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w w w . G V P e d i a . c o m

Celebrate Success

The launch of this third edition is a proud moment for us. With an editorial gestation period of over one year, it is the culmination of an editorial odyssey which has given birth to the best of what Dubai has to offer in terms of business innovation, lifestyles and heritage.

When we started with our 'Best of…' series three years ago, aside from our passion and commitment to develop a New Media concept of genuine merit, we had no idea of how the nuts and bolts of the series would evolve.

Hand in hand with dedicated partners across the world, we are now producing annual Best Of… books in over 45 territories: From BO Australia, Belgium and South Africa, to BO Singapore, Washington DC and Denmark. Their belief in our publishing concept is propelling the growth of our business network that is formed by the diverse range of companies across economic sectors, each celebrating their success to a global readership.

All globalisation efforts notwithstanding, the jewel in our crown is and will always be Dubai. An awesome city state that elicits wonder, this edition, sponsored by Etisalat, traces testimonials of heritage and progress, weaved in with narratives of culture and innovation exemplifying the power of the emerging Dubai Inc. economy in full swing. We consider our Dubai edition to be a landmark book for GVP and one that stands as a benchmark for the series itself.

Clearly this would not have been possible without the dedication and 'can do' attitude of our team, and by the loyalty of all our editorial participants who continue to believe in our publishing model as it evolves.

Today, with sector specific books in the fields of banking and finance, real estate as well as training and education being developed in conjunction with the 'Best of…' series, our efforts to build a reader friendly atlas of corporate stories is taking root worldwide. This in turn is serving as the foundation for the creation of a powerful new portal called gvpedia which will allow companies and entrepreneurs to upload their own content, videos and updates connecting with each other to explore new opportunities.

Gvpedia will also serve as an online platform to build an ethical CSR component into our

model which will showcase stories of top non profit organisations worldwide which everyone will be able to read about and donate to at the click of the mouse.

We look forward to joining forces with you in our joint efforts towards making the global village a reality for everyone.

Thank you for taking this editorial leap of faith with us and celebrating building a world class atlas of success, sustainability and culture together.

Be a part of it! Lisa Durante,

Publisher & Managing Group Editor

Celebrate Success The launch of this third edition is a proud moment for us. With an

Chairman & International

Group Publisher

Sven Boermeester

Publisher & Managing Group Editor

Lisa Durante

Group Strategy Director

Leon Swartz

Creative Director

Ravi Handve

Photography

Dariush Zandy

Riot Art

Sales and Operations Director

Karl Hougaard

International Project Manager

Samantha Wines

Project Managers

Dustin Robertson

Maheswari Maderya

Wafaa Dannoune

Editor

Mark Atkinson

Production Manager

Marlon Weir

Editorial and Support Team

Danielle Rapapport

Emily Leenen

Joe Malsom

Lizzie Bush

Tom Wells

Media Consultants

Gloria Giles Hashim Al Jabiri Jocelyn Chidiac

Website

www.gvpedia.com

Published by

Global Village Publishing FZ LLC

Dubai Media City United Arab Emirates

ISBN # 1-904566-78-2

Every effort has been made to ensure

the accuracy of the information in the 'Best of Dubai' vol. 3 publication. Neither 'Best of Dubai' nor Global Village Publishing FZ LLC takes any responsibility for errors or omissions.

All rights reserved

No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied, transmitted, adapted or modified in any form or by any means. This publication shall not be stored in whole or in part in any form in any retrieval system.

Celebrate Success The launch of this third edition is a proud moment for us. With an

Sponsored by

Etisalat

Best of Dubai Hotels & Hospitality CHAPTER 1 Pgs 34 - 63 CHAPTER 2 Pgs 64
Best of Dubai
Hotels & Hospitality
CHAPTER 1
Pgs 34 - 63
CHAPTER 2
Pgs 64 - 79
Casual Dining and F&B
Travel, Tours & Leisure
CHAPTER 3
Pgs 80 - 99
CHAPTER 4
Pgs 100 - 107
Golf & Luxury Lifestyles
Design & Interiors
CHAPTER 5
Pgs 108 - 119
CHAPTER 6
Pgs 120 - 137
Beauty & Wellness
ETA Star Group
CHAPTER 7
Pgs 138 - 159
CHAPTER 8
Pgs 160 - 167
Contents
Banking, Finance & Security Construction, Architecture & Real Estate CHAPTER 9 Pgs 168 - 189 CHAPTER
Banking, Finance & Security
Construction, Architecture & Real Estate
CHAPTER 9
Pgs 168 - 189
CHAPTER 10
Pgs 190 - 211
Information, Communication & Technology
Art, Media & Heritage
CHAPTER 11
Pgs 212 - 223
CHAPTER 12
Pgs 224 - 237
CSR, Green Innovation & Associations
Get Up & Go
CHAPTER 13
Pgs 238 - 249
CHAPTER 14
Pgs 250 -257
Sharjah
CHAPTER 15
Pgs 258 - 277
Celebrate Success

Turnover 2008

Employees & Partners

Circulation

International Head offices

Management

US$ 8 000 000

100

500 000

London, Brussels

Sven Boermeester

Dubai, Cairo

Lisa Durante

Bangalore, Singapore

Charles Neil

Washington DC, Santiago Sydney, Johannesburg

Leon Swartz

Building an Atlas of Success, Sustainability and Culture

Brand Image Product - The Folders
Brand Image
Product - The Folders

Branding a Nation, a City and its People

Fast track to the world

GVP brands and builds the image of the world’s most exciting economic regions to affect a change in the perception of a nation, a city and its people by the rest of the world. This then promotes the region in terms of its investment opportunities, key industries, innovations, people, culture, tourism potential and international objectives.

Market Essentials works closely with Foreign Embassies, High Commissions, International Chambers of Commerce and Trade Associations worldwide to produce high quality trade folders. Each folder is designed to offer support and advice to companies interested in trading with or investing in overseas markets.

Product - The Books

Celebrate your success

The 'Best of…' publishing series produces annual maxi format book publications in over 30 territories, from Bangalore to Belgium. These detail success stories of people and companies making positive inroads into the commercial fibre of both mature and emerging markets. The books showcase entrepreneurial spirit; establishing powerful global networks and the creation of individual brand awareness by bridging cultures. The result is the ultimate interactive corporate gift and P.R. marketing tool for governments, companies, hotels and business people providing leading products and services for their region.

Product - www.gvpedia.com

Connecting the world's most interesting people and organisations

The portal provides GVP customers an interactive Public Relations Box managed by a user friendly 'Enterprise Content Management System' that allows clients to upload their press releases, photos, videos and management profiles. The latest networking add-ons and social media applications are integrated within the site providing maximum reach and feedback. The value proposition for Subscribers to gvpedia.com essentially covers four elements: exposure, expertise, exclusivity and networking.

REGIONAL HEAD OFFICES

Bangalore

Brussels

Cairo Casablanca Copenhagen Dubai
Cairo
Casablanca
Copenhagen
Dubai
  • 6 Best of Dubai

GLOBALVILLAGE

PARTNERSHIPS

www.GVPedia.com

Market
Market

Promote and network the 'red apples" within each economy

GVP’s market sectors embrace publishing, public relations, corporate gifting, online community building and networking. Its target market covers large, medium and small entrepreneurial organisations enjoying growth, success and sustainability. GVP explores every geographic region to pick the 'red apples' in business, exports, innovation, design, fashion, retail, hospitality, specialty foods, the arts and more.

Unique Selling Point (USP)

New markets create new business opportunities

GVP publications promote, showcase and network successful economies, organisations

and individuals from across the globe. The organisation celebrates success and provides recognition amongst its ever expanding international network of influential clients. Its online portal, www.gvpedia.com, provides a platform for clients and readers to network, share best practice and grow new markets, creating exciting new business connections and opportunities.

Corporate Social Responsibility

There is no success without ethics and sustainability

The best of world business, travel and lifestyle within the Global Village is dependent on more than monetary profit. There is no success without core values such as sustainability, integrity and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). GVP’s exclusive client base is selected by

GLOBAL VILLAGE PARTNERSHIPS www.GVPedia.com Market Promote and network the 'red apples" within each economy GVP’s market

Sven Boermeester, Chairman with Lisa Durante, Managing Partner, GVP

With its mission to serve as the premier platform for showcasing and networking the world's top brands and companies in business, tourism and lifestyle, Global Village Partnerships (GVP) is building an atlas of success, sustainability and culture. This is carried out through the 'Best of' book series, the Global Village online information portal and the development of an ever expanding business network of international partners and clients.

invitation only based on these criteria, with the added focus of dedicated chapters covering CSR, sustainability, green innovation and giving back to the community.

Growth and Opportunity

Exchanging knowledge, skills and economies of scale in media

With regional head offices in 5 continents, the organisation is currently involved in more than 30 territories where the 'Best of' series is published. GVP has a 5-year growth plan to develop a further 150 economic territories organically, through each continent’s regional head office, and through partnerships with companies and individuals that have the expertise to showcase their city, state or country.

Johannesburg

London

Santiago

Singapore

Sydney

Washington DC

Best of Dubai

7

Chapter

1

BEST OF DUBAI

With two grand boutique hotels, courtyard summer houses, a traditional souk, Talise Spa, The Quay Health
With two grand boutique hotels, courtyard summer houses, a traditional souk, Talise Spa,
The Quay Health Club and myriad recreational facilities, Madinat Jumeirah The Arabian resort
is an awesome tribute to Dubai’s heritage and is styled to resemble an ancient Arabian citadel.

"It isn't too early for me to say to the world that the Dubai narrative is all about changing people's lives for the better through smart capitalism, willpower and positive energy".

