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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

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.

Sponsored by Etisalat

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Best of Dubai CHAPTER 1
Pgs 34 - 63

Hotels & Hospitality CHAPTER 2
Pgs 64 - 79

Contents

Casual Dining and F&B CHAPTER 3
Pgs 80 - 99

Travel, Tours & Leisure CHAPTER 4
Pgs 100 - 107

Golf & Luxury Lifestyles CHAPTER 5
Pgs 108 - 119

Design & Interiors CHAPTER 6
Pgs 120 - 137

Beauty & Wellness CHAPTER 7
Pgs 138 - 159

ETA Star Group CHAPTER 8
Pgs 160 - 167

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Banking, Finance & Security CHAPTER 9
Pgs 168 - 189

Construction, Architecture & Real Estate CHAPTER 10
Pgs 190 - 211

Information, Communication & Technology CHAPTER 11
Pgs 212 - 223

Art, Media & Heritage CHAPTER 12
Pgs 224 - 237

CSR, Green Innovation & Associations CHAPTER 13
Pgs 238 - 249

Get Up & Go CHAPTER 14
Pgs 250 -257

Sharjah CHAPTER 15
Pgs 258 - 277

Celebrate Success

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Turnover 2008 US$ 8 000 000

Employees & Partners 100

Circulation 500 000

International Head offices London, Brussels Dubai, Cairo Bangalore, Singapore Washington DC, Santiago Sydney, Johannesburg

Management Sven Boermeester Lisa Durante Charles Neil Leon Swartz

Building an Atlas of Success, Sustainability and Culture

Brand Image Branding a Nation, a City and its People 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. 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 - The Folders Fast track to the world 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 - 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
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GLOBALVILLAGE PARTNERSHIPS
www.GVPedia.com

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.
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 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
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London

Santiago

Singapore

Sydney

Washington DC

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Chapter

1

BEST OF DUBAI

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.

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"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

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Best of Dubai

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.
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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

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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 itand-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.

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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

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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 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

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: 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' An initiative to promote human development by investing in education and knowledgedevelopment in the region. www.mbrfoundation.ae Dubai Cares 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. www.dubaicares.ae Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders Developing entrepreneurship among UAE nationals and promoting development and growth of small and medium size enterprises. www.sme.ae

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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

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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

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.

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.

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 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 says, "I have closely been watching women in the Emirates, and I am in great admiration of them...I never fail to be amazed at the way in 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". Like her sister-in-law, Queen Rania of Jordan, Princess Haya seeks to be a role model for what moderate forces envision the

The princess's charitable activities include Emirates Arthritis Foundation Aims to increase awareness and education about arthritis in the region and improve the quality of life for arthritis sufferers. www.arthritis.ae Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre Houses home grown and international art exhibitions hosts performances, art classes and plays. www.ductac.org 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. www.righttoplay.com

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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

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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

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'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 destination. . 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

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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 crosscultural understanding, integration and communication between the various cultures represented among UAE residents.

www.cultures.ae

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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.
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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 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 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

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

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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. 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',

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. "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

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

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

VERDE Towers, Dubai Maritime City 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 energyefficient 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.

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"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."
Abid Junaid, Executive Director, ETA Star

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa 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

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) "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."
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports

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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$126.08 million in 2008. There will 113 hectares of greenery added to the city's urban landscape. The objective is to convert 8 per cent of the total urban area in the emirate into green by 2020. The world's first 'green' digital billboard was launched by Barco at the PALME Middle East Exhibition in Dubai in May 2008. Grand Hyatt Dubai became the first hotel in the UAE to convert its main water heating system from diesel oil-fired to solar powered in a bid to reduce climate change and running costs. The hotel's water consumption dropped by 120,000 gallons a day, The 600,000 sq ft Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech) won the Design and Sustainability Honour Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New Jersey Chapter in 2007. Tecom Investments launched The Energy and Environment Park (Enpark) in 2007. This 8 million sq ft eco-friendly business park is aimed at promoting sustainable and clean living. Its key features include 16 different varieties of gardens from all across the world, a large outdoors amphitheatre Health Spa & Resort and Academy for 1,000 students. The US$ 653.5 million 'Al Barari' project at Dubailand is the first eco-friendly sustainable mixeduse 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

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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

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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 widelyused 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. RTA's achievements since establishment The RTA has achieved considerable results and success since its establishment at the end of 2005 on several fronts, such as: - 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 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

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. Variable Message Signs ii. Light signal control system 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. Long -term planning The RTA has conducted a comprehensive longrange 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 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.
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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. 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

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. 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 panoramic windows, LCD screens and access for special needs.

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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

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Etisalat has been the telecommunications service provider in the United Arab Emirates since 1976.

Over 40 per cent of 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 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.

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Mohammad Hassan Omran, Chairman, Etisalat

"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.

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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? 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. 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

over 8 million subscribers and is considered one of the fastest growing mobile phone operators in the world. How does Etisalat manage balancing local competition and regulation whilst working towards being a technology leader, keeping shareholders happy and fulfilling targets and objectives? 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

development of the economy in the UAE. What further innovation can be expected from Etisalat in the medium term? 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

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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

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Tallest worldwide 681.7 metres, 160 floors completed as of 08/08 surpassing the Sears, Petronas & Taipai Towers

Biggest worldwide 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

Biggest worldwide International Airport: Dubai World Central to handle 120million travellers and over 12 million tons of cargo annually

Biggest worldwide 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.

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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 goldedged 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

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"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 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 45day 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.

facilities and relaxed vibe have been crucial factors in the local media scene's ascension from sleepy regional outpost to globestraddling communications catalyst. 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 recordbreaking 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

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. 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 Top40 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

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“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-20thcentury 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, manmade Palm Islands - are grabbing the global limelight. Throw in yearround 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

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Dubai Population 1.422 million, the largest population compared to the other six emirates.

GDP growth AED 198 billion in 2007

Annual inflation Avarage 12%

Government Constitutional Monarchy

Time Zone 4 hours ahead of GMT

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.
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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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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. 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. 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

Courtesy Lilly Bandak

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.

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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 Purchasing alcohol without a liquor licence Bouncing cheques

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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.

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2

HOTELS & HOSPITALITY

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“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

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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…

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

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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

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

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

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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.

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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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 cutterlike", 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

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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248 - all suites

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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 audiovisual equipment and wireless technology.

10 km to the public beach

Raffles
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.

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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

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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Argentinean, Oriental and Thai

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The Spa offers a variety of treatments with highly professional staff

Exquisite views on the Burj

The Palace - The Old Town
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.

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.

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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

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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'.

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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Old Town precinct of Downtown

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Complimentary and available in public areas

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10 km to the public beach

Definitive Hospitality
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.

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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.

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

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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'

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

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.

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

10 km to the airport

Fitness centre and outdoor swimming pool

A revolution in hospitality
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.

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

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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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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.

DP Smedema, General Manager, Philips Lighting Middle East

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.

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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.

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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

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CASUAL DINING AND F&B

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“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)

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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.

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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

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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 threecheese 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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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.

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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 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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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.

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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 ItaloAmerican 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 Italianinspired 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

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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.

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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

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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.

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Dubai Al Garhoud: +9714 282 8484 Sheikh Zayed Road: +97140 331 3113 Jumeirah: +9714 344 1300 Deira City Centre: +9714 295 9559 Dubai Festival City: +9714 232 6000 Health Care City: +97140 362 4820 Green Community: +97140 885 3366 Burjuman: +9714 352 2900 Al Ghurair: +9714 229 6760 Mall of the Emirates: +9714 341 3355 Now Open Jumeirah Beach Residence Dubai & Khalidiyah Mall Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Mariah Culture Complex: +9712 671 6300 Al Ain Al Jimi Mall: +9713 763 8020 Sharjah Sahara Centre: +9716 531 8890 Mega Mall: +9716 574 0020 Ras Al Khaima Chili's Al Manar Mall: +97170 228 8838

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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.

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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 ‘restaurantlike’ 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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Yummm's the word
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.

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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 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

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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).
“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”.
Farida Bahar, Manager, French Connection

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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

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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.
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

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

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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…

Tel: +9714 341 9779 www.appetite.ae

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Chapter

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TRAVEL, TOURS & LEISURE

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.

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

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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 interconnected 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.

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

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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, inflight 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

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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.

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

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.

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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 highend 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

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

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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’.

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.
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Service with a smile…

Gary Chapman, President of Dnata

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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-StopShop 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.

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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-ofthe-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.

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Chapter

5

GOLF & LUXURY LIFESTYLES

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“Golf is a day spent in a round of strenuous idleness”.
William Wordsworth, English Poet (1770-1850)

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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

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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’

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Business Development Manager, Lea Badro, Greenline Yacht Interiors

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

Vice President, Colin Addley , 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 ontime 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 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.

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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.

Club House - Abu Dhabi Golf Club
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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 Els Club, Dubai Sports City

7th hole at Montgomerie Club, Dubai

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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.

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

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

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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 inhouse 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

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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?

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

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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 aftersales? 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

Roger Ghosn, Marketing Manager

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Bugatti Veyron

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

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Bentley Brooklands

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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.

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Bertie Amritanand, CEO House of Cars

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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 ecofriendly. 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

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Chapter

6

DESIGN & INTERIORS

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"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)

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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.

Chairman and Founder, Samir Badro Greenline Group

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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.

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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.

Greenline Interiors Headquarters, Jafza

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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.

Gaby Khoury, Vice President , Greenline Interiors

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 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
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Regal interiors developed with supreme artistry

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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.

Sleek

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Sophisticated

Stylish

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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 Sharjahbased 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

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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? 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? 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.

"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? 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.

www.zainmustafa.com

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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 selfsatisfaction; 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. 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. 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,

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? 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. How do you see the future for Traffic and your own personal career? 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.

Rami Farook, Founder, Traffic

What is your personal design philosophy? I believe in creating livable and lovable environments. Who is your most inspirational designer of all time? I am a big fan of Marcel Wanders, Jaime 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

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Design Ideals
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.

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

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Courtesy Kenneth Laidler Design

Kenneth Laidler, President, APID

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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 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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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.

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.

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

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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

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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.

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

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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".

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.

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

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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”.

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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

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Chapter

7

BEAUTY & WELLNESS

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“Love adorns itself; it seeks to prove inward joy by outward beauty".
Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali poet, Nobel Prize winner for Literature (1861-1941)

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Beauty & Wellness

Looking forward to yesterday
Forget the clichés about aging; it's now all about staying young gracefully. In an increasingly image conscious world where a youthful appearance goes hand in hand with success, the demand for an unsullied face is popular culture's need of the day. Equating to power and vitality, minimally invasive aesthetic treatments bridge the gap between surgery and cosmetics, delivering 'soft' but effective long term benefits. Whilst invasive surgical procedures often involve a significant recovery period and generally have highly noticeable results, aesthetic medicine actually enhances natural beauty by restoring vitality and erasing flaws such as hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. It is as much about embellishment as restoration, showing that in an era where many are enjoying an ever increasing longevity, beauty has no age.

The more symmetrical the face, the more attractive it is perceived to be. Today, the ideal model of beauty is recognised as the bust of Queen Nefertiti - perfectly symmetrical with high prominent cheekbones and a proportionally narrower jaw-line.
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Dr. Maria Angelo-Khattar, Founder, Aesthetica

resting the wave of this trend is Aesthetica, a clinic based in Dubai that promises the latest scientific minimally invasive treatments and is approved by both the Department of Health and Dubai Healthcare City. "Research is my background and my passion is to keep constantly abreast of any new developments in the field, which are both evidence based and safe", explains the founder of Aesthetica, Dr Maria AngeloKhattar, who trained at London University and received a B.sc. Hons in Biochemistry and a Ph.D in Pharmacology. Dr Khattar's impressive academic resume, including Professor of the Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University and many scientific publications, has earned her a fellowship at the Royal Society of Medicine, UK as well as helping to endow Aesthetica with its well deserved reputation for a no nonsense approach to repairing, rejuvenating and restoring facial and body contours, as well as refining skin tone and texture. The first in the region to introduce procedures such as Accent Radio Frequency, Radiesse, Organic Peel, Photopneumatic Therapy, Autologous Cellular Rejuvenation and more, Dr Maria's team is keen to overlook the limitations of chronological age by focusing on reducing biological age instead, advocating that patients should incorporate minimally invasive procedures into the pattern of a healthy lifestyle based on balanced nutrition and physical activity. "It is everyone's right to have a pleasant face, without blemishes due to nature or aging, that's why skin imperfections or minor anomalies nowadays can be addressed with confidence", she explains.

Treatments can broadly be defined into five categories: skin refining, facial contouring, body reshaping, acne treatments and permanent hair reduction, Aesthetica treats a broad spectrum of patients. Their clientele ranges from teenagers seeking to combat acne, to those concerned about either delaying or reducing the signs of aging. With two branches in Dubai, Aesthetica not only attracts all nationalities but also straddles the gender barrier. Dr Maria illustrates why; "Statistics have shown that better looking people are at an advantage in the professional arena and this is the main reason why more men are now opting for aesthetic procedures". Simple, regular facial contouring, as opposed to radical surgery, is able to easily curtail the impact of time or an unhealthy lifestyle whilst avoiding the radical effects of the scalpel. "As a solution to a problem that used to seem unsolvable - until recently - it is both intelligent and artistic", she adds. More importantly, Aesthetica fits snugly into Dubai's ever busy schedule by building on the initial concept of a 'lunchtime peel', re-defining anti-aging procedures and showing that total face recontouring can be quick, convenient and effective in a time-strapped environment. So what treatments would she recommend? "One of the most exciting new developments to emerge in aesthetic medicine is Autologous Cellular Rejuvenation, whereby the patient's own platelets (the cells responsible for skin regeneration) are harvested and re-injected into the skin. The treatment is remarkable for dark under-eye circles and depressions, a problem which had not ever had an effective solution". There are also treatments such as

Aesthetic procedures slow down the aging process. Restoring what is being lost by age, gravity and lifestyle cannot be totally recaptured if procedures start too late. If patients come for regular maintenance throughout the year from their thirties onwards, then aging on their face can be visibly arrested for a decade at least.
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Radiesse which promotes collagen formation, strengthening the very foundations of the face - "this concept of the body being stimulated to build volume through soft tissue regeneration is a very natural and appealing solution to many." More serious flaws such as surgical trauma scars can be treated at Aesthetica as well, and the clinic's dedication to committed service and ongoing care means that there is a trusting relationship between practitioner and client within a responsible, caring environment. "We are always conscious of the distress that even the tiniest facial flaw can potentially create, this is why problems are addressed with confidence, in confidence", Dr Maria says. The first consultation is used to differentiate between "the right patients with realistic expectations", who are then fully informed about every aspect of the process, and the very few who suffer from illnesses such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder. As Dubai strives to become a hub for health, wellness and medical aesthetic services, Aesthetica not only embraces sustainable expansion but aims to remain at the forefront of the boom. Having been one of the first clinics in the area to offer the crop of new and revolutionary treatments now available, the group has been able to secure regional agency rights for several of the products, medical devices and equipment used in the practice, which is also part of the secret to their success. Only biodegradable, bio-compatible EC or FDA approved products are used to ensure safety and consistency. "Dubai is a multicultural city where awareness is now of a global standard", she says. The brand currently encompasses two clinics with a third in the pipeline, although Dr Khattar's dedication to remaining personally involved means that she will not be expanding Aesthetica further for fear of compromising the brand's standards of excellence and personalised service. However, a recent affiliation with Professor Pierre Fournier, an eminent figure, considered by many to be the 'founding father' of aesthetic medicine, will enhance Aesthetica’s current service range further. With Aesthetica, rejuvenation does not just stop at the face, the clinic offers hair removal and body reshaping

treatments capable of targeting unwelcome lumps and bumps from head to toe to reveal an enhanced silhouette. Particularly popular is the removal of cellulite and stubborn fat deposits such as love handles or saddle bags using a number of options including laser and injection lipolysis and the Accent Radiofrequency device. Dr Maria stresses however, that these procedures are no substitute for balanced calorific intake and regular aerobic exercise. Evidence-based and effective procedures are must be coupled with an ethical commitment to maintaining realistic expectations. Whether it is unwanted facial perfections, such as pigmentation, sun damage, and broken capillaries, or the desire for youthful radiant skin or more striking cheek bones; Aesthetica is changing the face of aesthetic procedures by bridging the gap between surgery and cosmetics for rejuvenation that is minimally invasive yet supremely effective. Who needs a scalpel, when we have Dr Maria instead?

