So after you are done opening presents under the tree, join the hotel and its team for a festive Christmas brunch from 12.30-4.30pm at Klouds restaurant for BD19.500++ per person.
Happy New Year Welcome 2013 in three different ways and enjoy New Year’s Eve with plenty of revellers at K lounge where the chef's team will enthral you with a year-ending gastronomic wonder served from 9pm until midnight. Priced at BD20++ per person, it includes a welcome drink, amazing music by a DJ and a midnight beverage to toast in the New Year. For those seeking a celebration in true Arabian style, an evening at Kenza Lounge may be in order, where festivities continue from 9pm-2am on December 31. At BD18++, guests are entitled to the set-menu dinner while they enjoy live entertainment like never before. If you get up early enough the next day, you should take part in the hotel’s New Year’s Day brunch. The selection promises to be so tempting that you won’t be able to wait long before you fill your plates and enjoy what they have to offer on January 1 from 12.30-4.30pm at BD19.500++ per person. E Call 17 360-000.
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diningfestivefare RAMADA HOTEL BAHRAIN
One of the island’s longest serving establishments with a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry gives us a month full of joyous events to look forward to.
The festive season does not get much easier than with the Ramada Turkey Express. Where else can you find the bird cooked to perfection with all its trimmings, serving up to 10 people, delivered to your doorstep for BD 58? Thanks to this service by Ramada Hotel Bahrain, you can now relax and spend your time with family and friends instead of toiling in the kitchen. Nonetheless, make sure you order 48 hours in advance to avoid disappointment. You could also spend Christmas Eve at Le Jardin Restaurant. The festive dinner comes at BD 12 from 7-11pm and includes a glass of bubbly alongside the four-star fare. Christmas Day is made more special by the hotel’s chef offering an amazing lunch buffet in the same venue from 12-3 pm. Feasting on the holiday delicacies costs BD 14.500 and includes a visit from Santa himself. Celebrating 2013 Come and splurge in the hotel’s activities in welcoming the New Year; head to the Le Jardin Restaurant for an extraordinary dinner and a glass of bubbly from 7pm at BD16. The excitement has just begun as The Exchange Restaurant and Pub grooves into 2013 with a New Year’s Eve package which unfolds itself at a fee of BD22. You are entitled to a goodie bag, two beverages, the exclusive ‘chef’s surprise platter’ and a chance to win exciting raffle prizes. Meanwhile, the resident band, The Mystique, shall keep you entertained with some upbeat live music starting from 9pm. You are never too late to enjoy a sumptuous buffet and beverage here. Kick off the New Year with their special brunch on January 1 from 12-3pm at BD12. E Call 17 742-000.
Finest Indian Fare
There is no greater joy in the festive season than gifts. This year, Lalit Kapur gives us the biggest gift of all — a second Lanterns restaurant.
By late December, Bahrain will have not one but two of the famed Lanterns restaurants to choose from for those seeking the best Indian cuisine in the Kingdom. The branch on the Budaiya Highway has served us continually for more than two decades. This season, it continues the tradition with great buffets and amazing parties that will have the venue packed on the eves of Christmas and New Year. Adding to the mix is the newest member of the restaurant chain — Lanterns Lounge and Restaurant in Adliya’s 338 food district. It offers indoor, outdoor and rooftop dining as well as live entertainment. It boasts all the touches that made the original outlet so endearing and accommodates over 100 guests. A promising future “The iconic Lanterns of 27 years on the Budaiya Highway will remain open,” states managing director Lalit Kapur. “The Adliya branch merely brings the flavours of the restaurant closer and to a bigger audience.” Having spent over 33 years in Bahrain, he has been at the forefront of Indian cuisine in this country since his arrival and promises more to come in the form of express outlets and more lounge-restaurants. The festive season is about great food and close friends. This year Lalit Kapur plays Santa and doubles the reason for us to celebrate. E Call 17 590-591.
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Italians Do It Better If you are looking to sample something new this Christmas, we suggest an authentic Italian dining experience complete with all the trimmings.
The festive season is one of the most joyful times of the year and Cucina Italiana is going all out to celebrate. On December 5 the restaurant will host its first tree lighting event to kickstart the month’s celebrations. “To offer residents here the true holiday spirit, we have brought in a Christmas tree from New Zealand and will be inviting our regular guests for snacks and drinks as a way to jet set the season,” says Christophe Bruno Marziale, who is on the board of directors for Bahrain Family Leisure Company. The entire venue will be revamped with decorations and a changed menu throughout December. If you have been enjoying Cucina’s recently launched brunch then you will not want to miss the extravagant one-day Christmas brunch menu on December 21. The chefs will be going all out offering diners some of the most traditional dishes on the island. Value for money is also assured with the price options being BD16 or BD25, dependent on whether you want soft or alcoholic drinks. Kids between the ages of two and 12 are charged half the price while those under two can dine for free. True Italian cuisine may be an acquired taste but no food enthusiast will be able to resist the glorious three-course meal offered for Christmas lunch on December 25. “We haven’t tried to adapt the flavours of Italy to local taste. Our aim is to have both Bahrainis and expatriates to be able to find traditional meals here,” explains Christophe. The feast will include gourmet items that you won’t find anywhere else. Choose from cold cuts, spaghetti alla
Christophe Bruno Marziale
marinara or linguine alfredo, bisque or consommé with tortellini and turkey or sea bass. The kitchen, including chef Fortunato, who boasts over 20 years of cooking expertise, will serve the Christmas turkey in true Italian style with quality imported ingredients. The lunch also includes a dessert and a carafe of wine, all for only BD25++ per person. If you want to keep the celebratory spirit going, a special New Year’s Eve dinner is being hosted. A range of delicacies are offered over a five course meal that includes swordfish and cappone. If sweets are what get your taste buds going, then you will be in for a treat. A full array of desserts like panettone, fruit salad with maraschino cherry and even the popular torrone savoury will be on offer. Enjoy live entertainment while sipping on Prosecco and a bottle of wine for two which are all inclusive at only BD45++ per person. E Call 17 001-317.
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diningfestivefare JIM’S RESTAURANT
Adliya has a lot to offer in terms of cuisine, art and culture. There’s one restaurant here that has an interesting mix of them all.
Effortlessly maintaining a tricky balance between casual and fine dining, Jim’s Restaurant sees a variety of customers who appreciate the laid-back atmosphere and excellent food. The unique cottage feel and extended garden section, which brings the outdoors inside, allow for a cosy and inviting space where eating a meal is not a rushed event but an experience to be enjoyed. Season’s specials Great food, a diverse menu, superb service, modest décor, and a charm of its own make Jim’s Restaurant the place to be this festive season. From December 1-20, the bistro offers a splendid array of seasonal favourites. This is followed by a special Christmas menu from December 21-25. Anticipating the desire to celebrate all through the month, they have introduced a party space upstairs, where you can host all kinds of events from private gatherings to birthday parties. New Year’s Eve looks just as eventful with a delicious buffet spread that you can devour through the evening and a complimentary house beverage at midnight. New on the menu The restaurant’s extensive menu includes a bevy of options designed to delight. In addition to the popular Anglo-Irish preparations, Jim’s has now incorporated Indian recipes to its list of cuisines. These savoury dishes pack a flavourful punch which won’t leave guests going up in flames — unless requested. The breakfast menu offers yet another set of delicious choices while the business lunch, priced at BD6.900, includes a starter, main course, dessert and beverage. E Call 17 710-654.
DA RAE JUNG
Asia on a Plate
A Korean restaurant in town celebrates the festive season and its first anniversary this month. Find out what they have in store for you.
Operated by general manager Duk Kil Shim, the bright yellow two-storey ‘social house’ called Da Rae Jung is home to quality Korean cuisine as well as Thai favourites and Japanese sushi. An experienced restaurateur for decades, he has built this hidden gem into a popular Korean establishment featuring in-table cooking grills where guests can cook dishes to their preference. Menus here feature photos, giving life to names which otherwise confound the first-time diner. Good food is easy to find but great food requires the understanding of cultured chefs, which is exactly the kind of team they have on board. Chef An handles Korean cuisine while chef Num tackles the Thai counterpart. Chef Dario prepares the Japanese sushi offerings. This trio is a selected few from a kitchen brigade which works hard to create delicious meals. Da Rae Jung knows that chefs raised, trained and skilled in the cooking style of their homeland make the tastes authentic and delightful. Throughout December, the restaurant offers diners a 20 per cent discount on their orders during its happy hours from 4pm-7pm. Its split-level dining offers the perfect party venue for groups. The large second floor seating area accommodates up to 50 guests, ideal for festive gatherings. Essentially Korean, Da Rae Jung offers flavours of its neighbouring countries as well, cooked by chefs who identify with the dishes they prepare. In doing so, it has made itself stand out in Bahrain’s Far Eastern restaurant scene. E Call 17 002-490.