H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Courtesy Dariush Zandy
Courtesy Dariush Zandy
36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 8:41 AM Page 36 HH Sheikh Mohammed has been Ruler of Dubai
36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 8:41 AM Page 36
HH Sheikh Mohammed has been
Ruler of Dubai and UAE Vice
President since 2006. His son,
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin
Rashid Al Maktoum was announced
Crown Prince in February 2008
Dubai has one of the world's
highest per capita incomes
estimated at $33 000. Oil once
the dominating factor in Dubai's
economy, today accounts for only
ten percent of the emirate's GDP
Tourism has overtaken oil
in revenues with over five
million tourists visiting
Dubai in 2007; and the
number is expected to
grow to 15 million by 2010
Approximately 24,333
people are added to
Dubai's population every
month, that's 800 daily
and around 33 every
hour
For the good of today and tomorrow
Dubai constitutes a set of extraordinary contradictions where from the rolling sand dunes a
sprawling, amorphous urban ecoscape is coming to life. Ensconced in manicured lawns,
skyscrapers, souks and cookie cutter houses vie for attention with outsized malls, indoor ski
slopes and zany land reclamation projects. Welcome to a city state that projects itself as an ode to
infinite business opportunities and inspires a multitude of emotions: From excitement and passion
for its laissez faire 'can-do' commercial spirit, to concern over its rampant growth. Despite
escalating inflation estimated at over 11 per cent per annum, optimism reigns supreme as the
emirate continues to be a magnet for investment and innovation. Even the government system,
based on a delicate consensual balance between the traditional and the modern, is adapted to
keep up with expanding contemporary pressures, whilst retaining a vestige of Bedouin tribal
power structures. Moulded within a moderate Islamic framework, the blend of the established and
the innovative seems to work. Acting as a benchmark for socio economic diversification for the
region, Dubai positions itself as an Arab success story for the rest of the world to behold.
With one out of six cranes worldwide operating in Dubai, the emirate’s fast track development feeds on an endless supply of mega projects that provide a fresh impetus to its age-old
trading reputation. The country is relentlessly building itself into global significance, under the auspices of its charismatic leader, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,
Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
36
Best of Dubai
Best of Dubai
36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 8:41 AM Page 37 Bedouin beginnings Contemporary Dubai is barely two centuries
36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 8:41 AM Page 37
Bedouin beginnings
Contemporary Dubai is barely two centuries
old but its heritage is deeply entrenched in the
history of Arab civilization. Archeologists have
discovered evidence of settlement in the region
as early as three thousand years ago. The
transformation from empty desert into buzzing
metropolis began with the Al Maktoum dynasty
and remains a work in progress. The Al
Maktoum tribe descended from the Al Bu
Falasah section of the Bani Yas, a respected
tribal federation that was the dominant power
throughout most of today's UAE. Their tenure
as rulers of Dubai started in 1833 when Sheikh
Maktoum bin Buti and 800 tribesmen moved
from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. Sheikh Maktoum bin
Buti was very young when he came into power
but history paints him as a courageous,
capable leader, who confidently overcame the
political and economic challenges he faced in
establishing a flourishing new coastal town. As
the population grew, thriving on fishing and
pearling in the days before the birth of the
cultured pearl industry, Dubai branched into
three distinct areas: Deira, Bur Dubai, and
Shindagha. With its prosperous port and
vibrant market, its residents benefited from
enhanced standards of living compared to
their impoverished neighbours. Succeeding
sheikhs had their personal proficiencies, but
primarily engaged in building Dubai into a
bustling trading post and safe haven for their
people to thrive. And thrive they certainly did;
coming to power in 1894, Sheikh Maktoum bin
Hasher Al Maktoum abolished commercial
taxes and Dubai's trading prowess evolved in
tandem with its commercial influence.
Building on the principle of strength in
numbers, the foundations of the UAE system of
government were established 37 years ago
when the sheikhs from seven diverse areas
agreed on a vision of a powerful union that
would offer society the best of modern
administration keeping traditional forms of
government. The Federation was created in
1971 and its seven emirates have since then
forged a distinct and delicately balanced
national identity based on consolidation of their
federal status. Each emirate maintains,
however, a degree of independent control. This
has allowed the Maktoums to influence the
image of Dubai and develop the emirate's
business opportunities.
Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum
(1912-1990) saw opportunities to be
capitalised on where others had seen
challenges. This allowed him to initiate Dubai's
transition to a modern port city and commercial
hub. Landmarks of his achievement include
the Al Maktoum Hospital, Dubai Airport and the
Al Rashid Port and Dubai World Trade Centre.
Barely a whisper marked his birth in 1912 in a
place few outsiders had even heard of at the
time. Yet, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al
Maktoum's ambitious development of Dubai
into the testosterone fuelled superlative-
Father of the Nation, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late President of the UAE, shares a smile with H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,
Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
seeking emirate it is today prompted the
international community to its feet in the UN
General Assembly to pay tribute to him when
he died at the age of 78.
Continued rule by the Maktoums has
ensured a cohesive vision for the emirate's
progress in attracting direct foreign investment
and skilled labour to Dubai. More than three
decades and billions of investment dollars later,
Sheikh Rashid's second son, H.H. Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice
President and Prime minister of the UAE and
Ruler of Dubai, stands in line to perpetuate the
emirate's business-friendly environment. "The
greatest influence was my father
From
him I
learnt to be patient and to deliberate before
passing judgment" Sheikh Mohammed says.
Dubai capitalises on its unique
geographical position between East and West
to act as a convenient long-haul stop-over to
leverage time zones and tax free benefits. It
provides complete freedom of capital
movement and boasts a sophisticated financial
and services sector. Finally, Dubai has applied
the famed cluster economy model to the
development of a knowledge economy. That
model relies primarily on Dubai's ability to
secure highly trained professionals, but has yet
to transit from acquisition to ensuring that it
becomes a key element of the country's
operational DNA.
At the same time, Dubai is working towards
protecting its own national identity. With an
Emirati population that accounts for 11 percent
of the nation's population, maintaining ancient
traditions such as falconry - an Emirati pastime
based on the Bedouin need to source fresh
meat in hostile environments - is symbolically
important. The Maktoums provide a strong
identity, role model and voice to efforts to unify
Emiratis in Dubai who according to the last
general census, number just over 820,000.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum, his elegant wife Princess Haya Bint
Al Hussein and the Sheikh's sons and
daughters, who have each carved a niche for
themselves in official or charitable capacities,
are popular rulers who support Dubai and their
At Camp David, two global leaders share common ground
region through globally recognised
endeavours, especially within the spheres of
horsemanship and charity. H.H. Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
concludes, "We have succeeded because we
have always believed that tomorrow is a new
day, that yesterday's achievements are in the
past and that history will record what we
achieve in the future, not what we have
achieved in the past."
Not burdened by the unwieldiness of
democracy that has proven to be unworkable
or premature in diverse countries worldwide,
Dubai is run by a streamlined royal oligarchy
headed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed
bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of the
UAE and Ruler of Dubai. A visionary with an
essence of genuine charisma that represents
the exception confirming the rule for many
others, Sheikh Mohammed achieves
consensus within a closely knit group in
accordance with Bedouin tradition and in
consultation with the recently reformed Federal
National Council (FNC) established in 2006 to
give Emirati nationals a voice and prepare
them for gradual integration into a more
consultative government process. Pessimists
argue that such autonomous rule cannot work,
yet in Dubai it does so - indisputably.
Temporary structural glitches notwithstanding,
how successful this remains depends largely
Best of Dubai
37
36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 8:42 AM Page 38 on H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's
36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 8:42 AM Page 38
on H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum's leadership skills and on efficient
implementation of his policies. Today, Dubai
Inc. is hot and happening and it's CEO, H.H.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is
its driving force.
Defying cynics, it is impossible to deny that
Dubai is a unique environment. Part of a
seven-emirate sheikdom located on the Gulf of
Oman and the Arabian Gulf, bordering Oman
and Saudi Arabia, this high octane city state
peppered with superlative construction
projects and a population of 1.24 million,
coming from 148-odd countries, aims to
lure visitors in and keep them voracious for
more. Despite the overt trappings of modernity
and cosmopolitan panache, Dubai's
delicate balance of traditional and modern
systems of governance overseen by Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who rules
benignly but retains absolute power, have led
to enviable amounts of political stability,
economic prosperity and easy lifestyles for
skilled rather than unskilled labour,
attracting expatriate professionals and foreign
corporate investment aplenty. With an annual
GDP growth of 9.4 per cent, it's largely the
tireless promotion of Dubai's royal leaders
propelling a fast track, imaginative build it-
and-they-will-come free enterprise strategy
that is leaving its stamp on the United Arab
Emirates (UAE), and on the Gulf Cooperation
Countries (GCC) region overall - in dire need
of a workable model of sustainable socio
economic diversification. Dazzling for its
unbridled ambition, insatiable hunger for
being a world leader in whatever it does and
The founding father of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid with two of his four sons ; Sheikh Hamdan (left) and Sheikh Mohammed (right).
sheer scale of development, Dubai's model
raises the question whether everything it
does is likely to resound with similar
astounding results.
Sustainability which is considered of
paramount importance, underscores the theme
of many government initiatives, but is yet to be
a proven benchmark. Paradoxically, it's Dubai's
dwindling oil reserves that have propelled its
fortune. By fostering a shift from a reliance on
oil revenues to a free enterprise cluster
economy model, the Maktoums have put their
stamp on every area of life creating a truly
unique environment. In just over three
generations and within the last fifty years, they
have raised the profile of this erstwhile
backwater trading and pearling post and won
it global recognition as a hub of prosperity and
innovation that underlies the template of their
'Dubai Inc.' company-state model, in which the
lines between government and commerce
are blurred.
Going forward
Once this frenetic growth settles, just how tenable Dubai's efforts
are to become a diversified economic and commercial hub, as well
as a melting pot where an indigenous minority retains power, will
become clearer. In due course, the swiftness of action for which the
government is renowned, will ensure that any clouds looming on the
horizon are dispersed. Fundamentally, Dubai and the UAE will find
ways to balance national identity with giving the majority of its
population more than a provisional stake in its progress. This could
involve demographic transformation within the very nature of Dubai
and UAE society. Similarly, with countries across the region and in the
Indian sub-continent seeking to carve out niches of their own, Dubai
will have to a forge ahead relentlessly in order to maintain a cutting edge
in economic sectors such as tourism, retail, education, transportation
and finance.
36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 8:42 AM Page 39 Leading with foresight "Arabs must work together or
36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 8:42 AM Page 39
Leading with foresight
"Arabs must work together or they will all lose. They must take the initiative ...
It is people who will shape the future, not machines or capital."
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and UAE Prime Minister
B orn on July 22 1949, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and UAE Prime Minister, has since first
assuming office in the mid-1980s been largely responsible for the
materialisation of modern Dubai. Building on his father's vision, Sheikh
Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who initiated Dubai's socio economic
diversification with projects such as the Dubai Dry Docks, Jebel Ali Port
and Dubai Trade Centre (the tallest building in the Middle East at the
time), H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum learnt leadership
from watching and listening to his father throughout his lengthy rule; "A
man has two choices, either to be a follower or show initiative, and we
greatly desire to be pioneers" he says.
From launching Emirates Airlines in 1985,
today a prime aviation brand that rivals
this turnaround resting on the soundness of some of the new economic
sectors, including real estate, retail and healthcare. Nevertheless today,
a healthy level of national debate within the media and government has
highlighted areas of disquiet:
established carriers, to funneling investment
into iconic construction projects and hosting
mega-sporting events, H.H. Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has
guided Dubai into claiming superlative after
superlative. These include the Dubai World
Cup, the world's richest horse racing event
with an astonishing $21.25 million prize, to
establishing free zone clusters like Dubai
International Financial Centre, Dubai Media
City and Dubai Internet City, to accommodate
the hundreds of thousands of expatriate white
collar workers needed to further economic
growth.
Utilising savvy marketing to attract attention,
tourists and investment, H.H. Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as Crown
Prince, in collaboration with his brothers, the
late Ruler Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum
and Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum
put the notion of 'Destination Dubai' at the top
of the emirate's agenda to attract tourists from
across the globe. Sheikh Mohammed's
innovative approach to Destination Dubai
included the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF),
the multi facetted retail and entertainment experience launched in 1996
that has captured the imagination of millions of travellers from the Arab
world and Indian subcontinent who flock annually to Dubai's malls for a
three-month shopping extravaganza. "We have a come a long way
towards achieving the objects of an economy independent of oil, indeed
we have exceeded all expectations and predictions," Sheikh
Mohammed explains.
Indeed, he has restructured Dubai's economy so that oil exports
account today for only 10 percent of GDP. Dubai will never return to
being predominantly dependent on oil exports, with the achievement of
Bankers across the region are concerned that Dubai's overheated
real estate market could undergo a correction; retail and healthcare that
depend partially on tourism from regions that are developing similar
industries themselves, could be under pressure. And credit rating
agencies have highlighted the need to ensure transparency, so that
appropriate assessment of how leveraged Dubai is, can be made to
reinforce its sustainability.
With an inimitable mix of caution and
courage, since he became ruler of Dubai in
January 2006 following the death of Sheikh
Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, H.H. Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has
whole-heartedly adopted and expanded his
father's vision. "When a man knows the way to
the future, he should take the reins and
advance, for this is our duty towards our
people and our nation" he says.
Under H.H.Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid
Al Maktoum, Dubai has gained global
recognition, attracted billions of dollars of
foreign direct investment, diversified its
revenues from oil and positioned itself as a
world and regional hub in sectors such as
tourism, transportation and finance. Dubai has
become synonymous with extraordinary
construction projects that visually manifest the
capability and insatiable drive towards
infrastructural grandeur with projects such as
Burj Al Arab, The Palms, Burj Dubai, The
World and Dubai Land. Sheikh Mohammed
asserts that these projects constitute a mere
10 percent of what he envisions for the future.
"The word 'impossible' is not in leaders'
dictionaries. No matter how big the
challenges, strong faith, determination and resolve will overcome them ...
It does not matter what your title is, it's about what you do" he says.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is also an avid
equestrian sportsman, an accomplished poet and a patron of heritage
and charity with Endurance horse racing being his personal passion. He
sees globalisation as a way to integrate Dubai in the global economy.
"We live in a world where the boundaries between countries no longer
exist and where there is no substitute for confident nations that are
determined to take a leading role, to continue to make progress and to
participate in world affairs," he explains.
Sheikh Mohammed charitable activities include
'Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Foundation'
Dubai Cares
Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for
Young Business Leaders
An initiative to promote human development
by investing in education and knowledge-
development in the region.
www.mbrfoundation.ae
Aims to provide global aid for the needy by
building and renovating schools and providing
food programmes to some of the poorest
countries in the world. This drive has so far
raised $1 billion in donations, half of which
were contributed by Sheikh Mohammed bin
Rashid Al Maktoum himself.
Developing entrepreneurship among UAE
nationals and promoting development and
growth of small and medium size enterprises.
www.sme.ae
www.dubaicares.ae
Best of Dubai
39
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36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 8:43 AM Page 40
Leading with grace
"Whenever I think of something as a dream, I go for it. Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it in life.”
H.R.H. Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein
women's choices themselves and to
encourage those who simply want to live
according to their own dreams."
A tireless campaigner for humanitarian
causes, H.R.H. Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein
has focused on promoting health, education,
youth and sports, both regionally and globally.
"These issues are of particular importance to
us because they form the basis of life and
determine the quality of life of individuals and
communities", she says referring to herself as
well as her husband. Her patronages include
charities such as 'Right to Play' 'Child Abuse
on the Internet', 'World Sports Awards' and
'Olympic Aid'. "Arab women throughout
history were integral part of society. They went
to war, and rode horses, and stood strong
and active behind their men. They were
admired for their strength and for their ability,
not deemed as strange," she says, giving a
historic cache' to her role.
H.R.H. Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein's
drive was instilled in her at a young age by
her father, the late King Hussein Bin Talal,
Jordan's steadfast ruler for much of its
modern history. Since losing her mother,
Queen Alia Al Hussein, at age three in a
helicopter crash, Princess Haya focused on
her education, family and sports. She
became a world class sportswoman at the
age of thirteen, representing Jordan in
international show jumping events. A passion
for horses established the initial bond with
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum. "That was actually one of the main
issues we shared in common when we first
met," she recalls. "We soon realised that we
also share a passion for poetry and writing as
well, for Muslim and Arab history and culture,
and for preserving and enhancing our
traditions. Much of both of our work is
dedicated to this end." The couple had their
first child, H.H. Sheikha Al Jalila bint
Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on
December 2, 2007.
T he Al Maktoum family was enriched with
the marriage in 2004 of H.H. Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to H.R.H.
Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan. A
Hashemite who traces her lineage as a direct
descendent of Prophet Mohammed, (Peace
be upon Him), H.R.H. Princess Haya Bint Al
Hussein's CV is impressive. She earned an
MA in politics, philosophy and economics
from Oxford University, became the first Arab
and first woman to serve as Goodwill
Ambassador for the UN World Food
Programme, competed as an equestrian in
the 2000 Sydney Olympics and was elected
president of the World Equestrian Foundation.
A champion of enhanced opportunity for
women, she argues in favour of, "improving
our chances on the legal and socio-economic
and political fronts, but we must respect the
role of women to be in Muslim society and a counterbalance to more
conservative, restrictive approaches. Their success will depend on
the ability of Dubai and the Arab world's ability to achieve economic
success defined largely by its ability to ensure a more equitable
distribution of income, focus investment on job creation rather than
short-term increase of wealth, development of sustainable
economies and ultimately political liberalisation.
The princess's charitable activities include
P rincess Haya's progressive views on the role of women and a
moderate form of Islam are in line with the relaxed, yet respectful
Emirates Arthritis Foundation
Aims to increase awareness and education about arthritis in the
region and improve the quality of life for arthritis sufferers.
attitude adopted by Dubai's political leadership. Dubai views women
as an integral part of the workforce and social fabric. H.H. Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has argued publicly in favour of
the genders working together to achieve prosperity. Princess Haya
www.arthritis.ae
Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre
Houses home grown and international art exhibitions hosts
says, "I have closely been watching women in the Emirates, and I am
performances, art classes and plays.
in great admiration of them
I
never fail to be amazed at the way in
www.ductac.org
which they combine modernity with Arab and Muslim traditions. I
genuinely believe that a UAE woman can serve as an example of a
modern Muslim woman, to the rest of the Arab and Muslim worlds.
They are proof to me that an Arab woman can be modern without
feeling the need to be westernized".
Right to Play
The foundation uses sport and play programmes to improve health,
develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in
some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world.
Like her sister-in-law, Queen Rania of Jordan, Princess Haya
seeks to be a role model for what moderate forces envision the
www.righttoplay.com
40
Best of Dubai
36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 8:43 AM Page 41 Leading the Future "Our world's great challenges require
36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 8:43 AM Page 41
Leading the Future
"Our world's great challenges require great acts."
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the Executive Council of Dubai
A nnounced this year as Crown Prince of
Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed
bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh Mohammed's
second son, is head of the Dubai Executive
Council since 2006, supervising public sector
and development strategies. Born in 1982, he
began schooling in Dubai before moving to
Britain where he graduated from the Sandhurst
Military Academy. He also attended courses at
the London School of Economics and the
Dubai School of Government.
Like father, like son, the Crown Prince
projects himself as a statesman and a leader.
He shares his father's love of poetry has a
significant Middle Eastern fan base, many of
whom regularly attend his poetry-reading
sessions. His poems are mainly romantic,
patriotic and about his family. Publishing them
under the pseudonym Fazza, regional
musicians have put the Prince's poetry to
music. "My title is my poetry and my name is in
its meaning" he says.
Covering myriad official positions, Sheikh
Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum is also the chairman of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid
Establishment for Young Business Leaders, chairman of Dubai Bank
and president of the Dubai Sports Council as well as the Dubai Autism
Centre. He is an avid horse rider and has won the overall National
Endurance Championship for the 1997-1998 sessions and the Gold
Medal for Endurance racing at the Asian Olympic Games in 2006.
An idealist with a will to foster genuine change, Sheikh Hamdan sets
his goals to ensure that Dubai's development is sustainable and
incorporates a meaningful social conscience. "Today, our economic
objectives and our environmental objectives increasingly reinforce each
other, which will help us safeguard our future for our children and
generations to come," he says. Still operating in his father's shadow,
Sheikh Hamdan is now beginning to make his
own mark with the devolution of greater levels of
responsibility. His ascendance marks a shift to a
younger generation in a region where a majority
of the population is under 30 and has few real
leaders to look up to.
Following in the footsteps of his father and
grandfather, Sheikh Hamdan has made charity a
cornerstone of his engagement with his goal of
creating a 'barrier free society' for people with
special needs. "People with special needs can
contribute to society as much as anybody else.
To build a strong UAE, we need to make sure
that all our people have the means to realise
their potential. We must work to ensure that
people with special needs have the support and
services necessary to become productive
members of society," he concludes.
Sheikh Hamdan's charitable activities include
Dubai Autism Centre Aims to successfully
integrate children with autism into the
community through a holistic approach to
intervention and therapies, together with
focused efforts to create social awareness about autism.
www.dubaiautismcentre.ae
Takamul
An initiative that seeks to integrate people with special needs into the
larger society.
www.takamul.gov.ae
Dubai Sports Council
Aims to develop and enhance sports in Dubai, providing youth with a
platform to cultivate their sporting and cultural talents.
www.dubaisportscouncil.net
Father and son striving for a better Dubai based on sustainable development and a meaningful social conscience
Best of Dubai
41
36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/6/2008 3:42 PM Page 42 'The World' is one of the most innovative
36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/6/2008 3:42 PM Page 42
'The World' is one of the most
innovative and daring projects
Dubai has undertaken.
Completed on January 10
2008, it consists of 34 million
tonnes of rock that were used
to construct the 27 km
breakwater which surrounds
the 300 man-made islands that
have been divided into four
categories - private homes,
estate homes, dream resorts
and community islands. Each
island ranges in size from
250,000 to 900,000 square
feet, with up to 100 metres of
water between them.
www.theworld.ae
The Dubai Mall is one of the
largest malls in the world
and a shopping and
entertainment
It is a shopper's paradise
with 1,200 retail outlets, two
anchor department stores, a
220-store Gold Souk and more
than 150 food and beverage
outlets spread area totalling
12.1 million square feet.
Opening late 2008.
.
www.dubaimall.com
Falconry is one of the regions' most traditional sports
and
part of its rich culture with a history dating back for
more than 2000 years. The newly-opened AED 16 million
National Falcon Centre at Nad Al Sheba, designed to
preserve the tradition, offers falcons for sale as well as
falconry accessories.
Courtesy Dariush Zandi
42
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36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 8:43 AM Page 43 Dubai has one of the world's highest per
36-43_Maktoum@L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 8:43 AM Page 43
Dubai has one of the world's highest per capita incomes estimated at
$33 000. Oil once the dominating factor in Dubai's economy, today
accounts for only ten percent of the emirate's GDP. Tourism has
overtaken it as a revenue earner for the emirate with more than five
million tourists visiting Dubai in 2007; and the expected number to
grow to 15 million by 2010.
Emiratis, shaped by the need to
survive in a harsh natural
environment have embraced the
social change that comes with
economic development. By
promoting Emiratisation, the
government is tackling
unemployment to ensure that
Emiratis develop the experience,
skills and knowledge needed in a
diversified economy. In a bid to
integrate them into the workforce, Dubai has increased the number
of Emiratis employed by the public sector, particularly in banking
and telecommunications, and is imposing quotas on the private
sector for the employment of Emirati nationals too.
www.emiratisation.org
Established in 2003, The Mohammed Bin
Rashid Establishment for Young Business
Leaders singles out exceptional young
Emirati entrepreneurs for an annual
award. The programme is a first attempt
in the UAE to create a competitive
environment among young indigenous
and Arab entrepreneurs. It also
recognizes those who have aided the development of
entrepreneurs in the UAE.
The Federal National Council (FNC) has 40 members who serve in
an advisory rather than a legislative capacity: eight from Abu Dhabi,
eight from Dubai; six each from Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah; and
four each from Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah. The FNC
under the constitution has to review proposed federal legislation
before it is enacted.
The 'Sheikh Mohammed
Centre for Cultural
Understanding' raises
awareness of local culture,
traditions, customs and Islam
erasing barriers between
people of different
nationalities as well as
among non-Emirati residents.
It also strives promote cross-
cultural understanding,
integration and
communication between the
various cultures represented
among UAE residents.
www.cultures.ae
Best of Dubai
43
The UAE has the highest water consumption per capita in the world - 150 per cent
The UAE has the highest
water consumption per
capita in the world - 150
per cent more than the
amount used in the US
The UAE pumps out 50
tonnes of CO2 per
capita every year
compared to the world
average of just four
The ambitious land
reclamation projects by
Nakheel will actually attract
marine life to the area
because of the increase of
shallow waters
The UAE was recently
announced to be the worst
country in the world for
environmental impact in
the Living Planet Report by
the World Wildlife Fund
Going Green
Global debate on the disturbing effects of global warming and unsustainable carbon footprints has
been gathering momentum over the last decade, with 'environmental awareness' and 'sustainable
living' emerging as buzzwords that have captured mass popular consciousness. With the Dubai
Government making sustainable development a priority, is the trend for green living and energy
reduction truly being embraced by individuals and companies alike?
From 2007, all new buildings in Dubai need to conform to ecologically aware building principles that need to be certified by MESCD. It is indeed a
notable feat that Dubai was the first city in the Middle East and one of the first in the world to implement this eco-friendly method.
44
Best of Dubai
Best of Dubai
T he underside of Dubai's manic economic, infrastructural and demographic explosion boasting a GDP growth rate
T he underside of Dubai's manic
economic, infrastructural and
demographic explosion boasting a GDP
growth rate estimated at $27 billion, is the
environmental fallout: the UAE produces
more than double the amount of CO2 than
the US, Dubai has among the highest
consumption of electricity and water per
person in the world and produces more
waste than the whole of the US, with 75
per cent of that waste generated by
construction and demolition. Despite this,
there are signs of progress in the emirate
"The establishment of The Middle East Centre
for Sustainable Development is a historic
event, which marks the beginning of a new era
in development in the Middle East. Pacific
Controls Systems is committed to making
MCSD the focal point of all future sustainable
development initiatives, which will put Dubai on
the global map in regard to environment
protection and energy efficient practices."
Dilip Rahulan, Chairman and CEO
Pacific Controls Systems PCS
and with mounting environmental
awareness the Dubai Government has
prioritised sustainable development with its
proverbial gusto for innovation and
branding savvy.
Announced in 2007, The Dubai
Strategic Plan 2015 places major
emphasis on the prudent use of resources
to build a solid foundation forming a fertile
environment for sustained growth. In line
with this template for progress, the Middle
East Centre for Sustainable Development
(MESCD) was established in order to
assist developers in obtaining green
building certification similar to the US
Green Building Council's Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
rating system.
From 2007, all new buildings in Dubai
need to conform to ecologically aware
building principles that need to be certified
by MESCD. It is indeed a notable feat that
Dubai was the first city in the Middle East
and one of the first in the world to
implement this eco-friendly method.
The Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC)
This not-for-profit organisation was formed in
2006 with the objective of instilling and
advancing green building principles to
ensure sustainability and protecting the
local environment.
The objectives are to raise awareness on
the importance of sustainable management of
the environment, educate by assisting in
crafting a Green Curricula for various
academic institutions and foster collaboration
between all sectors of the property and
construction industry, government, academic
institutions and other stakeholders to transform
the UAE built-environment to be Green
Building model.
Early 2008, EGBC proposed green building
rating system designed explicitly to suit the
construction methods used in the local market
as well as the environmental conditions faced
in the region. Based on the US Green
Building Council's (US GBC) Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
system, the modified version is currently
lodged with the US GBC for evaluation and the
system is expected to be ratified towards the
end of 2008.
"The formation of EGBC is considered a
milestone and a breakthrough towards
creating and maintaining a sustainable
environment and protecting the ecosystem in
the UAE."
Dr Sadek Owainiti, Chairman, EGBC
Sustainable development is all about
employing resources in a manner that meets
the needs of a population whilst simultaneously
preserving the natural environment, minimizing
waste, diminishing reliance and consumption
of non-renewable resources and constructing
a healthy environment for the present and
future generations.
In Dubai, there's been a gradual shift by the
city's real estate developers who have started
to acknowledge the significance of adopting
an environmentally-aware approach for
numerous reasons. From a marketing
perspective, an energy-efficient structure or
home is bound to attract more potential
investors or tenants and thus would be more
lucrative in the long run. A while ago,
architects had to campaign for energy
reduction to be included in the agenda of
developers but now it's already present as part
Best of Dubai
45
Lapping the shores of the Arabian Gulf, Jumeirah Burj Al Arab the worldÕs first all suites
Lapping the shores of the Arabian Gulf, Jumeirah Burj Al Arab the worldÕs first all suites hotel, is a testament of DubaiÕs commitment to innovative architecture
of their agenda. Opting for the sustainable
construction of real estate projects would only
enhance the value of a developer's assets.
Sustainable buildings are designed to be
less dependent on fossil fuels and are
equipped to efficiently consume energy and
resources thus reducing impact on the
environment. In Dubai, a few green projects
have recently materialized with this growing
awareness. These employ the use of
natural light, energy-efficient mechanical
systems, recycled materials and other
resource-saving devices.
Alongside these new green projects, old
buildings are also gradually being subject to
an internal revamp in order to make them more
efficient in conserving water and energy.
Below are some key green projects that
were launched ensuring Dubai is at the
vanguard of sustained development.
and will include buildings and quarters for
the House of Giving for charity, Sheikh
Mohammed's Humanitarian and Charity
Establishment, UNICEF, the museum of
light, the human civilization museum and
charity foundations.
The third is 'House of Nature' and includes
family parks, themed gardens, Scientific labs
specializing in environmental issues, institutes,
and colleges that focus on natural sciences,
hotels, recreational clubs, an enormous zoo,
flower gardens and alternative medical and
herbal clinics.
The project's fourth and final house, the
'House of Commerce', will include buildings,
towers, trademark agents, higher education
institutions in banking and the financial
sciences, insurance companies, branches of
large international companies and Islamic and
international banks.
governance of coastal communities around the
world. The company has committed US$54
million to this project and also aims to involve
non-government organizations as well as other
stakeholders to take an active role in helping
develop this initiative.
"The development of the Blue Communities
initiative is premised to provide leadership in
the development of sustainable coastal
communities, a giant project that will promote
active engagement involving world countries
and international experts on the issues of
sustainable development, construction,
management and governance of coastal
communities around the world."
Abdul Rahman Kalantar, Managing Director for Design &
Development, Nakheel
VERDE Towers, Dubai Maritime City
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Gardens
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Gardens is a
whopping US$54 billion project launched by
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of
the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The elaborate
project aspires to strike a balance between
ecological integrity and real estate
requirements and consists of four main clusters
with 73% greenery across the 880 million
sq ft project.
The first cluster is the 'House of Wisdom'
will include translation houses, a central
library, knowledge gardens, international
organizations' quarters, international
universities, history and science colleges,
a mosque and Sheikh Mohammed's majlis.
The second is the 'House of Humanity',
"The Gardens Projects serves to provide
us with more stimuli to forge ahead with
our national project, tailored to provide a
balance between urban necessity and
environmental integrity."
Dr Abdullah Al Amiri, Chairman of the Emirates
Energy Awards
Blue Communities
Early 2008, one of the world's largest
property developers, Nakheel, launched
Blue Communities, a major sustainability
project aimed at raising awareness of
coastal development issues.
The investment will fund research and
development and promote engagement
with experts on the issues of sustainable
development, construction, management and
ETA Properties launched the two-tower VERDE
Residences and Offices in Dubai Maritime City.
The US$1.09 billion towers are designed by
Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill and are aimed to
maximize natural elements like wind and light
together with use of recyclable construction
material and optimum employment of energy-
efficient technology and processes.
According to the architects, the energy
saved by the project is equivalent to planting
approximately 600,000 trees or eliminating 680
cars off the road and the towers are designed
to achieve Gold ratings, as provided by the US
Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy
and Environment Design (LEED) programme.
In addition, the VERDE Offices and Resident
will have a cooling system using wind turbines,
photovoltaic solar hot water, energy efficient
lighting equipment and grey water system.
46
Best of Dubai
"The name VERDE has its roots in Spanish, which means green. It is rather apt that
"The name VERDE has its roots in Spanish,
which means green. It is rather apt that we
have named our first Green project thus.
Besides aiming for a Gold-certified Green
building, VERDE will provide the best of
amenities for both working and living.
We are happy to state that this launch
is in line with Dubai Maritime City's
vision of sustainable development and to
create a unique environment for the global
maritime community."
population of two types of gazelles; and 15
reptilian species.
A portion of the resort's revenue that is
generated is ploughed into conservation,
protecting the natural desert wildlife. The
conservation department has 15 personnel
constantly involved in monitoring animal
breeding patterns, vegetation, rainfall
figures, collecting insects and various data.
This information is then relayed to Al Maha's
field guides or ranger departments who
then inform the guests. Al Maha
incorporates numerous stringently imposed
eco-friendly measures including energy
conservation and the use of bio-degradable
products. Particular attention is paid to the
conservation of water where the resort's
water, including that used in its swimming
pools and spa, is fully recycled and
returned to its groundwater source through
an exclusive irrigation system.
The US$16.4 million resort has 40
suites and two royal suites and took 20
months to complete and is the winner of
the World Legacy Award 2004
(National Geographic Traveller and
Conservation International)
-
EGBC is a member of the 10-nation World Green
Building Council Group.
-
There are 70 planned UAE buildings now aiming for
green status.
-
The Dubai Municipality will undertake a total of 109
landscape and beautification projects worth
US$126.08 million in 2008.
-
There will 113 hectares of greenery added to the
city's urban landscape. The objective is to convert 8
per cent of the total urban area in the emirate into
green by 2020.
Abid Junaid, Executive Director, ETA Star
-
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa
The world's first 'green' digital billboard was
launched by Barco at the PALME Middle East
Exhibition in Dubai in May 2008.
Located near the Hajjar Mountains, the Al
Maha Desert Resort & Spa is a luxurious
eco-resort that simultaneously promotes
heritage and conserves the environment.
This is the first eco-tourism project in the
Gulf and the single largest conservation
area in the UAE.
This luxurious hideout is part of the
Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and is
set within 225 sq kms and the resort
complex covers less than one per cent of
the site with the rest dedicated to
endangered species like Oryx, desert
gazelle and desert fox. Additionally there
has been a vast reintroduction of
indigenous desert flora and wildlife. This
entailed planting of 6,200 local grasses,
shrubs and trees across 20 per cent of
the resort's area. The sanctuary is also
home to around 40 resident bird species,
250 Oryx that include two species, 15
reptilian species and an expanding
-
Grand Hyatt Dubai became the first hotel in the UAE
to convert its main water heating system from diesel
oil-fired to solar powered in a bid to reduce climate
change and running costs. The hotel's water
consumption dropped by 120,000 gallons a day,
-
The 600,000 sq ft Dubai Biotechnology and
Research Park (DuBiotech) won the Design and
Sustainability Honour Award from the American
Institute of Architects (AIA) New Jersey Chapter
in 2007.
-
Tecom Investments launched The Energy and
Environment Park (Enpark) in 2007. This 8 million sq
ft eco-friendly business park is aimed at promoting
sustainable and clean living.
"We have a role to play in ensuring
that the positive aspects of
tourism go beyond just contributions
to the country, but to include the benefits to
the environment."
-
Its key features include 16 different varieties of
gardens from all across the world, a large outdoors
amphitheatre Health Spa & Resort and Academy for
1,000 students.
-
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum,
President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority,
Chairman of Dubai Airports
The US$ 653.5 million 'Al Barari' project at
Dubailand is the first eco-friendly sustainable mixed-
use development of its kind in the Middle East with
16 different varieties of gardens.
Emirates Green Building Council
www.emiratesgbc.org
Emirates Environmental Group
www.eeg-uae.org
Enpark
www.enpark.ae
Best of Dubai
47
048_051_2 - RTA@L8*.qxp 8/30/08 6:32 PM Page 1 RTA's master plan for the next 15 years
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RTA's master plan for
the next 15 years
projects an investment
of more than AED 75
billion.
Dubai has a car
ownership rate of 541
cars per 1,000
population. This figure
exceeds that of cities
like New York, London
and Singapore.
The Dubai Metro will be
the longest of its type in
the world and is
driverless. There are
two lines being built that
will have a total of 47
stations.
The Red Line, which is the
first phase of Dubai Metro,
will commence operating for
public use on 9th September
2009 and the Green Line will
commence operations on 21
March 2010.
Winds of Change
HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime
Minister and Ruler of Dubai once said that "Dubai is a City in a hurry". And true to
that, Dubai today sails with the 'Winds of Change'. Be it the changing problems of
the environment, traffic pollution, congestion, time management, the quality of life,
accessibility within the city or the future of urban and suburban developments all
of which are being seen as critical issues for the city.
RTA is working with
General Motors to start
testing a fleet of Chevrolet
Tahoe and Malibu hybrids
for use as limos and taxis
in Dubai.
Rashid Bin Saeed Bridge, linking the two sides of Dubai Creek
48
Best of Dubai
Best of Dubai
048-049 2 - RTA_L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 12:14 AM Page 49 P henomenal growth in Dubai
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P henomenal growth in Dubai has resulted in
a need for improved infrastructure,
especially to move people and goods more
efficiently around the emirate. The Roads and
Transport Authority came into existence in
November 2005 with the vision of providing
'safe and smooth transport for all.'
Mr. Mattar Al Tayer Chairman of the Board
and Executive Director of RTA, explains, "I
think the biggest challenge for the RTA is
solving the traffic congestion and the need to
improve traffic safety. RTA is subjected to great
pressures to sort out problems accumulated
over a number of years, in a short time.
Therefore we are in a race against time, and
I'm sure we will win, thanks to the efforts of our
employees and the comprehensive plans
developed for this end. In order to achieve the
best results in operating roads network and
various transport systems, we have to apply
the principle of balance and integration
between road systems and land & marine mass
transit system, and make land & marine transit
modes the ideal mobility option."
The RTA's main focus for the next few years
is to develop an integrated transport network.
This will increase commuting efficiency by
encouraging people to use public transport,
eliminating traffic jams and saving time. To
complement the city's growth commuters must
be provided with excellent public transport
alternatives, as a comprehensive and widely-
used public transport system will relieve
pressure on roads and eliminate logjams. This
will help facilitate the future business
requirements of the city. A lot of time will be
saved connecting the main business hubs and
it will generate employment for a large number
of people in the region.
The RTA is working hand in hand with the
Dubai government -in line with the vision of
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al
Maktoum, UAE Vice-president and Prime
Minister, and Ruler of Dubai - to help people
commute safely and efficiently.
Maktoum Bridge, and opening of the new
Al Garhoud Bridge last March.
-
The number of public buses is poised to
increase from 500 buses to 1200 buses by
2008
and it will further jump to more than
2000
buses fitted with the best and most
sophisticated technologies and highest
standards of security & safety.
-
Launch of the Water Bus.
-
Trial operation of gas-operated abras.
-
Trial operation of hybrid cars.
-
Commence construction of more than 1000
air-conditioned bus shelters.
-
Provide a model of a flexible organization
chart and a system of support & corporate
governance.
-
Upgrade the level of efficiency &
productivity at all levels.
-
Intelligent Traffic System; including:
i.
ii.
Variable Message Signs
Light signal control system
RTA's achievements since establishment
The RTA has achieved considerable results and
success since its establishment at the end of
iii. Parking control system
iv. Rapid deployment motorcycles to tow
faulty vehicles or vehicles involved in
minor accidents
In general we believe that the strategy
underlying the establishment of the RTA has
proved to be correct and reflects a sharp vision.
2005 on several fronts, such as:
Long -term planning
-
Stepping up the process of putting out and
implementing tenders of major roads and
public transport projects. For example the
cost of road projects currently underway
exceeds 10 billion dirham. This figure
exceeds the total expenditure on road
projects over the last ten years combined.
The RTA has conducted a comprehensive long-
range transportation study which includes a
master plan for the next 15 years, resulting in
an investment of more than AED 75 billion. The
plan was prepared in collaboration with five
international transport planning consultants.
This strategic transportation plan reveals
-
The number of lanes crossing Dubai Creek
jumped from 19 lanes at the time of
establishing the RTA to 49 lanes following
the opening of the Business Bay Crossing,
the Floating Bridge, widening of Al
that Dubai needs to spend around AED 44.5
billion on expanding and improving its road
network over the next 15 years. Similar
expenditure on improving and expanding
Dubai's public transportation systems -
Al Safoon Tram, a mass transportation system of excellence.
Best of Dubai
49

including bus, metro, tram, and water transport - will exceed AED 33.5 billion. The total expenditure of AED 75 billion equates to an average of AED 5 billion per year.

infrastructure projects at a cost of more than AED 20.5 billion. Of this, around AED 15.5 billion has been allocated to the Dubai Metro project.

Extensive investment

  • - In the rail sector, trams, monorails and new metro lines will be introduced. The cost of monorail alone is more than AED 15 Billion. The RTA hopes to increase passenger numbers from 5% to 30% in the coming decade by introducing new legislation to deter car drivers, like car registration, parking fees and road tolls. Currently the RTA is undertaking transportation

including bus, metro, tram, and water transport - will exceed AED 33.5 billion. The total expenditure

Dubai Metro

  • - The metro project involves currently building two lines with an overall length of 70 kilometers. Around 60% of the work is completed on the Red Line and 20% on the Green Line. The system is completely driverless and is the longest system in the world to be completed in one phase. To ensure exceptional safety, operational and maintenance standards, international experts are onboard. The work progress in the Red and Green Lines is going in accordance with the approved schedule.

  • - The two lines extend 75 km; 52 km in the Red Line and 23 km in the Green Line. The total number of stations in the two lines is 47 stations; 29 stations in the Red Line (4 underground stations and 25 elevated stations) and 18 stations in the Green Line (6 underground stations and 12 elevated stations).

  • - The Roads & Transport Authority recently signed an agreement with the

international consultant (Parsons Brunker Hoff) to make the initial designs of the Purple Line of Dubai Metro Project which links Dubai International Airport and Jebel Ali Airport (Dubai World Central) extending 49 Kilometres, with an

estimated cost of AED10 billion. This line has a very limited number of stations and the maximum speed of the metro ranges from 135 to 160 km/h, compared to the average speed of 45 km/h in the Red Line which is currently being constructed. The trip between the two airports takes 40 minutes including stopover times in stations.

New road projects

  • - Presently more than 7 billion AED has been invested in road projects. There are plans of increasing the length of road networks to 500 kms, building 95 new interchanges, modifying 25 interchanges, constructing dedicated bus lanes and increasing pedestrian walkways. The number of lanes on the creek crossings have increased to 49 in 2008 and will increase to 87 in 2009 and 100 in 2020. These include new crossings to increase traffic capacity across Dubai Creek.

  • - Other projects include widening Sheikh

The new air-conditioned Dubai Waterbus will serve five routes along the Creek, offering spacious seating with
The new air-conditioned
Dubai Waterbus will serve
five routes along the Creek,
offering spacious seating
with panoramic windows,
LCD screens and access
for special needs.
  • 50 Best of Dubai

048-049 2 - RTA_L8:Bab Al Shams 9/2/2008 12:15 AM Page 51 The giant arch has a
048-049 2 - RTA_L8:Bab Al Shams
9/2/2008
12:15 AM
Page 51
The giant arch has a height of 205 meters and a length of 667 meters; considered the longest arch-bridge in the world.