Tel: +9714 422 4166 www.aestheticaclinic.com

Dr Maria Angelo-Khattar: "I believe very much in team woDr Maria Angelo-Khattar: "I believe very much in team work and try to involve all of my colleagues in decision making regarding the procedures that we adopt and the daily administration of the clinic.
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By maintaining standards and remaining at the forefront of all new developments, clients of all nationalities and ages can enjoy the Aesthetica touch.

Lasers and Energy-based devices for powerful results
"Lasers and Energy-based equipment are now the cornerstone of minimally invasive procedures and Aesthetica Clinic has the most comprehensive and advanced laser devices to treat all aesthetic conditions," says Dr. Maria Angelo-Khattar.

Lasers and Energy-based for
Acne Leg Veins Skin Tightening Vascular and Pigmented lesions High Powered Fractional Skin Rejuvenation Stretch Marks Tattoo Removal Body Contouring Pain Free Hair Removal Wrinkles and Acne Scars

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Beauty & Wellness

Cosmetic Splendour
In Dubai, if there is one sector proliferating as fast as the skyscrapers in Business Bay, then it has to be health and medical services. Especially when it comes to elective procedures, aside from local residents, increasing numbers of men and women are getting onto the health holiday bandwagon by choosing to have their cosmetic surgery procedures carried out in Dubai.

Royal Suite Bedroom with private elevator and entrance
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Dr. Jeehan Qadir, Executive Chairperson, American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Hospital

ith modern facilities and professional surgeons, an eminent contributor to this trend is the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Hospital (AACSH), which prides itself on being the only cosmetic surgery hospital in the world. Launched in October 2007, its vision to become a global model for excellence, by meeting international quality standards and delivering a high benchmark of service to all clients, is coming to fruition. "We develop unique pioneering procedures available solely at AACSH by using a wide range of methods including invasive and non-invasive surgical procedures", explains Dr. Jeehan Qadir, Executive Chairperson, AACSH, "it is no wonder that we receive a veritable array of global clients who trust our services". Aesthetic appeal comes in all shapes and sizes at AACSH, located at Dubai Healthcare City, the facility is utterly appealing with custom designed 'Boutique Hospital' environment designed to look and feel anything but a traditional hospital. "Our five operating theatres are built to assure comfort and convenience offering state-of-the-art technology with highly qualified surgeons and our luxury in-house suites are truly palatial spaces and services - just like a seven stars hotel", she added. The hospital also hosts private entrances for clients, ensuring absolute confidentiality. In keeping with its pioneering spirit, AACSH continues to provide groundbreaking treatments for its clients. For instance, improvements in laser treatments have lead to the development of a signature service which addresses problems such as pigmentation, wrinkles, eczema rosacia and acne vulgaris. "The procedure shows optimum results rapidly and involves no oral medication or invasive procedures" Dr. Jeehan says. Laser vascular treatment is another sought after technique which treats vascular lesions such as birthmarks, spider leg veins, broken vessels (on the face) and rosacia. "Developed in the US and

implemented in Dubai, these processes demonstrate the developments in research and practice that we strive towards, raising our global profile in the bargain". The AACSH educational centre provides internationally accredited surgical and non-surgical workshops, affiliated to the AACS in the US. It is designed to accommodate conferences, seminars and workshops, with an amphitheatre lecture hall accommodating 100 seated people and wide screen viewing facility. It is also adjoined with an operating theatre which is fully equipped with state-of-the-art technology and equipment for live surgery transmittal as well as educational purposes. As a respected worldwide referral unit for cosmetic surgery, the AACSH offers enormous educational opportunities for the global physician and the general public alike. These include the postgraduate medical education, the AACS Annual scientific meeting and the prominent World Congress on Liposuction Surgery. Dr Jeehan Qadir, Executive Chairperson of AACSH explains; "By moving the World Congress of Liposuction to Middle East we ensured that our regional medical physicians will have more chances for post-graduation and continuous medical education. This will allow new ideas and new medical projects to be born, thus ensuring the attraction of international standards and services comparable to those of similar facilities in the US, and thereby achieving the overall target of medical tourism," which goes with the vision of HH Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice president and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, by making Dubai a hub for medical tourism for an approximate population of 1.8 billion in the surrounding region. This kind of tourism combines medical treatments with holiday enjoyment - an industry in which the AACSH in Dubai has surely succeeded.

Tel: +9714 423 7600 www.aacsh.com

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Forever Care
The American Hospital Dubai provides quality, cost effective, American standard healthcare to meet the needs of Dubai and the surrounding Gulf states through comprehensive primary, secondary and tertiary care services on an inpatient, outpatient and referral basis.

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ach year almost half a billion dollars is pumped into the UAE's Healthcare system, and the public and private facilities available to the nation's residents boast the latest in technology, resources and professional expertise. This was not always the case. Up until a decade ago, healthcare in the UAE was limited to a handful of respectable but over-populated government-run public hospitals and clinics. As the population grew to 1.2 million, so did the demand for Western-equivalent medicine on par with International, namely American, standards. Ask anyone in town to name the best hospital in Dubai, and the answer would be the American Hospital Dubai. A landmark in the city, The American Hospital Dubai (AHD), a 143 bed acute care, general medical / surgical hospital was established in 1996 and has proven itself to be a leader among private and medical centers in the Emirate. The Hospital was planned, designed, built and equipped to meet American Standards of Healthcare. The hospital operates to these standards and all its physicians are North American Board Certified or of equivalent Western training programs, such as those in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. Catering to quality medicine, AHD is the first hospital in the Middle East to be accredited by the Joint Commission International Accreditation (JCIA); a subsidiary of the United States based Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare organizations (JCAHO). This pioneering initiative has not only eased the worries of Dubai's residents, it has also heralded the creation of a thriving health industry. Projects such as the US$ 1.8 billion Dubai Healthcare City - the strategic vision of General

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai- seek to strengthen Dubai as a global hub for specialized healthcare and a center for medical education and research. The spearhead for all of this was AHD. Despite the expensive mandate, "AMERICAN HOSPITAL DUBAI is committed to providing the highest quality patient care by meeting American and International accredited standards", says Richard Larison, CEO. The hospital has been a recognized leader in primary, secondary and increasingly tertiary care in the UAE for the past eleven years. It has built this reputation by insuring the finest hospital facilities, the latest technology and the recruitment of US / Western qualified and trained physicians. The hospital has developed several areas of expertise: Heart, Total Joint Replacement, Diabetes, Neurosciences, GI Services, Cancer, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics and Obstetrics. Construction is already well under way for its’ new seven-storey tower. It is projected to be completed in February, 2010 and will include 8 state-of-the-art operating rooms, 47 ICU beds, 178 patient beds, a new Radiation Therapy Center, an expanded Regional Center for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, and a Reference Laboratory. All of this will allow AHD to continue to meet the healthcare needs of the people of Dubai, UAE and the region. "With a dedication to continual quality improvement and growth, AHD is committed to expand its present services and introduce new centers of excellence", concluded Richard Larison.

Tel: +9714 336 7777 www.ahdubai.com

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Caring is our concern
A bastion of reliability, care and impeccable service, their persistent efforts in redefining the standards of patient care in this part of the world have been well received and appreciated by thousands of faithful patients over the decades. With a motto as meaningful as 'Caring is our concern', Drs. Nicolas & Asp Centres throughout Dubai uphold a philosophy that has brought a smile to many.

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or almost twenty years, the 'Care Philosophy' of Drs. Nicolas, Sven and Joan Asp that is shared by their globally handpicked Dentists, Dental Specialists and Dental Professors is still the driving force in their everyday challenge defined as excellence in patient care. Patient satisfaction, patient retention and patient recommendation are the genuine rewards that the 150 clinical and non-clinical staff members value and strive for. With their loyalty, these valued patients have made them the largest private dental healthcare provider in UAE with five branches serving Jumeirah, The Marina Walk, Midriff, Green Community and Dubai Healthcare City. Today, in response to their patients requests 'Family Medical Services', both General Medical Practice and Specialists Clinics have been introduced keeping in mind the highest of standards. These additional services are gradually being introduced and are currently offered in some of their centres - including the soon to be opened, three sate of the art facilities at the Jumeirah Beach Residence. When it comes to training, 'Nicolas & Asp College Of Postgraduate Dentistry, FZ,LLC' at Dubai Healthcare City is the only College in the Middle East offering official accredited Specialists Dental Degrees legally recognized in Europe. The College Teaching Faculty Professors serve as a think tank and expert authority for their dental clinicians in particular, and for the UAE dental community in general. Since inception, Drs. Nicolas & Asp has constantly focused on patient's changing needs, looking at quality patient care as a fundamental aspect of their function in Dubai and further afield. Today Dubai is claiming its status as a sophisticated vibrant metropolis with discerning residents from worldwide seeking

quality care. This has supported the team's drive in seeking the most distinguished clinicians in their craft, in introducing the latest disciplines and services, in using the most advanced technologies and equipment to secure an unparalleled level of attention and expertise for their varied clientele. The current general and specialised medical and dental services provided are: General dentists, pediatric dentistry specialists, orthodontists (braces), cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening, dental implants (immediate, teeth in an hour and instant computer aided implants), crown and bridge porcelain works. In addition: endodontists (root canal specialists), oral and maxillofacial surgeons, oral surgeons, periodontists (gum specialists) and cleft palate experts, as well as hygienists too. The following clinicians will soon be offering 'Family Medical Services': general medical doctors, family practitioners, pediatricians, obstetrics/gynecologists, ear nose and throat specialists, plastic surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, internal medicine specialists, physiotherapy as well as other disciplines that may be requested by the families they serve. Prevention is an important corner stone in the Dr Nicolas & Asp mission for patient care. Prevention is meant to empower families with enough tools to maintain and enjoy a happy and healthy life. Corporate Social Responsibility In line with the continuing patronage and her support for Children's issues; Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE Ruler of Dubai, is sponsoring the 'Dental Care for Children with Special Needs

Dr. Nicolas, General Dentist and owner Drs. Nicolas&ASP

and other Needs' community campaign offered by 'Nicolas & Asp College of Postgraduate Dentistry' in coordination with the Dubai Health Authority. The initiative aims to empower children for a brighter healthier smile in the years to come. To this effect the first epidemiological study screening of Dubai school children has started. The study aims at identifying the community status in the areas of Oral Hygiene, Tooth Filling, Decay, Missing and Orthodontic Disorders. The results of this study will be utilised by Public Dental Health policy makers at the Dubai Health Authority. At Drs. Nicolas & Asp, a firm belief in the 'boutique operation' concept means that their teams will always be focused on offering bespoke services to a unique clientele who now value and will continue to value tomorrow their philosophy of 'Caring Is Our Concern'.

Tel: +9714 394 7777 www.nicolasandasp.com

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Extending Beauty
In this day and age of immediate results, nothing says instant glamour quite like Hair Extensions. One of the fastest growing sectors of the multi billion dollar beauty business, hair extensions give you the hair you have always wanted........ in 90 minutes or less!

Julie Powell, Owner of The Gold Salon Group of Companies

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he Gold Salon is a World Class Hair Extension facility and Education Centre, situated in the heart of Dubai, credited with bringing Hair Extensions to the Middle East in the 1990's. Part of the Gold Salon Group, it is firmly established as the Industry leader in this highly specialised field. Working exclusively with Great Lengths products, and the new generation of extension technology to offer a safe, durable, resilient high tech application that can be brushed, combed, worn up, tied back, be blow dried, coloured and even permed. The patented bond utilises keratin found in your hair to safely create a natural attachment that looks and reacts exactly like your own hair. Chosen by Celebrities the World over, Great Lengths is the Rolls Royce of Hair Extensions, and the extension makeover process at The

Gold Salon will leave you addicted to this amazing process. Want to instantly create a glamorous new you in your lunch break? Leave work early and hit the town looking like Catherine Zeta Jones, or Elle Macpherson. Then Gold Salon is definitely the place to check out. Detailed free consultations preface your treatment, with treatment carried out in the privacy of VIP extension suites, featuring plasma screens, dvd players and music systems. Wireless internet is available for clients wishing to work, food is ordered in from your favourite Restaurants, there is even an airport car service for the numerous International clients flying in from as far afield as India, Pakistan, the Gulf States and the UK to enjoy this unique level of service. Gold Salon Group founder, Julie Powell is still very much hands on in the day to day running at both the Salon level, and the International Distribution Network she has built spanning most of the Middle East, Iran and India. Responsible for the education of some 400 extensionists, Julie takes this area of her work very seriously. "The hair quality is the World's finest, the innovative application techniques always at the cutting edge of the Industry, and when you combine this with a complex and proven education system that leaves nothing to chance, we are able to guarantee that the Great Lengths experience is consistently the finest in the world". Based on the success of building the Great Lengths Brand, the Gold Salon Group has gone on to establish equally prestigious agreements with other leading Hair and Beauty based Companies, launching the World renowned Tanagra Nanokeratin permanent Hair Repair System at the end of 2006, and the phenomenally successful Biolustre range early in 2007. " By drawing upon our experience in Salon Ownership, built over 25 years, we are able to recognise effective products that will prove a success in this part of the World. We go after brands that are either unique in their formulations, or at the top of the market. Salon clients in the Middle East are discerning and deserve the best."

Tel: +9714 321 1423 www.goldsalondubai.com

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Looking Sharp
Higher disposable incomes coupled with an inexorable desire for appeal has resulted in a wellness boom. It's obvious by the plethora of spas, nail lounges and beauty centres, that this industries' growth is phenomenal within the Gulf region. By 2015 the UAE will be estimated amongst the top spa destinations worldwide offering top facilities for all such services. By cresting the wave of this trend and breaking the gender barrier too, the sophisticated NStyle Nail Lounge and brother company Urban Male Lounge (UML) are participating in this growth, offering their tailor-made experiences to professional clients who expect better service and better product delivery.

NStyle International - NStyle and UML are becoming the region's market leader in their sector, thanks to the innovative business acumen and meticulous approach of Lama Bazzari, NStyle Internationals' CEO and founder.
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Lama Bazzari is developing a ramified business model with an ethical element. Corporate Social Responsibility is a core ingredient for her recipe of success and personal fulfilment. "Aimed at directly supporting the underprivileged through community driven initiatives NStyle continues to focus its efforts in backing worthwhile causes that give back to the communities it operates from". Clearly, beauty is more than skin deep with this tireless entrepreneur with a conscience.

NStyle Nail Lounge - where super fresh meets uber chic Offering a multitude of services, from a simple nail polish and waxing, to indulgent therapies like massages, the NStyle Nail Lounge is an invaluable asset for ladies within Dubai and beyond. Supremely feminine - a fresh environment is peppered with girly touches creating an atmosphere buzzing with local business women and holidaymakers alike. Whilst relaxing in a plush armchair, watching an episode of the latest sitcom via headset and sipping on green tea, I had my extremities pampered to death by a posse of proficient therapists. A personal favourite included a paraffin wax treatment where my feet were gently dipped in liquid wax, bound and gently unfolded to reveal baby soft heels and toes. Whilst the mandarin honey sugar scrub and white tea hydrating mask was administered to my hands and lower arms truly sumptuous, and deliciously lickable. The final piece de resistance was the French Manicure and Pedicure. It would take days, however, to sample the entirety of NStyle Nail Lounge's extensive menu, as they offer everything from nail extensions, their most popular service, to pampering spa services that combine mind and body wellness. To ensure the highest levels of hygiene throughout, all implements are treated in hospital grade disinfect. From Essie and Soho product ranges, representing hip brands on the beauty stage, stock is ordered from the US, Italy, France and the Far East to provide themed therapies suited to all types of needs and desires. Top brands notwithstanding, staff are attentive, professional and discrete, allowing clients to savour the moment. "All of our therapists have years of professional expertise behind them and undergo an intensive orientation and training program at NStyle Nail Lounge, but guidance does not cease there. Educators are constantly checking and modifying the treatments in sync with international trends, therefore staff training continues throughout their careers", explains Lama Bazzari, Founder and CEO, NStyle International

With five premier locations in Dubai another five on the anvil including their flagship lounge in Dubai Mall - as well as one in Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, the NStyle Nail Lounge is the ideal haven for today's active women looking for professionalism, new approaches and affordability. Not just another nail lounge with standardised service. Welcome to a combination that is true to its signature philosophy, even after the polish is dry. (Danielle Rapaport) Urban Male Lounge - ultimate in male refinement According to the International Spa Association, men now make up 29 percent of all spa goers. This figure is set to increase soon as men recognise the significance of looking good as a means to stay on top of the game. Not overlooking trends or market opportunities, NStyle International recently penetrated the male grooming market with the launch of UML - a high-end male grooming lounge. A world of practical, tailor made grooming procedures that leave even the most uninitiated man begging for more. With a service menu that ranges from the mundane to

the sublime - therapeutic massages, shaving, hand and foot treatments, facials as well as reflexology are offered in a spotless and decadently plush environment that's both professional and affordable. Targeted to compliment the affluent and socially aware 21st century male consumer, this relaxation den is located in Dubai's DIFC Gates Building. Convenient for a lunchtime quick-fix or post work sprucing session, it's frequented by both Dubai's 'who's who' and others keen to incorporate male grooming as part of their regular regime. The indulgence not only makes me look sharp, it is a bona fide stress buster as well. Each grooming area has been designed with discretion in mind, unlike the female equivalent where chit chat flows in an open-plan setting. Here, a reclining leather lazy-boy armchair is positioned in front of an individual TV, offering sports and movies for guys to enjoy. The staff is quietly solicitous and as for the treatments? 'Blissfully relaxing' would be the ultimate verdict. (Marlon Weir)
N-Style Lounge Urban Male Lounge -

Tel: +971 4 425 0347 Tel: +971 4 425 0350 www.nstyleintl.com

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Bringing Paris to Dubai
Dessange (Paris) is synonymous with ineffable style, elegance and innovation in the competitive and fast moving world of hairdressing and beauty care. With over 700 salons and institutes in 50 countries, this globally recognised brand has taken Dubai by storm.