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PAUL BAKERY AND RESTAURANT
Hungry for More Avoid burning the house down in an attempt to bake. Instead, try the exquisite gateaux from a much-admired patisserie.
Christmas is always a time to indulge yourself with plenty of good food and gorgeous gifts. This year Paul Bakery and Restaurant has prepared a full range of special products from little treats to their well-known bûches and galettes. For the love of desserts For a group of four to eight, they have seven amazing festive logs and desserts: La bûche Chalet, La Tout chocolat, La Vanilla framboise, La Fôret Noire, La Charlotte framboises and La Craquant. For a sweet Christmas, they offer a fir-tree-shaped plain brioche and financiers (mini spongecakes in chocolate drop, vanilla, pistachio and cinnamon flavours). Both are available in packs of 12. The sugar-and-raisins brioche is selling like hot cakes. Any patron of the bakery-restaurant should know how much in demand their macaroons are. Making the perfect gift box, they have an assortment of 12 mini macarons classiques apart from the standard individual pieces. The highlight of the season is La Galette. The pure butter-puff pastry made with a generous amount of frangipane and almonds serves eight people. Watch out for a lucky charm when you take a bite of this yummy dish. What is Christmas without bread? Pain de mie loaves are available in 250g or 500g packaging to enjoy as it is or toasted. It is the perfect accompaniment to your canapés and buffet spread. Their walnut bread is the ideal partner to any cheese selection. They also offer rye bread, which is a rustic loaf boasting a genuine flavour. It goes best with oysters, seafood and smoked fish. The chestnut and orange bread is a seasonal favourite as is the one made with a mix of nuts and apricots. Topping this range is the six cereals and fig loaf. The crusty cereals and fruity figs are great accompaniments to foie gras. The perfect buffet If you don’t want to be cooking at all, Paul Bakery and Restaurant has got you covered. Pick le pain surprise for a selection of 24 sandwiches in country bread. You can opt for smoked salmon, camembert cheese, brie cheese, smoked turkey or roast beef. They also have a canapés platter of 16 pieces. Choices include mushroom, smoked salmon, shrimp cocktail, crab meat and brie cheese amongst many more. The dessert department isn’t slim either. Get a platter of 16 mini desserts from tiny versions of mille-feuille, strawberry tarts, chocolate éclairs and frangipane. It isn’t a complete festive meal without turkey and they’ve got that too. You can choose between the traditional and orientalstyle meal, both inclusive of side dishes, gravy and sauces. It is highly recommended to place your order 48 hours in advance. E Call 17 172-321 (Bahrain City Centre) or 17 580-073 (Seef Mall).
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Bud Music...Live! Battle Of The Bands Another qualifying round of the Bud Music...Live! Battle of the Bands was held at Rocky's Cafe, Ramee International Hotel, Juffair
Judges - Manny, Marie-Claire, Khalid & Yousif
Johnny, Martin, Kim & Stephen
Kate & Ashley
Bryan, Randall & Neil
One of the bands in action
Siyana, Candice & Dave
Sarah, Tina & Steph
Shiva, Nilantha, Antony, Rejeev, Naveen & Murthy
Khylie & Tammy
Heather & Paul
Daniel & Celeen Abboud Halloween Daniel & Celeen Abboud hosted a Halloween party for number of friends at the poolside of their compound in Budaiya Daniel, Samar & George
Celeen & Daniel
Khawla & Amr
Omaya, Daniel & Zaher
Essam & Ghada
Layal & Yasser
Jood & Susan
Mona & Dina
Celeen, Najwa & Hamar
140 December 2012
Layal, Najwa, Sheree, Susan, Celeen & Reema
Manal, Sawsan & Mohammed
afterdarkthismonth When? December 16 | Event? DJ Night | Venue? Coral Bay
The Lovely Laura
A Festival of Music ELMA BARTHOLOMEW Enjoy yourself on the night of December 16 as the rest of the country commemorates a day in Bahrain’s history. The Kingdom’s National Day is a time of celebration, especially at Coral Bay, where there is always something special prepared year after year. On December 16, they make the long weekend count with a spectacular night of live entertainment. The best of the lot What better way to spend the holiday than dance to the best of Hedkandi. That’s right, partygoers — Andy Norman is coming to our shores. One of the headline resident DJs and voice behind the radio of the global house brand Hedkandi since 1999, Andy is truly an international globetrotter and continues to grace the decks in some of the world’s greatest nightclubs. Australia, South Africa, Japan, Singapore, Europe, the Philippines, Russia and North America are just a few of the destinations where he has taken his DJ style. His talents have been called upon for some exquisite high-profile events such as F1 parties in Montreal, Monaco and, of course, Bahrain. Other occasions include corporate events for Harrods, Selfridges, GlaxoSmithKline and Nokia, and award shows for BPI Berlin Music Week and FX Magazine. Also this month
Andy’s journey started while running the legendary independent dance music record store ‘Vinylmania’ in Ealing, West London, during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. It had become one of most well-known and respected stores of its kind in England. Around the same time, he struck up a friendship with Mark Doyle, the creator of the now successful dance music compilation label Hedkandi, at a small West London nightclub called Haven Stables, also in Ealing. The rest is history. Andy Norman will be accompanied by Laura Fowles or “Lovely Laura” as she is popularly known. Most notable for her renowned live performances with huge brands such as Hedkandi, Ministry of Sound, Space Ibiza, Pacha and Café Del Mar, it is no surprise that she is the clubbing world’s most in-demand saxophonist. To add to this, and under the personal invitation of Domenico Dolce of Dolce & Gabbana, Laura is also regularly touring the world, performing at a wide range of their events such as fashion show parties, boutique parties and even personal gigs. Laura’s passion extends from electronic music to that of jazz and soul where, as a solo artist, the talented singer-songwriter has enthralled thousands at arenas around the globe. Tickets to this exciting event are available at Coral Bay, JJ’s Irish Restaurant and Camelot for BD10.
DJ Andy Norman When? December 6 Event? Tribute act Venue? JJ’s Irish Restaurant & Pub Bring out the diva in you as Cher and Madonna look alikes take the stage. E Call 17 742-323. When? December 7 Event? Battle of the Bands Venue? Coral Bay Macy Gray headlines the finals of The Battle of the Bands. E Email firstname.lastname@example.org. When? December 11, 18 Event? Karaoke Idol Venue? JJ’s Irish Restaurant & Pub Find out who wins the title and walks away with the money. E Call 17 742-323. When? December 12 Event? Anniversary Venue? Club 1, Metropolitan Hotel It’s a special date to celebrate their ninth birthday — 12.12.12. E Call 17 296-464. When? December 13, 14 Event? Tribute act Venue? Rocky’s Café, Club Buffalo Brush up on your Guns N’ Roses lyrics and sing along two nights in a row. E Call 39 490-164 or 39 688-207.
E Call 17 312-700 or 33 745-547.
142 x Happenings - 144 x New Year’s Eve
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Get the Party Started
When? December 16 Event? DJ night Venue? Coral Bay Celebrate National Day with Hedkandi headliner, DJ Andy Norman. E Call 17 312-700. When? December 21 Event? DJ night Venue? Amwaj Marina If the world’s going to end, enjoy the last night with friends. E Call 37 779-936. When? December 28 Event? Pool party Venue? K Hotel If you’re mad enough to swim in this weather, this is your night. E Call 17 360-000. When? December 28 Event? Theme night Venue? Bushido Win your first Emporio Armani accessory on their Pink Friday. E Call 17 583-555.
Sure, you might not know where to go for New Year’s Eve just yet. Here’s what you can do every other day of the month. The K Hotel challenges you to an eat-off this month. Can you handle seven heavy meals in seven continuous days? All you need to do is conquer the “challenge of the day” at Champions Lounge in 20 minutes to be the first victor. On December 28, the hotel hosts a pool party from 3-7pm for those who can brave the weather.
Dedicated to women, the last Friday of the month remains entertaining, glamorous and “pink” at Bushido. The Pink Friday entitles ladies to free entrance and two complimentary drinks as well as promotions on a selection of bar bites. They also have the chance to win high-end fashion accessories from Emporio Armani. December 11 sees the last round of JJ’s Irish Restaurant & Pub’s Karaoke Idol. Finalists will go through to the final on December 18, where they will sing their hearts out for a chance to win cash prizes of BD700, BD200 and BD100.