Zayed Road to six lanes in each direction, widening Emirates Road to five lanes in

each direction, constructing three arterial roads parallel to Sheikh Zayed Road, widening Jabal Ali Lehbab Road to four lanes in each direction, and completing and widening the Dubai outer bypass to four lanes in each direction. A new double decking project is in construction at Al Doha Road at a cost of AED 605 million, which will improve traffic capacity from new developments like Burj Dubai, Dubai Mall, Business Bay and Dubai International Finance Center. This bridge will have three lanes towards Jumeirah and five lanes in the reverse direction to accommodate 9,000 vehicles every hour.

Focus on public transport

  • - To increase the efficiency of public transport in Dubai, new taxi and bus services are being introduced. Around 500 bus shelters are under construction and another 500 are in the pipeline. The new Citaro buses will be introduced consist of 49 articulated and 19 single deck versions, representing a milestone in the RTA's transport strategy. These cutting edge wheelchair-enabled vehicles will be fitted with the latest Euro 4 emission level engines, bringing Dubai in line with European emission levels. The bus services include five new categories: intercity, inter-emirate, VIP, airport services, and express services.

Focus on public water transport

  • - On the Public Water Transport front, the marine transport network will increase to 210 kms and new modes of water transport which include Dubai Water Taxi, Dubai Ferries as well as the fleet of current modes of transport like the Dubai Water Bus, Dubai abra will be increased.

The RTA is introducing various transportation policies and plans capable of bringing about a positive change in the attitudes of the users of road networks and transportation systems. This includes introducing the toll gate systems (Salik) which was implemented as of the 1st July 2007. It also includes reviewing & updating the fees of the public parking, banning the import and registration of old vehicles, raising the annual vehicle registration fees, modifying the requirements of

private vehicles registration particularly with regards to the rates applicable to negligence fees, and modifying the regulations governing licensing of drivers to curb the number of licenses issued.

In the pipeline

RTA is working to complete construction of road projects such as interchanges at Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Bypass Road starting from the outskirts of Sharjah and extending to link up with the road extending on the outskirts of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, and completion of the Al Ittihad Road widening project. RTA will also construct Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Bridge;

which consists of 12 lanes and costs around

three billion dirham, in addition to constructing more crossings to link the two banks of the Creek. Among the key projects in the pipeline is Dubai Metro Project; the first stage of which will be operated on 9/9/2009, as well as launching of the Water Taxi and the new public transport buses. Dubai offers a business-friendly environment. The infrastructure matches if not exceeds the highest international standards, facilitating efficiency, quality and service. The absence of corporate or income tax, together with competitive import duties, and extremely competitive labor and energy costs make Dubai attractive for business.

So much to offer in Dubai

The RTA's vital work is helping Dubai set a benchmark for its transportation services. According to Mr. Al Tayer, "Like all the modern cities in the region, and indeed the world, Dubai's transportation needs are growing rapidly to complement the amenities the emirate offers. These include world class education, recreational facilities like water- and snow-skiing, leisure parks and resorts; hotels like the Burj Al Arab, huge malls and last but not least, tax free income. This has attracted a burgeoning population of different cultures, the relocation of international businesses and an increase in commercial activities."

Tel: +9714 284 4444 www.rta.ae

Best of Dubai

51

Best of Dubai

Etisalat has been the

Over 40 per cent of

   

telecommunications service provider in the United Arab Emirates since 1976.

Etisalat's workforce is Emirati, an accomplishment which supports the natives of the UAE.

In 2008 the corporation passed the 6,830,000 mark in mobile subscriptions in the UAE alone.

Etisalat international has extended to 16 markets covering a population of over 800m - 63m of whom are Etisalat customers

Stay Connected Since its establishment in 1977, Etisalat's increasing regional brand expansion is helping to put
Stay Connected
Since its establishment in 1977, Etisalat's increasing regional brand expansion is helping
to put the UAE on the global telecoms map, positioning it as a force to be reckoned with.
This progress is being fostered in an increasingly competitive environment where
consumer loyalty is based on familiarity and not necessarily on cutting edge offerings.
Despite the inevitable challenges of pitching the brand against global telecoms giants
whetting their appetites for a slice of the Middle East telecoms pie, Etisalat's indefatigable
Chairman, Mohammad Hassan Omran is ready to try for the lion size share.
E-Services
Ebtikar
Emirates Data Clearing House
E-Marine
E-Academy
Directory Enquiries
www.ebtikar.ae
www.edch.ae
www.emarine.ae
www.eacademy.ae
www.yellowpages.ae
The Etisalat brand generates a distinctive sign of quality and leadership in the
telecommunication world, an achievement that stakeholders of the Corporation have
worked toward and can take pride in.
  • 52 Best of Dubai

Mohammad Hassan Omran, Chairman, Etisalat Best of Dubai 53 "One of our objectives at Etisalat is
Mohammad Hassan Omran, Chairman, Etisalat Best of Dubai 53 "One of our objectives at Etisalat is

Mohammad Hassan Omran, Chairman, Etisalat

Best of Dubai 53
Best of Dubai
53

"One of our objectives at Etisalat is to help fulfill the potential of our nation and its people. To be a catalyst driving growth, developing a world-class economy and a hub for trade, tourism and entrepreneurship"

With telecom mergers and takeovers across the region, what is the common thread that links the strategy of your expansion program?

Our strategy is based on four pillars. Firstly, we enter new markets to offer services and telecommunication solutions based on intensive

studies and market research. We rely on our experience gained over these years and have to consider any long-term partnerships. Secondly, we aim to introduce new services that meet the needs of a specific market and its customers. Thirdly, we should add significant value and benefits for the customers and industry in the markets we are considering entering especially in the region as we have the wealth of know how to tailor make the right telecom solution to the right market. Finally, we look for synergies in culture and markets which will help replicate our success in the UAE. We approach our expansion, market by market. For each market we have a different strategy to suit and integrate the communication solution with the needs, culture and traditions of the country.

What USP do you have over other regional competitors?

Since the beginning Etisalat has been working in a competitive mindset. We realise that someone else would enter the market one day so we have to offer the best service to our customers and we have to be fast in implementing the latest technology and services. I remember when we were working on a strategy for Etisalat in the early 90s, we knew that two areas would witness growth - mobile and data. This is why we focused on these areas, without ignoring the others. If we go back longer, Etisalat was amongst the first few operators to introduce mobile services in the

early 80s. In 1982, mobile was known in a few countries worldwide. When the Internet appeared, only a few telecommunications operators decided to introduce internet services. Etisalat was one of these, and we pioneered Internet commercially since the benefit in developing the communications infrastructure, the economy and meeting customer needs was evident. With regards to internet, we have invested in bringing international submarine cables to the UAE. Indeed, most of the submarine cables coming east to west come through UAE. Our nation has become an anchor landing point for all these submarine cables. With this number of links we were able to build a sophisticated network and provide bandwidth offering the best data services. This history and reputation for innovation as well as our different ways of physically connecting countries to the rest of the world is a key advantage for us in entering new markets as well as in competing in our home market. As a result, the UAE has been ranked number one in the region in terms of Networked Readiness by the World Economic Forum.

How do you think telecommunications will transform the UAE's profile globally and what role do you think Etisalat will have played in this development?

Part of Etisalat's commitment to the telecommunications community and also to the reputation of the nation, includes the establishment of Etisalat University College. The College trains engineers in the aim to develop local staff with high qualifications to aid our general needs and the needs of the telecom sector across the region. Etisalat has also set up Etisalat Academy to train new employees and to offer training for companies locally and internationally.

What lessons are you learning about the best way to enter other geographic markets you have
What lessons are you learning about the best
way to enter other geographic markets you
have pinpointed now that you have a presence
in KSA, Egypt, Pakistan and Sudan?
over 8 million subscribers and is considered
one of the fastest growing mobile phone
operators in the world.
development of the economy in the UAE.
What further innovation can be expected from
Etisalat in the medium term?
We always build a core team from UAE
and take them to that country building
a team around them from that particular
country. In KSA, for instance, our agreement
with the regulator is that our staff should
be 80% Saudis. Now we have exceeded
this percentage. Part of the UAE team
has since come back, and part of it
moved on to new countries, such as Egypt
and Pakistan.
We are also actively building synergies in
markets which have transient populations. For
example, we are available in Afghanistan and
also in Pakistan, KSA, Egypt and UAE where
there are large expatriate communities to
whom full solutions can be offered.
How does Etisalat manage balancing
local competition and regulation whilst
working towards being a technology leader,
keeping shareholders happy and fulfilling
targets and objectives?
What are the critical components of creating a
successful telecoms group that gives value
and creates value too? Do you think that this
model can be successfully implemented in
every country?
When we decide to enter a new country, we
focus on one specific group of
telecommunication services to offer that will
assure the best results. For example in Egypt,
our initial plans were for Etisalat Misr to cover
40 cities in the first period of operations. Today,
we cover over 200 cities and have plans to
cover the whole of Egypt in a shorter time than
what the license requires.
Furthermore, when we were awarded the
second mobile phone license in KSA, we
started operations in fewer than 6 months after
we were granted the license. This was earlier
than the estimated launch date. Today, even
though we face a fierce competitor, Mobily has
Etisalat has grown even more during the
presence of competition in the UAE. We
have achieved record profits and the
number of our mobile phone customers has
exceeded 6 million. With more services
and more variety available to the customer
there is more usage. Of late, we have
introduced several new services; this is
because of the dynamic market that is always
ready for more. Therefore our duty is to be
increasingly active in introducing different
services for different customer needs. This is
good for the market as it benefits the customer
and the industry in fostering a healthy
competitive environment.
Our financial results over the last 3 years, in
comparison to our latest report for the last six
months, show that we have nearly doubled our
profit growth. In 2005 and in 2004, profit growth
was between 18-19%. Now we are reporting
Net Profits of around 33%. This shows there is
still a lot of growth in the market.
These figures show what Etisalat is about.
Thanks to its customer focused vision and
commitment to innovate in service provisioning,
we are achieving set targets and the financial
results are an indication of the performance of
the company and our strategy.
Our growth, expansion and financial results
reflect on Etisalat's position today. I am
optimistic there is enough to go around for
everyone, with what we can see in the huge
Etisalat is known as an innovative and
proactive entity and in order to remain so we
need to move fast in every direction. One of
our aims is to launch services which will allow
the customer to use the mobile phone as a
personal electronic wallet. Increasingly, the
mobile phone is now the preferred
communications tool for voice, data, video
and media and customers will soon be
able to purchase things, transfer money, and
complete most transactions and manage daily
activities. We are working closely with many
companies including banks and exchange
companies to produce this service at
international standards. We have already
introduced the mobile payment system for
paying Etisalat bills and recharging and
renewing Wasel prepaid credit, and have
demonstrated in the past technology that
allows customers to use their mobile phone to
make purchases from a vending machine. Very
soon, UAE residents will be able to purchase
and conduct many financial transactions using
their mobile phone.
Whilst you maintain a market leader's position
in this environment, what is your integral quality
differential should global telecoms leaders be
given access to this highly protected market?
Globalisation is unstoppable and will eventually
conquer any monopolistic residues prevalent
worldwide. We welcome this as competition is
good for us, for the consumer and is healthy
for the country too. There is no end to how far
we can reach.
Tel: 101
www.etisalat.ae
54
Best of Dubai
News Bulletin Etisalat highlighted its Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility and the important projects it supports
News Bulletin
Etisalat highlighted its Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility and the important projects it supports at the CSR Summit.
The company participated in specialised workshops for people with special needs
Etisalat coverage has expanded to 186 countries, providing their customers with a wider roaming network within which they can travel
Etisalat Academy and its eCompetency Centre have concluded the first phase of a competency development program for 15 of the
UAE's federal government ministries.
Etisalat signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Khalifa Fund to support the development of small and medium businesses in
the UAE
The company partnered with the global mobility service provider, iPass, enabling Etisalat Internet subscribers to access the Internet at
over 60,000 wired and wireless locations in 150 countries around the world
Etisalat became the region's largest Blackberry provider
Etisalat's Mobile TV service could be utilized to watch the Arab Broadcast Forum which was held in May of this year in Abu Dhabi
Etisalat supported the 'Women as Global Leaders' conference, which was held in April of this year
Tallest worldwide Biggest worldwide Biggest worldwide Biggest worldwide 681.7 metres, 160 floors completed as of 08/08
Tallest worldwide
Biggest worldwide
Biggest worldwide
Biggest worldwide
681.7 metres, 160
floors completed as
of 08/08 surpassing
the Sears, Petronas
& Taipai Towers
Land reclamation projects: The Palms
Jumeirah, Deira & Jebel Ali - One billion
cubic metres of rock and sand
increasing Dubai's shoreline by 520kms,
topography visible from the moon
International Airport:
Dubai World Central to
handle 120million travellers
and over 12 million tons of
cargo annually
Dubai Mall: 12 million square
ft, total internal floor area - 5.9
m sq ft, over 1,200 outlets
with ice rink, aquarium &
indoor theme park
Desert Dreams Deciphered
Overview of Dubai
As the sun slowly sets far across the Arabian Gulf, the curtain rises on a glittering phenomenon
that's making the rest of the world sit up and take notice. It's a phenomenon called Dubai. From
growth levels unprecedented in the annals of modern business to real estate projects that defy
conventional wisdom, this curiously multicultural mélange of nearly 200 different nationalities is
dancing to its own tune. A fascinating confluence of luxury hotels, old-world souks, beach-side
retreats, stark desert vistas and tax-free living, the Dubai experience is one which appears to
have been crafted solely for the purpose of garnering superlatives.
Despite its untrammelled Bedouin past, today one out of every six cranes world wide operates in Dubai. This makes it arguably the city state with the most pronounced
'buzz' factor anywhere in the world. Begging for its story to be scripted and given the glitzy Hollywood treatment, be rest assured that the likes of George Clooney and
Morgan Freeman will be brought on board to bring the story-boarded characters to life. Because make no mistake, this is a city which simply doesn't believe in doing
things in half-measures. While such a brazen attitude can sometimes lead to inevitable mishaps, it also lays the foundation for a city-wide ethos where ambition,
determination and imagination are rewarded beyond most conceivable dreams.
56
Best of Dubai
Best of Dubai
The key feature of Downtown Dubai is the Burj Dubai Tower. In addition Dubai Mall, the
The key feature of Downtown
Dubai is the Burj Dubai Tower.
In addition Dubai Mall, the
world’s largest retail hub, is set
to wow the 15 million annual
visitors that are expected to
visit the emirate by 2012
Courtesy Dariush Zandi
A Tale of Two Cities
To understand modern Dubai, you need to
come to grips with its two distinct halves. Old
Dubai, which sprang forth from the womb of the
ever-prevalent Creek, is a bustling experience
graced with plenty of street charm.
Encompassing the distinct localities of Bur
Dubai, Karama, Satwa, Deira and Garhoud, this
is the half of Dubai still holding on to the last
vestiges of a more earthy character. A
comforting sense of yesterday sweeps through
its streets, especially in the areas surrounding
the old spice and gold markets. Other highlights
of Old Dubai include the chic little Bastakiya
Quarter situated beside Dubai Museum, and
Satwa's main thoroughfare - Al Dhiyafah Street -
a 24x7 parade of roadside café-goers, honking
cars and vibrant street life. All things
considered, the old snapshot of the city alone
reveals enough layers and interesting
characters to justify the price of admission after
touching down at Dubai International Airport.
New Dubai meanwhile comprises the vast
swathes of townships and mega-scale
developments that have sprouted at a
prodigious rate past the greater Jumeirah area.
Headline-grabbing and gravity-defying, this new
urban reinvention is awash in the glow of billions
of Dirhams and celebrity endorsements.
Through townships such as The Palm, The
World and several other projects dreamt up by
the region's two premier developers - Emaar
and Nakheel - you'll find the freehold property
market at its frenzied, manic best. Multi-million
dollar deals are daily pars for the course, and
conversations that would appear plain daft in
any other part of the world form the bulk of
common late brunch discussions. “A piece of
Greece, anyone?”
An Economic Anomaly
Growth levels of close to 20 per cent hint at a
desert Emirate that must be doing something
right. Dubai has etched out a new blueprint for
economic sustainability - a financially gold-
edged roadmap which is being studied
diligently by both its heavily oil-dependent
neighbours as well as the global business
community at large. The city's proposition is
simple - entice the multinationals and ambitious
entrepreneurs alike through incentives that are
hard to resist. Minimal red tape, relative
absence of bureaucracy, state-of-the-art
business enclaves, industry-specific Free
Zones, strategically planned trade shows and a
fierce onus on tourism that channels luxury
hotels and massive marketing campaigns
towards guaranteeing a healthy deluge of
activity. It's a chain of commerce whose wheels
are kept rolling smoothly all year round.
Dubai Media City (DMC) is the perfect
example of the vision at work here. Playing
home to nearly five hundred advertising
agencies and media concerns, this
communications enclave has become the
media hub of choice for the entire region.
Prompt documentation procedures and swift
license approval make it the destination for
anyone with a dream. Attracting the likes of
CNN, Showtime and Reuters, DMC's excellent
Best of Dubai
57
"From growth levels unprecedented in the annals of modern business to real estate projects that defy
"From growth levels
unprecedented
in the annals of modern
business to real
estate projects that defy
conventional wisdom,
this curiously multicultural
melange of nearly
200 different
nationalities is
dancing to its own tune."
that have the potential of creating a major
storm in the years to come.
Generally Speaking
facilities and relaxed vibe have been crucial
factors in the local media scene's ascension
from sleepy regional outpost to globe-
straddling communications catalyst.
city's very own annual art extravaganza - The
Dubai Art Fair. For a metropolis perhaps most
well-known worldwide for its shopping malls,
such an art-focused layer to its personality is
nothing if not timely.
Artsy Ambitions
Culturally too, Dubai is at the crossroads of an
intriguing journey. Theatrical productions, both
homegrown and imported, have begun playing
themselves out with refreshing regularity over a
smattering of city-wide venues. But it's in the
art sphere where things have really started
heating up. Mirroring the transformation of New
York's meat-packing district into the hip suburb
of Soho, Dubai's industrial warehouse-littered
Al Quoz area has taken on the guise of the
independent art gallery's venue of choice. Like
with any nascent scene, you'll find yourself
having to sift through acres of pretentious
hogwash to uncover the one gem. But the
journey is nothing if not interesting. Names like
Third Line, B21, Total Arts and JamJar, along
with their roster of little-known artists, have
brought a much-needed dose of eclectic
vibrancy to the cultural horizon.
Reflective of Dubai's population mix as well
as global art trends, Indian, Persian and Arabic
art have been at the forefront of record-
breaking auctions held by the likes of Christie's
and Bonham's. The swell of artistic outpouring
has risen to high enough levels to warrant the
That's Entertainment
This most cosmopolitan of Middle-Eastern
cities throws up a veritable treasure-trove of
nightlife experiences. From the refined to the
raucous, from the subdued to the sensual,
Dubai surprises you at every conceivable turn.
The plethora of night spots, watering-holes
swanky clubs regularly attract a swarm of
denizens who believe in working hard only
to play harder. For a glimpse of magic,
drop into Madinat Jumeirah - a decadent
throwback to old Arabic architecture housing a
swarm of water-gracing eateries and
enchanting rooftop bars.
On the music front, a large number of
touring bands and chart-topping artists have
begun putting the city onto their tour
schedules, resulting in well-received concerts
from the likes of Aerosmith, Enrique Iglesias
and Robbie Williams. While the prevailing Top-
40 heavy tastes could do with a bit of
refinement, any live music scene is a welcome
addition to the usual social calendar. And in
the annual Desert Rock and Dubai Jazz
Festivals, the city has unearthed two local gigs
Despite the flawless veneer, it would be
silly to suggest that Dubai is a picture-perfect
Utopia with no glitches in sight. Rising
inflation levels haven taken living costs to
exorbitant levels, rendering many expatriates'
aspirations of a comfortable life nothing more
than a pipe-dream. Civic disturbances
resulting from heavy-handed treatment of
immigrant workers (especially those employed
by the construction industry), have to some
degree tarnished the city's pristine image,
given it a touch of reality akin to the rest
of the world. Like elsewhere in the region, the
press here is allowed only partial freedoms,
relegating some of the major dailies to little
more than official mouth-pieces. The
heavily publicised freehold real estate
market too is littered with loopholes,
unscrupulous agents and irresponsible
developers - resulting in thousands of property
horror stories that the government is working
tirelessly to bring to accountability.
Sore points notwithstanding, Dubai's
promise as a land of unlimited potential and
opportunity still holds true. Crime is virtually
non-existent, and not too many cities would
give you the luxury of walking home by
yourself at three in the morning. The
contradictions on view make for a fascinating
study as well. Which other predominantly
Muslim city in the world would beguile you with
a heady blend of hedonism and Disneyland
surrealism? Where else could you spend the
afternoon skiing down an indoor ski slope only
to hit the waves and go kite-surfing later in the
evening? The world's richest horse race; a 45-
day spectacle devoted purely to shopping; an
upcoming underwater hotel; a real estate
hotbed fancy enough to entice 'The Donald' to
launch his own boutique tower; desert
escapades that redefine the very notion of
luxury; millionaire raffle draws that turn fortunes
around overnight; a brand identity that's
proven irresistibly attractive to such style
luminaries as Armani, Gucci and Versace. All
this isn't just the stuff of dreams. It's very
possible. It's very Dubai.
58
Best of Dubai
“If there is a construction engineer's heaven, its closest earthly representation must be the Gulf emirate
“If there is a construction engineer's
heaven, its closest earthly
representation must be the Gulf
emirate of Dubai”.
Financial Times, UK
“More than a shopping stopover or a
beach holiday, Dubai is a
phenomenon: a Muslim, Arab society
reinventing itself with all the ethnic
diversity, economic energy, and
architectural ambition of early-20th-
century Los Angeles, Manhattan, and
Chicago. Burj Al Arab is the hotel
aficionado's Mount Everest”.
Conde Nast Traveller
“Dubai is a peaceful, stable, and
modern city in an otherwise volatile
part of the world. Last year more
than 4 million people stayed in the
emirate's 265 hotels, according to
the tourism department. The aim is
15 million visitors a year by 2010”.
Bloomberg
“By any standards, Dubai's growth
as a holiday destination has been
meteoric. Dubai has emerged as one
of the world's most vibrant holiday
hot spots. Today, ambitious
developments - led by the vast, man-
made Palm Islands - are grabbing
the global limelight. Throw in year-
round sunshine, world-class
hospitality and a crime-free
environment, and it's easy to see why
Dubai has planted itself so
prominently on the world
tourism map”.
The Washington Times
“A number of city-states have fuelled
their economies by promoting
themselves as business and travel
hubs. Another destination is applying
the same model with equal success -
- Dubai. A recent online CNN poll
showed that Dubai is among the top
three cities still the most preferred for
business travel. An intimate
connection between commerce and
government, low taxes for
corporations and expatriates,
and concessions for businesses,
mean Dubai is turning into one of
the world's fastest-growing
commercial centres”.
CNN International
“It has the world's only seven-star
hotel, five days of rain a year,
glorious beaches, fabulous
shopping, and is now the ninth most
popular weekend break for Britons”.
The Guardian, UK
Best of Dubai
59
Dubai Population GDP growth Annual inflation Government Time Zone 1.422 million, the largest population compared to
Dubai Population
GDP growth
Annual inflation
Government
Time Zone
1.422 million, the
largest population
compared to the other
six emirates.
AED 198 billion in 2007
Avarage 12%
Constitutional
4 hours ahead of GMT
Monarchy
Fast Facts Dubai
The UAE is changing because it is opening itself to the modern world. The most vivid example is
Dubai. Its skyline features some of the wildest architecture this side of Shanghai - fantasy buildings that
seem to float in the air like the sails of an Arab dhow. The city is a place of contrast, a land where the
old and the new, traditional and modern, east and west blend seamlessly to produce a fascinating,
mysterious, exciting city with a distinct personality of its own. Refreshingly, as opposed to the conflict
swirling around it, Dubai is also a tolerant place. There are few areas where the Arabia of old co-exists
so well with that of the 21st century. The past 40 years have been a triumph of adaptation for Dubai.
The man-made islands in Dubai are the largest in the world and can be seen from space. In total, three Palms will be made, the palm
tree being an important symbol for Dubai, as well as The World where each island will have an estimated cost of $25-30 million.
60
Best of Dubai
Best of Dubai
The highly ambitious construction and design projects flourishing all over Dubai lends a surreal quality to
The highly ambitious construction and design projects
flourishing all over Dubai lends a surreal quality to the city.
This has been criticised by some who see the vision as too
dramatic and overly planned, yet H.H. Sheikh Mohammed
bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister
of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai., sees a wholly positive
future for his city.
"Waiting has never been our choice in the past, nor is it in the
present. We are always striving, anticipating the future and
preparing for it.”
Dubai is a city of growth, yet Emirati tradition still remains a
prominent feature with positive efforts to preserve their unique
culture for the future. This can be seen through the
juxtaposition of architecture design, both old and new, and the
traces of the old fishing village which can be seen in the Souks
and bustling life around Bur Dubai.
Capital City Dubai
Area 4,114 sq km
Government Constitutional Monarchy
Population 1.422 million Dubai (2006 figures) has the largest population compared to the other
six emirates.
Time Zone Dubai is 4 hours ahead of GMT
Current GDP growth AED 198 billion in 2007
Inflation 2007 - 10.1% (expected to hit 12% in 2008)
Official languages Arabic is the official language although
English is widely used.
Religion Islam is the official religion of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the
majority being Sunni Muslims. Dubai is one of the most liberal places in the Gulf and followers of
other religions (except Judaism) are tolerated. The holy day is Friday with most government
offices, companies and schools remaining closed on Friday.
Geography Dubai is located on the Persian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates and shares
borders with Abu Dhabi in the south, Sharjah in the northeast, and the Sultanate of Oman in the
southeast. Hatta, a tiny village of Dubai, is surrounded on three sides by Oman and by the
emirates of Ajman in the west and Ras Al Khaimah in the north. Dubai's topography is
emphasized by sandy desert consisting mainly of crushed shell and coral. The desert gives way
to the Western Hajar Mountains that run alongside Dubai's border with Oman near Hatta. Devoid
of any natural bodies of water, the natural inlet - Dubai Creek, has been dredged to make it
deeper for large vessels to navigate and divides the emirate in two.
Climate Dubai has a subtropical and arid climate with the weather usually hot and often humid.
The temperature ranges from a pleasant 10°C (50°F) in winter to over 40°C (104°F) in the
daytime during summer. The mean humidity in Dubai is roughly 60% in the summer. Rainfall in
the emirate is sporadic and light, with rainfall primarily occurring in the first quarter of the year.
However, Dubai experienced an unprecedented record rainfall in January 2008 - 105mm of rain
in two days (average rainfall for January in Dubai is 15.6mm).
Banks and foreign exchange Dubai has a large network of local and international banks offering
a wide array of commercial and personal banking services. All the banks are controlled by the
UAE Central Bank. Banking hours are usually Saturday - Thursday, 8.00am - 2.00pm with some
banks offering services until 8.00pm.
Taxes There is no income tax or corporate tax in Dubai (except for oil producing companies and
branches of foreign banks). However, the main forms of tax are the rent tax by Dubai
Municipality (5%) as well as in-built 10% on food and beverage bills at hotels. In July 2007,
Dubai's Road and Transport Authority (RTA) introduced a toll system - Salik - in order to ease
traffic congestion. A fee of AED 4 is deducted from a prepaid toll account every time one
passes through the Salik toll zones.
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61
Currency The legal tender in Dubai is the UAE dirham (AED or Dhs) Exchange Rate The
Currency The legal tender in Dubai is the UAE
dirham (AED or Dhs)
Exchange Rate The Dirham is pegged to the US
dollar; One US$=AED 3.67 (30 April 2008)
Country Dialing Code +971 (04)
Internet domain .ae
Credit cards and cash Most retail outlets, hotels and
restaurants accept major credit cards (MasterCard,
Visa, Diners Club and American Express). Smaller
retail stores are less likely to accept and some even
charge processing fees on transactions. It is
advisable to check before hand. In the third quarter
of 2007, all petrol stations across the emirate
ceased accepting credit or debit cards for payment.
Telecommunications Dubai has a healthy
telecommunications industry with two telecom
operators - Etisalat and the new entrant, ‘du’. Both
providers offer comprehensive services that include
landline, mobile, broadband and pay TV.
Medical facilities There are approximately 20
primary health care centres located around Dubai.
The Department of Health and Medical Services
(DOHMS) offers convenient eServices including
online health card renewal and online medical
fitness reports. Additionally, Dubai Healthcare City
was recently established - this is the world's first
healthcare free zone with two complementary
communities - the Medical Community and the
Wellness Community. The Medical Community
occupies and area of 4.1 million square feet and
focuses on acute care services. The Wellness
Community covers 19 million square feet and
completes DHCC's healthcare field by housing
hospitals, outpatient clinics, luxury spa resorts, and
the entire spectrum of wellness services.
With 45 percent of Emiratis
less than 15 years of age,
the next few years will see
increasing numbers of
nationals entering the job
market. Unemployment rates
amongst the locals are very
high, but there are trends
showing an increase in
adolescents who want an
improved lifestyle and
recognition within society.
Working for them is
perceived as presenting a
means of attaining a
personal identity.
Alcohol Dubai's licensing laws require that alcohol
can only be served in licenced venues primarily
attached to hotels and private leisure clubs (golf
clubs, sports clubs) and associations and where the
legal drinking age is 21. Non-Muslim residents can
purchase alcohol from licenced outlets provided
they have a valid liquor licence. The liquour
permit or licence is valid for a year and allows the
holder to purchase a certain amount of alcohol
per month. Purchases from retailers that do not
have official approval are illegal. During the holy
month of Ramadan, sale of alcohol is only permitted
after dusk.
The two major distributors in the emirate are
Maritime & Mercantile International (MMI) and
African & Eastern NE BVI Ltd (A&E). Liquor licences
can be purchased from either outlet.
Courtesy Lilly Bandak
Crimes Dubai is renowned for its low crime rate and
many residents regard the emirate as a very safe
place. Although it would be ridiculous to declare
that any city to be absolutely devoid of crimes,
these usually occur however on a very small scale.
A major offence is driving under the influence of
62
Best of Dubai
Courtesy Monarch Dubai alcohol. The UAE government have enforced a zero-tolerance policy with random checks occurring
Courtesy Monarch Dubai
alcohol. The UAE government have enforced a zero-tolerance policy
with random checks occurring more frequently. Driving the morning
after a heavy night of drinking is also risky. In the course of an
accident, regardless of whose fault it is, both parties will be arrested.
If any level of alcohol is detected in the blood. The standard penalty
is a month in prison with a fine.
Travelling or consuming illegal narcotics is also a major
offence in the emirate. Legislation enacted in January 1996
imposes the death sentence for convicted drug traffickers. Since
January 2006, possession of even trace amounts of illegal
drugs has resulted in sentences of four years imprisonment for
foreign citizens transiting the emirate and UAE. If caught, the
penalty is more stringent with a minimum of four years
followed by deportation. The penalty is usually a life sentence
and sometimes even death if found guilty of dealing or smuggling
illegal substances.
Some drugs normally taken under a doctor's supervision in the
other countries (including over-the-counter drugs and medications)
are classified as narcotics in the UAE and are illegal to possess. A
doctor's prescription should be carried along with any medication
brought into the country. An individual may be subject to arrest
and prosecution if possession of prescribed medicines (especially
those containing codeine and similar narcotic-like ingredients) if
brought to the attention of local authorities.
There are a few other crimes which may incur time in prison or
massive fines although they could be disregarded in some cases.
These are
-
Public displays of affection (kissing, lewd behaviour)
-
Unmarried couples living together
-
Homosexual behaviour
-
Eating, drinking or smoking in public during Ramadan
-
Distributing non-Muslim religious material
Traffic accidents In addition to the above, traffic accidents earn
numerous penalties. If someone is fatally injured or killed in the
event of an accident, both parties are incarcerated until an
investigation is completed. Once the party at fault is determined, the
verdict varies depending if the offender has consumed alcohol or
not. In most cases, the offender is imprisoned until the blood money
(diya) has been paid to the victim's family or if the family pardons
the offender.
The Sharia law states that if one causes the death or injury to
another, compensation should be paid to the victim (or his family) in
the form of blood money (diya). The value is determined under
Sharia law and is intended to both punish and compensate.
Generally, the life of a Muslim is valued higher than a non-Muslim,
although the value in the UAE is the same regardless of religion or
ethnicity and is set at AED200,000 for all males and AED100,000 for
all females. The blood money can only be claimed if a criminal
prosecution has taken place, and the judge may revise the value.
Blood money is not paid if a person kills another while trying to
defend himself, his family, his property or other individuals and their
property from harm.
-
Purchasing alcohol without a liquor licence
-
Bouncing cheques
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63