Dessange enjoys a well-documented tradition of world-class service, innovation, hygiene and style that clients have come to expect and which other brands attempt to emulate

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The Dessange brand has become an emblem of prestige in the international world of luxury, with over 1000 salons world-wide.

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he history of Dessange (Paris) brand goes back to the 1950s, when the then young hairdressing supremo Jacques Dessange was forging a reputation for himself as a hairdresser to the stars. By 1954, Jacques Dessange launched his first salon in the Champs Elysées. At a time when the likes of Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent were revolutionising haute couture, Jacques Dessange was establishing his own enduring trademark - a synergy between elegance and everyday practicality a’ la chic Parisienne style.

Today, the brand remains in the rarefied echelons of haute hairdressing and beauty care with 55,000 pampered clients receiving the Dessange magic touch daily. Wherever they may be, they can all expect the same level of expertise, attention and consistency from some of the world’s most experienced and talented specialists. Dessange in Dubai The first Dubai branch of Dessange (Paris) has been operating since 2007 at the

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Official coiffure of the Dubai Fashion Week, Dessange showcased the hottest and most innovative styles of the season.

Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates. Due to the significant growth of Dessange Salon, customers now book their appointments in advance.” Sticklers for perfection in terms of expertise, all Dessange (Paris) staff undergo extensive training at one of its several beauty institutes worldwide before they hit the salon floor. In addition, regular training throughout the year keeps them abreast with the latest coiffure and skincare trends from Paris, he explains. As a result Dessange often succeeds and invents the new season’s hair styling that other salons try to imitate. Hairdressing aside, “we also have our own patented beauty machines which provide specialised treatments for skin care,” he continues. “They focus on energy reactivated by galvanic flow or clays made out of precious stones and are designed to reenergise and tone the skin.” These include treatments for the removal of stressed and fatigued skin, deep cleansing, re-oxygenated skin tissue, restoring complexion and skin

glow, and a multi clay treatment to balance skin function. Other specialised treatments range from Hydra Peeling, Morpho Sculpt, Morpho Liss, Morpho Lift for skin toning and firming, in addition to a plethora of anti ageing systems including peeling, re-firming, regeneration, wrinkle fill in and sculpting. As if all this were not suffiecient, clients can also avail of a make up specialist and full range of nail services, as well as hair removal. A one stop beauty haven for those who demand supreme quality and service. Exclusively Dessange Ultimately, it’s the consistency that Dessange (Paris) delivers that maintains its lead, setting it apart from others. Dessange is rigorous about maintaining utmost standards in hygiene, technique, customer attention and the creation of the latest Parisian coiffure trends. That’s what keeps us ahead in the race. Recognition of its cutting edge yet reliable reputation has resulted in it

being the official coiffure at prestigious events as the Cannes Film Festival, Monaco Open, Dubai Film Festival, Roland Garros as well as Dubai Fashion Week. It is at such public arenas where celebrities must look their most glamorous - where prestige, image and practicality fuse into one that only the best will do. For Dessange (Paris) to have held its position at such recognised events only serves to demonstrate its continuing excellence. With its exclusivity and global reputation in mind, Dessange (Paris) is selecting its next locations in the Middle East strategically. In autumn 2008, a second Dubai salon will open in the iconic Burj Al Arab and by the following year, a salon will open in Abu Dhabi. Dessange aims to retain its exclusivity by offering its world class service only at the most discerning and superlative locations in the UAE.

Tel: +9714 341 7733 / 341 7676 ww.dessange.com

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With a finger on the fashion pulse, Dessange prides itself in creating hair trends, not following them.

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Beauty & Wellness

Connecting Luxury
Launched in 2006, M&M General Trading provides an eclectic mix of luxury products aimed at the up-market hospitality b2b sector - from high quality wine cabinets from France, to exquisite German glassware and private label Italian coffee. Adding to its discerning portfolio, the company has recently secured the exclusive GCC agency for the UK's Paul Bryan hair care product brand.

I

n the UK, the Paul Bryan brand is synonymous with quality and professional hair results. "M & M General Trading has built its reputation on sourcing niche markets to supply to the UAE," explains the company's owner Marco Carstanjen. According to a MENA Report, the UAE cosmetic and personal care market is valued at over AED1.5 billion, making excellent business sense for this rapidly expanding import company to tap into the hair care lucrative sector. However, with over 3000 dedicated hair salons in the UAE and a plethora of hair care companies already represented, is there room for another hair care product? "Absolutely," argues Carstanjen, "Dubai is currently the fastest growing city in the world, with close to seven million tourists annually. The opportunities for this brand are endless." The Paul Bryan range Paul Bryan himself - creator of the collection - has vast experience in hair care and styling. With salons in the UK and previously the UAE, the Paul Bryan brand has firm roots in salon professional hair care. Advocating simplicity and results in its 'Keep it simple' concept, the current hair care range consists of five products, three for daily use and two for weekly additional hair pampering. As Paul Bryan comments, "I wanted to create a hair care range that fits into the busy regime of real women, that cuts through the confusion of the hair care shelf." The range has proven to be so popular that the Paul Bryan brand is changing direction, with a focus now on training, education and designing new products, rather than salon expansion.

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Marco Carstanjen, General Manager, M & M General Trading

Paul Bryan in the UAE As the GCC's official distributor, M & M General Trading is responsible for managing retail accounts, overseeing local marketing and promoting the full range of products. As Carstanjen explains, "The Paul Bryan brand presents such a great opportunity to expand our product offering using our proven skills in service and value to our clients." The market potential for such a product in the region is hard to dispute. As Beauty Vision Middle East states, "the UAE boasts one of the highest annual GDPs per capita worldwide, resulting in high levels of disposable incomes and an increase in demand for luxury and cosmetic products." Main outlets for the brand are Dubai Duty Free, a highly visible and international outlet, as well as Lifestyle Pharmacy and the ever-expanding Spinneys supermarket chain. However, M & M Trading's role is not purely about importing the brand, it is also working in partnership with the company's UK marketing team and developing tactical point-of-sale delivery within the region. Next on the agenda With Paul Bryan hair care products being the fastest growing new brand within M & M's portfolio, what's next for a company that has quickly established a solid reputation within the market? With an eye to the future and a potentially huge market based on upcoming trends, M & M General Trading needs to keep ahead of the game. As Carstanjen predicts, "M & M General Trading will remain focused on delivering world class products and services to the GCC market and continue to seek out opportunities that will assist our growth and market position. We are currently looking to network and expand our brands' reach to other GCC countries."

Tel: + 9716 557 4993 www.paulbryanhaircare.com

As Paul Bryan comments, "I wanted to create a hair care range that fits into the busy regime of real women, that cuts through the confusion of the hair care shelf".

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Chapter

8

ETA STAR GROUP

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Built on Trust

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ETA Star Group

Strength in Diversity
The ETA Star Group is a trusted, pre-eminent corporate entity in the Middle East. A highly diversified, multidimensional organisation, its activities cover 16 broad industry verticals including from Contracting & Engineering, Trading, Shipping, Manufacturing and Assembly, Facilities Management & Environmental, Automobiles, Real Estate, Retail, Services, Travel & Leisure, Healthcare, Aviation, Learning &Education, Insurance, Hospitality, Oil and Natural Gas. These fields have in turn fostered a host of businesses, each carving an independent niche under the ETA Star banner.

ETA STAR Property Developers is a part of ETA ASCON conglomerate, which started with a vision to become a major player in the arena of property development. ETA STAR offers a whole gamut of services connected with property development.
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T

he journey of the ETA Star Group began in the early '70s with the establishment of a small construction company called Ascon, as a joint venture between Dubai's Al Ghurair Group and Amana Investments Limited of Hong Kong. In the initial years, the company was engaged in the construction business, supplying building materials. As the company made

headway in the field of onstruction, fresh ways of adding value came to the fore. For instance, the idea of offering a package of allied services that included sanitary installations, airconditioners, elevators, switchgear and other electro-mechanical works evolved. This led to the formation of the Mechanical & Electrical division, a pioneer in its field. Over time, the division expanded. ETA Melco was set up as a separate escalator and elevator company. Today, both the M&E division and ETA Melco are top players in their respective fields regionally. With intelligent diversification underscoring its vision and ethos, each division of the ETA Star Group has had a logical beginning. A keen sense of entrepreneurship has pushed the group to constantly explore new opportunities. Evolving in tandem with Dubai's own growth, as the emirate's requirement for power increased for example, the group made a bold foray into power; covering distribution, installation of sub-stations, transmission lines and generation. Furthermore, it expanded into desalination projects too. With respect to trading and shipping, it can be said that the seeds of this division were sown at the outset when ETA was trading in building materials. Today, it has grown into a multifaceted global enterprise that includes high-end shipping services and trading in commodities like cement, agroproducts, minerals, raw materials and fertilisers as well as chemicals. As backward and forward integration is another aspect of the corporate rationale, the group owns a fleet of vessels and carriers with ship-broking offices that meet the needs of clients worldwide. With the group engaged in such a wide range of activities, involving an array of products and commodities, manufacturing seemed a logical step forward. Therefore, when the time was right, the group got into the manufacture of power control systems and switchgear, cement, air-conditioners, steel fabrication, air distribution systems, aluminium cladding and uPVC windows and doors, among other things.

Khalid Al Ghurair, Director; B.S.Abdur Rahman,Vice Chairman; Syed M. Salahuddin, Managing Director; Abdullah Ahmad Al Ghurair, Chairman

The group's commitment to quality, backed by its infrastructure and expertise, saw the emergence of the Engineering Maintenance Co which is making great strides today. However, since the need for facilities management in other areas was also felt, the group began to offer janitorial and security services, waste management, paper and plastic recycling, land transport, automobile workshops, taxis as well as public transport and eventually, oil and gas services as well. Since for them, diversification knows no limits, the group has ventured into retail and leisure as well. From casual apparel and jewellery, to corporate and travel management services, tomobiles, consumer electronics and food

outlets, there are numerous areas that the group covers. Here again, the growth has been logical. The ANTA Travel agency, for example, was set up when the large-scale movement of expatriate workers travellers to and from the region, including the group's own employees, between the UAE and their home countries, was identified as a potential area for business. The philosophy of the ETA Star Group has always been to identify a captive market and develop it. The emphasis at every stage has been on innovation, total quality, backward integration and contracting. Little wonder then that the group's activities are so varied, making it one of the most eclectic business groups in the region.

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Major divisions at a glance Civil Engineering The flagship company ASCON has consolidated its position as one of the most respected construction companies undertaking prestigious projects in the UAE. With an impressive track record for technical and engineering capability, ASCON is recognised for the swift, smooth and integrated execution of turnkey projects. Other companies coming under the Civil Engineering head include: Ascon Road Construction and Ascon Leisure Division. Electromechanical Works The M&E division has been a forerunner in the field of electromechanical contracting in the UAE. It offers a wide range of services such as design, supply and installation of air conditioning, electrical, sanitary, and plumbing, fire protection, ELV & BMS systems etc. With fully computerised design facilities and advanced skills, M&E has carried out environmental control for a number of commercial and residential complexes including hotels, shopping malls, banks, cinemas, hospitals, universities, airports, railways, metro stations, IT parks, communications and industrial projects. Gulf District Cooling and ETA Engineering Pvt Ltd also operate under this division. Elevator & Escalator Engineering ETA Melco is a name that has become synonymous with elevators and escalators in the Middle East and beyond. A joint venture between ETA and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Japan, it has also earned the reputation of being amongst most innovative elevator escalator / manufacturers worldwide with the largest market share in the region. Power Projects and Desalination The Power Projects Division (PPD) is an internationally renowned engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) contractor in the field of power and desalination projects. It has the expertise to undertake, design, procure, co-ordinate, install, test and commission projects in the field of power generation, power distribution (including substations, EHV cabling and transmission lines up to 400kw), desalination projects in the Middle East and elsewhere. In the energy sector, the group has a growing presence in the oil & gas industry represented by Star Petro Energy, the Oil Field Services Division and ETA Star Engineering.

Shipping & Trading A ramified global enterprise in itself, this division is the largest dealer of dry bulk cargo in the region. With a global network of offices and experienced staff, it successfully meets the changing requirements of a demanding clientele and trades in a wide range of commodities from agro products and minerals to raw materials like cement and fertilisers and chemicals. The division, which has a vast fleet of vessels, also boasts of a number of related businesses including advanced maritime and port services and sale and purchase of ships. Manufacturing & Assembling The main businesses in this category are related to the manufacture or assembling of power control systems & switchgear, steel fabrication, air distribution systems, aluminium cladding, uPVC doors and windows, air-conditioners, cement, joinery and marble. Facilities Management, Environmental Services, Transport & Automobiles The facilities management and environmental services include engineering maintenance, janitorial and security services, waste management services, paper and plastic recycling. The transport division consists of Zenath General Land Transport, a CARS workshop and rental service. It also plies CARS Taxis in the UAE. Retail & Leisure This division covers casual apparel (Giordano Fashions), fashion apparel, jewellery (Al Haseena Jewellery), corporate and leisure travel management services (ANTA), automobiles (Western Auto, Exim Star Auto Trade), food outlets (Star Retail, Chai Café, Mex Chic Inn) and consumer electronics (Kitchen House, Fujeta, World of Time) Property Development ETA Star Property Developers offers a whole gamut of services in property development and hospitality. By embarking on a programme to develop commercial, residential and hospitality properties for the benefit of nationals and the expatriate population, it has launched over five million square feet of premium properties located at prestigious freehold areas of Dubai and the northern Emirates. It has also undertaken overseas developments like in India and Sri Lanka. Along with

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The ETA Star Group is a trusted, pre-eminent corporate entity in the Middle East. A highly diversified, multidimensional organisation, its activities cover 16 broad industry verticals across numerous areas.

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Emirates Towers A fitting showcase for ETA Star Group which has done the complete mechanical and electrical work besides the elevator and escalator works as well for this project in Dubai. ETA M&E and ETA Melco are not only pioneers in their fields but also the reigning market leaders with several other prestigious projects to their credit.

In China, the company has acquired a shipyard and is increasing its capacity. In India investments in power generation projects (1,000 MW power plant requiring a AED 6 billion capital expenditure), as well as a road project exceeding AED 2.5 billion is being planned.