Halloween At JJ's Irish Restaurant There were ghouls, witches, ghosts & more as JJ's Irish Restaurant hosted its Spooktacular Halloween. The Noise, JJ's in-house band rocked the house on the night
Maricon, Dave & Gemma
Brad & Ben
142 December 2012
Garry, Stacey & Jenna
Everly & Eline
Annelise, Sarah & Chantal
Tracy & Donata
Emily & Stacey
Cassandra, Cindy, Eliot & Minnie
J.D., Richie & Carissa
Are you panicking about Doom’s Day on December 21? Stay calm and unwind at the End of the World Party in Amwaj Marina. Of course, the theme is understandably angels and demons. We’ve warned you about the finale of Battle of the Bands on December 7 with a special appearance by Macy Gray at Coral Bay. On December 16, this venue celebrates Bahrain’s National Day with DJ Andy Norman and The Lovely Laura — yet another Hedkandi event. Club 1 at Metropolitan Hotel celebrates its ninth anniversary on December 12. That’s right, save the date — 12-12-12! An ode to good music This month sees a lot of tribute acts and leading them is the Guns 2 Roses tour at Ramee International on December 13 followed by a performance at Ramee California the next night. Read on to find out more about the shows. Are you missing some true diva-style entertainment? Find the next best thing to Cher and Madonna at JJ’s Irish Restaurant & Pub on December 6. Cathy Perry starts her gig at 10pm; grab your tickets at BD4. Party ideas Bizarre Lounge at Kempinski Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre introduces its “Hot in the City” theme nights. A fashion-inspired evening, it promises extravagance, cocktails and a chance to win fabulous prizes every Thursday from 9pm-2am. Wendy’s Café at Gulf Gate Hotel welcomes the New Year with a range of new theme nights, one for every night. Meanwhile, Block 338 hosts a beer fest every Sunday from 7-11pm at BD9++. Rumour has it that Tiki nights are finding their way back to Mai Tai in December. Expect special cocktails and bar bites if it’s true.
Mai Tai Lounge
The Lovely Laura
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New Year's Eve Night Out
No matter how insane it goes, this is one night of every year that sticks to your memory (at least parts of it). Make the last day of 2012 one worth remembering.
144 December 2012
On December 31, Cucina Italiana will offer a special Italian dinner at BD45++ per person with a delectable five-course meal plus a bottle of wine for two. Gulf Hotel Bahrain has a lot on its itinerary on this day. Al Waha offers a buffet with a free flow of sparkling wine, beer and soft drinks at BD32++. The set menu at Fusions and La Pergola comes with a glass of sparkling wine and bottle of selected wine for every two people at BD45++. The Lebanese set menu at Zahle, priced at BD65++, is inclusive of selected alcoholic beverages, live entertainment and performance by a belly dancer. Fiesta Latina at Margarita Mexicana, priced at BD45++, is inclusive of a glass of sparkling wine, a bottle of selected wine for two and Latino entertainment. The party at Sherlock Holmes charges an entry fee of BD7 inclusive of a selected beverage with an exception for the hotel’s diners. Kempinski Ixir Hotel takes New Year’s Eve celebrations up a notch by inviting Bahrain’s foodies to an exclusive opening of their new Arabic-inspired restaurant, Baharat. Bizarre Lounge here is all about the music. Meanwhile, Sheraton Bahrain Hotel welcomes 2013 with a special dinner at Al Safir restaurant priced at BD18++ for adults and BD8++ for children. You get a free drink at midnight to raise a toast with fellow guests of the night. For this occasion, Trader Vic’s has prepared a special night starting with a premium six-course dinner followed by entertainment by the DJ, champagne and cocktails. Dinner is
priced at BD75 including a selection of drinks and will be served from 7-11.30pm. Tickets are priced at BD40 and the after-dinner party runs from midnight to 4am. Do you hear Brazilian rhythms? It is the sound of Mövenpick Hotel preparing for the biggest night of the year. They bring Rio de Janeiro and its carnivals to you on December 31. Grab your tickets in advance. They range from BD65++ to BD55++, inclusive of a gala buffet, live entertainment, DJs and unlimited drinks. The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel is hosting the Fire & Ice Ball at the Grand Ambassador Suite. Be inspired by the amazing decorations and let them entertain you. Tickets are BD65 net per person including live entertainment by Australian band Shine, a dinner buffet and selected beverages. Feast on the lavish international dinner buffet at La Mosaique Restaurant in Crowne Plaza Bahrain with your family and friends as you welcome the New Year together, for BD17.950++ inclusive of a glass of bubbly per person including unlimited selected beverages. Enjoy a complimentary glass of the finest bubbly to start the celebration at Waves Seafood Restaurant. The set menu is BD19.950++ and welcome drinks will be served. Celebrate the New Year with the special set-menu dinner of the Spices Indian Restaurant at only BD14.950++ per person. Elite Resort & Spa is in the mood to celebrate and La Brasserie here has an intimate dinner to offer at BD25 per couple inclusive of soft drinks and an international buffet.
Find the finest in all kinds of cuisines at InterContinental Regency’s three dining outlets: Medzo, Legendz and Selections. The chef at Ric’s Kountry Kitchen shows off his expertise at home-cooked meals on New Year’s Eve. Casa Mexicana prepares an authentic Mexican buffet that includes a wide variety of salads, starters, main courses and desserts. Entertainment includes their resident singer, guitarist and a DJ that will play a mix of tracks through the night. Non-alcoholics can treat themselves to the buffet at BD25, while those expecting unlimited beverages can find it at an added cost of BD35. Energetic vibes Party with the in-house band Majors Reloaded in Harvester’s Pub at Crowne Plaza Bahrain for an entrance fee of BD10. If you’re looking for something grander, the New Year’s Eve ball here is just the thing. The hotel presents the Hollywood Oscar Night 2012. Join them for the biggest party in Bahrain and party away in style. Walk on the red carpet like the famous movie stars as they bring you all the glitz and glamour of this Hollywoodinspired party. Doors open at 8pm for a cocktail reception, followed by dinner from 9pm onwards. Expect live music, a DJ and unlimited beverages. Tickets are BD70 per person. Both Le Jardin and The Exchange restaurant and pub at Ramada Bahrain invite you to an eventful evening with great food and live entertainment. Watch out for raffles and surprise platters. Dublin at Ramee Palace hosts the ’’Y2K13’’ night. Drink up and make merry at BD25 or BD20. Downtown Lounge at InterContinental Regency is extraordinary on this night with entertainment like never before. Shift 7 at Elite Resort & Spa hosts a party to remember at BD35 for men and BD25 for women. O Club here invites couples to a range of selected beverages and finger foods at BD40 tickets for two. The resort’s popular venue, Noor tent, hosts live Arabic performances and Middle Eastern fare at BD40 per person. New Year’s Eve at Elite Grande is equally tempting with the Candlelight-Style party at Julios with tickets at BD12 per person and BD25 per couple. Zodiac lounge offers a range of selected beverages and light canapés at BD30. Elite Crystal goes big this year with a glow-themed party at Klub 360 with an entry fee of BD20 for men and BD10 for ladies. La Cascada restaurant here offers dinner for two at BD25 per couple. Awtar, a more recent addition to its dining outlets, offers an Arabic set-menu dinner, live entertainment including belly dancing, a singer and a DJ along with other giveaways at BD45 per head. A themed black and white ballroom event is said to be the major highlight of the holiday season at Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa to usher you into the New Year in style. Feast on a lavish, international buffet with live entertainment from The Xoul Show and Tej’ai Sullivan, a Michael Jackson impersonator. You could also dine at La Mer at BD85 per person or at Pashawat at BD75 per person. Club Buffalo at Ramee California is all about the glitz and glamour with the “Oscar Night Extravaganza” celebrated in the company of the resident band and DJ. They offer two unlimited drinks packages at BD20 and BD25. Dine in at BD15 to try their buffet with a free beverage. Neighbouring nightclub, Bedrock, hosts the “Absolutely Fabulous” party where you can dance the
night away with the tunes by the two resident DJs. The K Hotel isn’t far behind on the festivities. Priced at BD20 per person, inclusive of a grand buffet, a welcome drink and champagne at midnight, the K Lounge is home for a cosier New Year’s Eve get-together. Kenza Lounge at the hotel has a different idea however. From 9pm-2am, they have lots of live entertainment and good food to offer at BD18++. Austin Powers is the theme as Kicks at Hotel Diva parties you into the New Year with music from the ‘60s through to 2013. It’s only BD25 for chaps and BD18 for chicks with unlimited drinks and entrance to Davy Crockett’s Beach BallGroovy Baby party. Buy your tickets early for a bargain of BD20 and BD15. Pars International is popular in Bahrain’s nightlife scene. For New Year’s Eve, Latin Quarter and Boomer celebrates with their respective in-house band and DJ. Z-Club sees three DJs by the turntable and their live band, Blur. The night includes complimentary snacks, champagne at midnight and a raffle draw. Tickets are priced at BD10 for gents and BD5 for ladies, both inclusive of two drinks. Club 1 at Metropolitan Hotel has three offerings for New Year’s Eve: BD20 drinks package for ladies; BD25 drinks package for gents; BD10 for entry, main course and a drink. The party will have live entertainment by resident band, Day 7, and DJ Ryan. A live Filipino band and DJ entertain you at Wendy’s Café in Gulf Gate Hotel. Dance the night away with the tunes of the DJ at the ballroom party at The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain from 9.30pm-2am at BD25 per person including a champagne toast at midnight. Cocoon at The Juffair Grand celebrates with a DJ duo. The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa hosts its popular ’’Fire and Ice’’ party. Hard Rock Cafe Bahrain guarantees a night of fun at BD30. All the nightlife venues at Pars International in Juffair will be bustling with party-goers.