Chapter

2

HOTELS & HOSPITALITY

Chapter 2 HOTELS & HOSPITALITY

“Core value No.1. Blow away the customer”.

Sol Kerzner, Founder, CEO and Chairman, Kerzner International Holdings Limited

Atlantis The Palm Hotel Dubai is the Palm Jumeirah's first landmark property
Atlantis The Palm Hotel Dubai is the Palm Jumeirah's first landmark property

Hotels & Hospitality

Mythical Atlantis

A near perfect replica of its sister property in Nassau, Bahamas, Atlantis The Palm Hotel Dubai is the Palm Jumeirah's first landmark property. Establishing an iconic resort hotel upon the world's largest land reclamation project is like constructing one fantasy on top of another. The reality however, is a thrilling vacation that leaves you greedy for more. With a lavishly designed water theme park to accommodate happy splashing families galore, the architecture of the 2000-room resort hotel reflects the spirit of Atlantis which spell-binds guests with a spirit of adventure and quasi fantastical make believe come true…

Hotels & Hospitality Mythical Atlantis A near perfect replica of its sister property in Nassau, Bahamas,

The resort is designed based on the mythical lost continent of Atlantis, enriched by with traditional Arabic design themes.

  • 66 Best of Dubai

F or an environment like Dubai that has concentrated its model of real estate

hospitality development on all that is big, shiny and unabashedly lavish, this one-stop leisure destination with its dizzying range of recreational facilities mirrors the spirit of the emirate to perfection. The brain child of maverick global hotelier Sol Kerzner, it's situated at the apex of the Palm Jumeirah's Crescent, majestically crowning the development, an ode to the luxury larger-than life lifestyle for which Dubai is renowned. Once visitors have shopped themselves into

oblivion, Atlantis The Palm Hotel Dubai is the ultimate choice for those looking for additional sensory stimulation. Visitors don't need to venture out for recreational alternatives. With its

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Best of Dubai
67

amalgamation of water themed parks such as the Ambassador Lagoon with several hundred species of marine life, the Lost Chambers featuring an archaeological underwater site and The Dolphin Bay, yet another exciting spot where communing with marine mammals becomes the highlight of any trip, choice and diversity reigns supreme. With two monorail stations linking it to the main stalk of the Palm Jumeirah, reaching the property becomes an adventure in itself.

Adventure

A water playground of over 18 million litres

of water, consisting of extraordinary rides with cascades, tidal waves and rapids, and the Mesopotamian-styled Ziggurat temple reaching over 30 metres into the sky and featuring seven heart-pumping water slides - two of which catapult riders through shark-filled lagoons.

The Lost Chambers

In a tribute to the surrounding sea, designers and artists from around the world are creating the ultimate resort destination with a stunning array of sculptures, artwork, hand-painted murals, exquisite fountains and waterfalls and innovative design by some of the world's most renowned designers including David Rockwell, Adam Tihany, Jeffrey Beers and

Wilson and Associates.

Wellness

The Spa & Fitness Centre at Atlantis, The Palm captures the imagination and curiosity drawing them into a haven of relaxation and well being. Upon entering the new two storey 1900 square metre Spa in the Royal Towers, guests are greeted by a serene water wall. The earthy hues and streaming water pathway guides guests on their voyage to tranquility and onto

the 27 treatment rooms where both wet and dry therapies are offered. The Royal Spa suite with exclusive entrance includes a private pedestal jetted tub, lounge area and terrace, all large enough to share, whilst the treatment room allows for couple therapies. The Spa also boasts exhaustive salon services for His and Hers mega pampering and beautifying fests

Dining & Entertainment

From fine dining to fun and family dining,

celebrity chefs to poolside snacks, indoor dining to al-fresco - Atlantis has 17 restaurants, bars and lounges to suit every taste. The world-renowned Nobu, as well as an authentic Parisian Brasserie at Rostang, by two star Michelin Chef Michel Rostang also features amongst many more.

Recreation

Set within manicured aquatic gardens, the Family Pool and Royal Pool have views towards The Palm. Water sports such as windsurfing and kayaking can be enjoyed from the Atlantis beach. In a cosmopolitan avenue of retail boutiques, guests can browse some of the world's most sought-after brands. Stylish restaurants and an ultra-chic nightclub are interspersed within these atmospheric boulevards to create a focal point of vibrant retail energy. For children of every age, fun-filled clubs and programmes designed to engage and excite abound. Through science and nature groups, arts and crafts sessions and a marine welfare programme, children are encouraged to learn whilst playing within a fully supervised environment.

Tel: +9714 426 1000 www.atlantisthepalm.com

F or an environment like Dubai that has concentrated its model of real estate hospitality development

The resort overlooks the tropical landscape and lapping waters between the central fronds and the crescent of the Palm Jumeirah.

Hotels & Hospitality

With the most distinct address in

Dubai: One Sheikh Zayed Road, the Monarch Dubai features 33 floors of majestic ambience

Catering to all travellers, welcome to a hotel with a dedicated business centre: 13 meeting rooms, 2 boardrooms, Separate offices; as well as conference butlers too. Not to mention its hedonistic spa and 8 restaurants and bars.

The Monarch Dubai is the flagship property of the Refad Hotels & Resort Group from Kuwait

Royal Hospitality

The market for bespoke service is soaring in Dubai, as increasingly discerning residents and visitors alike continue to demand hospitality tailor-made to their every need. Flexibility, meticulous attention to detail and above all that personal touch are the ultimate corner stones of success. Whilst the hotel industry has been quick to adapt to this increasing focus on the guests as individuals with specific needs, rather than a homogenous clientele to service en masse, one new brand has made it the basis of their strategy for progress.

Hotels & Hospitality With the most distinct address in Dubai: One Sheikh Zayed Road, the Monarch

Environmental issues are on everybody's minds these days. At the Monarch, technologies have been employed to save energy, such as sensors turning on corridor lights, as well as purchasing local produce where possible to reduce carbon-footprint, not to mention butlers asking guests whether they want fresh towels or will re-use the ones they have. This is a hotel where sophisticated luxury meets unrivalled service, where highly trained staff go that extra inch further and where business can be conducted with ease - with so much included why would you ever need to leave?

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R eal estate dictates aside, even when it comes to hotels it's always about 'location, location,

R eal estate dictates aside, even when it comes to hotels it's always about 'location,

location, location'. With an unbeatable address: 1, Sheikh Zayed Road, spelling the kudos that comes with being the numero uno in a row of other five star properties, the Monarch Dubai has a regal presence that rings truer than its mere name. Standing proudly opposite the World Trade Centre, boasting dramatic sea views on its north-western side, not to mention a ballroom holding up to 550 people, a hedonistic spa and four restaurants

developed to give a kick to even the most

jaded of palates, the Quantoum-room Monarch Dubai is a newcomer that has already made a magnificent entry. "We are looking to establish a name not only for the property but also for the Monarch Dubai brand" explains general manager Henning Fries. This is why as starting out with a new brand and a new philosophy, it is so important to get things right." With a soft launch opening that has gone on for several months, tantalising pundits keen to experience their five-star deluxe offering, the personalized service unfolds the moment guests arrive at the airport and are escorted away from the madding crowds by limousine to their rooms, all of which are the amongst the most spacious in Dubai. "We would like to think we have conceptualized something with longevity that is doing well now and will continue to do so tomorrow. This is not like your corporate branded hotel which may be spreading throughout the region cookie cutter- like", says Henning, a newcomer to the region with extensive global hospitality experience in the some of the same hotel chains he wishes the Monarch Dubai to be different from. From the second you are greeted by your own butler on call 24/7, it's evident that the stringent 3:1 staff to room ratio is an indulgence that would not be difficult getting used to. "We are not a volume hotel; we will never be a volume hotel because of our limited number of rooms, but we differentiate

R eal estate dictates aside, even when it comes to hotels it's always about 'location, location,

ourselves with the product - which is quite spectacular - as well as with the level of service which we have introduced," he adds. And with a value addition such as a complimentary two-hour meeting room facility for impromptu business occasions to help put work pressures at bay, his claims to uniqueness ring true. Fries adds that the property, owned by Kuwaiti Refad Hotels and Resorts, was aiming for "the very sophisticated, well-travelled clientele with a high expectation of service". Strolling into the grandiose lobby yields an enticing vision of glass and mahogany, which certainly lends a majestic air to the entire property on 33 floors. Both a business hotel and an urban city leisure enclave, the business facilities are world class. With a dedicated centre that has 13 meeting rooms, two boardrooms, an open-plan business area, separate offices and conference butlers, as well as high-speed wireless Internet and the latest audio-visual conference aids too, it's obvious as to why the Monarch Dubai is attracting the hallowed level of clientele and repeat clients that it does. In his view, this is necessary. "Whereas other properties have the support of a brand which is already established, we do not, so we have to establish the brand first, which makes it all the

more interesting and all the more challenging for us to come into the competitive market of Dubai with a brand that is quite unknown." With a second hotel of the newly founded group known as 'The Square' in Dubai Media City, Fries is building a team that is service focussed, well trained and committed to the hotel. With Teutonic precision, every step of the hospitality experience unfurls seamlessly. From the dinner at the soon to be opened Empire uber luxe restaurant presided over by the ebullient Chef Axel, to the Indonesian spa experience to rival Dubai's more established global players, the Monarch Dubai is conquering with its understated class. "The trend towards themed or celebrity associated hotels and partnering up with brands is an attempt at differentiation and a passing fad" he says, "One that we do not feel the need to capitulate to." Small touches like 'lift-boys' evokes a yearning for service one seldom sees anymore, as hoteliers becomes slaves to the dreaded 'Return On Investment' strictures. "Our principals take a long term view on their investments which is a good thing, as getting it right takes time. Only then it will make money for its shareholders", he concludes.

Tel: +971 4 501 8888 www.monarchdubai.com

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Hotels & Hospitality

248 - all suites

Raffles

11

RafflesAmrita Spa has

7 treatment rooms as well as an outside pool, gym, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi

11 meeting spaces with state-of-the-art audio- visual equipment and wireless technology.

10 km to the public beach

Hotels & Hospitality 248 - all suites Raffles 11 RafflesAmrita Spa has 7 treatment rooms as

Eschewing the traditional colonial feel of its Singaporean sister property, Raffles Dubai has positioned itself aesthetically several centuries earlier. In keeping with the Egyptian-inspired adjacent mall 'Wafi', the 19-storey property launched in 2007 may not have the historical track record but has certainly got the 'wow' factor of its counterpart in Singapore. Today, Raffles Dubai has forged a distinguished identity for itself on Dubai's hotel landscape.

Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption
Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption
I n a city renowned for its five star hotels, innovative architecture and inimitable displays of

I n a city renowned for its five star hotels, innovative architecture and inimitable

displays of opulence and with a name associated with some of the highest rated hotels across the globe, Raffles Dubai has high standards to live up to. However it not only succeeds in maintaining the brand's reputation for elegance and bespoke

service, but also manages to add that extra

dose of indulgence. Opened in November 2007, the 19-storey, 100-metre-high pyramidal structure inspired by ancient Egyptian architecture occupies a much coveted location in the heart of the city; a mere ten minute drive from the airport and adjacent to Wafi, one of Dubai's most exclusive lifestyle complexes. For business people and companies lured by this prime position there is a state of the art business centre, eleven large meeting rooms, a ballroom for 500 guests and access to a vast library that includes a vast collection on the region's history, culture and heritage. The glass capstone which forms the top three levels of the hotel provides superb 360 degree views of the city and houses some of the eleven award winning bars and restaurants of which Raffles boasts. Inside, the décor is a sumptuous melding of the Middle East with Asian influences and the attention to detail is meticulous, columns carved with hieroglyphics give the hotel an impressive, yet understated grandeur and the lobby is a stunning expanse of marble with lofty ceilings and water displays. However, one of the most original features of Raffles Dubai is its one hectare tropical Raffles Botanical Garden, where guests can wonder through several acres of plants and trees imported from Singapore. The garden provides an oasis of tranquillity in the centre of the busy city and has been themed around the four elements of

I n a city renowned for its five star hotels, innovative architecture and inimitable displays of

life: Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. Raffles Dubai also somehow manages to always add that unexpected and impressive 'extra', for example, take the cooling system under the pavement around the pools…It will ensure never to burn your feet even though it's under the hot sun all day. For guests seeking ultimate relaxation there is also the famous RafflesAmrita Spa, which is comprised of seven luxurious treatment rooms, including a Couple's Suite and an outside Retreat, located in the Raffles Botanical Garden, with a myriad of exclusive treatments to indulge in and truly make this a spa experience to remember. The Egyptian Gold facial in particular stands out as a particularly opulent treat, a face mask composed of 24 carat gold that leaves the skin glowing and radiant. Another secret of Raffles' phenomenal

success and the recognition it has achieved on the international stage is the size and design of the Suites. Larger than any other in Dubai, they are meticulously crafted to create a luxurious and refined environment - more of a sanctuary than a hotel room. Whilst this hotel is certainly a fresh take on the Raffles brand, certain aspects are still a given, for example the staff, drawn from 42 nations, includes some of the Singaporeans whose Asian service standards are legendary. This influence is apparent from the calm, quiet and efficient service. Between the striking architecture, award winning cuisine and flawless service, Raffles Dubai is sure to remain one of the cities' major landmarks for years to come.

Tel: + 9714 324 8888 www.dubai.raffles.com

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Hotels & Hospitality

242

Argentinean, Oriental

4

   

and Thai

The Spa offers a variety of treatments with highly professional staff

Exquisite views on the Burj

The Palace - The Old Town

Hotels & Hospitality 242 Argentinean, Oriental 4 and Thai The Spa offers a variety of treatments

Taking pride of place in the nascent Burj Dubai Downtown district, welcome to The Palace - The Old Town’s initial foray into the five star hospitality league. Redefining quality and service benchmarks in the emirate with a resort hotel in the midst of the city, this 242-room property delights with its idyllic film set architecture and regal service.

Hotels & Hospitality 242 Argentinean, Oriental 4 and Thai The Spa offers a variety of treatments

The Palace, The Old Town is located within Downtown Burj Dubai and has 242 well-appointed guestrooms and suites including the imperial suite with an enchanting Middle Eastern ambience.

T he juxtaposition of old versus new has never been an issue in the amorphous urban-scape of Dubai where frenetic change is the only

constant, and where viable parameters of description are 'new, newer and newest'. The Palace enveloped by The Old Town that launched in October 2007 has managed to capture an Arabian setting that harmoniously blends tradition and modernity. With the Burj Dubai close at hand - the world's tallest tower - standing as a proud testament to Dubai's commitment to architectural 'vertical explosion', this flagship development by Emaar Properties forms an integral component of Emaar's integrated mega real estate Downtown project. Built on the edge of a lake, this ambitious blend of the Arabesque and ultra modern, boasts all 242 rooms including 81 suites with balconies overlooking the lake or the Old Town Island. Inside, spacious, well appointed public areas and a level of service fit for a king make its name ring true. The current Belgian GM; Olivier Heuchenne took over in April 2008 after those days when The Old Town Island was surrounded by a forest of

  • 72 Best of Dubai

With its South American culinary authenticity and unbeatable feel good vibes, Asado is a ‘must try’

With its South American culinary authenticity and unbeatable feel good vibes, Asado is a ‘must try’ fine dining eatery in the midst of Dubai’s hippest new district.

yellow cranes, and the property itself was a mere shell. Today, it is the centrepiece of one of the world's most talked about new districts. It is the task of the current team, headed by Heuchenne who has senior global hospitality

experience and a hand-on attitude, to ensure that Emaar's five star premium property gets it right - for the long term. Recruiting a multicultural 35 nation staff and training them to high standards is also important as "the human side is vital, you have to make the staff feel at home and then they will treat the guests as though they are in their own home," explains Heuchenne. The personalized service structure of the staffing is designed in such a way that "from the moment guests are met at the entrance, to the 24-hour butler service, ensures that guests needs are fully met and exceeded" he says. When it comes to good food and great vibes, a Latino pizzazz is felt on the design of Asado, the Argentinean restaurant. Reminiscent of a modern 'estancia' with a beautiful indoor-outdoor feel and wooden panels adding warmth to the stone clad walls, the prime cuts of meat, cooked in traditional style over an open fire of glowing embers, are a tasty reminder of what fine meat really tastes like. The selection of wines is also unique, offering the finest collection of Argentine beverages in town. Apart from an exhaustive menu charting original options ranging from Andean river trout, to traditional Argentine beef, chicken and fish stews, the Asado has already taken on the comfortable feel of a popular gourmet landmark in the Downtown area rapidly gaining ground faster than you can say 'Ole'.

With its South American culinary authenticity and unbeatable feel good vibes, Asado is a ‘must try’

The Palace Suite, sound sleep has never been so comfortable

After a fine dining experience the night before and a sumptuous breakfast the morning after, the best place to disappear to for a further indulgent experience is The Spa. With a comprehensive treatment menu with a fusion twist, the separate areas for men and women that each boast an oriental bath house complete with hammams, monsoon showers, steam rooms, hydro bath and relaxation lounges represent the umpteenth reminder of the properties' sterling luxury credentials. Another value addition open to resident membership, is the well equipped and spacious fitness centre, important to travelling business people too. With an outdoor swimming pool, this is a business

resort that geared up to cater for the diverse segments seamlessly. What's going on is already great, but things can only get better for The Palace - The Old Town…As the Downtown project matures, the setting will become even more stunning with water taxis whisking guests off the Souk al Bahar, an Arabian inspired waterside shopping market, and Dubai Mall, one of the world's largest shopping and entertainment destinations. Clearly in a short time, it has joined the ranks of the luxury lifestyle that Dubai has become famous for.

Tel: +9714 428 7888 www.thepalace-dubai.com

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Hotels & Hospitality

Old Town precinct of Downtown

187

Complimentary and available in public areas

Definitive Hospitality

3

10 km to the public beach

Southern Sun's first hotel in the region entered Dubai's hotel-scape by positioning itself as a 'four-star' deluxe property surrounded by five-star bigwigs in one of the cities' hippest new districts, 'Downtown'. Today the Al Manzil is giving them all a run for their money, with occupancy rates above the market prove its runaway success.

Hotels & Hospitality Old Town precinct of Downtown 187 Complimentary and available in public areas Definitive

Boasting 197 rooms, eight junior suites and two special rooms for physically challenged guests and their carers, the property is an individual expression of the ethos of Burj Dubai; the twin values of innovation and tradition: Clean, modern lines contrast pleasingly with the textures and artifacts of ancient Arabia.

Hotels & Hospitality Old Town precinct of Downtown 187 Complimentary and available in public areas Definitive

O perations were tough when it opened in January 2007, as the 197-room contemporary business

hotel with a resort-like feel was in the middle of a practically impenetrable construction site, surrounding the vertical monolith, otherwise known as 'Burj Dubai'. With the 164 story-tall skyscraper nearing completion by end 2009, the infrastructure linking this bespoke integrated area replete with homes, souks, offices and hotels is now in place - as is the awareness of Al Manzil's existence that caters to both in-bound travellers and local residents in search of a convenient place to chill. Aside from its killer location, great restaurants and

appealing price bracket, it is not only the clean minimalist décor with an understated Arabesque twist that makes this business hotel the ideal destination for modern business travellers. What you'll find is more enduring than a fusion of old and new. John de Canha, the ebullient South African Operations Director of Al Manzil and Qamardeen Hotels, with over 25 years of

hospitality experience worldwide, sums up the ethos of the brand, which sets it apart as the EQi, not the I.Q.

of the staff.