Corporate Social Responsibility
"At ETA, we are committed to the protection of the environment and the communities in which we live in. We proudly commit to conducting ourselves in a socially responsible manner and to keeping our business operations environmentally sound. We follow and adhere to the environmental rules and regulations. The health and safety of our customers, our employees, and the communities in which we operate is the paramount in all we do. Our values are reflected not only in the quality and the reputation of our company, but also in our dedication to serving the communities where we do business. ETA undertakes its corporate social responsibility through a variety of effective programs. Since 1973, the company has been serving the community with its outreach efforts. This has touched the lives of millions." Home for the Homeless ETA STAR supported 'Red Crescent Authority' for 'Home for the Homeless' programme with AED 2 million. ETA STAR and its joint venture partners donate one per cent of total sales during the Holy month of Ramadan to build homes for the homeless. The cheque value is equivalent to one per cent of the total sales of ETA STAR and its joint venture partners Hircon and Star Giga. Mobile Medicare Units ETA ASCON STAR GROUP substantially supports Help Age India for Mobile Medicare Units in the Ramanathapuram district. Syed M. Salahuddin, Managing Director, ETA ASCON STAR GROUP presented a cheque for Rs 2,188,190 to Indrani Rajadurai, Regional Director (south), Help Age India towards the running and capital costs for one year for a Mobile Medicare Unit at Kilakarai Town, Ramanathapuram District. ETA ASCON STAR GROUP has signed a MOU with Help Age India to support this newly commissioned unit at cost of Rs 5,053,350 for three years. This includes the cost of the new Mobile Medicare Unit van. Mr. Syed M. Salahuddin presented another cheque for Rs 600,000 towards the first installment of an approved donation of Rs 1,200,000 for providing free cataract IOL surgeries to 1,000 poor elders in the Ramanathapuram District. This new Mobile Medicare unit will provide free medical treatment for the sick and poor elderly people living in ten deserving and needy villages in and around Kilakarai Town in Ramanathapuram district. This Mobile Medicare Unit is the latest addition to host of 51 Mobile Medicare Units of Help Age India which are spread all over the country.

ETA Star Properties, ETA Star Projects also caters to high-end lifestyle projects in the hospitality sector. Healthcare ETA Star Healthcare LLC, launched in 2003, has embarked upon various projects that seek to fill the gaping lacuna in healthcare services in the UAE. They include hospital projects in Dubai at Muraqqabat, Midriff and Dubai Investment Park and the other emirates. Joint ventures have also been set up with Arabian Healthcare, India's Metropolis and Trivitron for other projects that include hospitals, clinical laboratories and trade in medical/diagnostic/imaging equipments. Learning & Education While the group's early initiatives in education were confined to projects in India, meeting the demand for quality education in the UAE by bringing in premier Indian institutions like BITS Pilani and MAHE Manipal; have added choice and quality to the tertiary educational sphere of the emirate. In a backward integration, the group also set up the SEMS chain of schools catering to the primary and secondary levels.

Tel: +9714 271 3333 www.etaascon.com

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Built on trust
Celebrating their 35th anniversary last year, Hameed Salahuddin, Director, ETA Ascon Star Group shares his group's unique strategy for success that over the decades has evolved into making ETA Ascon Star Group one of the region's most influential corporations.

"W

e began operations in the early 1970s and celebrated our 35th anniversary last year. And yes, we have come a long way since the early days. The success of the ETA Ascon Star Group can be attributed to many factors. To begin with, we have been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. Our growth has coincided with the tremendous growth of Dubai over the past three decades. The early entrepreneurship and the farsighted vision of the leadership has not only ensured that we were pioneers in many fields of operations but has also helped sustain our lead position till date. We have also never shied away from exploring any opportunity that comes our way, with the result that we are one of the most diversified business establishments in the region today. Our strength lies in this diversity. But above all, our sustenance power stems from the deep value system that we have. ETA Ascon, which prides itself with a unique culture of humility, has been built on trust and we enjoy a high degree of credibility in the region and beyond. Inshall'ah, this will continue to hold us in good stead as we expand." Is your group represented elsewhere in the world and if so, what is the rationale behind your global expansion strategy? "We live a Global Village and cannot afford to operate in isolation. But even before globalization became the buzzword that it is today, our group's activities have been extensive in geographic terms. We operate in over 22 countries of the world today. Our expansion programme has assumed a more global nature in recent years. Basically, we have gained a lot of expertise from the GCC and we would like to take this know-how globally particularly to regions like India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, besides of course the Middle East and North Africa." ETA is an icon for construction excellence in the UAE? Are there other fields of industry that you have excelled in and what new products can we expect in the near future? "Construction was our first area of business but the group has diversified vastly. We are now present in more than 16 industry verticals today. Among them are contracting, engineering, trading, shipping, manufacturing and assembly, facilities management, automobiles, real estate, retail, services, travel and leisure, healthcare, aviation, learning and education, insurance and hospitality. Each of these verticals include a host of businesses, many of which - like ETA M&E, our elevators company ETA Melco and our facilities management company Modern Building Maintenance - are pioneers and continue to enjoy the market leadership today. We have also made a mark for ourselves in property

development and other new areas like higher education." With projects in excess of Dh 5 Billion to date, what future plans does ETA have for development in the UAE? "No doubt our order book is very healthy for the coming five years. We will certainly aim to consolidate our lead position in existing fields of operations. We will also be expanding horizontally, vertically and organically. We will be laying greater emphasis on manufacturing and tapping the immense potential of the oil and gas industry. Of course, we will tap every opportunity that comes our way in any field as it is this spirit of entrepreneurship that has been the hallmark of the ETA Ascon Star Group." Global trends call for environmental sustainability in construction and development. Does the ETA Ascon Group share this view and how can we see this implemented in your projects? "Green is in and it is more than just a catchphrase today. No matter what innovations we may come up with, they will be of little relevance if they are not green-compliant. This will be reflected in all our activities. As you know, ETA Star Properties set a trend by coming out with Verde, which comprises two towers at the Dubai Maritime City. Our group company Zenath has also taken the lead in coming out with many innovative and eco-friendly practices in waste management, horizontal directional drilling, water treatment, vacuum sewerage systems and so on." What challenges have you overcome over the years in building your brand and operating successfully in the UAE? "Branding of an organization, product or service is always a complex issue. There is no one formula for the success of a brand. When an organization is as vast and diverse as ETA Ascon Star, the task becomes that much more difficult. Despite these challenges, however, ETA has tremendous brand equity and I would not be exaggerating if I said that this stems from the deep trust and credibility that we enjoy both within and outside the organization. The end result has been a very solid, dependable and enduring image." How important is HR development for ETA? Does your group offer training and growth for its employees? "As of today, the number of employees within ETA has crossed 69,000. And yes, HR development is one our prime areas of concern. Over the past three decades, we have evolved a unique model of self-reliance when it comes to sourcing and training manpower from a base of loyal and reliable newcomers which has paid off for us. We

Hameed Salahuddin, Director, ETA

also believe in decentralization and empower our employees to realize their full potential. We also have centres of training which identify skills and impart the necessary training for our employees. Many welfare measures and incentives have also been introduced. The result of all this, compared to many has been a very high retention rate within ETA. In fact, we have a sizeable percentage of employees who have been with us right from the inception of the group." Do you feel the tremendous success of Dubai Inc. and its cluster economy model could be mirrored elsewhere in the region as well as in other emerging economies? "Certainly. Dubai is not only a melting pot of diverse cultures but also of diverse economic models. It has had the advantage of drawing the best from the economic models of several countries. People talk of fast-track development and few cities can exemplify this better than Dubai which has emerged as a unique case study, worthy of emulation elsewhere as well." Does ETA Ascon have a committed policy to corporate social development? If so what specific programmes are these? "ETA is a responsible corporate citizen. We have always sought to share the benefits of our success with the less privileged sections of society. We have set up educational institutions, back environmental causes, provide healthcare support, make regular and generous donations towards calamity funds and other needy programmes and promote arts and culture. We also believe that good citizenship begins at home. Integrating our 69,000 employees and their families into the ETA fold and culture can also be an exercise in social development."

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Chapter

9

BANKING, FINANCE & SECURITY

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“It takes courage to stretch boundaries, to give shape to power, and fulfill potential in every sphere of existence. This is equally true in the infinite realms of numbers.”
Muhammad ibn Al-Khwarizmi Persian mathematician, astronomer and astrologer (780-850 AD)

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Banking, Finance & Security

Pulling Power
Since its inception in 1977, Emirates Bank’s distinctive globe shaped brand logo takes pride of place across its large network of branches spread across the UAE and abroad. After its Merger with the National Bank of Dubai (NBD), Emirates Bank has become an Emirates NBD Company. Exhibiting a flair of responding to the changing needs of its customers with an inventive spectrum of products, this retail and commercial banking stalwart has consummate appeal. So much so that its current merger with National Bank of Dubai is setting the stage for the birth of a banking titan that will emerge as the largest Arab bank in terms of assets.

Their loan portfolio rose 12.6 percent during the first six months of 2008 to AED 187 billion, whilst deposits increased by 13.3 percent to AED 157 billion.
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As the product of the first big banking merger in the UAE making it the countries' largest bank by assets, Emirates NBD Chairman Ahmed Humaid al Tayer has another ambitious goal. "We want it to be the largest bank in the Middle East." With second quarter results in July 2008 showing a growth in profits up 45 per cent from the same time last year to AED 1.47 billion, the bank's muscle to compete with international banks, is being flexed.
Mr. Sulaiman Hamid Al-Mazroui, General Manager Marketing and Corporate Communications - Emirates NBD.

Setting a precedent On a macro level, Dubai’s banking industry has gained hugely from the region’s economic overall prosperity fuelled by skyrocketing oil prices and the repatriation of funds to this part of the world post 9/11. More than a passive beneficiary of this all round prosperity however, Emirates Bank (EB) which is an Emirates NBD Company has been a catalyst for Dubai’s own growth, accelerated pace of change and remarkable innovation, synonymous with the city we know today. “We moved fast on creating new companies,” explains Mr. Sulaiman Hamid Al-Mazroui, General Manager Marketing and Corporate Communications - Emirates NBD. “We basically took departments from the bank and created new companies. This model fitted well with Dubai moving forward to creating joint-stock companies and public shareholding companies”. For instance, group company Union Properties started as the bank’s premises department that managed its branches. “In 1993 we transformed it into a public joint-stock company in which the government and public started buying shares. Here we created two things: a public joint-stock company which traded in the market and that was also allowed by government decree to sell real estate. This was a nucleus prototype of what you see now as Emaar, Dubai Holdings or Dubai World”, he explains. Adding an entrepreneurial twist to its already proven banking prowess is what EB excels in: Another initiative that started inhouse and now has branched out to offer “extreme value” in the marketplace is the bank’s card services division Network. One of the largest in the region, network supplies credit card services to other banks including collection services and point of sales. In addition, mindful of the necessity to promote Emirati participation in the marketplace, EB’s small business finance scheme, Al Tomooh, offering interest-free loans to entrepreneurs, to which it donated AED 50 million represented “the first time any private local company put aside that much money to give young nationals free interest finance,” observes Al-Mazroui. “The bank has also run a similar scheme for private housing, because Emiratisation must be empowered at grass roots level”. By building successful businesses from scratch, EB creates brand might and downstream opportunities across sectors. EB effectively represents a microcosm Dubai Inc, sharing its proactive template for economic growth across sectors. The management, headed by its Chairman, Ahmed Humaid al Tayer, is perenially aware of the duty to raise Dubai’s international profile in tandem with its own shareholder value. This is why EB - in conjunction with Dubai Government - was responsible for initiating the Emirates International Forum in 1993. Describing this hallowed business and investment round table as a ‘mini-Davos’, Al-Mazroui describes how it attracted global figureheads such as Nelson Mandela and Late Rafik Hariri to Dubai, an emirate adept at capitalising on celebrities’ prominence in order to further its own flourishing status as a hub for business, tourism and stability in a geo-politically sensitive region. Tying the knot On the 7th of March 2007, the merger between EB and the National Bank of Dubai (NBD) was announced. This consolidation created the largest bank in the GCC in terms of assets. By the same measure, Emirates NBD is already in an enviable position – number one in the UAE, and with a top ranking amongst corporate financial institutions in the region, Al-Mazroui points out. And there are strong suggestions that

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there is much to gain for customers, shareholders and employees of both banks which formed the UAE Banking Champion.” “When you become the largest bank in the GCC, you are able to participate in major developments in the UAE as well as the region,” he says. “It also enables you to compete with international banks in an open market and strengthening Dubai’s position as a financial hub of global standing.” Historically, the Emirates Bank Group was a merger of three banks. In 1991 the Group also acquired Middle East Bank, which in 2005 became Emirates Islamic Bank, offering its customers a range of Shariahcompliant banking services. Together, Emirates Bank and Emirates Islamic Bank offer what Al-Mazroui describes as “total banking solutions to customers.” Emirates NBD, the Banking Group resulting from the merger of Emirates Bank and NBD has the largest market capitalisation in the UAE, and is largest in the GCC by assets. The rationale for this consolidation are clear: UAE banks are still relatively small, there is more competition from foreign giants as well as more pressing demand for the creation of financial institutions capable of servicing the rampant and costly growth of mega project financing.

This forces the banking sector to find solutions to how they can respond to the mounting infrastructure investment requirements – regulatory and qualitative issues not withstanding. Still, like all mergers, the formation of this new entity will not be without its challenges. Not least the differing cultures and competencies of the two banks. In addition, “re-branding a new company is a long process. It is not just the logo and the name, but also the culture and the values of the company – add to this integration of the staff, the branches, and the services of both banks. We have achieved considerable milestones, however, we are still in the initial stages of the integration process,” Al-Mazroui says. “We have officially become one entity on the 16th of October 2007 and currently, our challenge is the integration of both banks. The strategic decisions and decisive steps of both the shareholders and management are leading the way to the creation of the UAE Banking Champion”. Reaching new heights together What are the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for the Dubai banking industry? “The UAE banking industry is increasingly

learning from its experiences in an increasingly competitive market,” concludes Al-Mazroui. “With fluctuating share markets, it can be dangerous for banks to depend on new company floatations or initial public offerings (IPOs) and declare them as profit. The following year you might not have as many IPOs and your profit will decline.” “You need to diversify: to depend more on the core banking activities that generate substantial revenues; to become more efficient through continuously enhancing your IT systems; to train your staff and improve your customer service. As leaders, Emirates NBD is committed to adopt the best international practices in the banking industry taking the financial services sector in the UAE to a higher level ”, he adds. As for the merger, EB is aware that banking consolidation lags behind the region’s stellar economic growth and this is why a trend of more mergers is expected. By being at the forefront of this inevitable trend, it can protect and enhance its own market share and market intelligence, honing the necessary expertise in order to take on the world.

Tel: + 9714 316 0316 www.emiratesbank.ae

Following NBD's merger with Emirates, the bank now has the largest footprint in the country with 115 branches and 486 ATMs. The marriage between the two banks complemented their services; Emirates had more branches, but it did not have a mortgage book until joining with NBD.

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Banking, Finance & Security

Trusting Relationships
Amongst the world's top performers across sectors, family run businesses are often the unsung heroes that are at the backbone of diverse economies. Swiss Private Bankers Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie, a 212-year-old family run private bank that serves this niche, has been advising a select clientele in the Middle East for five decades. By establishing a representative office in Dubai, a new chapter begins.