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Bushido Cirque Du Soir Bushido was transformed into a circus during the Blue Magic event with the an extraordinary night of entertainment as the Cirque du Soir show featuring fire-eaters, aerial acts, the burlesque angle grinders, freak shows, magicians, drummers, jugglers, acrobats and more, gave guests an incredible night of magic, music and entertainment
Daniele, Danae & Erica
Gizem & friends
Sam, Lauren & Hassaan
Kristen & Liz
Ryan & Mary
Lina & Saif
Ann & GOkhan
Nader & Kirsti
Guests at the event
Daha, Marwa & Nermin
An acrobat performs
Suzi & Sara
Jo, Vibeke & Pippa
Anda & Sharon
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Burak & Gizem
Norman & Amy
Playing with fire!
Alonza & Lawrence
Mar & Rose
Performers at the event
THE DIPLOMAT RADISSON BLU HOTEL, RESIDENCE & SPA
Life at the Extremes One of the most popular New Year’s celebrations returns this year — bigger, brighter and greater spectacle. Are you ready to be entertained?
Fresh from all the festivities of Christmas, The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence and Spa has lined-up a year-end bash to remember. The New Year’s Eve Fire and Ice Ball will completely transform the hotel’s ballroom for the evening. Half of the venue will appear as if frozen with ice sculptures, which also serve as side stands for selected beverages best served at ‘chilled out’ degrees. The other half is cloaked in flames! This area features flaring bottles twirled by practised bartenders who serve up the fun through special themed cocktails. Of course, there is far more to the gala than just beverages. The hotel’s culinary team presents a lavish gastronomic buffet with no less than five live cooking stations. Guests are requested to add to the occasion and arrive in an outfit that reflects their favourite theme — fire or ice. The best dressed will win a voucher for two to one of their amazing Friday brunches in 2013. Dinner and a show Wining and dining naturally requires entertainment to elevate the celebrations into party mode. The New Year’s Eve festivity kicks off with a performance by the in-house band, The Alf Hookers. This gig is followed by the engaging show by the Australian sextet, Shine. Playing music genres from pop to rock and currently based in Dubai, this band has performed in many countries worldwide and guarantee to bring down the house
and escalate the vibe heading towards the magic hour. Joining these musicians is resident DJ Ram who also entertains guests to the early hours, especially as the countdown begins on the big screens. Starting at BD65 per person, the Fire and Ice Ball is discounted to BD55 per person if booked and paid for by December 6. As if this isn’t enough, the hotel hosts a Facebook campaign from December 1 inviting all of Bahrain to ‘like’ their page and briefly describe their craziest New Year’s Eve experience. The best story wins complimentary tickets for the grand event. Having welcomed 2013 in style, January 1 demands a New Year’s Day brunch served from 12.30-4pm. Start the year without a care in the world and allow the kitchen brigade of The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa to treat you to their culinary best. E Call 17 531-666.
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afterdarkhappenings RAMEE GROUP OF HOTELS
Down to Paradise City If you’re a fan of partying the American way, then you are in for a treat this month as “the most dangerous band in the world” makes an appearance in Juffair.
Do you sing along when Sweet Child O’ Mine, November Rain and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door are blaring on the radio? If so, then you are going to love what Ramee International and Ramee California has in store for you this December. The hotels join hands to host the tour of a tribute act in their most happening clubs with a back-to-back gig. Sure it would be surreal if Guns N’ Roses themselves showed up, but they bring in the next best thing — Guns 2 Roses. Welcome to the jungle Some tributes try while some snipe and lie, but not one comes close to the authenticity, charisma and huge reputation Guns 2 Roses have become known for over the years. Having existed since late 2002, their ability to emulate has even impressed and been approved by members of the original and new line-up of Guns N’ Roses. What makes them stand out from the rest is that they sometimes even throw in the songs that GNR did live, which never made it to an album, to keep with the true spirit and deliver a different show every time. On December 13, they grace the stage at Rocky’s Café at Ramee International Hotel from 10pm. They hop over to Club Buffalo at Ramee California the next night and rock away from 10.30pm. BD5 wins the men entry into the clubs, while ladies can walk in for free. Both venues have an unlimited beverage package of BD20. E Call 39 490-164 (Rocky’s Café) or 39 688-207 (Club Buffalo).
Bennigans Halloween Party Bennigans in Juffair hosted a Halloween party last month
Anslen, Wally, Mina, Sameh, Waleed, Amr & Tanya
Lu, Mariel & Mary Ann
Samantha & Jerry
Muriel, Waleed, Tanya, Wally & Sameh
Sameh, Rem & Sameh
Shawn & Sasha
Ralf & Heike
Wally & Waleed
148 December 2012
Julian, CJ & Gail
Samantha & friends
Jose & Ren
One Night, Two Gigs With a bundle of happening DJ nights held under its roof week after week, there is little surprise that December 31 is going to be a blast at an eventful nightclub in Juffair.
Cocoon Lounge is all geared up to make one of the most looked-forward-to holidays of the year as spectacular as it should be. In order to bid 2012 farewell, the phenomenal nightclub located in the ground level of The Juffair Grand Hotel reels in not one but two international DJs. They are going to make so much noise within that chic venue to take you into 2013 with enough excitement to last you a lifetime. Double act The first star of the night is DJ Peekaboo who started spinning tracks over two decades ago. Considered a pro in the music industry, he had sidestepped from the clubbing world to go behind the scenes. A thriving producer and composer of some out-of-this-world beats, the champion of four DJ playoffs in the Kingdom brings his A-game back to the turntable on this longawaited night. Tonnes of experience mixing at gigs in the USA, where he was brought up, and several debuts around the globe in countries like Japan, Korea and Malaysia are reason enough to watch out for his tricks of the trade. Mastering music genres from house to techno, DJ Peekaboo will certainly put out a few of his favourite styles like hip-hop and R&B. This works well for DJ Alex B, who has specialised in these two genres that are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. This mixologist never fails to entertain partygoers with his impressive tracks that blend so well to create a memorable night of music and dance. His expertise in the music industry exceeds 30 years. Amongst several titles that he claimed in this span, he has also won the Battle of the DJs competition held in Bahrain. The man
DJ Alex B
has played in party capitals globally and on the night of December 31 he will show you the best of his works. With a combined expertise of 50 years behind the decks, the DJ duo promises a night to remember. That’s not all Cocoon Lounge has planned for you. Watch out for surprises all night long. Presale tickets are priced at BD5; on New Year’s Eve, they are hiked to BD7. Pick up your ticket to fun at the club or at the hotel’s reception. E Call 36 923-233 or 36 500-114 or visit Facebook.com/CocoonBahrain.
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afterdarkhappenings RAMEE PALACE
One Step Ahead As you get ready for 31 days of leaving dos, arrival bashes, festive shindigs and New Year celebrations, an American-Irish pub promises more to look forward to.
Opening the non-stop party season at Dublin Club at Ramee Palace is the ‘Black & Gold’ event on December 6. This is your chance to glam up and let your hair down with Crash Motion and DJ Conny. A three-course menu including a beverage will be available from 7-11pm for BD8. Don’t complain that you weren’t warned; dress to impress. Whether the Mayans get their way or not, this December the nightclub will ensure that the final month of the year goes down in history. Don’t miss out on your chance to say you survived another night of non-stop live entertainment. The big nights On December 24, it’s the Santa Showdown with more Father Christmases than Lapland. Add giveaways and games to the equation and it promises to be an entertainment oasis for those in search of some festive merriment. A three-course Christmas menu with all the trimmings is available for BD10. New Year’s Eve is ‘Y2K13’ to the American-Irish haunt. Unlimited beverage packages are on offer at BD25 for gents and BD20 for ladies, inclusive of your favourite thirst quenchers. Get your tickets from any of the waiting staff. For the sports fans, the final group stage matches of the Champions League, crucial European League action and important NFL clashes will all be shown live and large on the big screen. E Call 39 736-547 or visit Facebook.com/Dublin Club Bahrain.