He said "It is not about the décor, but the

soul of the business, the heart carries you through to the finishing line." This is why the over 250 strong team, all have to undergo a rigorous exam to explore their 'emotional intelligence' quotient. "As seasoned hoteliers we can mould individual skill sets, what we cannot do is alter personal levels of integrity, morals and commitment, and this is why our recruitment approach has propelled Southern Sun to global levels of success and popularity with 80 properties throughout Africa, the Indian Ocean and recently into the Middle East". Not surprisingly the genuine warmth with which you are greeted and treated at every step of the way stands out throughout the entire product delivery. In its first year, the Al Manzil has had a staggering 37 per cent repeat business; clearly they must be doing something right. Even though the Al Manzil is a 4-star property - albeit deluxe version - in an environment desperately in need of product segmentation in order to accommodate the 15 million visitors expected to take Dubai by storm by 2015, John believes that there is still enormous scope for investors to target high end hotels because of the speed at which the sector is growing, and the premium rates that can be commanded. As newcomer to Dubai Inc's inimitable style of management, he is amazed at the relentless coordination by all the different areas of the government to ensure that the infrastructure, from airport capacity, numbers of aircraft, hotel

  • 74 Best of Dubai

Twenty minutes away from the airport, and even closer to beaches and the Dubai World Trade

Twenty minutes away from the airport, and even closer to beaches and the Dubai World Trade Centre Exhibition Grounds with easy access from Sheikh Zayed Road, the Al Manzil is walking distance to exclusive dining and entertainment of Old Town Island, as well as Burj Dubai Lake Park, Burj Dubai Boulevard and Dubai Mall too.

rooms, exhibition areas and a multiplicity of entertainment attractions, all come together. When it comes to food and beverage, the Al Manzil has given an innovative spin on the typical sports bar concept at 'Nezesaussi', a clever name that is a mnemonic of New Zealand, South Africa and Australia combined. The food, feel and rugby memorabilia would make any Antipodean feel well at home, as well as serving as an authentic showpiece for the most popular fare from those areas. This specialty grill and bar restaurant, with sports entertainment, seats a 120 and offers a fantastic variety of two dozen bottled beers and wines from these three countries. Says Nezesaussi Manager, Philip Adamson who opened the outlet which is now becoming a firm favourite with residents and hotel guests alike, "We are keen to create a vibe, but not at the cost of comfort. That's why we are strict about allowing a maximum of 180 people in at any one time. This ensures that the outlet is throbbing, but not teaming with crowds that would make dining and conversation difficult". Aside from all-day dining at the Mediterranean restaurant ‘Conservatory’, the open Courtyard restaurant offers a landscaped environment from which to contemplate the extraordinary architecture of Al Manzil Hotel; the imposing modernity contrasting with minaret like arches by day, the clear night sky and twinkling Arabic lanterns by night, where aromatic 'hubbly bubbly'

Twenty minutes away from the airport, and even closer to beaches and the Dubai World Trade

The Nezesaussi grill offers traditional meals typical of each country - boerewors sausages, the best tender steaks, lamb as only sampled Down Under. The portions are generous, and the serving staff can't do enough for you.

shisha can be enjoyed crowning a touch of Arabic hospitality at the heart of it all. This four star gem is outstanding value for money, particularly when compared to Dubai's vastly overpriced five star hotels. Truly at 'the heart of it all' with the perfect combination of modern business facilities, traditional Arabic feel and supreme service - it's twice the welcome that awaits you.

Tel: + 9714 428 5888 www.almanzilhotel.com

Twenty minutes away from the airport, and even closer to beaches and the Dubai World Trade

Living up to its ethos as a four star hotel, the Al Manzil boasts traditional architecture with today's modern living standards.

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Within the Burj Dubai residential and commercial complex

Two boardrooms with 24 hour availability

A revolution in hospitality

10 km to the airport

Fitness centre and outdoor swimming pool

Carving a niche for itself among Dubai's 4 star properties because of its excellent range of services and seriously hip positioning, the Qamardeen Hotel accounts for its popularity in myriad ways designed to keep guests coming back for more.

Hotels & Hospitality 186 Within the Burj Dubai residential and commercial complex Two boardrooms with 24
Hotels & Hospitality 186 Within the Burj Dubai residential and commercial complex Two boardrooms with 24

Situated in the upscale Downtown Burj Dubai area, at the foot of the world's tallest tower, and largest shopping mall, Qamardeen combines basic necessities with upscale amenities.

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Space and refinement Choice and taste
Space and refinement
Choice and taste

E veryone knows that Dubai, one of the most prosperous among the

seven Emirates of the UAE, has emerged - like a Sphinx in the

desert - as an attention grabbing tourist destination that is

determined to appeal to the widest cross section of travellers possible. From business travellers and long haul transit passengers with a stop over to enjoy, to shopping, pampering and partying aficionados, millions of tourists flock to the city to get a feel of this bustling Arabian hub of

commerce, bling and shopping. Situated in the upscale Downtown Burj Dubai area, at the foot of the world's tallest tower, and largest shopping mall, Qamardeen combines basic necessities with upscale amenities. For starters, one of the components of its popularity is the 186 tastefully decorated rooms. "We have a duty to cater to the diverse needs of our guests by offering a wide range of rooms, Twin and Queen rooms, Executive and Deluxe suites each having a unique aesthetic flavour of their own. After all, nowadays it's not just about having a well stocked mini bar, or a room with a view - an overall ambience of understated, open plan luxury is what our guests expect", explains General Manager, John Aritho. "Guests are looking for a stay that is seamless in service with efficient technology, uncluttered spaces and personal touches in the whole experience. This is what our staff do most naturally. We have a truly wonderful bunch of people working here because they love serving people and seeing guests genuinely happy.” Therefore, hotel amenities and services are arranged so as to attain the utmost satisfaction of the guests. Food wise, you can enjoy lip-smacking Mediterranean delicacies in the all-day dining restaurant of the hotel, known as 'Esca'. With gorgeous hues, intricate wall decorations, as well as evocative poolside dining, any meal - whether buffet or a' la carte, leisurely or snappy - is a cut above the rest in its category. "The formidable challenge for a four star property under stringent return on investment parameters, is to offer a delicious menu and ensure impeccable product delivery at the right price for all concerned" explains Esca Manager Sanjay Bhoola. "Gone are the days of white truffles and vintage champagne, but the pleasure of serving fine food with a gourmet twist are still very much here". This is why the 'Antipasti' platter sampled didn't just have ham and cheese, but rather sweet Parma ham, gently marinated artichokes and a 'haute cuisine' presentation that did not reflect its reasonable rate. Or why the 'Crusted queen prawns' were as succulent and plump as any in

a restaurant charging 40 per cent more. Explains Executive Chef, Bernd Geiger, "As professionals in a field that is growing rapidly, we are proud and delighted to be in Dubai which is fast becoming a culinary hot spot and a favoured location for all of us in this field. Therefore only the best will do and quality and creativity in my kitchen reigns supreme". The poached salmon and Moroccan chicken tagine were respectively a perfect case in point: the first was probably the juiciest steak enjoyed in a long time and the latter was served with the chicken and cous cous separately - "this is because we have such a mix of diners that we have to innovate and create dishes suited to their taste buds and ways of eating" he adds. Managed by Southern Sun Hotels, Africa’s leading hotel brand, boasts a sister property, the Al Manzil, just down the road, replete with a souk and additional restaurants, is more Arabesque, whilst the Qamardeen has a more sedate, but equally appealing vibe. Its contemporary accommodation, clean minimalist design, with the perfect blend of Arabic and contemporary, is reinforced by its excellent staff which is the cornerstone of the properties' success. They have ensured high occupancy rates and 42% repeated business since the 186-room hotel launched in 2006. "We believe in offering genuine service to guests that is based on being intuitive and pre-empting their needs at all times", says General Manager, John Aritho. Superlative service notwithstanding, this modern hotel with its imposing Arabian façade is also a winner because it's ideally located in the Burj Dubai commercial and residential complex, seven kilometres from the beach and other attractions. A complimentary shuttle bus makes regular scheduled runs to Jumeirah Beach Park, the Mall of the Emirates and the Gold and Diamond Park in Al Barsha to make commuting easier for guests. And last but not least, the heart of any hotel is its lobby that should be a genuine expression of any properties character. Even here, the Qamardeen does not disappoint. The lobby lounge is a veritable meeting place with a buzz and a 24-hour coffee shop that opens onto an outdoor terrace and is equipped with complimentary wireless Internet access. With a fitness centre and outdoor pool boasting a sun terrace and poolside bar close by, it abounds in everything - except for steep rates.

Tel: +971 4 428 6888 www.qamardeenhotel.com

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Hotels & Hospitality

Hotels & Hospitality Switch on to sustainability In view of the need for a serious energy

Switch on to sustainability

In view of the need for a serious energy conservation strategy being enacted by Dubai's hotels, products, strategies and services are being developed by Phillips in order to assist hospitality groups to lower Co2 emissions in line with Dubai government directives. D.P. Smedema, General Manager, Phillips Middle East, Designation, airs his views on the way forward.

Hotels & Hospitality Switch on to sustainability In view of the need for a serious energy

DP Smedema, General Manager, Philips Lighting Middle East

Phillips supports a sustainable approach towards the hospitality industry, which includes training technical staff of all
Phillips supports a sustainable approach towards the hospitality industry, which includes training technical staff of all major
hotel chains. They are planning workshops together with the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in
November 2008 to increase awareness of energy consumption in hotels and support them towards energy efficient solutions.
Philips is also putting together a green week in Dubai to strengthen public awareness towards energy saving.
Park Hyatt Dubai, Lighting Design by Stephen Gough of Project Lighting Design Photo courtesy Lumasense
Park Hyatt Dubai, Lighting Design by Stephen Gough of Project Lighting Design
Photo courtesy Lumasense

Philips is growing its lighting division in the Middle East, especially in the hospitality sector. Building on current lighting contracts with major hotel chains, they are joining forces with top players in transforming them into 'green' hotels by supplying them with latest innovations using more LED technology. Philips aims to continue supporting the hospitality industry as well as the government in making the Middle East sustainable, astounding other parts of the world, with its track record of sustainability.

S ince 2008 Philips Middle East, headquartered in Dubai, has been working with the hotels in making energy scans of their

hotel facilities, giving recommendations on how to improve their energy efficiency by a simple lamp replacement, without changing the fitting or fixture. Commonly used products like incandescent light bulbs can easily be replaced by energy saving lamps, called compact fluorescent lamps with integrated transformer. This replacement will immediately save 80 per cent on energy consumption, reducing the CO2 by 41kg per year per lamp. Philips Ambiance range has been created for hospitality and homes, since they save energy without disturbing the ambience in the room. Another popular lamp in hotels is the halogen reflector, or dichroic, which can directly be replaced by the Philips MASTERLine ES. This switch saves 40 per cent on energy consumption and cost, also lasting 2-3 times longer, which dramatically reduces maintenance, saving time and money. An electronic transformer (e.g. Philips ET-S) is strongly recommended to ensure that the specified lifetime is reached and energy saving

of the total light system is guaranteed. Since last year we have reached the next step in energy saving measures:

LED technology

With retrofit lamps like MASTERLED 7W replacing a

... 35W halogen reflector lamp, or 40W incandescent light bulb, significant energy can be spared. Occasionally, a so-called mockup room is installed with the proposed energy efficient lighting solution to check the acceptability of the total atmosphere.

In comparison to the rest of the world, how important is this area regionally in your overall operations in terms of growth prospects, turnover and market share?

For Philips, hospitality is becoming a professional segment with a cross Product Division approach (Lighting and Consumer lifestyle) with dominantly sustainable solutions. With a leading position in the lighting industry to increase energy saving, and a high position on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Sustainable solutions are one of Philips core competences. With the growing need of energy efficient solutions in this

hospitality segment in the Middle East, it is vital to become a key supplier of energy efficient lighting and consumer lifestyle solutions in the region's hotel industry.

Are your clients primarily hotels or other commercial developers? Are there differences in the ranges of products you supply between one type of client/segment to another?

The hotel segment is a growing professional segment, which we serve next to office, industry, retail and outdoor. Each asks for a different

approach and different products/solutions. Where road lighting mainly uses high pressure sodium lamps, offices ask for fluorescent lighting solutions and fashion shops are moving from halogen towards compact discharge lamps. What they all have in common is the increasing need for energy efficient solutions.

In terms product imports of all types, this region is notoriously price conscious and often capitulates to cheap imports from South East Asia

that may not have the quality benchmarks set by Phillips. How do you counter unfair competition?

Because of limited knowledge and awareness in the Middle East towards lighting, it is difficult to recognize and appreciate the difference between one lamp and another. So logically consumers purchase the cheapest lamp as long as it fits. Only after usage they experience that lifetime is short, light output is fades fast or lamps simply change colour. To ensure consumers purchase the right product to prevent disappointment, we are setting up training programs and workshops in hotels and other segments. After which, those this who attended the course are better prepared to take the right decisions about their lighting, recognizing the difference between the initial cost of a lamp and the value of lighting. After all, the cheapest lamp is actually the most expensive lighting solution.

Tel: + 9714 309 5035 www.mea.philips.com

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Chapter

3

CASUAL DINING AND F&B

Chapter 3 CASUAL DINING AND F&B

“The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star”.

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, French lawyer, politician and gastronome (1755-1826)

“The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery
“The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery
“The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery

Casual Dining and F&B

The Pizza Company

Welcome to the Thai pizza, spiked with lemongrass and topped with coconut scrapings and the ubiquitous Thai chillies. Who says that mozzarella is the only way to go in the pizza lexicon? At Pizza Company, tradition meets innovation ushering a fresh taste and unique flavours. That's not to say that staple favourites are ignored - they are all there and they are all yummy.

Casual Dining and F&B The Pizza Company Welcome to the Thai pizza, spiked with lemongrass and
Casual Dining and F&B The Pizza Company Welcome to the Thai pizza, spiked with lemongrass and

P izza lore is rife with tales of wood fired ovens, creamy Mozzarella, plum tomatoes and freshly picked Mediterranean herbs. At the Pizza Company

vision takes on a different tinge as the pizza takes shape in a totally different

incarnation. You blend in exotic flavours, unusual toppings on the good old grandma's secret recipe of pizza dough and what have you got? A Thai pizza… Replete with lemongrass flavours wafting across the pizza cutter, the inevitable Thai chillies, coconut scrapings and prawns. "And it's got a Thai name - Tom Yun Kung' pizza", smiles Roshan Bandara, Director of Operations. This is the Pizza Company's signature pizza and a top favourite with customers across all outlets in Dubai. Apart from the freshest and the best ingredients that go into making it, there's a substantial proportion of creativity too. Because the Pizza Company staunchly stands by its policy of saying no to processed ingredients, it also says yes to innovation and novelty. And that is actually the secret to this chain's success. Innovation and tradition go hand in hand at the Pizza Company with its full menu of Italian staples such as fresh pastas, salads and breads to suit every palate. However, why customers prefer the Pizza Company over other similar restaurants is altogether a different matter. It is because the pizza is customised to individual tastes. In addition, all pastas are all made in house, so the whole process works towards the end result of a happy customers

  • 82 Best of Dubai

getting exactly what they want. In the starter menu, it's hard to choose between the delicious

getting exactly what they want. In the starter menu, it's hard to choose between the delicious stuffed calamari and lightly fried succulent squid. For stronger flavours you might want to try a platter of spicy chicken wings and crisp potato wedges. "An unusual spin-off of the fusion menu has been that diners have imbibed the spirit of adventure and experimentation. They come in for the traditional Italian foods and end up mixing flavours. The Asian twist to our menu has actually educated customer tastes". Breaking bread gets a whole new dimension at the Pizza Company - Especially the variety with turkey and cheese twists. With a light flaky texture and chunks of smoked turkey it is enriched with 100 per cent pure milk mozzarella. That's some cheese with oomph…

The pasta station faces the main entrance of the Al Dhiyafa

outlet and you can pick and choose your ingredients and add or subtract a few handfuls and watch your dream pasta taking shape right in front of you. Traditional Italian dishes such as spaghetti with spicy tuna and olive or penne with broccoli and shrimp are light and infused with bursts of refreshing flavours. Or you can opt for the stuffed cannelloni with Parmesan cheese in black pepper and tomato sauce. Better still; try the three- cheese tortellini in pesto and cream sauce. "The Pizza Company has rolled out some unique flavours such as the Quatro Fromaggio, the four cheese special, Tropical Prawn Pizza or the ultra varied Super Supreme - Diners love them all and the mega sizes too".

Dubai

Dubai Healthcare City Tel.: +9714 362 4929

Rigga Road Tel.: +9714 229 9391

Al Diyafa Street Tel.: +9714 345 4848

Sharjah

Crystal Plaza Tel.: +9716 573 3838

Now Open Jumeirah Beach Residence Dubai & Khalidiyah Mall Abu Dhabi

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getting exactly what they want. In the starter menu, it's hard to choose between the delicious

Casual Dining and F&B

Black Canyon

In the brave new world of F&B, remix and fusion rule the roost. At Black Canyon this translates into spicy Thai cuisine in an international template washed down by some imaginative beverages.

I f you are a child of the café culture that has taken hold of the
I f you are a child of the café culture that has
taken hold of the Dubai food-scape then the
Black Canyon Thai Cuisine & Coffee
Restaurant, owned by the Saleh Bin Lahej
Group, is the place to be. Their trendy mix of
spicy Thai fusion cuisine along with some
original Thai staples epitomizes the
international integration of this culture in
Dubai. Coming from its home country
Thailand, the chain has 100 locations world
wide of which Dubai can boast of three.
The restaurants are a favourite hangout for
gastronomes who like to have their daily fix of
caffeine along with some tantalizingly spicy
food. "Black Canyon is not a coffee shop but
its nouvelle café dining restaurant concept
has caught on very well", comments
Mohamed Saleh, Group CEO, Saleh Bin
Lahej Group.
The Black Canyon has seamlessly fused
Continental and Oriental styles of cuisine in
delicious dishes such as spaghetti with green
curry or fettuccini with seafood and chili
paste. But hard core devotees of Thai food
need not be disappointed: the fried rice with
chicken green curry and rice with spicy
seafood and hot basil will convert you into a
regular at the Black Canyon. For those of you
watching your waistline, you have full
permission to gorge on the sinless spicy
seafood salad. By popular demand steaks
and sandwiches are also on the menu.
Now about the coffee part of the Black
Canyon Thai Cuisine & Coffee restaurant - the
wide array of iced,
hot and blended coffees
are exciting and refreshing in their taste and
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presentation. Black Canyon's great selection of teas, juices and smoothies are a good way to neutralise
presentation. Black Canyon's great selection of teas,
juices and smoothies are a good way to neutralise the
spicy flavors of Thai cuisine. The lemon frost and
watermelon frost are firm favourites during the hotter
months in Dubai.
What really sets the restaurant apart from the
competition is the use of fresh herbs, spices and natural
ingredients imported direct from Thailand. In addition,
the restaurant has a 'no monosodium glutamate' policy
on their premises. "Health awareness is high among our
patrons and they feel good to know of our policy," says
Mohamed Saleh. For those with specific food
intolerances or allergies, the restaurant staff is happy to
suggest and rustle up alternatives that could make the
cut as the 'real thing'.
With the wide variety of food and beverages on offer
it's difficult to know what to choose and what to leave for
next time, especially if you are a beginner in Thai or
fusion cuisine. And the 'magazine menus' help to see
what exactly you will be biting into and helps you arrive
at the right menu selection.
The cream and beige interiors set the tone for a
relaxed happy time at the restaurant - A perfect foil for
the sizzling food that follows.
Dubai
Arabian Ranches
Tel: +971 4 360 9981
Dubai Festival City
Tel: +971 4 232 6010
Dubai Healthcare City
Tel: +971 4 362 4824
Now Open
Jumeirah Beach Residence
Dubai

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Casual Dining and F&B

Macaroni Grill

Want to let your hair down and tuck into wholesome food and generous portions? If so, Romano's Macaroni Grill is the place to go. Ideal for families and anyone with a hearty appetite, the variety is great and the vibes even greater.

Casual Dining and F&B Macaroni Grill Want to let your hair down and tuck into wholesome
Casual Dining and F&B Macaroni Grill Want to let your hair down and tuck into wholesome
Casual Dining and F&B Macaroni Grill Want to let your hair down and tuck into wholesome
  • 86 Best of Dubai

Best of Dubai 87 P hil Romano, the guy who started Romano's Macaroni Grill chain of
Best of Dubai 87
Best of Dubai
87
Best of Dubai 87 P hil Romano, the guy who started Romano's Macaroni Grill chain of

P hil Romano, the guy who started Romano's Macaroni Grill chain of restaurants, not only

loved children (crayons and drawing pads on all the tables are a testament to his attentive affection), he loved Tuscan food and he sure loved the idea of feeding the child in each of us. The effusive Italo- American who started the restaurant chain in the US with the idea of bringing a bite of Tuscany to each of his patrons has now moved to this part of the world. Thanks to Emirates international Restaurants LLC member of Saleh Bin Lahej Group bringing this premium franchise to the UAE. The Macaroni Grill is a welcoming place for a break and a bite. Staff greet with proverbial Italian- inspired cordiality, and by way of introduction write down their names with the crayons on table. Upside down… The chefs on duty add additional Italian flavour to the ambience by bursting into song from time to time. It's obvious this is a family restaurant and they want everyone to have loads of fun. This is evident from their wide ranging menu too. Although the Tuscan breads should be on the 'not to be missed' list, there's extensive choice on offer in all courses, something to excite every palate - Including a couple of 'slimmer's' choice' too. The

portions, in keeping with the origin of this restaurant chain, are typically American - huge. So, to all 'grazers' that prefer to taste a bit of everything rather than just fill up on one dish, opting for dishes 'to share' such as squid, bruschetta and fried Mozzarella is ideal. The main course menu is comprehensive enough but whatever the choice; ensure there are vegetables in the dish. No kidding…They are fresh, crisply cooked and utterly delicious. Located at Festival City, Dubai's latest mixed use destination the family eatery is brightly lit, and unlike other restaurants, space between tables is comfortable enough to navigate with prams and truculent toddlers. In addition, the open plan kitchen gives a peak into a spic and span kitchen allowing for the air to infuse with the fresh aroma of herbs. The 52 cover outdoor seating arrangements are banquet style, whilst the middle of the restaurant is usually set for parties. Go on, tuck into some Tuscan bread and pasta, Phil Romano style!

Dubai Festival City

Tel: +9714 232 6001 www.macaronigrill.com

Casual Dining and F&B

Chili’s

The brand's red hot logo is a green signal for amazing food, chilled out ambience and oodles of choice in its menu selection. With several outlets throughout the UAE there's no way anyone can miss a Chili's experience.

Casual Dining and F&B Chili’s The brand's red hot logo is a green signal for amazing
Casual Dining and F&B Chili’s The brand's red hot logo is a green signal for amazing
  • 88 Best of Dubai

Best of Dubai 89 F ood brings people together. The desire for good food, lively conversation
Best of Dubai 89
Best of Dubai
89
Best of Dubai 89 F ood brings people together. The desire for good food, lively conversation

F ood brings people together. The desire for good food, lively conversation and

overall togetherness binds people together like nothing else can. Chili's offers the exact ambience to do so with its great American cuisine, relaxed ambience and food that appeals to all palates. With succulent steaks, grilled goodies and everything else in between, the generous super sized American portions are an additional attraction. Dubai boats ten outlets, in addition to Al Ain,

Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah (Total of sixteen outlets). The franchise is impeccably organised and this is reflective of the uniform standard of quality food, flavours, hygiene and service. All ingredients except for fresh vegetables are imported direct from the US - which is why it's a great place to hang out at especially when ravenous. Gargantuan portions notwithstanding, calorie conscious diners are not overlooked. Chili's 'Guiltless Grill' range, added to the fresh crunchy salads is heavy on

taste and low on guilt. There's a reason why service across the outlets is impeccable, with just the right degree of unobtrusive warmth to make for a homely dining experience. This is because the Saleh Bin Lahej Group, the operating company, enjoys a "Synergistic relationship with our staff leading to high levels of employee retention", explains Hassan Kamel, Director of Operations, who has himself been with the company for ten years. Hassan set up Chili's at the Mall of the Emirates in November 2006 and it's been a great hit since then. With 50 indoors and 110 outdoors run to full capacity, this outlet alone

serves up more than 800 covers daily. "It doesn't really matter that Dubai has a mix of several nationalities, when it comes to American cuisine, they seem to be united in their love of it," beams Kamel. With traditional fajitas and the melt-in-your-mouth Molten Chocolate cake among customer favourites, the pricing convenience is also much appreciated. Welcome to the menu that offers a mind boggling choice in starters, main courses and desserts. So the 'Triple Play' combo, a huge platter of three different starters, seems like a good place to start. For members of the weight watchers club there is another excellent

alternative - the 'Quesadilla Explosion' salad. The main courses feature everything from fish to fowl - steaks, grilled chicken, beef burgers etc. Indeed, the variety on offer that confounds most customers, who seem to constantly come back for more…and more, but it's the dishes that keep cropping up in table orders are the 'Mushroom Jack Fajitas', 'Monterey Jack Cheese Chicken' and the Chili's signature dish of 'Grilled Shrimp Alfredo'. Whether it's with family, friends or solo, if you are looking for an antidote for post shopping blues, a visit to Chili's is the best prescription.

taste and low on guilt. There's a reason why service across the outlets is impeccable, with

Dubai

Abu Dhabi

Mariah Culture Complex:

Al Garhoud: +9714 282 8484

+9712 671 6300

Sheikh Zayed Road: +97140 331 3113 Jumeirah: +9714 344 1300

Al Ain

Deira City Centre: +9714 295 9559

Al Jimi Mall: +9713 763 8020

Dubai Festival City: +9714 232 6000 Health Care City: +97140 362 4820

Sharjah

Green Community: +97140 885 3366

Sahara Centre: +9716 531 8890

Burjuman: +9714 352 2900

Mega Mall: +9716 574 0020

Al Ghurair: +9714 229 6760 Mall of the Emirates: +9714 341 3355

Ras Al Khaima

Now Open Jumeirah Beach Residence Dubai & Khalidiyah Mall Abu Dhabi

Chili's Al Manar Mall: +97170 228 8838

Dubai Abu Dhabi Mariah Culture Complex: Al Garhoud: +9714 282 8484 +9712 671 6300 Sheikh Zayed

Casual Dining and F&B

BreadTalk

“BreadTalk is a combination of unique products and sleek design catering to a funky lifestyle”, says Osama Salhin, President of Hospitality Division, Saleh Bin Lahej Group.