Having served the region with its suite of unique private banking services and solutions over the past 50 years, setting up a representative office in Dubai is a natural progression for Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch.
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Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie Corporate Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland

Christophe Hentsch, Managing Partner and Head of Middle East, and H H Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology, after having signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop future generations of Private Bankers among talented Emiratis

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ccording to the Family Enterprise Institute, family business firms make up two-thirds of total businesses around the globe. It is also a fact that most family businesses do not survive the third generation of ownership: according to John L. Ward, one of the world's leading authorities on family business governance, 12% of such businesses will still be viable into the third generation, with 3% of all family businesses operating at the fourth generation and beyond. As a family business with over two centuries of experience, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch understands and shares the values that guide all family-owned business entrepreneurs with a wish to pass their companies down future generations: individual commitment, high ethical standards, long-term vision, sense of responsibility and excellence. These values have shaped and built Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch's long-term client relationships that are founded on trust and discretion. Its eight Managing Partners, who currently represent the seventh generation of Private Bankers running the Firm, are as much involved in the bank's business strategy and management as in serving its clients. As an independent Firm, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch takes pride in its freedom to judge, in the best interests of its clients. "Our independence has been a key assurance to many of our

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Emirati students underwent customised six-week training program at Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch's Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland

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From left to right: Pasha Bakhtiar, Stèphane Oberer, Sasan Arbabha, Pradeep Chandra, Chanelle Woodham, Benson Loyola

private and family business owners," said Christophe Hentsch, Managing Partner and Head of the Middle East. "They have full confidence in our ability to offer them what is close to their hearts. And that is, to grow the assets entrusted upon the bank, and to help pass them down to future generations." Having served the region with its suite of unique private banking services and solutions over the past 50 years, setting up a representative office in Dubai is a natural progression for Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch. In addition to building and deepening existing relationships, the Firm is now able to offer its highly personalized private banking service to private individuals and families, corporate institutions and financial intermediaries. In addition, clients will have ready access to the Firm's full range of services in financial and succession planning, legal and tax advice, occupational pensions, philanthropy advice and the establishment and administration of foundations. Furthermore, with Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch's commitment to sustainable development and socially responsible investment since the early 19th century - when Alexandre Lombard's reflections on the New World were guided principally by his discrimination among states which prospered without the institution of slavery, and those whose attachment to slavery produced suffering - clients can be assured of engaging with a Firm that has an environmental and social sensitivity in its DNA. Up till today, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch's first priority is to deliver

superior returns and the Private Banker believes that the best way to do this is by considering a broad range of factors (economic, environmental, social, governance and ethical). This philosophy had culminated in a landmark exclusive partnership with Generation Investment Management (Generation), a Firm co-founded by former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore; and former CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset management, David Blood; to promote sustainable investing as a mainstream investment alternative aiming to deliver superior investment returns over the long-term. With Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch being the privileged partner for the distribution of Generation's products, Middle Eastern investors can enjoy access to exclusive expertise in the field of sustainable investing, one of the most important long-term trends. While Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch operates out of a single representative office in the United Arab Emirates, it remains mindful of its social responsibilities. The Firm has committed to promote both excellence and the exchange of knowledge and experience among future generations of Emiratis. Having signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) to further develop promising Emiratis in the field of banking and financial services, the Firm has offered fully sponsored work placement opportunities to the university's students with its bank in Geneva. In 2007, a pioneer batch of Emiratis students completed a comprehensive curriculum that covered all aspects of private banking, including but not limited to private asset management, equity research, hedge funds selection and investment strategy. For Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch, this inaugural success marks the beginning of an ongoing long-term program to groom a new generation of Private Bankers from the Middle East. At the same time, the presence of Emirati students at the bank's headquarters also offered its European graduates valuable insights to Middle Eastern cultures and values. The success of the first exchange program has led Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch to open its two-year Graduate Trainee program to the Middle Eastern students who have completed an internship with the Firm. These graduates' success in securing a position will be determined by the usual internal recruitment process that the Firm applies to all applicants. With portfolio managers who are experienced and reputed for their high regard for client confidentiality, the team in Dubai has set its sights on bringing solid financial advice with long term perspective, preservation and growth as the ultimate goal; to its pool of existing and prospective clients in the Middle East. With a team that offers nine different languages to cater to a multi-ethnic environment that is a characteristic of the region, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch certainly appreciates that each person's life story is different, and each client is a privilege to serve.

Tel: +9714 509 0111 www.lodh.com

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Banking, Finance & Security

Desert Diamonds
According to market research, retail loans in the UAE are currently valued at around 16 per cent of the GDP, while countries such as Kuwait and Bahrain stand at 25 per cent. Compared to the US at 105 per cent of GDP, the retail credit market in the GCC is ripe for the plucking.

Dubai First's vision is to be a market leader in consumer finance in the region. The strategy of the organisation is to extablish a centre of multi functional excellence in the UAE and leverage this to enter new markets.

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nter Dubai First - the first consumer finance company from Dubai Group. Established in April 2007 and part of diversified conglomerate, Dubai Holding, the company has already put its own unique slant on the credit cards developed to date. It has recently entered the personal loan market, and is planning to diversify into additional business lines soon. Ravi Bhardwaj, country head, Dubai First UAE, highlights the fundamental differences between a consumer finance company and a bank. "Unlike a bank, we do not accept retail customer deposits," he explains. "Hence our main focus is on our core business - retail finance. In this way we can offer innovative products and services to the market, each unique within itself." A list of firsts For those with the means, such a product is the 'Royale' MasterCard - the first of its kind worldwide, issued by invitation only. With a certified diamond embedded in the centre and no preset spending limits, only nine of these hand crafted cards are made per day. Perks afforded to cardholders include preferential access to Burj Al Arab and yacht charter deals both in Dubai and around the world, as well as a slew of value added services designed to delight the high net worth consumer. "The response to 'Royale' has been very positive," observes Bhardwaj. "Since its launch in November 2007, we have had numerous requests from customers both within the UAE and overseas." Another product, the Dubai First MasterCard, credits cardholders up to four per cent of the cash value of purchased goods - the highest cash-back in the region, claims the firm. This is supported by 'tap and go' PayPass technology where payment for goods are made by a simple tap of a card at checkout - ideal for speedy transactions at quick-service restaurants, pharmacies or cinemas. Indeed, consumer convenience appears to have become something of a trademark for the company. "Our tagline: 'You're always first', reflects our endeavour to understand our customers' unexpressed needs and tailor our offerings likewise," states Bhardwaj. "We have recently partnered

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Ibrahim Al Ansari, CEO, Dubai First

with several leading regional and international organisations to provide convenience and value to customers, who now have access to more than 300 payment points to pay their card bills." These include money exchange firms Al Ansari, UAE Exchange, Al Fardan, Al Rostamani, Redha Al Ansari, Al Ghurair and Wall Street Exchange, EPPCO/ENOC petrol stations, as well as Emirates NBD Cash Deposit Machines. Recently, Dubai First has launched the first-of-its-kind Business Credit Card aimed at the region's burgeoning small and medium enterprises (SME). The Business Credit Card offers complete financial flexibility on three critical fronts: a flexible interest rate mechanism that offers the potential of the lowest interest rates in the industry -as low as 1.33% per month; a flexible rewards program that lets customers redeem their points for cash, business services or leisure; as well as flexible spending power with the possibility of using the card at merchants where cards are not accepted - through its dial a draft facility. In addition to card products, Dubai First has also ventured into the personal loan segment, offering hasslefree financing solutions. Described by the company as the quickest personal loan service in the market, 'Quick Cash' also offers customers insurance protection in case of death, permanent total disablement, and loss of employment. Surging Ahead Certainly to date, Dubai First's achievements are much to be proud of. "In less than one year we have managed to establish brand recognition, a solid card member base, and diversified from our initial card products," enthuses Bhardwaj. "Our aim is to always keep the name of Dubai and the UAE first in the mind of our customers, and to remain at the vanguard of innovation in the field of consumer finance." As for further growth, "Dubai First aims to become a market leader in consumer finance in the region," concludes Bhardwaj. "As part of our long-term future plans, we are looking to expand into the other business lines such as wealth management. Consumers in the UAE can look forward to many more firsts in the months and years to come."

Dubai First Launches 'Little Steps for Safety' Campaign
Dubai First has spearheaded a CSR project to raise awareness on traffic safety for children, coming as part of an initiative to make a tangible commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) in an encouraging example of private-public partnership for a social cause calling for immediate action that also marks the successful completion of its first year in operation. Implemented in cooperation with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), and the Emirates Driving Institute (EDI), the 'Little Steps for Safety' campaign aims to promote road safety for children in the UAE. The first full-fledged road safety campaign to be launched by a financial services company in the UAE, the campaign is aimed at children between 6-12 years and will be implemented in two phases: in the first phase, a public awareness campaign was rolled out from mid April - May through the print media. Apart from underscoring the growing number of fatalities and debilitating injuries to children caused by traffic accidents in the UAE, the pilot phase has called for concerted action from government agencies, law enforcement personnel, schools, parents and motorists. Ibrahim Al Ansari, CEO, Dubai First, said: "As we celebrated our company's first anniversary, it only seemed appropriate to reaffirm the commitment that we made at our launch - to always keep our customers first. This CSR programme goes a step further and includes our customers' most valuable assets - our children." "Dubai First is conscious that children and the youth are our first and foremost stakeholders for a sustainable future. Since road safety is one of the key issues that impact our children, we aim to tackle the root cause of the problem, and reach out to the support of the RTA and KHDA to initiate strict enforcement of rules and raise awareness. I believe this is a perfect example of private-public partnership for a social cause that calls for immediate action," he concludes. According to recent reports by UAE government authorities, 119 pedestrians were killed on the roads in 2007, 47 percent of whom were children. The World Health Organization's Global Status Report 2007 states that more than 1,000 children and young adults under the age of 25 years are killed in road traffic crashes every day. The first phase of the campaign involved the mass distribution of Dubai First 'Little Steps for Safety' edutainment material in schools, containing information on the use of seat belts, 'Stop, Look, Listen and Think' rule, and other safety tips, as well as safety workshops during school summer camps organized by the KHDA. The second phase will be launched at the onset of the academic year in September. In association with RTA, KHDA and other associated bodies, Dubai First will organise a series of programs including workshops and lectures to educate teachers, parents, bus drivers and children on safety measures in and around schools, as well as on the road.

Tel: +9714 506 8888 www.dubaifirst.com

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Banking, Finance & Security

Creating wealth in the region
A recent study by Barclays Wealth and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) entitled "Evolving Fortunes" predicts a significant global wealth boom over the next 10 years. Contributing factors include globalisation, technological and demographic change. The closing gap between developed and developing markets, suggests the report, will make the terms 'G7' and 'emerging' redundant in just 10 years' time.

Barclays Wealth serves high net worth, affluent and intermediary clients providing international private banking, investment management and wealth advisory.

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“Much of the GCC's current liquidity can be attributed to demand for commodities, which is currently being driven in large part by resource-hungry Asian countries” Soha Nashaat, Managing Director of Barclays Wealth - MENA

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ot least in this growth are the oil-rich, high-liquidity Gulf countries. Some estimates expect an increase in high net worth individuals (those with assets of US$1 million or more available for investment) of 15.3 per cent per annum from 2007 to 2012. This is against a global average of 7.7 per cent per annum, and the highest of all emerging markets.* "Much of the GCC's current liquidity can be attributed to demand for commodities, which is currently being driven in large part by resource-hungry Asian countries," comments Soha Nashaat, Managing Director of Barclays Wealth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The policy of many GCC governments to diversify their economies beyond hydrocarbons has driven further wealth creation within the region. EIU estimates put foreign direct investment at US$44 billion in 2006. It is expected that this will increase to US$100 billion by 2011. Barclays Wealth Perhaps no surprise then that, according to Ms. Nashaat, private banking is the fastest growing segment of financial services, hence the need for Barclays Wealth's bespoke innovative and cutting edge financial solutions. Barclays Wealth is highly committed to the region as manifested in the impressive

investment in human and capital resources. A specialist team was established in the region to implement strategy and to offer expert advice to clients, hence complementing the company's already extensive global operations. "At Barclays, we believe that the relationship-based, advice-driven model is the future in the wealth business, as far as servicing customers, and irrespective of their level of assets," asserts Ms. Nashaat. "People always require personalized advice to help them manage their wealth. Our role is to take the time to truly understand our clients' financial situation and personal backgrounds where the clients have come from and where they are going." In this regard, Barclays Wealth has developed a proprietary approach to building client portfolios which encompasses a holistic end-to-end process of risk profiling, planning, and advisory services before making any recommendation. Considerations might include reducing a client's vulnerability to volatile markets, spreading investment risk through asset diversification techniques, or offering flexible investment strategies based on individual needs. One fast growing area for Barclays Wealth is succession planning for family-owned business within the region. Ms. Nashaat

explains the rationale behind this emerging trend. "While the region is in the process of developing capital markets, many businesses still tend to be family-focused," she offers. "The issue of succession planning becomes more complicated through generations. It is crucial therefore, that the family members work closely with their advisors at an early stage to identify their values and aspirations such that these become the cornerstone of a wellplanned strategy. Expanding markets The Middle East will continue to be a region of strategic importance and future growth for Barclays Wealth. Currently Barclays Wealth operates from offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha-Qatar. In addition to the above locations, clients in the region benefit from Barclays Wealth's presence in other international financial centres such as London, Geneva, Singapore and Monaco. The company's continuing investments only reinforce the global wealth boom we will see in the coming years and the sheer scale of the opportunities that Barclays Wealth will be presented with over the next decade and beyond.

Tel: +9714 365 2900 www.barclayswealth.com

*Source: Capgemini 2008 World Wealth Report

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Banking, Finance & Security

Ethical Alternatives
Islamic banking is here to stay as it makes its burgeoning prescence felt in global finance echelons. With the sector growing at an estimated 10 per cent per annum, today there are over 300 Islamic finance houses in more than 40 countries worldwide.

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Islamic banking refers to a system of banking or banking activity that is consistent with Islamic law ‘Sharia’ principles and guided by Islamic economics. In particular, Islamic law prohibits usury, the collection and payment of interest, also commonly called ‘riba’ in Islamic discourse. In addition, Islamic law prohibits investing in businesses that are considered unlawful, or ‘haraam’, such as businesses that sell alcohol or pork, or businesses that produce media such as gossip columns or pornography, which are contrary to Islamic values. In the late 20th century, post 9/11, a number of Islamic banks have been created, to cater to this particular banking market which is gaining ground worldwide.

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recent report by financial research firm, Moody’s Investors Service, values the Islamic finance industry worldwide at around US$700 billion. This figure is expected to increase as more funds, investors and financial institutions turn towards Islamic finance to grow the value of their portfolios and stay within the remit of an ethical business model – Shari’ah style. One reason for the sector’s expanding popularity, is its moral basis rooted in compliance with the tenets of Sharia Law, as Islamic finance prohibits usury for instance, which is the collection and payment of interest upon which standard western banking methods are based. Neither does it invest in businesses that are considered ‘haraam’, meaning contrary to Islamic law. Such principles also offer advantages over conventional banking systems, observes Hussain Al Qemzi, Group CEO, Noor Islamic Bank, a seasoned banker with over 26 years of experience . “One of the main reasons for the popularity of Islamic banking is that it provides a relatively low-risk investment option for both consumers and corporate customers,” he feels. “Investors have strong faith in Islamic alternatives, which have proven to be credible, steady and socially responsible – both regionally and globally. As a result, more conventional banks are entering the Islamic finance arena by introducing Shari’ah compliant products and services. “Also, while the conventional banking system is currently in turmoil due to the credit crunch, Islamic finance continues to perform strongly as it does not rely on leveraged debt”, he explains. Nevertheless, some analysts believe that local banks remain vulnerable to a fall in UAE property prices, estimated as the world’s second most expensive after London. Furthermore, leveraged or otherwise, debt in the GCC is on the rise

Noor Islamic Bank Wins "Best New Islamic Bank" Award Dubai: 16 April, 2008 - Noor Islamic Bank PJSC won the "Best New Islamic Bank" Award at the International Islamic Finance Forum, taking place in Dubai this week. The award was presented to Hussain Al Qemzi, Group CEO of Noor Islamic Bank.

with escalating inflation, as GCC currencies remain pegged to a weak dollar. What implications does this have to the UAE dirham peg and to the health of the UAE banking industry? “We are not harmed by the credit crunch as the banking sector in both the UAE and wider GCC has proved to be stable and steady, which is an incentive to us at this stage,” Al Qemzi explains. “It is only up to Central Bank to decide on the dirham status. As for Noor Islamic Bank, we are a UAE bank and our holdings are in UAE dirham.” Noor Islamic Bank Noor Islamic Bank was launched in December 2006. But it wasn’t until January 2008 that it opened its doors for business. “The 12 months after the launch were not only spent formulating our strategic vision,” explains Al Qemzi, “but also our products, services, processes, value proposition and human talent. “At the time of launch, we had around 350 employees from different nationalities and regions. This number is now growing as we build our talent pool to address the needs of our customers.” Services include the entire spectrum of both consumer and corporate banking. The Bank also has a dedicated team that caters for smallto-medium sized businesses - a fast growing sector as free zone opportunities increase within the region. The Bank also recently hosted a delegation of 23 MBA students from top US business schools as part of its ‘community outreach programme’ to

attract global talent. A fitting move for an institution with the long-term ambition to be the world’s leading global Islamic Bank. “In global markets you have established conventional banks that offer Islamic products, and you have local Islamic banks. Noor Islamic Bank is the first global Islamic bank,” maintains Al Qemzi. “At present we are operating from eight locations across the UAE. During the next five years, we not only intend to increase our geographical scope across the Middle East, but also plan to operate in Europe and the Far East.” Looking to the future Despite suggestions otherwise, the UAE banking sector still offers room for growth, believes Al Qemzi. “Some analysts say that the sector is overbanked, but I think that that opportunities still exist for institutions that want to be innovative,” he offers. “At the same time, the UAE government is keen to see consolidation within the industry, in order for local banks to complete evenly with larger international financial institutions. The recent merger between Emirates Bank and National Bank of Dubai is a case in point, as it has created one of the largest financial institutions in the region. “For ourselves, we are looking forward to growing our business. At Noor Islamic Bank, our focus is to go beyond preconceived conceptions of what Islamic banks are currently, to defining what an Islamic bank can be.”