Michael Jackson Tribute At Club Buffalo Ben, a tribute act to Michael Jackson, performed at Club Buffalo, Ramee California Hotel, Juffair last month
Bryan & Neil
Johnny, FMW & Hank
150 December 2012
Shanthram, Dheeptha & Ashalatha Shetty
Leeroy & Gloria
CJ Phillips, Steve Millar, Antony & Michelle Bynum
Lani & Michiel
Luke, James & Ailish
Divya & Supriya
Chris & Angela
Ben thrills the crowd!
Liwi, Queenie & Mau
PARS INTERNATIONAL HOTEL
All that Music All four of Pars International’s nightlife venues are jam-packed every night of the year. There’s no doubt that these outlets will be bustling with people this holiday season.
Boomers boasts a traditional pub atmosphere and is home to great food, drinks and entertainment. The casual ambience lets guests feel at ease. The signature drinks pour all through the night. On December 24 and 25, the venue offers free entry and complimentary snacks in the earlier hours of the evening. Let us hope they are their famous bar bites: the three cheese nachos, chicken enchiladas and beer-fried prawns. Resident band Noty Notes promises to entertain you from 9pm-2am with a range of songs from various genres with the support of DJ Jessikka at the turntable. Add champagne at midnight and a raffle draw to this equation and you have an idea of what New Year’s Eve will look like at this lobby bar. Gents can grab tickets at BD10 while ladies get theirs for half the price. Both include two drinks on the house.
Move a floor up to find Latin Quarter. The name speaks for itself. Dedicated to all things Hispanic, this is your go-to destination when you feel like flaunting your dancing skills. On December 24 and 25, DJ Arvin reels you in with irresistible Columbian rhythms, so expect to hit the floor every once in a while. Ladies are in for a treat as they are given free entry, welcome drinks and complimentary snacks on both days. Christmas will see amazing performances by the resident Latin band. December 31 has the same packages as in Boomers. Follow the thumping music outside its doors; you’ll find yourself lost in the loud beats mixed by DJs Guy, Peekaboo and an international guest DJ at Z-Club and Lounge. Known for its fair share of one-night events with DJs flown in from around the globe, this nightclub is home to the in-house Oriental band, The Blur, which will also be performing on New Year’s Eve. Gents fetch your tickets at BD10; ladies get yours at BD5. Both include two drinks on the house. Let’s not forget the champagne at midnight and raffle draw that runs throughout the hotel on this night. Christmas is a big deal here as well. If it is music and dance that you’re looking for, they’ve got all that and more in this nightclub on December 24 and 25. E Call 17 814-777.
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Sharaf DG Opens In Enma Mall Sharaf DG, the multibrand consumer electronics retailer, opened its second store in the kingdom at the Enma Mall in Riffa
Shayaz Ibrahim, Nilesh Khalkho, Hassan Al Sharif & Yasser Sharaf at the ribbon cutting
Shayaz Ibrahim, country manager Sharaf DG, Hassan Al Sharif, manager, Al Sharif Group, Yasser Sharaf, MD, Sharaf DG & Nilesh Khalkho, CEO, Sharaf DG meet the media
Tim Mackintosh Smith Lecture La Fontaine Centre For Contemporary Art played host to a lecture by Tim Mackintosh Smith, followed by dinner. Tim is an Arabist, traveler, writer and lecturer, and for almost thirty years his home has been the Yemeni capital of Sanaâ€™a
Tim Mackintosh Smith
Harrison & Victoria
Katariina, Tessa & Berni
Dagmar & Samia
Emad & Khamis
Faika & Fatima
Mona & Jameela
SKAL Club Forum The SKAL Club hosted a forum titled Portrait Bahrain as part of the club's 40th anniversary. The forum was held at the Gulf Hotel's Awal Ballroom last month
Jamil Wafa & Abdul Nabi Daylami
Jano, Tareq & Yahya
Mohan & Stephan
152 December 2012
Saeed, Mohammed Buzizi & Abdullah
Mirza Sammak & Sayed
Mirza & Isa
Hakim & Yousif
Fragrant Notes Gift the man in your life this Christmas with a powerful, seductive and passionately masculine new scent. Chopard’s Oud Malaki opens with bracing, aromatic top notes with underlying layers of grapefruit and lavender and base notes of spices and leather undertones. Available at leading retailers
The Luxury of Time Emporio Armani has expanded the successful Ceramica line by introducing Titanium Ceramica; a new collection of timepieces combining lightweight titanium with smooth and shiny ceramic. The men’s style includes an iconic chronograph and the women’s version features a sophisticated shiny bezel and mother of pearl dial. Available at A La Mode.
What’s New Edited by Alison Coldridge
Seeing Red If you are looking for a holiday gift for your creative yet techsavvy loved one, this is it. The Olympus VG-170 camera is uniquely packaged with a free 2GB SD card. The dapper looking digital compact camera boasts a 14 megapixel CCD sensor, excellent zoom features and a three-inch LCD screen. Available at Gajria Electronics, Gajria Tower and Yateem Centre.
Glitz and Glam Clean and Fresh The new “all-in-one” cleansing water from Sisley removes all traces of make-up in one quick step. This no-rinse formula will help simplify your daily routine and will leave your skin clean and refreshed with no irritation. Available at Jashanmals
Everyone needs a little bit of sparkle in their life, such as this gold Valerie clutch from Anya Hindmarch. The perfect companion to any festive events you may have lined up, this beautiful bag features the brand’s logo and plenty of glitter!. Available at Anya Hindmarch.
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A True Vintage Show that you understand what a watch conveys; the most exquisite are those that retain old values and design elements while incorporating modern technological advancements.
154 December 2012
The Silverstone Vintage 30, from Graham, is the timepiece that every gentleman needs. Constructed with beautiful lines and shapes, the watch pays tribute to the origin of motor racing and to the brand’s passion for tracks and beautiful mechanics. This classically English brand has been designing exquisite watches for over 300 years, firmly establishing itself as a master watch-making company. Each piece uses Swiss anchor movement and is a unique and well-thought-out concept. The newest addition to Graham’s motorsport line is powered by an automatic bi-complex chronograph and bears vintage colours and detailing. Like the assembly of old racing cars, the Silverstone Vintage
30 collection has been created according to the strict codes of vintage racing and with respect for every part. The ‘Clous de Paris’ 27 jewel decorated bezel, the thin-shaped hands and the beige, brown and off-white colours have been added to the watch. Furthermore, the sapphire back of the case is skeletal, allowing a look at the artistry behind watch-making. The chronograph function will help the wearer keep track with a seconds and 30 minutes counter, in addition to the standard hours, minutes and seconds hands. The date is positioned at 7 o’clock, for easy viewing. E Call 17 535-344.
Italian Expertise Whatever your decor design tastes and requirements may be, breathe new life into your home with fresh styles, shapes and colours that will create a utopian interior.
The Natuzzi range available at Phoenicia Décor enables you to create that beautiful and elegant home that you have been longing for. The brand has a fresh new range of furnishing sets, separates and accessories in the Seef showroom, presenting a number of different interior styling options. The Etoile sofa features soft, clean but welcoming shapes. An ultra-thick Cassidy leather covering stresses the half-centurylong expertise of the Italian Group, founded in 1959 by Pasquale Natuzzi. Contrast stitching emphasises the handmade craftsmanship of the artisans and the high quality of the leather conveys a refined effect. The style has been manufactured in a number of different versions, to suit your space and needs; a three-seater version boasts adjustable headrests and a two-seater version and armchairs are also available. If you are more inclined towards darker hues and oak wood, opt for the Nicolaus sofa. Furnished with a soft touch mechanism, the seat and backrest position can be altered to
achieve perfect comfort. The external sides of the armrests and backrest are entirely quilted for a stylish flair. The Novecento range contains compact storage solutions that add to the classic style of any room. With a duo of wall units and an expansive ‘library’ bookcase, this line of products will proudly display your coveted books, accessories and ornaments in a neat manner. You can add to your library-intended space with a floor lamp to create the maximum amount of light possible. The Proxima bookshelf is a more modern alternative to the items available in the Novecento range. Completely exposed and with no backboard, this style has a geometric shape made up of five transparent tempered-glass shelves. E Call 17 564-444.
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Incentive to Travel If you are struggling to afford the fare of a flight elsewhere this holiday season, take advantage of an offer that will make the costs considerably less.