Casual Dining and F&B BreadTalk “BreadTalk is a combination of unique products and sleek design catering
Casual Dining and F&B BreadTalk “BreadTalk is a combination of unique products and sleek design catering
Casual Dining and F&B BreadTalk “BreadTalk is a combination of unique products and sleek design catering
  • 92 Best of Dubai

B readTalk, one of Singapore’s leading brands has crossed the seas with three new branches in
B readTalk, one of Singapore’s leading brands has crossed the seas with three new branches in
B readTalk, one of Singapore’s leading brands has crossed the seas with three new branches in
B readTalk, one of Singapore’s leading brands has crossed the seas with three new branches in

B readTalk, one of Singapore’s leading brands has crossed the seas with three new branches in Dubai under the Bin Lahej banner - one

in Burjuman, another in Dubai Healthcare City and a third on Airport Road. With more than 110 different types of breads and pastries there is more than a little something for everyone. Osama Salhin, President of Hospitality Division Saleh Bin Lahej Group, defines BreadTalk as a ‘bakery boutique,’ “a combination of unique products and sleek design catering to a funky lifestyle” this is an apt description and the creamy orange lounge chairs coupled with colourful wall murals enhance the urban look. To add to its décor, BreadTalk have quirky glass-fronted kitchens that allow glimpses of the chefs busy making bread. This punctuates the aroma of the baking goodies and is an utter tease to the appetite. The branch in Dubai Healthcare City has a stainless steel bread bar running through the store, where you can then pile your choices on a tray like plate and request for your bread to be heated up along with the coffee you might have ordered. On the list of favourites are Rocky Milk- a sweet milky bun, Coffee-o – a flaky bun encrusted with a coffee roof, a curry chicken naan that definitely caters to Dubai’s cosmopolitan culture, a pizza bun and a hot tuna turner. These are just a few of the selections on offer. For the more health-inclined BreadTalk also boasts a fantastic rye and multigrain bread and a sure favourite is the Californian raisin bread, which has just the right amount of sweetness and flakiness to make it simply perfect. The best part is that the bread is always fresh, “We never use or sell bread from the night before - this is vital, after all nobody likes stale bread”, Osama Salhin says. Aimed at families, the BreadTalk branches in Dubai are ‘restaurant- like’ which is specially devised to cater to Dubai’s lifestyle where people just do not grab and go, but instead prefer to laze and munch at the same time. Having won awards in the Far East, BreadTalk is set to wow their Middle East customers with affordable prices, fabulous service and naturally delicious treats.

Dubai

Airport Road Tel: +9714 283 0077 / 283 0055

Burjuman Tel: +9714 351 5254

Dubai Healthcare City Tel: +9714 362 4818

Now Open Khalidiyah Mall Abu Dhabi

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Best of Dubai
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Casual Dining and F&B

Yummm's the word

Casual Dining and F&B Yummm's the word If it's sundae it has to be Swenson's. Whether

If it's sundae it has to be Swenson's. Whether it's classic flavours such as Peachy Mango, Wild Wild Berries, Sticky Chewy Chocolate Double Cream Cookies, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup and Swiss Orange Chips or exotic tastes, Swensen's Ice Cream offers them all. Several of them in 1-pint tubs! That's because Swensen's believes more is better; like it's patrons.

Casual Dining and F&B Yummm's the word If it's sundae it has to be Swenson's. Whether
E arle Swenson figured that sometimes people just can't get enough of sundaes - Beautiful Sundaes,

E arle Swenson figured that sometimes people just can't get enough of sundaes - Beautiful

Sundaes, Super Sundaes, Outrageous Sundaes, Fantasy Supreme Sundaes and Mega Sundaes. The permutation and combination of flavours and toppings goes on and on and on. When he launched his eponymous ice-creams Swensen decided that he would give the world such an immense variety to choose from that they could have a different flavour each day for six months and not repeat it. Indeed a 180 flavours have been offered so far and more are in the pipeline to reach your table. For those of us who prefer death by chocolate here's something to savour: Chocolate fondue - nine mini scoops to

dip into a hot and creamy chocolate sauce. For ice-cream lovers who believe that more is always better, Swenson's has now launched a 1-pint tub in even more exotic and classic flavors such as Peachy Mango, Wild Wild Berries, Sticky Chewy Chocolate Double Cream Cookies, Chocolate Double Cream Cookies, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup and Swiss Orange Chips. Earle Swensen opened his first ice cream store in San Francisco in 1948. It was based on a template of quality, quantity and value for

money; all served in vibrant, unpretentious, family-friendly environment. When his first venture became a hit Swensen
money; all served in vibrant, unpretentious,
family-friendly environment. When his first
venture became a hit Swensen just replicated
the template all over the world with the same
exotic flavours of ice creams, Tiffany lamps, red
upholstery and music to match at each of the
200 Swensen's located today throughout Asia,
the Middle East, USA and South America.
Swenson's ice creams were brought to the
UAE by Bin Lahej International Restaurants in
2005. The first American style ice-cream soda
parlour of Swenson's was launched at the
Crystal Plaza on April 22. The second store
opened at the Al Manar Mall, Ras Al Khaimah on
May 30, 2005 and the third in the Health Care
City, Dubai in December, 2005.
Dubai
Dubai Healthcare City Tel: +971 4 362 4931
Sharjah
Krystal Plaza Tel: +971 6 579 4840
Ras Al Khaimah
Al Manar Mall Tel: +971 7 228 0705

Now Open - Khalidiyah Mall Abu Dhabi

Best of Dubai

95

Casual Dining and F&B

French Connection

With the huge array of eateries in Dubai vying for your custom, deciding on a venue for a family brunch or a welcome lunchtime retreat from the daily grind, can be an daunting and confusing task. And while new premises seem to appear on a daily basis, the proof of the pudding perhaps still lies in those establishments that have stood the test of time, and whose consistency and reliability keeps the customers coming through the door again and again. Such an establishment is French Connection (FC).

Casual Dining and F&B French Connection With the huge array of eateries in Dubai vying for

Farida Bahar, Manager, French Connection

“For those that love the café culture or just want a great meal out with the kids in a friendly atmosphere, we’re always happy to show the hospitality that has made French Connection one of Dubai’s most popular venues”.

Casual Dining and F&B French Connection With the huge array of eateries in Dubai vying for
  • 96 Best of Dubai

Best of Dubai 97 F irst established in 1997, and now with three outlets centrally located
Best of Dubai 97
Best of Dubai
97

F irst established in 1997, and now with three outlets centrally located on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai

Marina and Karama, FC bakery cafés are perfectly positioned to cater for the city’s major business centres and residential areas. But despite its prime locations, FC offers a peaceful, calming atmosphere away from the hussle and bustle, while spaciously and tastefully decorated in neutral tones. On visiting the Sheikh Zayed Road outlet, we were unable to hear any traffic noise, and were treated to a quiet, comfortable haven where we could relax and savour our meal. “We aim to provide a warm and friendly sanctuary from the busy and often hectic life found in Dubai,” says Farida Bahar, the Sheikh Zayed Road outlet’s manager. The menu is varied and suitable for a variety of needs, whether it be a family brunch (the kids will love the pizza, crispy fries, and selection of ice cream), all-day breakfast (cooked or continental), taking the weight off with a hot or cold coffee (the mocha frappé is to die for), croissant or fresh pastry selection, or the extensive lunch menu including a wide variety of salads and sandwiches. Such choice is also reflected in the opening hours – from 7am to 1am daily. All with a smile and attentive service that makes for a relaxed and thoroughly enjoyable experience. The wide selection of fresh bread and pastries, all freshly made by FC’s own chefs, is a pleasure to behold – exquisitely arranged behind the counter in all their mouth-watering splendour. And you won’t be disappointed. The traditional French specialty Millefeuille is a case in point, made with a divine creaminess and layers of ultra light pastry that simply melt in your mouth, it is a firm favourite with all. “We also have an outside catering division, delivering to businesses or private functions such as birthday parties or wedding cakes made to order,” adds Farida. “We can also meet specific dietary requirements – without eggs or to meet diabetic requirements for example. In general, our pastries are made with less sugar, so that they’re not overly sweet, but of course still delicious.” The outside catering menu is again varied, offering pastries, croissants, mini sandwiches, vol au vents, plus platters of cold cuts, fruits or salad. Plus the regular menu is also available for take away. For those dining on the premises that just need a bit of time on their own, FC provides a good reading selection as you walk through the door. And for those that want to catch up on a bit of work, “all three branches are WIFI hotspots, which customers can take advantage of at no extra cost,” volunteers Farida. Originally established from what was identified as a gap in the market, FC became what it describes as “the first trendy designed bakery café in Dubai.” With the development of the newer areas of the city such as Dubai Marina, it certainly isn’t the last. Time has also seen many come and go under the pressures of fierce competition – but not so with FC. Built on the reputation of the quality of its food, its friendly service and welcoming ambience, all the indications are that FC is here to stay.

Tel: +9714 343 8311 www.fcdubai.com

Casual Dining and F&B

Casual Dining and F&B Appetite for success Chances are that every time you pick up a

Appetite for success

Chances are that every time you pick up a sandwich or salad from the local supermarket, it will be emblazoned with the distinctive red and white 'Appetite' logo. With a daily production of around 70 different varieties of high quality items and a burgeoning catering business with clients ranging from Embassies, large corporates and major supermarkets, the power couple behind the Appetite success typify the genre of dedicated expatriates establishing themselves in Dubai, where entrepreneurial possibilities abound. Established in 2005, Appetite is just one of these fledgling companies riding on the emirate's growth curve and its seemingly inexorable desire for good food and great variety.

With top basic ingredients and wholesome recipes, the taste takes care of itself
With top basic ingredients and wholesome
recipes, the taste takes care of itself

When and why did you develop the idea to set up Appetite?

We recognised how it was impossible to buy a delicious high quality sandwich off-the-shelf in Dubai and this gap in the market spurred us on to create the Appetite concept.

What challenges did you meet in setting up the business?

It took months to find premises, but eventually we found a location in Qusais. We transformed the site ourselves as contractors were not interested in our small venture; we were mere small fry to them. Subsequently, we had to find the right suppliers. Our status as a fledgling new business, requiring small quantities meant this was a challenge for us. We started with just two staff and so we also wore all hats, making deliveries, buying goods, cooking cleaning and managing the accounts ourselves.

What is the philosophy behind your brand and food?

It's simple - we are dedicated to making fresh, delicious food. Our work ethic is to constantly improve our recipes, striving for the best in all areas. Customers rely on our consistency and dedication to quality.

Explain the Dubai snack food and catering markets

There is a deficit in high quality, reasonably priced foods in Dubai and we aim to fill this

gap. Corporate catering is also a rapidly expanding market for us. We do not advertise, we grow via recommendations from one customer to another. We are expanding our catering department and believe it will grow significantly in the next couple of years.

With a broad range of nationalities in Dubai, how do you cater for all palates?

Catering for all tastes would be difficult in this multi-cultural city. We remain faithful to our food range and our philosophy. We have experienced occasions where the potential money earned has made deals tempting, but we never want to forfeit the quality and care invested in our food for a

  • 98 Best of Dubai

Sandwiches have taken on a whole new dimension since Appetite came to town Suzi and Manar
Sandwiches have taken on a whole new dimension since Appetite came to town Suzi and Manar

Sandwiches have taken on a whole new dimension since Appetite came to town

Suzi and Manar have always been passionate about food as both their families worked in the restaurant and catering industries. Growing up in this environment inspired in them an ardour for food that is still as strong as ever.

mass contract. Retrospectively, these were the correct decisions.

With rates of obesity rising in the Middle East, how important is healthy food to Appetite? What responsibility does the food industry have towards addressing this problem?

We create a range of food, encompassing healthy, low fat options as well as the less calorie conscious products. We use light mayonnaise and grill our meats, but ultimately we believe it is the consumer's responsibility to look after their own nutrition and health. However, food manufacturers are responsible for correctly labelling the nutritional values on products so consumers can make informed choices. We are working on providing this information for all of our products in the coming months.

As a professional couple, what are the benefits and downfalls of running a business with your spouse?

It is important to concentrate on separate areas of the business and allow each other to utilise and take advantage of different skills. It is sometimes difficult for us to talk about anything else other than Appetite, but the fact that we both understand the business can only be a positive factor.

What have you learned from an entrepreneurial point of view in Dubai?

Dubai is so transient that one should expect anything at any time. Presumption and lack of attention to detail formulate a recipe for disaster and it is necessary to meticulously check every detail and believe in your product. Owning a business means everything relies on you - for the first year, a day off was simply not possible. We are now braver and receptive to new ideas and thoroughly enjoy being our own bosses.

What does the future hold for Appetite?

The future is exciting. We have been approached by potential investors and currently, we are keen on

the idea of Appetite retail outlets selling our freshly handmade range of sandwiches, salads, meals, desserts and smoothies. The sky and good food are the limit…

Best of Dubai

99

Tel: +9714 341 9779 www.appetite.ae

Sandwiches have taken on a whole new dimension since Appetite came to town Suzi and Manar

Chapter

4

TRAVEL, TOURS & LEISURE

With a wingspan that stretches nearly the length of a football field and is 15 metres
With a wingspan that stretches nearly the length of a football field and is 15 metres wider than any commercial plane in the air today, the Airbus A380 ‘superjumbo’
is the largest civil aircraft ever built. Designed to carry 555 passengers in a three-class arrangement, it has one-third more seating capacity than a Boeing 747.
A planned stretched version would carry 656 passengers, and an all-economy-class configuration more than 800 passengers.

“The future has arrived”.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman & Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group

“The future has arrived”. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman & Chief Executive, Emirates Airline
“The future has arrived”. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman & Chief Executive, Emirates Airline

Travel, Tours & Leisure

Flying High

Revelling in opulence at 30,000 ft is not only the epitome of self indulgence, it is also the essence of convenience and practicality available to a certain ecehelon of traveller. In an increasingly inter- connected world where schedules, flexibility, access to remote destinations and security is crucial, does private aviation have what it takes to really take off? Growing regionally by roughly 37 per cent per annum, business aviation is being appreciated by growing numbers of high-net worth travellers and corporations looking to capitalise on the immediacy this form of travel provides.

Travel, Tours & Leisure Flying High Revelling in opulence at 30,000 ft is not only the

Combining all the positive elements of commercial travel with the benefits of private jet travel.

  • 102 Best of Dubai

Best of Dubai 103 'T ime is money' is an old adage that has found new
Best of Dubai 103 'T ime is money' is an old adage that has found new
Best of Dubai 103
Best of Dubai
103

'T ime is money' is an old adage that has found new

relevance in this jet setting age, where people work hard, play even harder and want to do so in comfort. Clearly therefore, the appeal of private jet travel is undeniable, when it comes to luxury travel it doesn't matter how flat your flat bed is or how luxurious the first class lounge, you still have to deal with inconvenient downside of commercial travel. It is not surprising therefore that the demands of the discerning and time-stretched traveller are increasingly being met by flying on a private jet.

Combining all the positive elements of commercial travel with the benefits of private jet travel, some aviation charter companies know how to upgrade comfort into luxury. Royal Jet is a case in point. An executive flight services company that is a joint ownership between the Amiri Flight of Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Aviation, welcome to a 100% UAE government owned company capable of offering customers unparalleled access to their large fleet of private aircraft with uncompromising levels of service, safety and payment flexibility. Royal Jet started operations with one office and one BBJ aircraft based at Abu Dhabi International Airport in May 2003. Today Royal Jet offices are dotted across the GCC and new aircrafts are added to the existing fleet roughly every five months. From starting off as a regional player, it is now part of the coterie of top international executive air charter services. Guest confidentiality, smiling customer care and high standards of safety are only three reasons why Royal Jet's

success has soared high in the skies.

Four distinctive services:

VIP aircraft charter

Royal Jet’s guests clearly come from the high profile segment, ranging from dignitaries to business people. The economic boom within the country, and generally in the GCC region, has increased the demand for charter aircraft considerably and this has resulted in Royal Jet tripling its capacity within the first year of its operations. Its own fleet comprises Boeing Business Jets (with bedroom), Gulfstreams (G300 and GIV-SP), Lear Jets (L35, 60), AVRO85 in addition to other managed aircraft. In addition, guests have the privilege of choosing their own schedule, destination, in- flight entertainment, on board catering, their preferred means of airport transfers. Attention to detail by Royal Jet ensures that guests spend their time pampered to the hilt by the crew. With the Royal Jet personal VIP terminal and two private lounges with direct access to the VIP ramp too, who could ask for more?

Royal Jet Medevac Operations

Medical evacuation, which means flying guests on medical emergencies is undertaken by Royal Jet with such alacrity and care that in the first year of operations alone they have carried out 200 evacuations. The crew is especially trained to ensure care in flying patients and with the flight being able to take off within three hours of flight

confirmation adds to the prompt reaction time. Suited not only for individuals but also for hospitals,

embassies, medical insurance providers and tour operators - anyone can avail of this life saving service. All flights are coordinated and seamless efficiency adding to the comfort levels of international patient transfers. Royal Jet Medevac Operations's team of qualified aeromedical doctors is specialized in critical care medicine and the nursing staff is trained across neonatal, pediatric and adult clinical disciplines. The ultra modern fleet of long range aircraft, extensive range of critical care airworthy approved equipment and luxurious interiors make the flight as comfortable as possible even for critical patients.

Fixed Base Operations

Royal Jet handles all executive aircraft landing in Abu Dhabi through its VIP terminal at Abu Dhabi Aviation. Top of the range passenger and pilot facilities, combined with premier maintenance capabilities are Royal Jet's unique features. Royal Jet's FBO offers a 'quick turn around' service for clients requiring a technical stop-over on their way from the Far East to Europe, or vice versa.

Aircraft maintenance, sales and acquisition consultancy

Turnkey solutions such as aircraft maintenance customized to suit the needs of the customer offers great flexibility to individual owners and at the same time results in tremendous cost cutting as a professional company like Royal Jet offers economies of scale.

Tel: +9712 505 1500 www.royaljetgroup.com

Travel, Tours & Leisure

Travel without limitations

Currently Dubai attracts more tourists than the whole of India, and more foreign capital than most European countries. The tourism sector constitutes an already substantial 30 per cent of the region's GDP, but following a Dh454 billion investment this statistic is set to rise exponentially: H.H. Sheikh Mohammed himself has stated that by 2015 Dubai should be attracting upwards of 15 million visitors which is a target that the Emirate is well on track to achieving. One of the oldest and most reliable travel and tourism organization, not only cresting the wave of this success but also helping to facilitate it, is the Orient Group, viz. Orient Travel and Orient Tours. Just as the region has grown into a travel and tourist hub, so have they expanded all over the country, and their dedication to publicizing and promoting Dubai cannot be underestimated.

Travel, Tours & Leisure Travel without limitations Currently Dubai attracts more tourists than the whole of
Travel, Tours & Leisure Travel without limitations Currently Dubai attracts more tourists than the whole of

"The authentic Arabian experience belongs to us, so its up to us to be creative at all times and thus ensure sustainable product that has a global appeal".

HE Sheikh Faisal Al Qasimi

Sheikh Faisal Al Qassemi, Chairman, Orient Travel & Orient Tours T his is no surprise when

Sheikh Faisal Al Qassemi, Chairman, Orient Travel & Orient Tours

T his is no surprise when you consider its pristine white beaches, balmy climate and

striking skyline. Dubai and the UAE overall is increasingly being viewed as a top holiday and business destination for millions around the globe. However the thriving travel and tourism trade is now poised to explode into a whole new league and operators such as Orient Travel are ready to participate in this growth. Established in 1963 by the Late Sheikh Khalid Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, a man with a vision of how integral the travel sector could prove to the continuing prosperity of Dubai, Orient Travel has since grown from strength to strength. Maintaining the standards of service that the company is renowned for is pivotal to their

success; "Our business philosophy is to be a one-stop shop for all travel requirements with special emphasis on providing impeccable service to our clients". Sheikh Faisal quotes. Whether it is inbound or outbound destinations, city breaks or languorous beach vacations, Scandinavia or the Caribbean, Orient travel can cater to your requirements to provide a truly memorable holiday. They have also introduced a series of industry-shaping innovations, including tailor-made alternative vacation destinations. Their evolution, they elaborate, "is been born from creativity, in tandem with high- end service-oriented delivery and, especially today, innovative and authentic product development". Because of the size of the company and its breadth across the UAE, Orient travel attracts every type of customer, both local Emirates and the expat community. Their wide corporate network brings in business as well as company incentive groups, enabling them to cater to every type of leisure customer. One of the most critical factors in Orient travel rise has been their professionalism coupled with consistently competitive prices, and to ensure the smooth running and premier service of the company staff remain key. Highly well trained and empowered with the latest technology, such as 'FareStar' which allows representatives to search a vast global fare database with fares from any country, it is evident that Orient travel considers its employees to be extremely

Sheikh Faisal Al Qassemi, Chairman, Orient Travel & Orient Tours T his is no surprise when

Dubai's department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing is constantly active in promoting the emirate as a tourism destination of worldwide significance. It mounts regular media and advertising campaigns and is a major presence at regional and international travel markets and fairs.

Sheikh Faisal Al Qassemi, Chairman, Orient Travel & Orient Tours T his is no surprise when

valued assets who help to provide that ever important "personal touch". Further expansion is, unsurprisingly, on the cards. The number of Orient offices is increasing at a rapid pace, with an Abu Dhabi branch which just opened as well as more offices in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Orient Travel has also been appointed GSAs for a number of prestigious airlines recently, whilst sponsorships like the monthly medals at the Sharjah Golf Club and Els Club together with regular participation in trade fairs helps to ensure that they stay a notch above the competitors in the region. Orient Tours is a sister company of Orient Travel, established 1982 as the first inbound tour company by Sheikh Faisal to present UAE destination to the west. And due to the amount of business focused on the lucrative inbound sector, however, the fate of Dubai's tourism initiatives is vital to Orient Tours and the Government's promotion of the Emirate as a premier holiday vacation has resulted in a steady increase in the company's growth.

Orient Tours is one of the longest established inbound agents in the UAE and was a dedicated pioneer of in-bound tourism into the region, aiming to showcase this amazing place and offer a genuine Arabian experience: "The aim of Orient Tours is to enlighten our visitors about the culture and heritage of the destination, always respecting the local traditions and customs. The concept of "cultural exchange" between people in the UAE and from abroad was and has always been the driving force behind our products and our dreams." Dubai's aspirations for the future are mirrored in the ambitions of orient travel and Orient tours, and both seem to be grasping with both hands the chance for the region to become an even greater figure in the international tourist industry.

Orient Travels - Tel: +9716 568 7096 www.orienttravels.com Orient Tours - Tel: 800-6789 www.orienttours.ae

Best of Dubai

105

Travel, Tours & Leisure

Aviation and travel services pioneer

Dnata began operations in Dubai nearly 50 years ago and, considering not many companies in the UAE can boast that sort of long heritage, it really can claim to have pioneered the Dubai travel industry. Furthermore, with the exacting standards Dnata sets, it's not surprising the company is considered the industry óne to watch’.

Travel, Tours & Leisure Aviation and travel services pioneer Dnata began operations in Dubai nearly 50

Dnata's commitment to quality was acknowledged with a brace of awards in November 2007 - Leading Travel Management Company in the Middle East, at the 14th World Travel Awards and Ground Handling Provider of the Year at the first Aviation Business Awards.

Gary Chapman, President of Dnata D nata, part of the Emirates Group, encompasses several different

Service with a smile

Gary Chapman, President of Dnata D nata, part of the Emirates Group, encompasses several different

Gary Chapman, President of Dnata

  • D nata, part of the Emirates Group, encompasses several different operational arms – Dnata Travel Services, Dnata Airport Operations,

Dnata Cargo and Dnata International - thereby providing a One-Stop- Shop of travel solutions. Gary Chapman, President of Dnata, said: “Dnata’s strategy moving forward will be to build on the qualities that have made us successful – innovation, investment in staff and technology, a commitment to the best international practices and the ability to adapt to – and anticipate - our customers’ needs.” "What was once a five-man ground handling service on an airport strip in the desert has evolved into an industry-recognised brand synonymous with quality service and innovation. I am proud to lead Dnata. It is a company with an impressive history, an enviable heritage, a wonderful and highly motivated group of people, and a list of divisions and joint ventures which can handle the needs of every traveller. Dnata is a pioneer in the Middle East travel industry and my team and I am committed to ensuring we continue to provide a benchmark of excellence for other industry players to aspire to." Dnata Airport Operations is the sole ground handling agent

at Dubai International Airport (DIA) and has played a significant role in the development of the airport, which now ranks among the world’s best. Passenger and cargo traffic at DIA has grown exponentially over the years, but Dnata Airport Operations has always been up to the challenge by embracing new procedures and technology. Last year Dnata handled 200,000 aircraft movements, more than 30 million passengers, and 1.5 million tonnes of freight for 120 airlines and their customers. The reach of Dnata Airport Operations has been extended internationally to encompass operations in 17 cities across seven countries - Australia, China, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland and the UAE. Then there is Dnata Cargo, at the heart of all the cargo action in Dubai, with five cargo terminals at DIA and one at Jebel Ali. Continually investing in equipment, information technology, personnel and training, Dnata’s customer focus and philosophy of innovation has helped secure its position as a leader in the international air cargo handling business. Dnata Cargo now comprises five distinct business units, each offering high quality products, services and solutions, which allow the company to meet the diverse needs of the more than 100 operators flying in and out of DIA. Dnata Travel Services encompasses divisions which address every aspect of the travel industry, including corporate travel management, government travel services, luxury holidays, airline and hotel representation, event marketing and management, group and incentive packages and marine services, in addition to general retail travel services. With more than 100 outlets across the region, covering UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Afghanistan, Dnata plans to continue extending the network. Dnata Travel Services comprises several distinct areas:

  • - Dnata Travel, the retail side of the business, offers the full range of travel products and services across a network of outlets throughout the region.

  • - Dnata Holidays offers tailored luxury holidays to more than 20 destinations. The Holiday Lounge by Dnata, offers a relaxing, elegantly sophisticated environment in which to research, discuss and book your dream break. This successful concept is being rolled out across the UAE in 2008.

  • - Dnata Corporate Travel, in conjunction with the Hogg Robinson Group, is responsible for corporate travel management, and handles bookings for many international companies across the region, including Morgan Stanley, Nokia and Barclays.

  • - Airline Affairs is the General Sales Agency (GSA) for more than 40 international carriers and provides an essential link between the airlines and local travel agents. Dnata’s clients range from full service airlines, to no frills and business only carriers.

  • - Government Travel Services, assists with the varied travel requirements of government organizations by offering efficient, reliable and cost-effective services for both official and leisure travel.

  • - Dnata World of Events, established in 1996, delivers bespoke solutions for conferences, corporate events, exhibitions, and incentive and motivational programs.

  • - Dnata Contact Centre is the largest facility dedicated to travel in Dubai, operating 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Professional travel consultants transact business in 15 languages, backed by state-of- the-art travel systems.