Tel: +9714 426 8888 www.noorbank.com

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Islamic Banking Glossary
Ijara Ijara is a form of leasing. It involves a contract where the bank buys and then leases an item – perhaps a consumer durable, for example – to a customer for a specified rental over a specific period. The duration of the lease, as well as the basis for rental, are set and agreed in advance. Islamic Bank of Britain retains ownership of the item throughout the arrangement and takes back the item at the end. Mudarib In a Mudaraba contract, the expert who manages the investment is known as a Mudarib.

Ijara-wa-iktana Ijara-wa-iktana is similar to Ijara, except that included in the contract is a promise from the customer to buy the equipment at the end of the lease period, at a pre-agreed price. Rentals paid during the period of the lease constitute part of the purchase price. Often, as a result, the final sale will be for a token sum.

Murabaha Murabaha is a contract for purchase and resale and allows the customer to make purchases without having to take out a loan and pay interest. Islamic Bank of Britain purchases the goods for the customer, and re-sells them to the customer on a deferred basis, adding an agreed profit margin. The customer then pays the sale price for the goods over instalments, effectively obtaining credit without paying interest.

Ijara with diminishing Musharaka The principle of Ijara with diminishing Musharaka can be used for home-buying services. Diminishing Musharaka means that we reduce our equity in an asset with any additional capital payment you make, over and above your rental payments. Your ownership in the asset increases and ours decreases by a similar amount each time you make an additional capital payment. Ultimately, we transfer ownership of the asset entirely over to you.

Musharaka Musharaka means partnership. It involves you placing your capital with another person and both sharing the risk and reward. The difference between Musharaka arrangements and normal banking is that you can set any kind of profit sharing ratio, but losses must be proportionate to the amount invested.

Qard A Qard is a loan, free of profit. We use this arrangement for our Current Accounts. In essence, it means that your Current Account is a loan to the bank, which is used by the bank for investment and other purposes. Obviously it has to be paid back to you, in full, on demand.

Mudaraba Mudaraba refers to an investment on your behalf by a more skilled person. It takes the form of a contract between two parties, one who provides the funds and the other who provides the expertise and who agree to the division of any profits made in advance. In other words, Islamic Bank of Britain would make Sharia’a compliant investments and share the profits with the customer, in effect charging for the time and effort. If no profit is made, the loss is borne by the customer and Islamic Bank of Britain takes no fee.

Riba Riba means interest, which is prohibited in Islamic law. Any risk-free or guaranteed interest on a loan is considered to be usury.

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In global markets you have established conventional banks that offer Islamic products, and you have local Islamic banks. Noor Islamic Bank is the first global Islamic bank.

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Realty finance supreme
With the Middle East property market growing at an exponential rate and demand for real estate finance increasing, innovation will remain key to those companies that wish to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive environment.

With a net profit of AED 387.3 million for first half of 2008, up 259 per cent, Tamweel ensures - Strongest quarterly performance in its history - Income from Islamic financing and investing assets increases 151 per cent to AED 350.28 million compared to first half of 2007 - Islamic financing and investing assets increased by 68 per cent to AED 8.74 billion compared to year end 2007

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Wasim Saifi, CEO, Tamweel

Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Bin Saqer Al Nehayan, Chairman of Tamweel, receiving the award for ''Best Islamic Home Finance Product'' by Banker Middle East.

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uch a company is Tamweel, for which the spirit of innovation extends through product, service and process. Earlier this year, Tamweel reinforced its leadership position as the most unique and innovative real estate finance provider in the region by launching the groundbreaking 48-hour finance approval service, a superlative product which provides customers with a full end to end process to purchase their dream home in less than 48-hours, setting a new benchmark in the regional home finance industry. Also in 2008, Tamweel introduced ''Irad'' - Buy-to-let programme, a unique Sharia compliant investment product that offers finance up to 75% of the property's market value and enables customers to benefit from their current and future rental income. Tamweel's product innovation and quick response to market needs was recognised by Banker Middle East, a leading banking and financial institution publication, when Tamweel won the award for ''Best Islamic Home Finance Product'', beating top regional and international banking institutions operating in the Middle East, Turkey and India. Tamweel has also achieved the highest corporate ratings for a non-banking financial institution in the region, as in less than four years of operation, Tamweel received ratings of A/F1 by Fitch and A3/P2 by Moody's and the highest sukuk (RMBS) ratings of AA by Fitch and Aa2 by Moody's. "We continuously strive to elevate our service standards," explains Tamweel CEO, Wasim Saifi. "Our business processes are designed to ensure consistent and speedy delivery while also maintaining careful risk assessment. To this end, we employ and retain the best talent to push the boundaries of both product and service innovation, while ensuring complete compliance to international standards and keeping abreast with emerging industry developments''. The company now has a strong network of over 300 strategic partners in the region and has financed property worth more than AED 9 billion realising the dream of homeownership for hundreds of families. Strength to strength The company's achievements, since starting out in 2004 as a joint venture between Istithmar and Dubai Islamic Bank, are hard to dispute. Today, with a 34 per cent share of the market, Tamweel is the largest provider of real estate finance in the UAE. Tamweel was also the first real estate finance provider to receive a property ownership certificate

from the Dubai Land Department, and to be appointed as an 'Escrow' trust account Agent by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority. Escrow legislation aims to curb real estate malpractice and protect the interests of both property developers and buyers. Tamweel certainly appears to have the public's vote. In July 2006, when it converted to a public joint stock company, demand for its shares were oversubscribed 485 times. December 2007 saw another milestone when Tamweel's USD 300 million exchangeable Sukuk issue was also oversubscribed within hours of its launch. A significant initiative by Tamweel was the USD 210 Million asset-backed securitisation issue, the world's first Sharia compliant residential mortgage-backed securitization transaction. The Class A category notes recorded an excellent rating of Aa2 by Moody's and AA by Fitch, and Tamweel received the 'Islamic Finance Deal of the year' award from Euromoney, and 'Structured Finance Deal of the year' award from Islamic Finance News. ''The exceptional support for securitised debt reflects the confidence of the market in a new asset class evolving in the UAE, and proves that a well structured instrument backed by quality assets can attract a wide pool of investors, both regionally and internationally'' Said Saifi. Pioneering new markets Looking into the future, Saifi believes that Tamweel has managed to fulfill a large part of its vision of becoming the most admired leader in the financial services industry regionally by employing a clearly focused strategy that includes: - Securing Home Base - Product and Service Differentiation - Regional Expansion "Tamweel now has branches in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi and has some impressive plans for further expansion in the region," says Saifi. "This has already started with the establishment of our presence in Saudi Arabia and Egypt - two of the largest and most lucrative markets in the region." To sustain this tremendous growth, Tamweel's workforce has more than doubled in one year.

Tel: 800-TAMWEEL www.tamweel.ae

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Corporate Profile

Total Security
G4S is the largest and fastest growing security firm in the UAE. Since 1994, the company has been providing its services to the UAE government, embassies, banks and over 750 companies across the Emirates. On a global scale, the company operates in over 110 countries, employs more than 530,000 people and is the largest employer quoted on the London Stock Exchange.

"We continually invest time in listening to our customers needs and in developing our staff through continuous training and development. All aspects of recruitment, selection, training, deployment and supervision of our staff are managed using years of collective expertise to ensure high standards of service and customer satisfaction."

Rory Mallon, Regional Managing Director, Inner Gulf

Services include manned security, cash management – including secure storage, teller management, ATM replenishment and secure escorts. Full range of security systems including IT security solutions. Facility manpower- including a range of office administrative staff, maintenance technicians, chauffeurs, housekeeping and promotional staff. G4S offers total integrated security solutions in the UAE
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As the fastest growing security firm in the UAE with an impressive range of diverse customers G4S upholds the highest standard of security benchmarking making the environment a safer place for all

n the UAE, with around 8,000 staff, offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, G4S is uniquely placed to provide high level security services to customers throughout the Emirates. The company is also a member of Ligue Internationale des Societes de Surveillance, which represents the world's leading security organisations. "G4S is a well established brand name in the UAE," says Rory Mallon, Regional Managing Director, Inner Gulf. "Our business has experienced rapid growth and development alongside the growth of the city." In terms of its services, the company provides the full spectrum of security needs. "We recognise that our reputation and continued growth is dependant upon maintaining our principles of helpfulness, honesty and integrity," says Mallon. "For this reason we continually invest time in listening to our customers needs and in developing our staff through continuous training and development. All aspects of recruitment, selection, training, deployment and supervision of our staff are managed using years of collective expertise to ensure high standards of service and customer satisfaction." Services include manned security, cash management - including secure storage, teller management, ATM replenishment, secure escorts and the provision of facility manpower - including a wide range of office administrative staff, maintenance technicians, chauffeurs, housekeeping or promotional staff. "G4S Facility Services was formed as a result of requests from our existing clients, building on our proven track record of utilising skilled, professional and trustworthy individuals in our existing services," explains Mallon. "This service has proved to be a highly effective management strategy for our customers, helping them reduce costs and overheads, which has led to the continuing expansion of this division. All personnel are individually selected and trained in view of our customer's specific profile requirements and our own standards." Other services include the installation and monitoring of security systems such as intruder alarms, access control, airport and defence systems, CCTV systems and fire systems. Consulting services include threat assessment, risk and fraud management, operational and contingency planning, as well as security, fire and safety training. "We base our security system design on the understanding that it is first necessary to know what is to be protected and why, before a valid security system design is possible," says Mallon. "It is our policy to involve the customer in every phase of system design, thus ensuring that they are familiar with the rationale behind equipment that is utilised." In terms of information and communications technology, G4S develops customised software for aspects such as cyber security, access control, audit implementation and network security. It also offers systems integration applications such as satellite communication systems, broadband access solutions, video conferencing and data collaboration systems. "The range of IT security is vast: from unbreakable codes to secure software; from malicious attacks and web viruses to protected cabling, networking, telephone and multimedia communications," states Mallon. "Our expertise covers research, design, programming, installation, maintenance, monitoring and feedback of high quality networking solutions. When facing complex decisions with multiple possibilities and potential threats, you need a clear picture of what is necessary, achievable, sound advice and practical cost-effective solutions. Our experts can give you the information you need, and then install, update and maintain all the components you require, making your IT system an unbreakable link in the chain of security." Clearly, the growing demand for both a varied and sophisticated range of security solutions goes hand in hand with the phenomenal growth within the region, and the new demands businesses face everyday. As Mallon concludes, "In recent years, the UAE security industry has evolved with the increased use of technology, considerable labour demand, and most importantly with the changing requirements of customers. We are proud to be part of Dubai's continuing success and we are honoured to be the trusted security solutions company to a wide range of companies, embassies, government institutions and multinationals."

Tel: +9712 449 1510 www.g4s.com

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10

CONSTRUCTION, ARCHITECTURE & REAL ESTATE

Q Sami Tower

Wings of Arabia Tower

Dubai Star Tower

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“Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins… It is the will of an epoch translated into space”.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, German-American Architect (1886-1969)

BB Tower

MS Tower

Niki Lauda Twins Tower

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Landmarks and legends
The ACI Real Estate portfolio is notably impressive, innovative and diverse, ranging from business and commercial properties to those catering for leisure and residential needs. Spearheading the concept of sporting personality cobranding in the region; the company has been responsible for the creation of the inspirational Sports Legends Trilogy including Niki Lauda Twin Towers (Developed by Define Properties), Michael Schumacher Business Avenue and Boris Becker Business Tower, as well as the Dubai Star and G-Office of City of Arabia, to name a few. A central part of what makes them unique is their approach and business model. This aspires not only to deliver added value to developments and partnerships, but also to remain informed and directed by market research that indicates current needs and new trends, creating landmarks of unparalleled aesthetic appeal and architectural functionality.

Michael Schumacher Business Avenue

Dubai Star

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Boris Becker Business Tower

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CI Real Estate is an affiliate of Alternative Capital Invest, an innovative investment firm headquartered in Germany. An array of directors head ACI Real Estate, which sources capital from a select group of shareholders based in Europe. Dubai was earmarked as the location for the company for a multitude of reasons, and the outcome of this decision has exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. Namely, Dubai is a location in a league of its own, with sustainable economic expansion ensured by the foresight of wise leadership and mid-term double-digit growth. The local economy is bolstered by diversification and open market policies that promote business confidence and international investment. Geographically it's just four to six hours from other key regional markets including India and conveniently placed between two global hubs, Singapore and London. At the crossroads of continents, cultures and time zones, the emirate's 0 percent taxation regime, world class infrastructure and expanding population, it's clear why Dubai is attracting so much attention in global investment echelons. The prudent investor understands that property investment, like any other investment model, is guided by an underlying set of economic principles and moves through cycles. Dubai is at a phase of growth that demands worldclass infrastructure to match the city's aspirations as an emerging metropolis and global business hub. With a current portfolio of 12 projects in Dubai, Ajman and Abu Dhabi, ACI has loads more in the pipeline including progressive plans for Ajman and Ras al-Khaimah in the emerging Northern Emirates, where the landscape is ideally suited for mid-range residential properties. The final products built by ACI Real Estate in the UAE are contoured by the needs and desires of the local community, the imagination and creativity embodied by the firm, as well as the successful partnerships sought by this progressive company. Local partners are selected for many of the projects undertaken, as ACI Real Estate is committed not only to the development of the UAE but to developing local business synergies, with the realization that local knowledge combined with the global experience held by the board ensures a maximization of value creation and world class constructions. ACI Real Estate is powered by the vision of being a leading property developer that focuses on developing sustainable added value for each of its properties. This added value manifests in the form of unrivalled aesthetic appeal and user advantage, as well as sustained yields. The firm is meticulous in their choice of locations, hiring only the most

G-Tower and G-Office

outstanding architects and interior designers. Sports personality endorsement has been elevated to a collaborative art at ACI. The company does not merely 'use' famous names as an endorsement. The celebrities who become associated with ACI projects understand that they will be much more than figureheads: they do not just lend their name, but actually become involved in various aspects of the project from inception to completion. The Sports Legends Trilogy on Business Bay is one example of how ACI Real Estate has accomplished this. The personalities they chose were not merely famous people, but global icons, who sat on the boards for their respective constructions, contributing their ideas to the planning and design phases. Each sports celebrity involved captures that rare spirit of discipline and relentless focus that in some way mirrors the same essence needed for every business enterprise to reach the top - And to stay there…

Tel: +9714 407 9400 www.aci-dubai.net

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Appetite for success
Founded in Dubai in 1985, Asteco is the UAE's largest property services company that has successfully leveraged Dubai's successful economic diversification, growing its brand to regional prominence. With services including retail, commercial and residential sales and leasing; strategic consultancy; property management and marketing; feasibility studies and valuations; as well as research and investment, Asteco's enviable reputation for handling all aspects of real estate has been ensured by its proficient team members and superior market intelligence.

Asteco Contracting
More than just a quality name in the field of Construction, Interior Decoration and Maintenance in the UAE, Asteco Contracting LLC enjoys the privilege of having highly professional staff with considerable expertise in construction including construction supervision. With the successful completion of several prestigious projects and the ongoing progress of several others, Asteco Contracting maintains a substantial portfolio of property managed by Asteco Property Management. The company evolved from Sultan Bin Sulayem Building Maintenance to Asteco Interiors/Contracting in 1985 under the sponsorship of Mr Sulayem. The company initially executed all types of interior decoration work and maintenance of civil, plumbing and electrical. Since then, the company has now grown and is listed with Dubai Municipality as a Contractor with a license for construction of structures of G+12.

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Asteco's forecasts for property values in Dubai (August 2008)
There are a number of factors and strong indicators in the Dubai property market that bode well for the next 18 months to 3 years during which period no downside in the property market is envisioned. A possible leveling of either rental or sales values at worst and then not until the end of 2010 at the earliest, may occur. The rationale for this is the enormous demand for any project either commercial, residential or industrial that is ready for occupancy now, with waiting lists for most types of property becoming longer. - A continued strong take-up of projects being released to the market. This take up is not so much by short-term speculators but by potential end-users and long-term investors. Both these groups help underpin the market. - Completion of many major projects have not met initial dates slated, but have seen delays due to the well-documented shortages of materials, skilled labour and to a lesser extent, delivery of utilities. The positive signs from economic indicators in the Emirates that show continued growth and confidence in the market, despite the economic problems in many other parts of the world. - Underpinning the property market has also been the improvement in the property market 'transparency ratings' for Dubai. - The recent implementation of a number of rules and regulations that raise the property market's credibility and also the interest of international investors and funds looking into this market include: - Registration of free-hold title with Land Department - Strata Title/Condominium laws - Real Estate Regulatory Authority - Requirements by developers to use Escrow accounts for sales proceeds and reach certain criteria before releasing projects for sale All are now operational and actively implemented to international standards. These factors, amongst others, will all attract interest and investment to property that is still good value on the International market.