156 December 2012
HSBC is once again helping its loyal customers in whatever way possible. The international bank has recently released word of a new partnership that will provide customers with exclusive discounts. The bank has renewed its agreement with Gulf Air to provide their mutual customers with an enhanced, value-added travel experience through a joint promotion. The joint promotion entitles all HSBC credit card holders to discounts on flights with the airline. A 15 per cent discount is issued on all Gulf Air falcon gold class (business class) bookings and a ten per cent discount on economy class seats, when flights are booked through Gulf Air’s official website. Customers have plenty of time to take advantage of this offer as it is valid until the end of April next year. “We are pleased to join hands once again with HSBC Bahrain, our long-term partner,” says Esam A Hameed AlHammadi, Gulf Air country manager Manama. “It’s a win-win situation for Gulf Air and HSBC — both being leaders in their fields in the Middle East and North Africa region, as the
travelling HSBC credit card holders can enjoy Gulf Air’s bespoke products and services at a discount.” The discount opportunity comes as welcome news given that we are currently in the midst of the festive season. During December, many will be hoping to book flights to visit loved ones around the world. “The promotion comes at the right time of the year when a lot of families travel on holidays,” adds Shakofa Asghar, HSBC’s head of retail banking and wealth management. “We want to make sure that our card holders get the best value fares, by starting their priceless trip with an exclusive discount.” This collaboration between the two prominent companies proves the commitment both brands have to providing services and promotions that guarantee total customer satisfaction. As the largest international bank in the Middle East, HSBC has 53 branches throughout the region and Gulf Air is the national carrier of the Kingdom and one of the most powerful names in the global aviation industry. E Visit www.hsbc.com/bh.
Trim that Tum!
Perfect for both men and women, an exclusive training concept combines alternating high and low pressure with exercise to help target fat in those areas which just won’t budge.
An innovative solution to a slimmer you has arrived just in time for the New Year. Hypoxi has introduced the Vacunaut; an individual solution that helps achieve a flatter stomach in no time at all. “The combination of moderate exercise and vacuum therapy is the secret to success. For a flat tummy, the Vacunaut is ideal,” explains Dr Eva Tischer, a master trainer at the company. Exercising on a low intensity setting on the treadmill is a natural way for to burn fat. While you are walking on the treadmill, the compression chambers inside the Hypoxi Pressure Suit increase the metabolism and especially the blood circulation in the problem area. “With better blood circulation on the tummy, the body is able to consume the fat storage from this problem area because the vessels transfer the nutrients to the muscles,” the doctor says. “Using Vacunaut reduces the stubborn fat deposit on the tummy in a shorter time without diaphoretic sit-ups. The strength of the programme is the circumference loss on the problem areas which is three times better compared to classical training, with the same amount of time and training intensity.” From a medical view, the combination of body fat on the tummy and an unhealthy lifestyle increases the risk for cardiovascular system diseases extremely. “That’s why the additional positive benefit of a flat, beautiful tummy is your health-related quality of life in the future,” adds the doctor. The Hypoxi studio offers a range of four devices — trainers S120 and L250, Vacunaut trainer and Hypoxi-dermology — to target your own individual problem areas with a programme
that is non-invasive, pain-free and unique to you. With a 12 sessions three times a week, a therapy course can leave you up to five to seven centimetres’ slimmer in the targeted zones. “The sessions will leave you feeling energised and it is perfect for those people needing to kick-start their weight loss journey or for those who exercise regularly but just cannot shift fat from their problem areas,” says Dr Eva. Each session consists of a 30-minute gentle workout, monitored by a well-prepared specialised team and supervised by the centre’s clinical nutritionist Dr Aysha Salem Al Muftah and operations manager and senior trainer Mwai Exartier, who has a wealth of experience in health. The team promises to make your Hypoxi experience safe, successful and result-filled! E Call 17 626-726.
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marketplace BAHRAIN SPECIALIST HOSPITAL
Understanding the Options
Dr Bashar A. Salah
Every day millions of people worldwide fall prey to various illnesses and it is doctors and surgeons that we look to for answers. However it helps to know what the surgical options are.
158 December 2012
Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. It is the most common method for treating symptomatic gallstones. “Surgical options include the standard and an open procedure that is more invasive,” explains Dr Bashar A. Salah, consultant general and laparoscopic surgeon at Bahrain Specialist Hospital. In a traditional open procedure the surgeon removes the gallbladder through a five to seven-inch incision. “With this type of surgery, patients usually remain in the hospital at least two or three days and may require several additional weeks to recover at home,” Dr Bashar adds. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy has now replaced the open surgery as the top choice for treatment of gallstones and inflammation of the gallbladder, as open surgery leaves the patient more prone to infection. “This procedure requires several small incisions in the abdomen to allow the insertion of operating ports, small cylindrical tubes approximately five to 10 mm in diameter, through which surgical instruments and a video camera are placed into the abdominal cavity,” the doctor explains. This provides a magnified image giving the surgeon a close-up view of the organs and tissues. The operation is performed by manipulating the surgical instruments through the operating ports. “After removal, the gallbladder should be sent for pathological examination to confirm the diagnosis and look for an incidental cancer,” says Dr Bashar. “If cancer is present, a re-operation to remove part of the liver and lymph nodes will be required in most cases.”
Risks and complications Laparoscopic cholecystectomy does not require the abdominal muscles to be cut, resulting in less pain, quicker healing, improved cosmetic results and fewer complications such as infection and adhesions. “Most patients can be discharged on the same or following day as the surgery and can return to work in about a week,” adds the doctor. “Flexible instruments are used in laparoscopic surgery by some surgeons. Using the SPIDER surgical system, the cholestectomy can be performed through a single incision through the navel. These patients often recover faster than with traditional methods and have an almost invisible scar.” One common complication is injury to the analogous bile ducts, which occurs in 33 per cent of patients. “It is non-problematic until the gallbladder is removed and the tiny supravesicular ducts may be incompletely cauterised, leading to biliary leak post-operatively,” says the doctor. An uncommon but potentially serious complication is injury to the common bile duct, which connects the gallbladder and liver. An injured bile duct can leak bile and cause a painful and potentially dangerous infection. “Abdominal peritoneal adhesions, gangrenous gallbladders, and other problems that obscure vision are discovered during about five per cent of laparoscopic surgeries,” adds Dr Bashar. “This forces surgeons to switch to the standard cholecystectomy for safe removal of the gallbladder.” E Call 17 812-000.
Festive Spirit The festive season is finally here and what better way to celebrate than digging into a scrumptious meal hot out of the oven.
Promotions are in abundance this month especially with Christmas right around the corner. Lulu Hypermarket goes above and beyond to provide everyone with the best value for money prices well as quality. December is all about perfectly home cooked meals and shoppers are spoilt for choice when it comes to groceries. Stock up on all the seasonal essentials with Lulu’s quality food items that will leave your dinner guests asking for more. The meat section constantly boasts only the best cuts and this month will be no different, featuring a variety of quality cooked and fresh turkeys, beef and poultry. Also, enjoy the freshest fruits and vegetables along with a variety of baked items that include delicious Christmas delicacies. If you are looking to put your baking hat on, don’t miss out on the number of cake accessories and cake mixes. To make preparing for the New Year all the more easy, a host of quality beauty products, clothes and accessories can all be found under one roof at the hypermarket. Shop for everything
you may need to glam yourself up for New Year celebrations and parties. Creating your own winter wonderland may not be easy but Lulu makes it possible. Santa costumes, snow globes, ribbons, miniature snow men and deer decorations as well as Christmas trees are all on offer. Products can be found in all branches — Dana Mall, Riffa, Ramli and Hidd — where many of the items are specially brought in for the season’s celebrations from all over the world including the US and UK. E Call 17 553-555.
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Merry Shopping Preparing for the festive month doesn’t have to be a hassle when all you could ever need can be found under one roof.
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The festive season is one of the most fast-paced times of the year. Everything comes down to cooking the perfect meal; so the pressure in the kitchen is at boiling point! To help things run smoothly, Megamart has plenty of fresh grocery items ranging from vegetables to meats and even ready-made baked Christmas delicacies. “We have an exciting array of festive goodies on offer this month with special promotions on baked items, tree decorations, ornaments and even an exclusive range of clothing and beauty products for gifts,” says RV Waghnani, general manager of the departmental store. To lighten your cooking load, why not serve your dinner guests a selection of Megamart’s delicious baked savouries? The moist cakes, chocolates, puddings, cookies and pastries will leave you craving for more. Not good for the waistline but too tempting too resist!