  • - Dnata Offshore and Marine Services offers a broad range of marine and offshore travel products, including bespoke key account and CRM management systems to support the expeditious movement of ships crew and offshore personnel.

  • - MMI Travel specialises in corporate, leisure and marine travel, MICE activities and exclusive airline representation, in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

  • - Gulf Ventures is the first Destination Management Company to be established in Dubai with a network of international sales offices in the U.K., Germany, the CIS and Australia. Products and services include; incentive travel, general leisure and luxury travel, day tours, sporting and cultural events packages, and motivational programmes.

  • - Luxury Hotels by Dnata offers sales, marketing and PR support to international luxury hotels seeking to raise their sales revenue and brand presence in the region.

  • - Luxury Air Travel by Dnata has recently been established to represent private jet charter operators and offer customised, discreet services to meet the growing demand for luxury, bespoke air travel solutions in the Middle East.

www.dnata.com

Chapter

5

GOLF & LUXURY LIFESTYLES

Chapter 5 GOLF & LUXURY LIFESTYLES

“Golf is a day spent in a round of strenuous idleness”.

William Wordsworth, English Poet (1770-1850)

“Golf is a day spent in a round of strenuous idleness”. William Wordsworth, English Poet (1770-1850)
“Golf is a day spent in a round of strenuous idleness”. William Wordsworth, English Poet (1770-1850)
Seafaring Splendour Greenline Yacht Interiors, a main subsidiary of the Dubai-based Greenline Group has positioned itself
Seafaring Splendour
Greenline Yacht Interiors, a main subsidiary of the Dubai-based Greenline Group
has positioned itself as a key regional and international player in the field of ultra
luxurious super-yacht interiors. Supported by a team of over 500 skilled craftsman
and artisans, a high tech engineering body, as well as a dedicated management
team, Greenline Yacht Interiors (GLYI) transforms the most creative yacht design
perspectives into a luxurious reality.
Greenline Yacht Interiors Headquarters, Jafza
Golf & Luxury Lifestyles

I t is by no means an understatement that from its inception 10 years ago, Greenline Yacht Interiors has achieved an enviable track record of success which has earned the company the distinct privilege of becoming one of the most sought after names in the super-yacht interior outfitting arena. Considering that Greenline Yacht Interiors has earned such a unique reputation, it comes as no surprise that the Dubai-based firm has been awarded the interior execution of the largest privately owned yacht in the world, which is a staggering 150+ meter vessel with interior design by Terence Disdale that is currently under construction in Germany. Headquartered in Dubai, with an office in London and a factory in Hamburg, Greenline Yacht Interiors prides itself on being the first Middle Eastern company to collaborate with reputed German shipyards. Adding to the success is the collaboration with world renowned designers including Terence Disdale, Donald Starkey, Francois Zuretti, and Philippe Starck. One of the company's key team players is Business Development Manager Lea Badro, who is also the daughter of Greenline Group Founder, Samir Badro. "The superb quality and workmanship that Greenline Yacht Interiors is renowned for validated its undeniable presence amongst European counterparts, who are considered the leaders in super-yacht outfitting," says Lea.

Vice President Colin Addley says “Outfitting super yachts is like climbing a steep hill. You start at a slow, sure pace, and build momentum until you reach the summit - the reward of which far surpasses the hard work and the effort of the journey. Greenline Yacht Interiors has reached the 'summit' on several projects to date, and the end results have been exhilarating and rewarding to all involved. At Greenline, we continually surprise ourselves and our clients by exceeding our own goals and targets. This is exemplified in the fact that today; Greenline Yacht Interiors has established a firm reputation in the super yacht community, as the largest international super yacht outfitter in the world.” Greenline Yacht Interiors has recently opened a 29,000 square meter (300,000 sq. ft.) state-of-the-art facility in Jebel Ali Free Zone to accomodate newer super yachts, which are getting bigger and bigger. Clients who visit the facility have the opportunity to get a first hand viewing of their creative design vision, via real sized versions of the vessel’s interiors, which gives Greenline Yacht Interiors another competitive advantage. This impressive facility is the largest yacht interior outfitting factory in the world created in order to cater to the booming super-yacht industry. Actually giving prospective clients the ‘walk through’

  • 110 Best of Dubai

Wine and dine in style, M.Y. Ashena 45m Business Development Manager, Lea Badro, Greenline Yacht Interiors

Wine and dine in style, M.Y. Ashena 45m

Wine and dine in style, M.Y. Ashena 45m Business Development Manager, Lea Badro, Greenline Yacht Interiors

Business Development Manager, Lea Badro, Greenline Yacht Interiors

Wine and dine in style, M.Y. Ashena 45m Business Development Manager, Lea Badro, Greenline Yacht Interiors

Vice President, Colin Addley , Greenline Yacht Interiors

Wine and dine in style, M.Y. Ashena 45m Business Development Manager, Lea Badro, Greenline Yacht Interiors

Lavishly exquisite with a touch of class, M.Y. Apoise 67m.

experience, where the true-to-life spaces are on display to lend a genuine sense of the interiors on a one-to-one scale prior to the final installation on the vessel. A meticulous process, the complete execution of a super-yacht interior ranges between 12-15 months and begins with the development and engineering of highly detailed drawings, then the manufacturing phase, and finally the actual installation onto the vessel. Naturally, quality control is a primary component and essential building block that Greenline Yacht Interiors undertakes at each of the processes. In addition to standard quality control, there are additional industry standards such as marine classifications that must be adhered to. Furthermore, Greenline Yacht Interiors is equipped to handle the complete execution of interiors through the use of their in-house joinery factory, upholstery department, and metal factory. "The biggest advantage of having in-house facilities is that you are not dependent on delivery terms and delivery dates of outside contractors", explains Lea. Greenline Yacht Interiors works closely with the interior designer, the

shipyard, and the client throughout the entire process to ensure the on- time delivery of high-quality interiors. Representing a sterling example of entrepreneurial initiative, Greenline Yacht Interiors is a company that has been given the opportunity to flourish in Dubai, weaving its own accomplishments into the wider fabric of the emirates diversified socio-economic success. It is the quality of GLYI's work coupled with the positive international image of Dubai's unprecedented growth and the relentless vision of its role-model leadership that has made Greenline Yacht Interiors one of the most sought after interior-outfitting companies in the niche market of super-yacht owners worldwide. Considering the booming yachting sector in Dubai and the region, Greenline Yacht Interiors is looking forward to cresting the waves of success for many years to come.

Tel: +9714 886 2244 www.glyi.net

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Golf & Luxury Life Styles

Golf management supreme

www.troongolf.com

With over 200 courses under management or development, Troon Golf is the largest golf management company in the world today. Troon Golf was founded in 1990 by Chairman and CEO, Dana Garmany. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, the company also has regional offices in Geneva, Dubai, Brisbane and Hong Kong. Of the Conde Naste Traveler 'Top 100 Golf Resorts in the World', 11 are Troon Golf properties, which focus solely on the four and five-star markets.

Golf & Luxury Life Styles Golf management supreme www.troongolf.com With over 200 courses under management or

Club House - Abu Dhabi Golf Club

T roon Golf Middle East, based in Dubai, operates The Montgomerie, Dubai in

Emirates Hills, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, the Els Club in Dubai Sports City, and Pearl Valley in South Africa. Projects under development include courses at Saadiyat Island (for TDIC, Abu Dhabi), Allegria (Cairo), Durrat (Bahrain) and Agalarov Estates (Moscow). Mark Chapleski, Area Managing Director and Vice President of Troon's Middle East operations - himself a golfing industry veteran of over 20 years, heads a regional management team with a vast range of experience: Robin Evans - Director of Construction and Agronomy, Klaas Boon - Operations Manager, and Course General Managers Ray Metz (Montgomerie), Thomas Rubi (Els Club), Ian Gardener along with DJ Flanders, who is the Golf Asset Manager from Troon/TDIC (Abu Dhabi Golf Club and TDIC Golf Division). Troon courses play host to two of the UAE's premier golf events. One being, the Abu Dhabi Championship, a European Tour Event, which celebrated its third year at Abu Dhabi Golf Club last January.

Property profile Abu Dhabi Golf Club

Abu Dhabi Golf Club recently voted '2008 Best Golf Club in the Middle East', offers one of the region's most luxurious golf resort experiences. Home to the European Tour PGA Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, this 27-hole facility offers championship-level golf within an oasis of tranquility. The club's range of amenities include an outdoor pool, fully equipped gymnasium and first-rate squash facilities. In all areas, professional instructors accommodate everyone from the golf enthusiast to the fitness fanatic. The club offers dining options from casual to fine dining, plus facilities to host private events. Just 15 minutes from the centre of Abu Dhabi, the stylish clubhouse is a focal point for both social and corporate guests.

The Montgomerie, Dubai

One of the region's most luxurious and desirable golfing destinations and set in the exclusive residential community, Emirates Hills, the quality of The Montgomerie, Dubai course - designed by legendary golfer Colin Montgomerie, remains unparalled.

The 21 generously sized boutique guest rooms of the Montgomerie Hotel personify minimalist design and contemporary chic. The sumptuous fusion cuisine at Nineteen restaurant - winner of two prestigious media awards in 2007 - is prepared by the region's top chefs and served within a chic décor of natural colours and an abundance of natural light. The Show Kitchen, the restaurant's centrepiece, allows patrons to witness the chefs putting the final touches to the dishes before they make their way to the table. An outdoor terrace offering breathtaking views of the 18th hole allows for al fresco dining during the cooler months.

The Els Club

Set on undulating slopes of native desert vegetation and designed by British and US Open Champion Ernie Els, the Els Club at Dubai Sports City offers a golfing experience that extends far beyond its immaculate fairways and greens. Stretching 7,538 yards, the course's four sets of tees allow players a selection of games of differing duration. Combining a links style layout with more classic design, the Els Club is set to be the jewel of Victory Heights at Dubai Sport City - the world's first fully integrated athletic metropolis. The Butch Harmon School of Golf, scheduled to open in October 2008, promises the ultimate in golf tuition, harnessing Harmon's renowned teaching philosophy to each student's own unique style and approach. "The Els Club will be a world class facility aimed at amateurs, professionals, families and individuals and will set the standard of golf course design in this region," says Els. "I am proud to be associated with a project of this magnitude. It is truly unique and there is nothing else like it in the world today. I firmly believe that Dubai Sports City will become a global centre for sport and set the agenda for the development of sport on a worldwide scale."

Tel: +971 4 367 1080 www.troongolf.com

The 21 generously sized boutique guest rooms of the Montgomerie Hotel personify minimalist design and contemporary

The Els Club, Dubai Sports City

The 21 generously sized boutique guest rooms of the Montgomerie Hotel personify minimalist design and contemporary

7th hole at Montgomerie Club, Dubai

Golf & Luxury Lifestyles

Tee Terrific

Boasting international tournaments, championship standard grass courses as well as advanced teaching technology in sumptuous environs, Dubai is the region’s premier golfing destination. With manicured greens sprouting up at breakneck speed, these mixed use developments are also frequented by non-golfers seeking the ultimate luxury leisure lifestyle.

Golf & Luxury Lifestyles Tee Terrific Boasting international tournaments, championship standard grass courses as well as

A view of Golf Course Hole 11, taking sport and an idyllic panorama to another level

  • 114 Best of Dubai

Different hospitality options at Four Seasons Golf, where recreation and conviviality come together Best of Dubai

Different hospitality options at Four Seasons Golf, where recreation and conviviality come together

Best of Dubai 115
Best of Dubai
115
Different hospitality options at Four Seasons Golf, where recreation and conviviality come together Best of Dubai

T he new Four Seasons Golf Club in Dubai’s Festival City is no exception to the city’s already popular golfing venues. This world class facility has rapidly acquired the position as Dubai’s favoured location for both local and

international golfers. Built upon the theme of a desert oasis, the par-72, 7,303 yard course was designed by the prominent golf design firm, Robert Trent Jones II and boasts 11 lakes, ponds and cascading waterfalls. After playing a round on its magnificent course, downtime in the club’s spacious locker areas and lounge areas, replete with Jacuzzi, steam and sauna rooms is de rigueur. No aspect of the club is neglected and this extends to the dining facilities, which cater for a plethora of palates. The four indoor and outdoor restaurants provide a menu that adheres to the impeccable quality found within the prominent Four Seasons group. Menus can be composed for any occasion and the site is capable of holding business meetings for 12 people to open-air receptions of up to 1,000. Creative event planners also form an in- house team that can arrange corporate events. One of the most remarkable features of the Four Seasons Golf Club is its state-of-the-art golf academy which provides an unparalleled level of instruction with the region’s most advanced and effective coaching tools. Individual and group coaching sessions are available to all levels where the knowledge of Four Seasons internationally trained coaching professionals coupled with extensive practice and instruction facilities can be expected to greatly increase confidence and develop skill level. Facilities include swing studios, a floodlit driving range, chipping area and practice putting green. Even more impressive is that the club houses the region’s only TaylorMade Performance Lab and MATT swing analysis and club fitting system, and an indoor Science and Motion putting laboratory (SAM Putt Lab). The TaylorMade Performance Lab analyses the player’s swing characteristics using the same revolutionary advancements in motion capture technology utilised in computer generated movies. Ultimately this system provides valuable feedback for better understanding the individual’s swing. The SAM Putt Lab utilises ultrasound sensory technology and specific mathematical algorithms for precise and detailed information that helps each individual assess their strengths and weaknesses throughout their stroke. With a Four Seasons coaching professional constantly at hand for support and guidance, the student can assess the best form of training or the best possible putter that they should use for their game.

Tel: +9714 601 0101 www.fourseasons.com/dubaigolf

Golf & Luxury Lifestyles

Elegance on wheel

In the rarefied world of to end motors, the UAE offers some of the world’s biggest market opportunities. And what better example of a luxury brand leader than Al Habtoor Motors – the exclusive distributorship of Bentley, Aston Martin And Bugatti?

Golf & Luxury Lifestyles Elegance on wheel In the rarefied world of to end motors, the

"W e don't consider the cars that are manufactured in series' as those

of our competitors," explains Roger Ghosn, the company's marketing manager. "Bentley, Aston Martin and Bugatti are completely hand-made cars. We consider them to be unique." It is often said that a car is the second largest investment people make after their house. And while many luxury brands are seeing a move towards more compact designs, what you get for your dollars on the most exclusive brands in the world, is a combination of luxury and performance, combined with the most stylish designs on the market today. For example, "since its creation, Aston Martin has been a sports car with a unique appeal. A deluxe car, entirely hand-made, but sporty nonetheless,'

proposes Ghosn. "Whist Bugatti is well known as the most expensive and fastest car in the world. So if we look at our high end division, I don't think we can talk about compact luxurious vehicles, but rather about luxurious vehicles and luxurious sporty vehicles." Al Habtoor Motors is certainly in a position to offer such exclusivity, particularly with its strong market positioning - a portfolio of brand leaders in both the luxury and mass markets. Established in 1983 as the Dubai distributor for Mitsubishi and Bentley, the company soon expanded, adding Fuso (Mitsubishi's commercial division) and motor sports brand Ralliart, while expanding its operations across all seven emirates. With disposable incomes rising steadily in the region, a steady growth pattern has continued ever since, most recently with the addition of Temsa (luxury buses and coaches) and Bugatti in 2005. Today, the company boats seven showrooms, 10 service centres and 14 spare parts locations across the UAE. "Usually, the car itself does not make a big profit margin. Of course we are interested in selling cars, but at the same time our aim is to keep the customer loyal to us and service their

car in our workshop. "Owning a car is fantastic. You pay money and you get something tangible. But after-sales is a service - it's not tangible. How do you evaluate an automotive dealership, if not in after- sales? Today, whether you buy a car for 40,000 or 150,000 dirhams, when you sent it to the workshop, you expect to receive a warm greeting, a quick service, special attention to your vehicle and a smooth delivery. Also seamless follow up at all times. With over 12 years in this competitive industry, Ghosn explains, "If your car has broken down on the road, you need also to hear a smile over the phone, a vehicle to pick up your car and a transport service to drop you wherever you want to continue." Staff training is geared towards developing what the company describes as LTV - lifetime value customers. Through its extensive client database, customers are invited to upcoming events and launches. Luxury car owners can drop their car into any service centre in any Emirate. On completion of the service, they can have their car delivered to their home at no extra cost. They also have access to a 24-hour hotline in case high net worth drivers find themselves in a four-wheel fix. With the Habtoor Motors operations focussing on excellence in every sphere, even company employees are trained to raise customer awareness on important safety issues, such as the dangers of using counterfeit spare parts and accessories - an endemic reality worldwide, which results in poor performance and impinges on any car's value. For the future too, after sales prowess remains at the core of the company's growth strategy. "We are planning to expand more, not only in sales but also in services." States Ghosn. "We have one of the biggest workshops in the GCC, in which we can service more than 400 cars a day. "Now we are building two new service centres - one dedicated only for luxurious

Golf & Luxury Lifestyles Elegance on wheel In the rarefied world of to end motors, the

Roger Ghosn, Marketing Manager

Golf & Luxury Lifestyles Elegance on wheel In the rarefied world of to end motors, the
  • 116 Best of Dubai

Bentley Flying Spur GT
Bentley Flying Spur GT

brands and one for mass market cars. We are also working on enhancing our performance, and to help and assist our people. We are also on a continuous level of appraisal and assessment of all our departments." Look forward also to some additions to the Al Habtoor Motors brand portfolio in 2008, hints Ghosn. While details of the new brands are under wraps for the time being, they will be in both the mass market and luxurious or high end division. For those interested, watch this space.

Tel: +9714 269 1110 www.alhabtoor-motors.com

Bugatti Veyron
Bugatti Veyron
Bentley Flying Spur GT Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Bentley Flying Spur GT
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Bentley Brooklands Best of Dubai 117
Bentley Brooklands
Best of Dubai
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Golf & Luxury Lifestyles

Speeding Splendour

The House of Cars has grown into a renowned pre-owned prestige car, motor and after sales dealership since its inception less than ten years ago. With exclusive seven star warranties and bespoke service, it is no wonder that the showroom has the enviable reputation of being one of the best in the business.

Golf & Luxury Lifestyles Speeding Splendour The House of Cars has grown into a renowned pre-owned
Golf & Luxury Lifestyles Speeding Splendour The House of Cars has grown into a renowned pre-owned

Bertie Amritanand, CEO House of Cars

Bertie Amritanand, CEO House of Cars S ome of the best ideas are those that are

S ome of the best ideas are those that are tried and tested. If those ideas have wheels, even better, and that is exactly what this premium pre-owned car

dealership, with several luxury automobile marquees, has to offer. The House of Cars Group (HOC) was founded in 1998 and has developed into a dynamic and reputed pre-owned, prestige car and motor dealership in Dubai. With their independent Porsche and BMW service centre they have hiked up their customer service quotient year by year. With an 80 service staff complement that is diligently trained to provide quality service that spells value for money, this has been achieved thanks to accelerating sales that have kept ahead of the increasingly high overheads. The unique aspect of the House of Cars is that: “We go the extra mile when it comes to sales and service. We offer the best after sales available, not only because of our own showroom's 'Seven Star' warranty, but also because of the highly trained technicians that execute jobs in state of the art conditions. Our body shop is second to none, we carry out repairs on prestige marquees and our paint work is excellent too” says Bertie Amritanand, CEO, House of Cars. Keeping in mind the hot and humid climatic conditions of Dubai, in house mechanics employ a well-researched process to offer protection to the vehicle's paintwork and to ensure that it retains the pristine appearance for years to come.

In addition, he explains, “We facilitate auto loans with a simple documentation process and speed of implementation. With flexible terms and special customer privileges, we really know how to make the whole buying process easy and fun for the customer”. Like most metros in boom time, Dubai has an aspiring population. Pre-owned prestige cars fulfill an innate desire to own and drive some of the best names in the automobile business. However, Amritanand notes that the Dubai clientele is more demanding in that they like to personalise their cars. “To them their car is an extension of their self image and they are willing to go to great lengths to accessorize the cars with the latest tech gadgets and body kits. Fortunately for them we indulge them wholeheartedly in procuring and fitting out what they desire in exactly the way they want it”. It could mean a music system or racy headlights or even an avant garde colour scheme. The high net worth clients’ desires and satisfaction is the driving force of our after sales’ facilities. It is practically like a signature style for the young aspiring owners. Looks and luxury notwithstanding, clients also expect the best safety and security systems too. What about opting for green cars? “Well, newer models of almost all marquees have higher fuel efficiency standards and are more eco- friendly. But growing awareness and availability of green cars under luxury marquees will certainly create a demand”, Amritanand feels. As independent sales and after sales dealership he is able to source and install products from all over the world to maintain and enhance the performance and appearance of customers’ vehicles. In fact HOC is fiercely protective of its independent status as it is free to maintain a cutting edge lead by not being restricted to any single company for marquees or products. The company is constantly upgrading equipment and sourcing highly trained and skilled technicians to keep pace with modern day technology. It is this commitment that enables HOC to provide customer satisfaction and retain customer loyalty.

Tel: +9714 343 5060 www.houseofcarsgroup.com

Bertie Amritanand, CEO House of Cars S ome of the best ideas are those that are
Bertie Amritanand, CEO House of Cars S ome of the best ideas are those that are
Bertie Amritanand, CEO House of Cars S ome of the best ideas are those that are

Chapter

6

DESIGN & INTERIORS

Chapter 6 DESIGN & INTERIORS

"A man who works with his hands is a labourer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man "

who works with his hands, brain, and heart is an artist

...

Louis Nizer, American lawyer, author, artist and lecturer (1902-1994)

"A man who works with his hands is a labourer; a man who works with his
"A man who works with his hands is a labourer; a man who works with his

Design & Interiors

Elevating interiors to an art

The Greenline Group, founded 30 years ago in the UAE as an interior design and manufacturing company was built on the strong foundation of high quality standards, innovation and efficient response to client needs. Today the Group subsidiaries that cater to upscale yacht interiors, IT security services, animation and film production have an international presence in London, Los Angeles, Hamburg, Beirut and Damascus. With ISO 9001 certification, they all share the same DNA of strong work ethics and creativity.

Design & Interiors Elevating interiors to an art The Greenline Group, founded 30 years ago in

Chairman and Founder, Samir Badro Greenline Group

Design & Interiors Elevating interiors to an art The Greenline Group, founded 30 years ago in

S amir Badro, Chairman and CEO, Greenline Group, qualified with degrees in Architecture and Design had a

dream to found a business on the twin pillars of high quality and meritorious performance. In the 30 years since that dream has been fulfilled, with the company headquarters moving into a 600,000 sq. ft. state-of-art facility in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, Greenline Group has indeed proven itself once again as the leader in the interior design and manufacturing arena. From it's inception as an interior design company the Greenline Group has set up various companies:

Greenline Interiors, Greenline Yacht Interiors, Fauchar, Dataline Technology and Blink Studios. Greenline Interiors is a key player regionally and internationally executing projects of luxury hotels such as Burj Al Arab, the Royal Amwaj Hotel and Condominium Resort (Movenpick) on the Palm Jumeirah, Hotel Le Vendome in Paris and Grand Hotel du

Cap Ferrat on the French Riviera. Fauchar is the retail arm of Greenline Interiors where clients can commission bespoke quality furniture and buy international branded pieces from the showroom. Blink Studios, located at Dubai Studio City, is a frontrunner in digital animation entertainment and computer generated (CG) visual effects for live-action. Last but certainly not the least of Greenline Group subsidiaries is Dataline Technology, providing innovative technologies including security systems, (eye recognition) and fingerprint recognition systems. It is no accident that the roster of Greenline Group's clients are all top notch names in the luxury and entertainment industries. The Groups' companies are all driven by the common mission to offer excellence and maintain their quality standards on a day to day basis.

Design & Interiors Elevating interiors to an art The Greenline Group, founded 30 years ago in
Design & Interiors Elevating interiors to an art The Greenline Group, founded 30 years ago in
Design & Interiors Elevating interiors to an art The Greenline Group, founded 30 years ago in
Design & Interiors Elevating interiors to an art The Greenline Group, founded 30 years ago in
  • 122 Best of Dubai

Live Beautifully

Over three decades ago, Chairman and Founder, Samir Badro turned a dream into a reality and Greenline Interiors was born. With degrees in architecture and design, Badro sought to create an organisation based on merit, performance, quality and unwavering commitment to aesthetic appeal.

Live Beautifully Over three decades ago, Chairman and Founder, Samir Badro turned a dream into a
Live Beautifully Over three decades ago, Chairman and Founder, Samir Badro turned a dream into a

Greenline Interiors Headquarters, Jafza

W ith offices in the world's most cosmopolitan capitals - London, Hamburg, Los Angeles,

Paris, Beirut and Damascus, Greenline Interiors prides itself as the industry leader locally and internationally in the fields of interior design, manufacturing and contracting. Recently, the UAE headquarters has moved to a 300,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility in Jebel Ali Free Zone, enabling the rapidly expanding organisation to extend its capacity. Certified as an ISO 9001 company, Greenline Interiors' core objectives lie in the heart of delivering excellence by all means possible. The company's positioning as a local and international firm has earned Greenline Interiors a solid reputation based on the principles of delivering the highest quality with a relentless respect for timelines and delivery dates. With its long list of high-end projects come high-end clients - Greenline Interiors has executed, on a turnkey basis, the palaces and offices of the UAE's ruling family, the Presidential Library in Texas of Former U.S. President George Bush, and the First and Business Class Emirates Lounges at Dubai International Airport to

name a few. One of the milestone projects was the 7-star Burj al Arab Hotel in which Greenline Interiors executed the luxurious 202 duplex suites, including the exquisite Presidential and Royal suites, parts of the impressive reception area and lobby. Greenline Interiors provides complete turnkey solutions to its clients, which is facilitated through the three main services offered by the company:

design,manufacturing and contracting. "We are capable of taking turnkey jobs, handling it from start to finish; from design concept to material selection to manufacturing. After that, Greenline will close the door, turn the key, and leave the client with a masterpiece," explains Vice President Gaby Khoury. The first step of creating any masterpiece starts with a vision, namely the design. The Design process at Greenline Interiors transfers the client's vision on paper and transforms this into a reality. To further help clients envision their interior space, Greenline uses the latest technology in 3D rendering and animation programs such as 3D Max and Maya to give the client a 360 degrees virtual tour of their interiors.