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n addition to tried and tested cost metrics and advanced analytical tools, Asteco's greatest strength is undeniably its people. With a qualified staff who know the market, know property and know what it takes to get things done, Asteco remains the consultancy of choice for many of the region's finest real estate projects. As one of the leading experts in the Dubai real estate market, Asteco's CEO, Elaine Jones, has an unprecedented twenty years of regional property experience; not only understanding the market's intricacies, but also a thought leader on emerging UAE real estate trends. She says, "Our twin values of customer orientation and excellence of service will guide us towards long-term leadership and success". As Asteco constantly strives for excellence, they are proud that this quality is reflected in their reputation. "We stand by our clients throughout the development of their property, offering advice from initial design right through to final sale, helping them navigate property cycles. No wonder so much of our business comes from repeat clients", she adds. At the vanguard of their field thanks to their leading expertise, both in the breadth and

depth of our service, Asteco's experience, which spans over two decades, is unmatched in the region. "The result is confidence, trust and success". The last of these is what the team dedicates themselves to achieving for clients. Sales One of the core businesses of the company is the sales division. Over the last two decades, Asteco has witnessed a number of historical changes in the regional property market. The major one was the advent of freehold property in Dubai and the availability of ownership to non-nationals. The second is the ongoing regional development boom, which has made the UAE and the region's property market one of the most dynamic in the world. "Because we've done business before and after the freehold laws came into effect, Asteco has unparalleled insight into the dynamics of this transition, and indeed helped usher the new era in by providing services to developers and to first time buyers in Dubai. Thanks to our history of expertise, we have helped institutional and individual buyers and sellers make sense of, and take advantage of, these

new realities", Jones explains. As one of premier brands in the region, Asteco has also been at the forefront of the Dubai property upsurge, acting as sales agents for such high-profile projects in Business Bay, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, and Buildings by Daman (DIFC), The Palm, Jumeirah and Sheikh Zayed Road. "Our experienced, professional sales team also offers its services throughout the GCC. There are Asteco offices across the UAE, as well as in, Bahrain, Jordan and Qatar, with plans for further regional expansion. We now represent numerous major institutional, commercial and residential clients across the region". To provide the best in service and support, the Asteco sales division works closely with their in-house research, consultancy and valuations team. "In addition, we have established a global alliance with Savills a leading international real estate agency, guaranteeing the greatest depth and breadth of property sales expertise in the region", she concludes.

Tel: +9714 341 9779 www.appetite.ae

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Success by design
With Dubai aiming to 'go green' by 2008, Kling Consult is at the forefront of the global initiative to ensure that environment-friendly standards in design and construction reduce the impact on the environment. Employing sustainable technologies as well as integrated architecture and engineering expertise to temper the real estate boom will lay the foundation for enduring architecture.

Real estate environments in the Middle East and Western Europe differ at some levels. Whilst competition is stiff locally, profit margins are comparable to those in Europe, and the size of projects offer better market opportunities in Dubai.
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"Knowledge and Human Development Head Quarter" Design by Kling Consult for Knowledge and Human Development Authority

PDM Warehouse for Al Futtaim Motors

“Octavian” Office Tower, Dubai Design by Kling Consult for Omnyiat

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ling Consult, a design and engineering consultancy launched in 1954 with branch office in Dubai since 2004 has an unambiguous mission statement: To sustain a stable and habitable environment that can satisfy the needs of Dubai's mushrooming population now and in the future. In order to do so sustainably, the company believes that more emphasis has to be given to water and energy efficiency. Indeed, the 190-strong locally based team has been successfully developing a building that uses enhanced indoor lighting by harvesting natural light through external blinds, for instance. In addition, improved results have been achieved by using materials and new technologies that are already established in Germany, Kling Consult's headquarters, which leads to longer building life-span. The in-house team of design managers are both qualified architects and engineers with extensive complex design experience. This value addition is clearly an advantage because the synergies of design that result by having a thorough knowledge of both subjects are fostering a unique design perspective to any property. However, the speed with which the real estate boom in Dubai is exploding threatens a spill over of cookie cutter building design. Kling Consult believes that the only way to be distinguishable in this competitive arena is to stamp an individual quality hallmark by focusing and further developing in-house areas of expertise. "Excellence in work, achieved by the ideal combination of outstanding architectural design and feasible engineering alongside cost economies, translates into excellence in reputation, we believe" MD Gerhard Reichert explains. Kling Consult was founded by Karl Kling, a young German engineer, during the post war construction boom in 1954, in his hometown of Krumbach in Bavaria. In 2004 Kling Consult set up shop in Dubai to service the Middle East, Asian and African markets. Interestingly, 90 per cent of Kling's Middle East projects are in Dubai. "In the last few years we have noticed a decided increase in demand for excellence and shorter turnaround times as well. This in turn has called for a greater coordination between all parties involved in the real estate projects", he explains. Kling Consult's areas of expertise are many - ranging from master planning, architectural design and interior design to civil and structural engineering, quantity surveying and project management. They began their

Dubai operations by offering architectural design and engineering services and boast international specialist consultants to complement their own local team expertise. "Since 2006 we have gained a reputation as consultants for the construction phase by working on a growing number of innovative projects such as Stargate Edutainment Park, One Business Bay Tower and Dubiotech Headquarters, Porsche Design Towers, Dubai Islamic Bank Headquarters" Gerhard Reichert says. What has helped Kling Consult bag these exciting projects is their strict adherence to high quality standards. And of course solid German attributes such as accuracy and punctuality. Marketing the company at appropriate events such as the City Scape exhibition and through the media has also helped to build this brand that is synonymous with attention to detail and proficiency. Not only is design success a keyword in Dubai, Kling Consult is enthused by the positive spin-off effect that it's having on other Gulf countries which are already trying to emulate Dubai's vibrant skyline with their grandiose projects. However, a word of caution, "opting for sustainable and eco-friendly growth as seen in European countries while respecting cultural and environmental settings, is essential". Despite the overall might of the rising Asian Tigers like China and Singapore giving Dubai a run for their money, there will always be a space for a king of the Kling calibre. Considering Kling Consult's close engagement with the emirate's infrastructure and societal growth, where would they like to see the UAE in the next 10 years with reference to its international presence in the field of architectural development? "I expect architectural design to develop in accordance to climatic conditions. Experience will show what engineering technologies are most effective to create lasting architecture in this region," comments Gerhard Reichert, Managing Director of Kling Consult. Having made its mark on the Middle East architectural scene with landmarks such as Madison Tower, Dubai; Parklane Tower, Dubai; El Matador Tower, Dubai; B2B Tower, Dubai; Creek Towers, Abu Dhabi; Union Tower Jeddah; Kling is already scanning the horizon to make their presence in other emerging economies of the world.

Tel: +971 4 261 8010 www.klingconsult.com

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Carving real estate niches
Dubai's ever changing skyline appears to have a magical life of its own with fresh horizons taking shape in the form of new districts coming to life along the way. Al Sharaf Group crests the wave of this evolution thanks to its full service real estate management company Al Maskan that is transforming it into the stuff that dream spaces are made of.

Amer Sharafuddin Sharaf, General Manager , Al Maskan Real Estate

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t's official - 25 per cent of the world's cranes are now in Dubai playing a part in the architectural symphony of concrete and steel that evolve into houses and flats that are coming onto the market. “Whatever the property, Al Maskan Real Estate urges investors to live their property dream and we go out on a limb to help them fulfill it”, explains Amer Sharaf, general manager, Al Maskan Real Estate. Offering an array of choices from apartments overlooking the Dubai Marina, and executive offices at the world famous Burj Dubai, to waterfront homes on The Palm, the competitive edge is intact as “with every new property concept, we have reinvented our knowledge portfolio to match the demands of an ever discerning national and international clientele”, he says. In the midst of growth, it is clear that Dubai property is a tale of two markets - villa development has been on the upswing while freehold apartments have shown a considerable increased demand for the middle class. Al Maskan Real estate has neatly side stepped the emirate's real estate's split personality performance by opting for full service residential as well as commercial real estate and property management for the whole range of properties from offices to retail outlets; from apartments to luxury villas.

In over a decade since inception Al Maskan has stood on a “firm foundation of good business sense supported by smart expansion ideas and a solid financial base”. Beginning its foray into property management with initial projects such as The Marina Residence Tower, Dubai Jewel, Times Square Mall, Dubai and Sharaf Mall in Muscat, from managing these properties they have grown to a portfolio of 15 major commercial complexes throughout Dubai. In expanding its customer base “we have stuck to the cardinal principle of a client centric focus in all aspects” Sharaf adds. Clearly, sustained growth at Al Maskan has been as a result of a unified team vision. The crack team of professionals at the company brings with them solid years of experience and expertise in various aspects of property management such as leasing, space planning, design, construction and maintenance. Despite the exponential growth in the real estate market that has inevitably led to some wildly changing trends, Al Maskan's string of successes in real estate development and property management has created brand credibility. Since 1996, it is this vision of the management that has encouraged a high rate of client loyalty and a low rate of employee attrition. To complement this, transparency in all interactions has earned them

the respect of their industry partners and fostered mutually beneficial relationships. The route to this success has been through understanding and helping to identify client needs and then fulfilling them efficiently. “Naturally a satisfied client is a client that welcomes more opportunities to do business with you in the future” he adds. Al Maskan Real Estate enjoys the benefit of experience and solidarity born of belonging to a large business conglomerate - the Sharaf Group. The Sharaf Group, with diverse business interests was established in Dubai in 1976 by two dynamic and creative Emirati brothers. Sharaf was one of the first Emirati Groups that ventured into shipping and has gained the status of being the largest private Arab owned companies with over 100 offices in more than 50 locations spread over Middle East, Africa and Asia. It is the only privately owned company with such a large network and staff strength of over 2,300. It also owns one of the few Dubai based IT companies that offers business solutions internationally. The Sharaf Group has subsequently branched off into retail fashion, retail electronics, cargo, logistics, financial services, real estate, warehousing logistics and travel tourism.

Tel: +9714 352 2122 www.almaskan.com

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Unlocking Potentials
While the property boom experienced by the UAE over the past few years is showing signs of levelling out, demand continues to keep the market buoyant, and the investors flocking.

The UAE property market will continue to be demand-driven until at least 2010 believe some sources, in line with the country's population growth - a year-on-year increase in Dubai alone of 7.6 per cent. Forecasts suggest that Dubai's population could reach over two million by 2010 from the current estimated 1.5 million.

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he UAE property market will continue to be demand-driven until at least 2010 believe some sources, in line with the country's population growth - a year-on-year increase in Dubai alone of 7.6 per cent. Forecasts suggest that Dubai's population could reach over two million by 2010 from the current estimated 1.5 million. "According to government statistics, 800 people per day are arriving to live and work in the UAE," confirms Diana Magariu, managing director and partner at Key One Real Estate. "That's 292,000 people a year. Assuming that 50 per cent are construction workers, that still leaves over 146,000 new arrivals who will need somewhere to live. Many Dubai residents also realise that the cost of a monthly mortgage can be the same as paying rent. Estimating this group as five per cent of Dubai's current population, that is another 80,000 buyers. This means a potential demand of over 226,000 new homes per year." Opportunities abound The phenomenal success of Key One Real Estate is further testament to the massive opportunities within the property sector. Established two years ago by Magariu and her business partner, Igor Akhtyamov, the company offers property-related investment consulting, sales, rentals, portfolio management and interior design. With diverse team and over 1000 properties on its books, the firm has become a force to be reckoned with in a relatively short period of time. "Our name reflects our intention to be the primary key for our clients to access thousands of properties in the UAE," explains Magariu. And in a market where demand often leads to complacency among real estate companies, developing customer loyalty has been a key success factor for the company. "We are aware that we are one of the thousand other real estate companies on the market vying for the same business, but this just reinforces our strength and confidence in how we are running our business, "Magariu asserts. "I strongly believe that the key to differentiation is through one's personal approach and the additional services you provide. We are confident about turning potential clients into loyal customers. Our philosophy is simple: treat your clients as you would like to be treated." Planning for the long-term It is the same philosophy that will take the company into the future. "We have aggressive plans for expansion, but it will be through the quality of our services rather than simply volume," says Magariu. "We are building our business for the long-term; to be a recognised and respected name within the UAE real estate community."

How likely is it that Dubai's real estate bubble - as it is often referred - will burst sometime in the future? For Magariu, it is more an issue of shifting market demands. As the market matures, the investment opportunities to make a quick kill are less with returns for off-plan units expected to remain at current levels of around 12 per cent for the time being. Still, with the international average of returns at around seven to eight per cent, Dubai will continue to be an attractive investment option for both local and foreign investors, observes Magariu. "There is also a growing focus on the secondary market," she observes. "End users are increasingly starting to evaluate ready properties, reflecting the price increases we have seen on primary market, and the touch-and-feel aspect of walking into a completed property which could become their home." The greatest challenge will be how infrastructural development will keep up with demand. "Power and water supply is one of the biggest challenges facing Dubai's real-estate sector," observes Magariu. "Dubai's power and water demand is currently rising at 20 per cent and 15 per cent respectively every year, while the population is expected to grow 30% to two million people by 2010." Reports suggest that the UAE will invest a further $61.2 billion to boost utilities capacity by around 60% by 2011, she continues. "As more and more real estate and tourism projects come to completion in Dubai and as the population surges, power demand is predicted to double over the next five years, the government's water and electricity authority have a big challenge on their hands." Equally, a concern recently voiced by Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Abu Dhabi's US$22 billion green development, Masdar City, was the urgent need to reduce power and water demand by adopting higher levels of energy efficiency in buildings - which account for around 30 per cent of global energy consumption. Magariu is optimistic about new developments in this respect. "Dubai will go green in a big way by this year," she concludes. "New rules and regulations are planned to come in to effect whereby all buildings in the city will have to comply with internationally recognised environmental standards. The launch of Dubai's Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development will initially help companies within the city, and later also outside developers, to adopt environmentally-sound practices, with a view to a sustainable future within the real estate industry."

Tel: + 9714 338 9606 www.keyonerealestate.com

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World class sporting enterprise
The vision of three leading entrepreneurs from the United Arab Emirates - Abdulrahim Al Zarooni, Abdulrahman Bukhatir and Abdulrahman Falaknaz to create one of the world's premier sporting destinations in line with the overall vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed to create world class sporting infrastructure in Dubai and making it a destination for the sporting world, is rapidly becoming a reality.

Artist rendering of Dubai Sports City in 2010

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Cricket-Stadium - Artist’s Impression

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he year 2008 has already seen key elements gone live to delight sports enthusiasts and visitors alike, and - with stadiums, luxury residences, sports academies and retail options all set to open soon - the project is rapidly becoming one of the most talked-about sports developments in the world. A cornerstone project of Dubailand and a US$4 billion, 50 million square feet mixed-use development, Dubai Sports City is set to be a major global destination for sport. A Fitting Stage for the World's Champions At the heart of the city will be five major venues for the world's most popular sports events: a 60,000 seat multi-purpose outdoor stadium; a 25,000 capacity cricket stadium; a 10,000 seat multi-purpose indoor arena; a field hockey venue for 5,000 spectators and the magnificent 18-hole championship golf course, The Els Club. The scale and ambition behind all of these ventures has already been demonstrated by the official inauguration of The Els Club. From its star-studded tee-off, which attracted such major sporting figures as Martina Navratilova, Andrew Flintoff, and Peter Schmeichel, to the release of the first phase of memberships, which sold at a record rate, The Els Club has been warmly welcomed by the local and international golfing community. Professional players such as Henrik Stenson, Paul McGinely (co-captain of the 2008 Ryder Cup) and enthusiastic amateurs have praised the course. With a range of thoughtfully-placed tee boxes, fairway pot bunkers and green complexes, coupled with carefully-developed undulation, The Els Club's 18-hole, championship golf course offers a unique addition to the Middle East's growing range of world-class golf facilities. The Els Club golf course has already begun to host golf tournaments at its facility.