The store is also renowned for its fresh daily selection of bread, and stocks only premium cuts of beef, lamb, turkey and the freshest of fruits and vegetables — ideal for whatever kind of festive meal you have planned. To get into the holiday spirit, make shopping for ornaments, decorations, lights, candles and tableware a family affair. Both Christmas and New Year are all about the environment in which you will be celebrating and Megamart shoppers will be spoilt for choice with the variety of decor items available. “We offer competitive prices and we take great pride in bringing only the best products of supreme value to our customers,” continues Waghnani. Given that this month marks the season of giving, make sure you end your shop by selecting some items to gift your family and friends. E Call 17 341-070, 17 250-334 or 17 343-266.
YUSIF BIN YUSIF FAKHRO
Cooking Made Easy Ensure your culinary endeavours are as stressfree as possible by stocking up on appliances from a reliable German brand that does the work for you.
Severin has manufactured electrical household appliances for over 60 years with a simple objective; to make daily tasks as seamless as possible for all homeowners. Each of the company’s designs are sleek and streamlined, giving a modern touch to any kitchen. Additionally, every product is remarkably easy to use, wash and store. A new electric barbecue collection is perfect for bringing people together to enjoy fantastic grilled meals in the garden, when camping or even by the beach. Healthy food is easy to create on a barbecue — and who doesn’t love a burger or two on a sunny day? Better still, each of the barbecues has built-in innovative features for safer use. The appliances emit a very low generation of odours and smoke, due to the use of water-filled grill-tray technology, and all of the different parts are dishwasher safe, freeing you from tedious washing up. The barbecue collection includes numerous styles of standalone grills, racquette grills and party pans which are perfect for cooking for large parties and a table-top device that can be placed on top of any outdoor surface. Aside from being chic and smart in design, Severin’s barbecues are as compact as possible to ensure minimum outdoor space is taken up. The same aim is achieved when stored away.
Owning a leading position in the barbecue and breakfast sectors of the home appliance market, the brand also specialises in an expansive range of coffee-making systems. Severin has, for years, been providing coffee addicts with only the purest of coffee — direct from bean to cup! Whether it’s a latte, macchiato, cappuccino or espresso; any coffee speciality is just the press of a button away, making your mornings that little bit easier. E Call 17 408-150.
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marketplace JUNAID FOR PERFUMES
Constant Improvements One of the Kingdom’s most prolific perfume companies is always on the lookout for ways to improve and progress. A recent workshop educated staff in customer service.
With an aim to further enhance employee-customer relations, renowned perfumer Junaid for Perfumes conducted a sales training session for its sales team at its head office in Sitra last month. Organised by the Junaid for Perfumes sales manager Asif Aziz and area manager Hessa Salman, the session was attended by 15 members of the sales team. Various strategies and skills to handle customer inquiries and complaints were shared and discussed. “Through these timely conducted training sessions we aim to enhance customer service skills, develop a greater appreciation of customer value and raise the quality of the service our sales team provides its customers,” explains Asif. The main aim of the session was to motivate the sales team to take up new challenges and work harder in order to receive the recognition of ‘employee of the month’ for their hard work and dedication. “Junaid for Perfumes remains dedicated in its commitment to providing the very best especially when it comes to catering to our clientele. We are confident that our continuous dedication and support will assist in accomplishing higher levels of success in the years to come,” adds Hamad Fuad Akhtar, director of sales and marketing. Founded in 1910, Junaid for Perfumes has remained a pioneer in the perfume industry and takes the initiative in enhancing its employees’ skills to ensure a successful career and bright future. E Call 17 179-191.
Talent Management Seminar Pitman Traning held a Talent Management Seminar featuring Chester Elton and John Mattone, two of the world’s leading experts on the subject. The seminar focused on Building High Performance Teams and Developing Effective Talent Management. The event was held at the Gulf Hotel last month
Fareeba, Ali & Ahmed
Radhi, Ali & Ammar
162 December 2012
Khalid & Kooheji
Adel & Chester
Mahmood & Najeeb
Mohammed & Hawra
Shatha & Mariam
Bahrain 44 | Bahrain 55 | Bahrain sport 1 | Bahrain sport 2
FOR YOUR ADVERTISING: +973 17 564 250 +973 33 555 888 Email: email@example.com
Bahrain This Month gives readers an exclusive chance to win watches from Sharif Group.
To win, all you have to do is correctly answer the questions below.
Which shopping centre has a winter wonderland? ___________________________ Which pantomime will be performed at the British Club? ___________________________ Which school is hosting an international fair? ___________________________ What is cholecystectomy? ___________________________ Where will the ‘End of the World’ party take place? ___________________________ What is the new car from Euro Motors? ___________________________ Which colour is featured on the gadgets page? ___________________________
Hint: You can find the answers in this issue of BAHRAIN THIS MONTH.
Who got it right? Bahrain This Month received 58 entries last month, 49 of which answered all the questions correctly. Congratulations to everyone, particularly our three winners: Winner : Mahlet Mulugeta Second Place : Almia Gimena Third Place : Shiela Tulabing
Last month’s solutions 1. November 30 2. Bahrain Irish Society 3. Hassan Kaiksow Bay 4. CoralAd_BTM Festive FA.pdf 5. Eyad Naqi
6. Nissan Altima 7. Dr Faisal 8. Panerai 9. I’m Expecting: Pregnancy 10. 14 years
Ad Seek 1. Pomodorini Italian Restaurant 2. Kia 3. Soie Chinese Restaurant/Sheraton Bahrain Hotel 4. Pottery Barn
Which French café will be making festive-themed food? ___________________________ What’s our app of the month? ___________________________ What is the name of the new Italian restaurant in Amwaj? ___________________________
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!
Entry deadline is December 15. 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.
4. December 2012 165
Sagittarius Nov 22 – Dec 21 You will have much to celebrate this December — especially where family and friends are concerned. The love of those closest to you will go a long way to making you feel secure and comfortable, which is important since you have been suffering a dip in your confidence recently and this will really lift your spirits. For those of you celebrating a birthday this month you may be surprised at one particular gift you receive, simply because it will be completely unexpected. Card of the Month — The Eight of Coins For a detailed, personalised Tarotscope reading, contact Raphael by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Capricorn December 22 — January 18 You could be party to an amazing stroke of good luck this month as a casual interest in a vacant position at a building firm could see you plunging head first into a new and exciting role by the start of the year. Being blessed with a good business brain means that you are one of the signs made for the hustle and bustle of the corporate world and what is set to unfold for a few of you holds the promise of great things if you persevere and see things through. Card of the Month — Temperance
aquarius January 20 – February 18 As another year draws to a close you will find yourself in a reflective mood and memories drawn from events over the last 12 months will occupy your thoughts in December. In particular, the turbulent relationship you have with one individual is set to make you question certain actions and decisions you have made and you might even sense the odd pang of guilt. However, it’s not too late to make amends and if you feel the need then offer a hand of friendship and you may be surprised by the response. Card of the Month — The Four of Wands
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pisces February 21 – March 20 The actions of a Taurean are set to have a fairly negative impact upon you this December as you are hit with a bombshell concerning the state of your personal finances. Matters you thought had been addressed have in fact been left without attendance and now you will need to take things in your own hands and hope it is not too late to deal with them. Family gatherings are likely to be lively — but not always for the right reasons — so try and keep control of yourself and don’t become too swept away by the party atmosphere. Card of the Month — The Pope Aries March 21 – April 20 December is set to be a starting point for you, Aries, as you set about closing the chapter on 2012 by making some significant changes in your life. Chief amongst these is the decision to commit or end a current relationship, depending on how things currently stand in this area. For those of you who have been going through a difficult time and suffering a crisis of confidence in a partner now could be the time to call it a day and move onto pastures new. Card of the Month — The Ace of Wands TAURUS April 21 – May 20 One thing is for sure: you are set to be a very different person by the end of this month, compared to the one you are at the start of it. A loved one from the past is about to make a re-appearance and this could prove both unsettling and exciting for you as the year draws to a close. You will have some serious choices to make and once you have agreed on them, you need to stick to your decision. There’s no sense in thinking or saying one thing and then doing another. Consider the few weeks leading up to Christmas as a test for you. Card of the Month — The Seven of Cups
Gemin May 21 – June 20 December is set to be a month of reflection and acceptance as the busy madness of the last few weeks winds down and allows you to look forward to Christmas in a more relaxed frame of mind. You will finally be able to see beyond the mess of recent months and start to plan for the future in a major way. Top of the list is a possible change of environment as you set a move of house in motion for the New Year— something you were not in a position to engineer for most of 2012. Card of the Month — The Two of Cups
Cancer June 21 – July 20 Money could be tight this December and you are advised to hold back on the spending — which is always going to be difficult when one considers the time of year. However, there is every indication that if you stretch yourself now you will pay heavily for it later, especially if you end up spending more that you can afford on your credit card. The best advice you can take is to keep your plastic in your wallet this Christmas and be a bit lighter on the present giving. If you can swallow your pride and explain your situation to those closest to you they will understand. Card of the Month — The Empress
advertisersindex leo July 23 – August 21 You are regretting a moral slip that you succumbed to last month and now you are finding it difficult to even communicate with the person concerned. However, hiding from your actions is not going to make them go away and unless you make your feelings known plainly to the individual concerned you could be letting yourself in for some embarrassing moments over the coming weeks. Harsher critics than I would suggest that having made your bed you’re going to have to lie in it but unless you do something about matters they may end up being your only option. Card of the Month — The Wheel of Fortune