Live Beautifully Over three decades ago, Chairman and Founder, Samir Badro turned a dream into a

Gaby Khoury, Vice President , Greenline Interiors

Live Beautifully Over three decades ago, Chairman and Founder, Samir Badro turned a dream into a

Michael Murgia, Commercial Director, Greenline Interiors

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A vibrant lifestyle of luxury The final design is then taken into the manufacturing stage where
A vibrant lifestyle of luxury The final design is then taken into the manufacturing stage where

A vibrant lifestyle of luxury

A vibrant lifestyle of luxury The final design is then taken into the manufacturing stage where

The final design is then taken into the manufacturing stage where highly skilled techniques and technology are implemented by master craftsmen to reach the highest of quality standards. From hand-carvings to machine laser cutting and upholstery, projects are conducted on a turn-key basis so as to provide an impeccable composite package. A carefully handpicked team of leaders with international experience comprise the team of project managers at Greenline Interiors.These valued team members have created,developed and defined projects, which have consistently pushed the boundaries of quality to create unsurpassed, one-of-a-kind environments-whether residential, commercial or in hospitality. Various divisions within Greenline Interiors have been created to meet the demands of the market while maintaining high standards. Within its hospitality realm, Greenline Interiors executes complete projects of upscale hotels regionally as well as internationally. Inclusive of their hospitality portfolio is Hotel Le Vendome in Paris, Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat in the French Riviera, Deira City Centre Hotel, Burj al Arab and most recently the Royal Amwaj Hotel and Condominium Resort (Movenpick) on the Palm Jumeirah. Fauchar is the retail arm of Greenline Interiors where clients can commission custom-made, bespoke classical and contemporary furniture of unmatched quality. Fauchar offers its clients exclusively designed furniture at the Spectrum Building location, and exclusively branded accessories at Wafi City. Capitalising on its enormous cachet with consumers from Dubai and further afield, Fauchar will be opening a new store in Dubai Mall, the largest mall in the region that is scheduled to open in late 2008. With over 30 years of skill, creativity and experience under its belt, Greenline Interiors will continue to deliver excellence for many years to come. As long as Greenline's skilled specialists continue to implement Samir Badro's founding philosophy: to ensure that every project is unique and clients' expectations are surpassed…. the possibilities are endless.

Tel: +9714 886 2220 www.greenline-interiors.com

A discerning eye for elegance

  • 124 Best of Dubai

Regal interiors developed with supreme artistry
Regal interiors developed with supreme artistry

Design & Interiors

Delivering a promise

While the Middle East real estate market presents tremendous opportunities for both the home and office furnishings sectors, a growing demand for quality and flexibility has introduced a new dimension to how incumbent firms present their product and service offerings.

Design & Interiors Delivering a promise While the Middle East real estate market presents tremendous opportunities

Sleek

  • 126 Best of Dubai

Sophisticated Stylish Best of Dubai 127 N o one understands this more than Al Huzaifa Furniture,

Sophisticated

Sophisticated Stylish Best of Dubai 127 N o one understands this more than Al Huzaifa Furniture,

Stylish

Best of Dubai 127
Best of Dubai
127

N o one understands this more than Al Huzaifa Furniture, a family-run business offering a premium

range of business and residential furnishings for one of the world's most diverse markets. "Dubai and the UAE are among the world's most dynamic markets, and the data changes faster than you can capture it," explains Nissa Nensey, founder of the company. "However, you can safely index the growth of the home and office furnishings market to the delivery rate of real estate projects. Factor in the growing rate of refurbishing, makeovers and the move towards higher quality, higher value furnishings, and the opportunities are mind boggling for sure."

Al Huzaifa Furniture

The company first set up in 1976 as a small Sharjah-

based store that aimed to provide residents with exquisite furniture, representing styles from all corners of

the world. "With the dedication of our trusted employees, we opened another branch in Dubai in 1982 and have since grown into one of the region's leading furniture retailers," explains Nensey. "We now offer our customers over 60,000 square feet of retail space." The company has remained a family-owned business throughout, which, acknowledges Nensey, has both its advantages and challenges. Advantages include a deeper understanding of individual mindsets and stronger alignment of interests amongst the top management team - often considered one of the greatest challenges for non-family firms. "The empathy factor is also much higher, which is most valuable under stress situations," Nensey observes. The challenges however, include achieving a good work-life balance, and the need to set clearly defined boundaries so that personal and professional issues do not influence one another. "A family business also has to work harder to fight against preconceived notions and prove its professionalism," she adds.

The right balance

Al Huzaifa Furniture has certainly earned its distinctive reputation - both as a brand and in its ability to deliver to a customer base with a widely diverse range of expectations, tastes and budgets. "We achieve economies of scale by delivering international design calibre products at affordable prices," says Nensey. "At the back end, it's about leveraging our strengths in sourcing and logistics, translating these into hard savings and passing them on to the customer. At the front end, it's a bit like the fashion business - understanding what your customers want a bit before

they know they want it. A key strategic factor of business today is value chains - and we're happy to say that we've got our value chains right." Supporting this business model is a brand building strategy built on two pillars - distinctiveness and relevance. In terms of distinctiveness: "In an environment of safe, conservative advertising, we wanted to stand out and create a brand with buzz - something that gets noticed, talked about - and most important, creates a 'fingerprint' for the brand," Nensey enthuses. "We wanted a unique look, feel, voice and attitude. "Relevance comes from knowing your customers - understanding how they relate to your product and what role it plays in their lives," she continues. There's more to our brand than merely decorating a space -there's a certain intimacy shared between product and owner. This emotional glue was crucial to our strategy - to reflect it in our advertising, nourish it and live up to it through our products. This is what our marketing strategy is all about."

Broadening market opportunities

A recent development for the company is the introduction of a Projects and Interiors department, catering specifically for property developers. Nensey explains the rationale behind the move. "Real estate developers see a growing need and opportunity to add value and differentiation to their offerings through high-quality furniture and interior outfitting," she explains. "We're also seeing a huge demand from segments such as the hospitality sector, overseas owners of vacation homes, and landlords offering furnished apartments on short term or semi-long term lease. Corporate leasing and ownership of residential property is also on the upswing and calls for high-end turnkey interior solutions. Our Projects and Interiors initiative seeks to extend the Al Huzaifa promise. Differentiation must always come, not from what we do, but how we do it." Into the future, "Al Huzaifa Furniture occupies the position of 'the fashion brand' in the furniture space," concludes Nensey. "Naturally, our strategy for the future is to remain current, switched-on and truly exciting. Al Huzaifa will always stand for furniture to be passionate about. Furniture represents self-expression. Our focus remains on enhancing our sourcing and logistical strengths - using strategies, tools and techniques that help us deliver to ever-growing expectations."

Tel: +9714 336 6646 www.alhuzaifa.com

Zain Mustafa Interiors Dubai's recent phenomenal growth curve has seeded concerns over its design credibility with
Zain Mustafa Interiors
Dubai's recent phenomenal growth curve has seeded concerns over its design
credibility with the 'biggest', 'best' and 'tallest' not necessarily signifying a benchmark
for true elegance. International designers aside, home-grown talent is embryonic as,
like the rest of the Middle East, aspiring to be a designer has never been high on the
career agenda for more traditional families. However, with its urban-scape craving
professionalism across all categories, international design kudos is a must, and
Dubai is ripe for a design revolution. By realising this environment's potential and
offering inventive solutions, Zain Mustafa, with his individual interior designs, aims to
change the way the city looks from the inside out.
What is your personal design
philosophy?
To keep the hand of the designer as
light, invisible and seamless as
possible on any space.
Who is your most inspirational designer
of all time?
Nature.
Define your ideal space.
The 'third' space. The line that defines
Yin from Yang.
Zain Mustafa
How does the work and lifestyle in Dubai compare to the other countries
in which you have lived?
The places in which I have lived - Karachi, London, New York and Santa
Fe - cannot be compared to Dubai. Though the city is young, it is also
highly complex.
How exciting is the interior design industry in Dubai?
The interior design industry here needs desperate help. It lacks fresh
ideas and a new spirit and this can be seen through the uniformity in
design throughout. A revolution from within is what's needed to
reduce reliance on imported ideas or cookie-cut solutions. The city's
design scene requires nurturing, thought, sensuality and movement -
a heart beat. Most importantly, the city needs to create its own
signature direction.
Do you and your company have a preference for the interiors
you design? Why?
Yes, my team and I have a specific genre we enjoy designing. Essential
to this is the necessity for the client to have a relationship with the space.
What is your favourite project to date and why?
"As a designer of several scales of spaces I found Dubai's enigmatic urbanity
magical and hard to ignore. Five years later, I still feel the same and the daily
exploration continues"
What prompted you to move to Dubai after the US and, subsequent to
careers in Publishing and Corporate Communications, what made you
settle down with interior design?
Undeniably my own home, it underwent a total transformation in almost
no time, morphing from a generic mass produced space into my personal
sanctuary. It has become a space I have an emotional relationship with -
my haven, my nest and my reprieve. Supremely calming, it looks and
feels great as it fuses the contemporary and the industrial with warmth
and sensuality.
What does the future hold for Zain Mustafa Interiors?
The choice was between Tokyo and Dubai after deciding that New
York was 'done' and increasingly dull. Ultimately, Tokyo did not cut it
and Dubai won the toss. Interior design was my initial response to the
ever changing Dubai skyline and its liquid urban infrastructure which
carried with it a magnetic charm that caught my spirit.
It's an open horizon with large scale projects scattered across it. Despite
its imbalances, Dubai's global profile is strong and therefore is becoming
a focal point on the international interiors style map - finally.
www.zainmustafa.com
128
Best of Dubai
Design & Interiors
Traffic The individuality of Traffic is maintained through the visionary designs of the collections they house.
Traffic
The individuality of Traffic is maintained through the visionary designs of
the collections they house. The space presents itself as a cultural and
commercial entity - it is a gallery plus a showroom, where visitors can buy
unique pieces, supporting a particular designer as well as art in general.
Traffic - the gallery / showroom / shop / library, where designers and artists both successful and unknown can display their creations in an
innovative environment. Founder Rami Farook offers a platform from which unique spaces can be created, satisfying both the customer seeking
more, as well as the designer wanting to inspire.
How proud are you of your accomplishments
and what does the establishment of Traffic
mean to you?
Realising my visions has produced self-
satisfaction; an achievement that means more
than money or fame. Today, I am pleased with
my accomplishments and this includes Traffic.
The design store, gallery, artistic hub or
imaginative space provides an area in which I
can experiment in design, sharing my passion.
promoting cultural exchange and
understanding. Subsequently, we hope to
educate varying industries about the benefits
of applying well designed industrial solutions to
their operations.
What do you hope to achieve by housing work
from designers of all different backgrounds?
Is Dubai a suitable platform from which to
share your ideas and vision?
Dubai is hungry for culture. The community
invites progression and artistic establishments
are keen on collaboration - good news for the
promotion of culture and arts in the region.
Moreover, the city is home to many friends
within the art world, whether it be fashion,
design or even events planning; it is comforting
to see them fulfil their ambitions as I have.
By functioning as a design platform, we
give international designers the opportunity
to exhibit their work regionally, facilitating
them to take inspiration from and progress by
studying these pieces. We also hold an
annual competition that, in its first round,
received more than 100 entries from 13
different Middle Eastern cities. Our goal
is to foster this regional talent and to export
their designs.
Rami Farook, Founder, Traffic
What is your personal design philosophy?
believe in creating livable and
lovable environments.
I
How do you see the future for Traffic and your
own personal career?
Who is your most inspirational designer of
all time?
I
am a big fan of Marcel Wanders, Jaime
Is your idea to fuse the visual side of design
with the more academic discipline (achieved
through your in house library) an attempt to
broaden the knowledge and reach of the
design world in Dubai?
Yes. We believe that for design to be
respected, education is essential and
resources are needed. In addition, we have
hosted exhibitions from international colleges
such as the AA from London, SCIARC from
California and The Berlin Polytechnic,
I believe that things develop through new
opportunities, team members and
collaborations. Ron Arad, the prestigious
designer and architect, once said "boredom is
the mother of creativity"; once one project is
completed, you will naturally move onto
something new. My future involves the
development of Dubai and its people, with
aim to leave a legacy in more than just the
design world.
Hayon, Hella Jongerius and the Bouroullec
brothers. Their romantic design sense
blends contemporary with classic and
encourages experimentation with shapes
and materials.
Define your ideal space.
Natural materials are essential within a
design space as well as limited colors.
Mostly, lighting has to be calm and
indirect, functional and creative.
www.viatraffic.org
Best of Dubai
129

Design & Interiors

Design Ideals

Design & Interiors Design Ideals The Association of Professional Interior Designers (APID), is the first professional

The Association of Professional Interior Designers (APID), is the first professional body of its kind in the Gulf region and promotes the highest standards and ideals of Interior Design to client bodies whether in the governmental or private sectors, to industry, to its membership and to society.

Design & Interiors Design Ideals The Association of Professional Interior Designers (APID), is the first professional

In 2007, APID received international recognition when it was elected as a member of the International Federation of Interior Architects and Designers (IFI).

Courtesy Cinmar Design

  • 130 Best of Dubai

Courtesy Kenneth Laidler Design Kenneth Laidler, President, APID A s a member of the International Federation

Courtesy Kenneth Laidler Design

Courtesy Kenneth Laidler Design Kenneth Laidler, President, APID A s a member of the International Federation

Kenneth Laidler, President, APID

A s a member of the International Federation of Interior Architects and Designers APID regularly

hosts conferences, seminars and exhibitions - events that inform its membership, industry partners, universities and guests on a range of professional areas which impact on a variety of topics such as client advice, statutory controls, design standards, contracts, educational requirements and product information. With an active membership reflected in its successful annual events, in particular the international Professional Interior Design conference during springtime, and the annual gala dinner in the autumn APID joins with its membership, clients and industry partners to celebrate the very best

in Interior Design. In addition, APID aims to promote the highest professional levels of interior design to government, industry and its members, monitoring standards of design and professional practice. It intends to be recognised as the authoritative body in all matters relating to interior design and practice in the Middle East, and to be seen as a necessary contributor to the education of interior designers. The Association organises a full programme of activities for its members, industry partners and students in interior design. This includes regular seminars and workshops about topics related to professional practice, a major annual Professional Interior Design Conference featuring a prominent international keynote speaker, and an annual Grand Gala Dinner. APID provides a platform for education and development within the design community through conferences, seminars, exhibitions and competitions. It assists in building connections with industry that will help members expand their professional prospects, by networking with colleagues. It gives the design industry unified access to resources to market their design practice. Kenneth Laidler M.A. FRSA, President of APID, explains, "Interior design is more appreciated as a business necessity than ever before. All commercial developments, whether residential or industrial premises, hospitality or health related, understand the true benefits professional interior design can offer. We need to ensure that clients understand the importance of interior design as opposed to

Courtesy Kenneth Laidler Design Kenneth Laidler, President, APID A s a member of the International Federation

Courtesy Design Design LLC

As an authoritative association of professionals, APID can be ideally consulted by other related disciplines, to provide guidance and assistance. Standing equally alongside other representative societies and institutions APID participates fully in worldwide events, debates and issues relating to professional interior design practice and standards.

superficial decoration." "It cannot be stressed enough that APID considers the education of students and graduate interior designers paramount in promoting professional interior design. It is the intention of APID to offer representation and professional advice to members, clients and government institutions by input into education, professional practice and technical support. APID's aim is to offer networking for members not only in the UAE, but throughout the Gulf and the Middle East," he concludes.

Tel.: +9714 340 6161 www.apid.ae

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131

Design & Interiors

By appointment only

While the Middle East real estate market presents tremendous opportunities for both the home and office furnishings sectors, a growing demand for quality and flexibility has introduced a new dimension to how incumbent firms present their product and service offerings.

Design & Interiors By appointment only While the Middle East real estate market presents tremendous opportunities
Design & Interiors By appointment only While the Middle East real estate market presents tremendous opportunities
Design & Interiors By appointment only While the Middle East real estate market presents tremendous opportunities
Design & Interiors By appointment only While the Middle East real estate market presents tremendous opportunities

Replete with samples of exquisite furniture craftsmanship, the showroom is worth visiting, but can only be viewed on a strict prior appointment basis only. After all, perfection must be sought and never be too readily at hand.

  • 132 Best of Dubai

Francesco Molon boasts individual furniture pieces that are veritable works of art setting a benchmark in

Francesco Molon boasts individual furniture pieces that are veritable works of art setting a benchmark in the local high-end furniture market.

T oday, centuries of Italian craftsmanship can be appreciated in the 'made in Italy' brand that spans across numerous product

lines. With Dubai's all-round growth and new level of affluence comes a desire for quality and uniqueness. The rising profile of the emirate as a business and tourist hub attracts luxury hotel chains, housing and lifestyle opportunities. Company founder and owner, Francesco Molon sees it as an ideal entry point into the Middle East for his opulent furniture business situated in Dubai's Pyramid Centre.

With a whopping two million Euro investment, the Dubai showroom is a joint venture between the Italian manufacturer and Al Aqili Furnishings (AAF), the UAE's premier furnishings group that is part of the eponymous holding group. Since its launch in 1997, AAF has been providing top notch products and services for the construction and interior design sector. It is therefore, no surprise that the partnership with Francesco Molon was created. After all, in order to provide exquisite furniture to this region, where else can discerning consumers voracious for grandeur and traditional tastes go? Started in 1966 by Italian master Francesco Molon with a handful of highly skilled artisans intent to revive furniture artistry in the classical European style, his company replicates age-old techniques sought-after by designers and clients worldwide. With over 100 current craftsmen highly skilled in painting, marquetry and gold leaf application, each piece captures the rich tradition of ancient techniques and furniture mastery. Epitomising the miracle of the so-called 'economic miracle', the tightly knot family run business with proven global expertise, continues to be managed by his sons who remain committed to reigning supreme in the classic furniture industry. Utilising techniques that have been perfected over the last 60 years in Romano d'Ezzelino, near Venice, Francesco Molon searches worldwide for only the highest-grade materials: superb veneers, refined burls, exotic rosewoods and ebony. The raw material is subsequently passed over to artisans who then produce the near signature pieces for their select global clientele. "Our artisans combine passion and manual dexterity with precision", says Roberto Molon, Francesco's son and current Managing Director, "Their artistry is evidenced in tenons and mortises and dovetails". Francesco Molon's seal of quality is internationally recognised through their superior finished products. A portion of the facility is devoted to the finishing arts of colour, carving, inlay, painting and goldleaf detailing. "Often carvings are used decoratively," says Molon,

"and our craftsmen still create them by hand. They use the same techniques that were used hundreds of years ago. Veneers are still worked in the old ways and hand finished". Unlike many other companies, Molon produces furniture completely manufactured and produced in Italy itself instead of opting for cheaper assembling options in China as so many other artisans have been forced to capitulate to in order to offset high manufacturing costs in Europe. With so much emphasis on artistic expression and detailing, it's hard to imagine that Francesco Molon would give equal attention to functionality. Yet this is also achieved, with an in-house technical department and virtuoso designers who meticulously plan and review the feasibility of each piece. Ultimately, Francesco Molon facilitates the relationship between technology, design and artistry to produce stunning furniture that performs in the home or office, from both high design and functional perspectives. The company manufactures six distinct collections specially designed to satisfy a wide range of tastes and needs. For instance, the 18th Century collection is a unique blend of antique and specially crafted elegant furnishings in the English period tradition, whereas the New Empire collection includes true reproductions in the Russian and French Empire Style. The Italian and French Country collection groups Italian and European 'country' furniture with elegant simplicity indicative of fine rural estates, whilst the Executive collection includes distinguished office and library furnishing of such a calibre that ex Russian President Vladmir Putin commissioned a desk that has now entered the companies' catalogue as a firm favourite. Finally, the Upholstery collection exemplifies how the harmony of wood and fine fabrics is married in unmatched beauty. A more recent range was born from the fusion of Francesco Molon with Antonio D'Andrea, an eminent Italian designer. This collection transcends the company's classical roots and responds to current requirements while refuting simplistic minimalist influences. Suitably named 'Eclectica', it draws inspiration from Art Deco. The pieces reflect the Italian penchant for innovation and trendsetting style that over the years has made the country a vitally fluid source of design inspiration. "This collection will convince our clientele worldwide that we create truly unique and personalised interiors for them" concludes Roberto Molon.

Tel: +9714 334 5596 www.francescomolon.com

Best of Dubai

133

Design & Interiors

Bring on the best

When it comes to exquisite decorating solutions, Al Aqili Furnishings (AAF) gives you what it takes. Providing turn key services covering elements ranging from flooring to lighting and everything else in between, it was created as part of the Al Aqili Group, forging a brand identity that now embraces several product segments for a world of design innovation.

Design & Interiors Bring on the best When it comes to exquisite decorating solutions, Al Aqili
Design & Interiors Bring on the best When it comes to exquisite decorating solutions, Al Aqili

AAF has truly proven its responsibility towards providing uncompromised quality to an entire spectrum of interior solutions for comfortable living spaces, which exemplify originality, innovation and timeless elegance.

Design & Interiors Bring on the best When it comes to exquisite decorating solutions, Al Aqili

With CSR programmes and intensive in-house HRD, AAF has managed to stay ahead of their game in spite of the market's cutthroat competition."We succeed thanks to the stakeholders involved in our business. We share the principles of our 56 manufacturers that represent the pioneering best worldwide. We look after our customers - consumers, contractors, developers, architects and designers alike - they are the ones who created us and who helped us get here today- we never forget that," says Khodjasteh.

Shahriar Khodjasteh, Group Marketing Director of Al Aqili Furnishings

M irroring the mushrooming of Dubai's property boom, Group Marketing Director Shahriar Khodjasteh's father initially focused only on flooring,

today AAF offers solutions across the contracting and retail spectrum. "Our diversification is a phenomenon fostered by the shift from a rental to a freehold ownership market in the UAE", he explains. Next in line was the birth of Carpetland in 1999, two years after AAFs conception. "A unique portfolio of products which were new to this market came together under one roof. It was a first for the region". Home to an extensive variety of wall-to-wall carpets, area rugs, laminate flooring and wooden parquet, Carpetland is a home grown brand that carries premier flooring products sourced from around the globe. "When we started, we concentrated on distribution only until we realized that as professionals we needed to be the people in front of the end users and so Carpetland came to life" Khodjasteh says. Designers loved them, architects, consultants loved them too because they introduced innovative products, quality service and high standard fitting - a first for the region". Nexr door to Carpetland came Curtainland, a house for all kinds of curtains and upholstery fabrics. Officeland came next, which in addition to selling Italy's top brands, boasts a locally manufactured furniture line 3FFF. Next came Rugland, "a one stop shop for area rugs" he clarifies "as well as Belight and Quattro, the new concept of fashionable furniture". Now Khodjasteh is looking forward to enveloping all these retail concepts under one roof - Decoworld - a one stop shop for all furniture, lighting and flooring solutions. "By bringing all the 'lands' together, under one roof we will be creating a product and service retail sphere that can be replicated regionally", he concludes. "We can't wait to get the ball rolling".

Tel: +9714 337 7717 www.aaf-me.com

  • 134 Best of Dubai

Treasures for real In a retail environment filled with fakes, Pride of Kashmir has won the
Treasures for real
In a retail environment filled with fakes, Pride of Kashmir has won the
badge of honour from its discerning customer base - famous and less
famous alike. It's not only President Bill Clinton, Tommy Hilfiger and
Saudi Prince Bandar Sultan, as well as tennis ace Boris Becker, who
appreciates quality and share in their mission to bring indigenous
artifacts to the world. It is also ordinary shoppers who want to do their bit
by buying something that will contribute to the protection of traditional
South Asian craftsmanship.
Piero Ferrari
Major shareholder, Ferrari Group
“In my quest for things of beauty and lasting value, I am frequently in touch with the world’s best brands and crafts.
I would rank Pride of Kashmir and it’s products amongst the top ones on that list”.
Design & Interiors
  • 136 Best of Dubai

W ith Pride of Kashmir outlets located in 5 outlets in UAE, and with six outlets
W ith Pride of Kashmir outlets located in 5 outlets in UAE, and with six outlets
W ith Pride of Kashmir outlets located in 5 outlets in UAE, and with six outlets
W ith Pride of Kashmir outlets located in 5
outlets in UAE, and with six outlets in
Dubai alone, their stores house eclectic wares
such as antique hand embroidered Jamawar,
Pashmina and Shahminas shawls, Kashmiri
and Persian carpets as well as miscellaneous
curios from the Kashmir in northern India. With
selected merchandise also available at lifestyle
stores such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols and
Hobbs in Europe, each object is like a mini
treasure to die for.
There is something for just about anybody.
Some pieces date from 1700 AD, and then
there are antique as well as reproduction
furniture, furnishings as well as accessories
too. Retail and commercial imperatives
notwithstanding, the stores represent a
sincere attempt by management to retain the
rare art and crafts heritage of the mountain
state alive, and to spread awareness about
it, rather than just about flogging objects
in shops.
Indeed, the encouragement the traditional
weavers have received due to the ever
increasing popularity of their merchandise
among international customers has promoted
the centuries old tradition of shawl weaving,
carpet making and craftsmanship in the state.
Pride of Kashmir's initiative has motivated the
Indian government to help resurrect the Kani for
instance. This is an intricate method of shawl
weaving that originates from this region.
Pride of Kashmir, in existence for close to a
century, has been owned by the Shah family for

four generations. Appointed by Kashmir's erstwhile royalty to source artifacts for the royal court, they have a perfect understanding of what customer's desire. However, in keeping with change and global expansion, modern professional management and marketing systems underscore their operation at every level. By marketing the store concept through exhibitions in Europe, awareness of the rich product portfolio and a rare respect for the valuable role that the store has played in keeping indigenous art and craft alive has been created. Clearly the group's strategy of blending professional ethics with professional management has paid off. In a world rife with counterfeits Pride of Kashmir has scrupulously built a reputation for sticking to the real thing, enhancing customer loyalty. With only the best in aesthetics and materials, their products invariably appreciate in value over time. With painstaking research going into product sourcing - to the delight of customers - the sales staff is well informed about the history of each piece. Despite this, if antiques are not on the shopping list, then plush home furnishings made from rich silks, velvets, patchwork, appliqué, embroidered and sequined fabrics are up for grabs too. Either way, beauty, quality and heritage value rest supreme.

Tel: +9714 340 5348 www.prideofkashmir.com

Best of Dubai

137

Chapter

7

BEAUTY & WELLNESS

Chapter 7 BEAUTY & WELLNESS

“Love adorns itself; it seeks to prove inward joy by outward beauty".

Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali poet, Nobel Prize winner for Literature (1861-1941)

“Love adorns itself; it seeks to prove inward joy by outward beauty". Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali poet,
“Love adorns itself; it seeks to prove inward joy by outward beauty". Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali poet,

Beauty & Wellness