Virgo August 22 – September 22 Circumstances at home have forced you into having to play nursemaid throughout November as a partner’s recent illness or operation have left them very reliant upon you. Although their recovery is likely to gather speed in December, you will still be called upon more than usual and you must remember to keep your patience here. You’re not one who takes kindly to a well-ordered routine being put out of place but for the immediate future you may have to just accept that certain things will not run as smoothly as usual. On the family front you may receive a rather surprising request around December 12 but, despite your added pressures, try to help out if you can. It will be appreciated. Card of the Month — The Nine of Swords
Libra Setember 21 – October 21 It seems that you are blind to something many of your friends and relatives can see concerning a partner who appears to have completely “bewitched” you and is leading into a whole host of trouble for December. Far be it from me to cast aspersions on a relationship, but if there are any of you out there shouldering doubts or niggling concerns about the intentions of a loved one then now is the time to look into them. Most of you will have nothing to worry about but for those of you to whom this reading does apply, just remember that sometimes people on the outside see things very differently so don’t spurn all the advice you are given. Card of the Month — The Queen of Coins
Scorpio October 22 – November 21 This may not turn out to be the best Christmas you’ve ever had but if you can see your way through it then you can do so in the knowledge that things will get a lot better in the New Year. If the truth be told, 2012 has offered many of you very little to smile about and you will be glad to see the back of it in some respects. Of course, it does mean closing the door on several painful memories but the sooner you can relegate them to the past the better. The promise of a new job and exciting prospects abroad wait for you in 2013, together with the possibility of a new love interest entering your life. Card of the Month — The Sun
FAMOUS Sagittarius THIS MONTH
Financial Institutions HSBC Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Home & Furnishings Phoenicia Decor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-3
Hotels & Luxury Apartments Best Western Al Olaya Suites . . . . . . . . 87 Crowne Plaza Hotel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Gulf Hotel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel . . . . . . . . . 17 Movenpick Hotel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Pars International Hotel . . . . . . . . . .91,143 Ramada Hotel Bahrain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Ramee Group of Hotels . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Regency InterContinental Hotel . . . .53,127 Sheraton Hotel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 The Diplomat Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 The K Hotel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Jewellery & Watches Asia Jewellers (Panerai) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Cartier Boutique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC Omega . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IFC Rado . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Sharif Group (Armani) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Medical & Dental Services Bahrain Specialist Hospital . . . . . . . . . . 43
Korea in Bahrain aa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .00
Motoring Almoayyed Motors (Lincoln) . . . . . . . . . . 55 Ebrahim K. Kanoo (Lexus) . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Ebrahim K. Kanoo (Toyota) . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Euro Motors (BMW) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Kia Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11,19,27
Mohd Jalal (Jaguar) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Motor City (Subaru). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IBC National Car Rental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 National Motors (Cadillac) . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Others Yusif bin Yusif Fakhro (Severin) . . . . . . . 47 Al Aali Shopping Complex . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Bahrain City Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Bahrain Science Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Cocoon Lounge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Coral Bay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 Dessange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 Gajria Electronics (Pioneer). . . . . . . . . . 115 Hypoxi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Junaid for Perfumes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Leadership Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Little Picassos competition . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Lulu Hypermarket . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Megamart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Pegasus Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Picture Arabia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163 Radio Bahrain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164 Sovereign Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 The British School of Bahrain . . . . . . . . . 77
Restaurants & Cafés Block 338 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 Café Italia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Caruoca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Casa Mexicana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 Cucina Italiana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Dae Ra Jung Restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 Hard Rock Cafe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 Jim’s Restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 Lanterns Restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 Paul Cafe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Rik’s Kountry Kitchen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Telecommunications Life Telecom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 VIVA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
BTM retail sales outlets BAHRAIN THIS MONTH, your guide to a great way of life, is available at the following selected outlets:
● 24 Hours Market, all outlets ● Al Hilal Bookshops, all outlets ● Al Jazeera Supermarket, all outlets ● Alosra Supermarket, Saar ● Bab al Bahrain Souvenir Shop ● BooksPlus, all outlets ● Burhama Cold Store ● Classic Shop, Bab Al Bahrain ● Elite Supermarket, Hoora ● Supermarket, Awali ● Jawad Supermarket, all outlets ● Jim’s Restaurant ● Mega Mart, all outlets
● Miami Cold Store, Adliya ● Midway Supermarket, all outlets ● Park Supermarket, Mahooz ● Waitrose Supermarket, Amwai ● Other leading Cold Stores and
News Stands All Gulf Daily News home subscribers receive a complimentary copy of BTM. You can also subscribe directly by visiting www.bahrainthismonth.com 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 National Photo Services, Gudaibiya 17 742-955.
December 2012 167
Opening Up JAMES CLAIRE Most things have moved forward over the past several 100 years. Sadly, Christmas and its carols seem to remain the same.
168 December 2012
Last Christmas it was suggested to me that I try to make this year’s column a “happy” one! So, let me start with this quote by Janice Maeditere, “Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.” I hope that makes you all feel happy. Now, down to business! It’s not that Christmas makes me unhappy or that I’m even negatively geared towards it. It’s just that times have changed. I still think children all over the world deserve the right to believe in the “magic” of this season for a while until they wake up. It’s for the rest of us, who have lost the rights to the festivity and perspective of what it is supposed to be about, that Christmas has just become a kitsch marketer’s dream. Most companies launch new products prior to the holidays to ensure sales and product longevity. Where is the celebrated ethos in that? However, this is not a column about the loss of Christmas to marketers. I have lost that battle and I simply choose to give gifts when I feel like it; not when I’m told to by corporations. What really ticks me off is that most advertising is supported by music — music which seems to be the same, year after year after year! We are into the second decade in the second millennium and yet we still sing the songs which make no sense to a great percentage of us. Dashing through the Snow, Dancing the Christmas Polka; figgy pudding, stuffed doves, milkmaids and partridges in pear trees! Seriously! Then there are the other usual suspects: ‘Tis the Season to be Jolly, Three Wise Men, Good King Wenceslas and Walking in a Winter’s Wonderland? I mean, come on, we have global warming now. Where exactly is a winter’s wonderland these days? I think it would be a few degrees north of where our grandparents thought it was. Or is it a new theme park like Six Flags Magic Mountain or Neverland? Check Wikipedia for information on Christmas carols and you will see that, in numerous countries, the songs sung this time of year are from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Modern contenders are the likes of Away in a Manger written in 1884 or the Little Drummer Boy of 1957.
My mother used to say that these songs “put her in the mood for Christmas”. Isn’t the point of the feast of nativity really about gratitude, forgiveness and family? Why then do those issues require that you be “put in the mood”? If we believe in the true spirit of the season, then we should truly be in those moods all year round. Christmas has become one of those occasions when I prefer to be alone for I just don’t get the hysteria surrounding it. I believe the same about Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving. Why must all these feelings of love, of thanks and of family be relegated to individual days or seasons? As human beings, we need to forget about the marketing and go back to thinking about each other, every day. Give a co-worker a gift in March for being sensational, give a loved one flowers every Thursday and give thanks for everything we have every single weekend. Our lives should not be assigned to particular days. The only such day in which I truly believe is New Year’s Day. Marketers can’t touch it. It comes whether they want it to or not. I’m sure if they could, they’d give greater distance between it and Christmas to allow for greater sales figures. Thankfully, they can’t! New Year’s Day is a day sans marketing, to remember the good, the bad, the triumphs and trivialities. It is a time to think about the errors made over the past 12 months, the promises made to ourselves and others and the few that we broke along the way. New Year’s Day is a chance to forgive, forget and start over; to do more and to do it better. The expectation of a new year should be filled with love for all. It is an opportunity for better beginnings, one we should never let go of. So stop falling for the annual Christmas marketing. Tear down the tree; protect a forest. Don’t stuff the turkey and save the lives of 100,000 birds. In doing that, you will have saved carbon emissions, shown humanity and prevented global warming all in a single act. And that, my friends, is a gift we should all want to open. Happy Holidays!
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Bahrain This Month - December 2012 ~ Vol. 16 ~ Issue 12