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Sports Academies Campus

A number of the other major attractions are also set to welcome their first visitors soon. The 25,000 seat dedicated Cricket Stadium is taking shape at a rapid pace and has reached the stage where it stands out as a landmark in the wider Dubailand development. The 5,000 seat Hockey Stadium is also running to schedule and will also be completed around the end of 2008. The 60,000 seat multi-purpose outdoor stadium will fully comply with specifications for international football, rugby and athletics events, while the 10,000 seat indoor multi-purpose stadium will allow for a wide range of sporting events including ice hockey, basketball, tennis, and volleyball. In entertainment mode, the venue will be capable of hosting concerts and other major public gatherings. A Place to Hone Athletic Talent and Potential Dubai Sports City's range of world-class sporting academies is set to offer major benefits for residents, local teams and visiting professionals. Both the physical and human resources are rapidly coming together at the Dubai Sports City Academies Campus, offering the potential to provide the highest possible standards of training for participants of all ages and abilities. Manchester United Soccer Schools will get the ball rolling and be the first programme in the Dubai Sports City Football Academy in the coming months. The ICC Global Cricket Academy, the WorldHockey Academy, the Butch Harmon School of Golf and the David Lloyd Tennis Academy are also all set to begin operations early in 2009. The Bradenton Preparatory Academy, an American college preparatory school that will offer a flexible curriculum to develop sporting talent, will open its doors to students in 2009. Working in coordination, the academies will provide integrated infrastructure for training across a range of core disciplines, as well as providing facilities for people at all skill levels to improve and enjoy their sports. A Home for Healthy Living As well as the sports facilities, the homes that will form the heart of the Dubai
The Els Club Golf Course
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Arena Mall

Sports City community are also developing. Work on the residential properties and commercial real estate is continuing apace, and the community as a whole is beginning to come to life. Both Victory Heights and Canal Residence West continue to generate huge interest, and the concept of the balanced sporting lifestyle offered by Dubai Sports City is increasingly well-received around the world. Canal Residence West, a range of beautiful buildings presented in Mediterranean, Classic European, Venetian, Arabic and Spanish Andalusian architectural styles set in the heart of Dubai Sports City, offer studio, one, and two bedroom apartments with quick access to the promenade that overlooks the canal, which will offer upscale cafes, restaurants and boutiques as well as sport and leisure activities on an unprecedented scale. An Integrated City As the master developer, Dubai Sports City is taking full advantage of the potential for retail activity, and will offer more than 3.8 million square feet of retail space available across all real estate and facilities when construction is completed. With careful planning, retail centres are being positioned in prime locations, enabling residents to easily reach shopping and entertainment areas, helping to maximise

footfall for retailers. Arena Mall, the largest retail destination within Dubai Sports City, will be directly linked to the 10,000 seat multi-purpose indoor stadium and occupies a key retail location within the development. Comprising approximately 1.88 million square feet of gross lettable space, the mall will be anchored by a 140,000 square foot hypermarket and will include a family entertainment centre. The Arena Mall's trade area will encompass a population of approximately 800,000 by 2010 and, with an exciting calendar of international exhibitions, sporting events and concerts at Dubai Sports City in the coming years, tenants are in a prime position to benefit from strong brand exposure. North Point, Dubai Sports City's larger retail and commercial hub, will be the cultural centre of the development and offer visitors a relaxed environment to dine and shop. Situated at the northern end of Dubai Sports City's central waterway, at the heart of a vibrant downtown district, North Point is in close proximity to DSC's business district and sporting facilities. South Point, Dubai Sports City's second retail and commercial hub, will offer a premium dining and shopping experience. Located in close proximity to the sought-after Victory Heights golf course villa community, and anchored by Dubai Sports City's boutique

hotel, South Point will offer a range of premium brands, boutique shops, and firstclass restaurants. Launched in May 2008, Gateway Towers the icon of Dubai Sports City and the landmark of the mega-project's business district, is a visually spectacular development. Characterized by a stunning black and silver glass finish it will be the highest point within the mega-project, offering breathtaking views of the Cricket Stadium and The Els Club. Gateway Towers' inspirational design is representative of the excitement and adrenalin behind the entire development. The Sports City "within a City" Perhaps most excitingly, Dubai Sports City is set to attract "flagship events" in each of the six major sporting disciplines football, rugby, cricket, hockey, golf and tennis - supported by a programme of local events and the daily activities at each of the sports academies, creating a yearround calendar. By helping to hone local talent and by attracting the world's most famous names in sport to Dubai, Dubai Sports City will play a major part in helping Dubai become one of the world's major venues for sports.

Tel: +9714 425 1111 www.dubaisportscity.ae

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Construction, Architecture & Real Estate

Always ahead of time
Dubai is amongst the world's fastest growing cities, with $90 billion dollars worth of construction projects and approximately 15 per cent of all cranes located here. Because of this vertical explosion, a wealth of innovative architecture underscores its international model for preeminence. Considering that the majority of the emirate's growth has occurred within the past 15 years, with all seven of its tallest buildings constructed in the past eight, the demand for basic materials to keep up with the rate of construction expansion is critical. As one of the region's leading concrete suppliers, Unibeton lies at the foundation of the highly demanding construction market in the UAE, particularly the highly competitive field of the Ready Mix Concrete Industry.

Green Concrete
Always committed to CSR, Unibeton's commitment to total quality management (TQM) extends to every area of its operations and they are one of the few Ready Mix Companies accredited to QHS&E Management System. To help to build a more sustainable environment, Unibeton is focusing on Green; environmentally friendly concrete with low carbon dioxide emissions to produce energy saving construction. As the largest Ready Mixed Concrete Company in the Gulf, Unibeton is not only a member of the Emirates Green Building Council but also leading the field with the promotion of Green sustainable concrete by using materials that represent a 75% saving on carbon dioxide emission against the more traditional type of conventional concrete made from Ordinary Portland cement. The greatest focus on green concrete is with the use of partial cement replacements such as PFA & slag. This is an impressive improvement, considering that every month more than a million cubic meters of concrete are poured in what must surely be the world's greatest construction frenzy.

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Eng. Mohd. Shehadeh General Manager, Unibeton

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nibeton, part of Al Fara'a Construction Group of Companies, was formed in 1990 and has subsequently expanded to include eight plants across the UAE. As the leading concrete supplier for many of the regions landmark projects such as the new Garhoud Bridge and RTA road interchange projects, Unibeton is also the prominent ready-mix concrete supplier for construction projects currently underway. Take the Jumeirah Palm project for instance. Here, the company has recently installed two state-of-the-art batching plants on the Palm Island which include world class and cutting-edge technology giving superior batching accuracy and excellent output, to maximise efficiency. When it comes to concrete, it's all about speed, quality and supply and Unibeton enjoys a reputation for executing projects within time and to guaranteed quality levels, setting it apart from others and enabling the company to be listed in the exclusive category of brands who consistently win projects by invitation. Another factor of their success, Unibeton admits, is the publicity they received during a record breaking concrete pour for the Al Attar Sky Spiral tower. The milestone 20,000 m3 concrete pour - which is the equivalent of filing 9 Olympic sized swimming pools - laid the basement of Al Attar Sky Spiral, a 49 level, residential tower in Al Sofouh. Demanding the highest levels of technical and logistical expertise the mammoth 35 hour pour was finished on the 7th of September, 2007, and leveraged the combined efforts of Unibeton's nine, strategically located concrete batching plants - with a nominal capacity to generate up to 1000 m³ of concrete per hour - more than 150 transit mixers and 15 mobile and 6 standby pumps. Keeping the concrete at the correct temperature was also important; with ambient temperatures around 40ºC they had to maintain the concrete at the specified 32ºC with the use of over 1,500 tonnes of ice. Unibeton General Manager Engr. Mohammed Shedadeh adds "We had a dedicated team of the best in the business: scientists, technicians, engineers and other skilled employees all with a commitment to quality and to testing the untested, so I was always confident that we would deliver this landmark pour on time and with the highest quality results". Unibeton continues to develop and expand at an extraordinary rate whilst embracing world-wide technological advancements, for example their batching plants have recently been upgraded with latest German technology and provided with new 3 and 4.5m3 BHS twin shaft mixers as well as extremely accurate load cells for weighing of water and admixture. As well as the latest technology, consistently sound management has helped the company grow into the huge organisation it is today. Shedadeh concludes, "Because of the logistical complexity of many of our larger projects, a highly trained, co-operative team of experts is crucial to success. We stand united and this is why we stand strong". Some may call Dubai a 'concrete jungle', but with Unibeton in the picture that might not be a bad thing at all.

Starting as a small company with one batching plant in Suleimat, Al Ain, Unibeton now has a network of 22 batching plants across the UAE, plus a fleet of transit mixers, concrete pumps, trailers and cement bulkers. Unibeton is currently the concrete supplier for the project to build the tallest building in Abu Dhabi. When it is completed in 2010, the 72 floors Landmark Tower will stand 330 meters tall, significantly higher than all other buildings in the city.

Tel: +9714 880 2600 www.unibetonrm.com
Landmark Tower, Abu Dhabi
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Corporate Profile

A Greener Dubai
Sometimes it is possible to forget that Dubai is a city nestled in the centre of a vast desert. Even though water is scarce for most months of the year, with an average annual rainfall of a mere 13 cm, certain parts are a perennial oasis of lush greenery. Creating and maintaining this illusion is where companies like Orient Irrigation Services (OIS) step in, fashioning any landscape afresh to develop a space that is intelligently designed but functional, aesthetically beguiling yet efficient. Specializing in irrigation, water treatment and landscaping, the company has designed numerous public and private gardens throughout Dubai, from lush gardens surrounding palaces to meticulously maintained golf courses.

Figures by the Emirates Industrial Bank say the UAE, with a population of 3.7 million people, has the highest per capita consumption of water in the world at 500 litres a day. In Britain, the figure is 330 litres a day, Spain 300 litres, France 215 litres and Jordan 150 litres.
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The climate in the United Arab Emirates is sub-tropical and arid. Rainfall is infrequent and typically occurs between November and March; usually it amounts to approximately 13 centimetres, spread over five days per year.

Orient Irrigation has won 9 awards in recognition of the services it provides.

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stablished in Dubai in 1977 in partnership with a Swiss landscaping expert, with the aim of utilizing the limited local water resources to obtain maximum results through modern and specialized technology, OIS continues to blossom today. Over the years, the 730-strong company has gained a reputation as exacting professionals thanks to their successful execution of a range of projects in the UAE for public parks, palaces, hotels, gardens, landscapes and golf courses. Says Peter Harradine, "We place emphasis on continually experimenting with different and contemporary root-zone mixtures coupled with computerprogrammed and localized irrigation systems, in order to guarantee enormous savings in energy and water consumption". In view of the potentials in this sphere, OIS has also diversified and now distributes irrigation equipment and has access to a vast stock of other types of specialized agricultural equipment, with two mechanical workshops to provide after sales support too. Involved in every aspect of the development, the design team excels in taking a 'can-do attitude' approach from the design inception to execution. "By undertaking diversified design problems of varied scale from public to private spaces, utilizing the multi-cultural landscape architectural talents to develop creative solutions, our skill set is unparalleled", he explains. One of their famed specialities, however, is golf courses and they have constructed the courses in Jebel Ali, Ras Al Khaimah, Arabian Ranches, Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, Dubai Creek Golf, Yacht Club and the Abu Dhabi National. Because the courses are situated in such dry, hot, humid and saline desert conditions, during the construction and maintenance stages, specialized supervisors and green keepers are employed to ensure daily control and adherence to the architect's design. Experienced staff, including green-keepers, horticulturists and landscape gardeners, ensures the highest level of expertise during the implementation, installation, construction and maintenance of these quality, sustainable Golf Courses. "Our team is undoubtedly the cornerstone of our success; since they have been trained throughout the world and have been

chosen because of their experience of how to manage the inhospitable Middle Eastern climate". One of the most critical factors with landscaping and irrigation is the quality and variety of the plants incorporated in the designs, which is why OIS builds and manages its own nurseries which supply all their landscape construction and maintenance contracts. Their experienced nursery staff ensures that the trees, shrubs, ground covers, bedding plants and grasses supplied from their nurseries are of the highest possible standard. Because of the limited plant material types available in the UAE, "we are continuously experimenting with myriad new varieties of plants to try and introduce different species into the UAE landscape" Suheil Najar says. To provide the most exciting and diverse designs the company also imports exotic plant species from many of the world's recognized horticultural regions, as far flung as California, Italy, South Africa, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. It is not simply the landscaping industry that depends on a reliable supply of clean water; the need for hydration in the region makes sea water an important resource for domestic water supply, irrigation, landscaping and farming. OIS has created a specialized division, which deals with the treatment and purification of sea and brackish water and has installed many desalination plants that ensure regular and constant water supply to hotels, hospitals and remote communities. This is a company with an ethical edge - one of OIS's main concerns is the protection and improvement of the environment which is why they cooperate with numerous international companies in order to solve environmental problems and preserve the region's fragile ecology. From landscape design and desalination solutions, to flood-lighting to golf course construction; OIS is helping Dubai to flourish the right way, making green the way to go.

Tel: +9714 269 1985 www.orientirrigation.com

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Chapter

11

INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION & TECHNOLOGY

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“There is no quicker path to comprehensive development than cooperation in the fields of IT and communication”.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The company's acquisition of a minority stake in Excelcomindo, an operator from Indonesia, has given Etisalat exposure to one of the world's largest growth markets; mobile penetration in the nation of 235 million is currently less that 50 percent.

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Information, Communication & Technology

Etisalat is the fastest growing mobile phone company in the world. In proportionate terms, the company had 24.3 million mobile subscribers at the end of the first quarter of this year, up 106 percent from a year earlier.

The company has 6.83m mobile customers, 1.35m Fixed line customers and 1.02m Internet customers.

Etisalat reported annual Net Revenues of US $5,815million and Net Profits of US$1,831million

Moodys has awarded Etisalat an Aa2 rating, Standard & Poors an A + and Fitch Ratings an AA

Reach out with Etisalat
Today, the UAE has emerged as one of the most advanced nations in the world in terms of infrastructure, economic opportunities and per capita income. With its business-friendly modus operandi, high standards of living, tax-free regime and sizable annual trade surplus, it is looked upon as a modern state with an appealing mix of East and West - a most favoured destination for settlers from the Middle East Diaspora, South Asia and further afield. By progressively increasing spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion, the UAE government is opening up its utilities to greater private-sector involvement too.

Etisalat's international business has doubled in size over the last year as the company made major investments in markets from Sudan to Indonesia. The rapid growth is likely to continue, with the company's new network in Nigeria due to launch in the second half of this year.

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Etisalat was awarded many times in 2007. These accolades included Best Overall Operator of the Year - Telecoms World Middle East; Best Operator Middle East - Arabian Business; Best New Operator - Etisalat Misr - Comms MEA; Best ISP Windows User Magazine; Best Enterprise Integrator - Arabian Computer News; Most Innovative New Product BlackBerry - Network Middle East. Etisalat CEO, Mohammad Al Qamzi was also presented an award for his company's contribution to the local economy by CEO magazine.

major player in this public-private enterprise is Etisalat, the telecommunications giant of the UAE. The company has been providing the latest telecommunications services including fixed and mobile telephony, TV and internet to UAE since 1976. It has built up a modern telecom infrastructure and established itself as an innovative and reliable operator in the region. Ranked among the Financial Times Top 500 Corporations in the world in terms of market capitalisation, and the 6th largest company in the Middle East in terms of capitalisation and revenues, Etisalat stands tall, a compelling factor in UAE's advancement and modernization, and at the root of the nation's vision for globalisation. To this end, Etisalat is the largest contributor outside the oil sector to the UAE Federal Government's development programmes worldwide. Vision "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," said Arthur C. Clarke in his book Profiles of the Future, and with its vision of a connected world, Etisalat wants to create nothing short of magic. As a telecommunications company, Etisalat has the power to keep people connected at all times, anywhere in the world. And that's exactly the vision of the company - to enable its customers to be unfettered by matters of distance. Etisalat envisages a world where its people will effortlessly move around the world, staying in touch with family, making new friends as they go, and developing new interests on the way.

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Etisalat's long-standing reputation as a technology leader and product innovator has lead to the growth of Group Revenue and Net Profit, 22% and 24% respectively, over the last five years on a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).

Businesses big and small, empowered by Etisalat, no longer limited by distance, are able to reach new markets. With innovative technologies, UAE is open to fresh opportunities across the globe, allowing the supply of new goods and services to everyone who wants them, further strengthening its position as a nascent strategic power worldwide. Mission Etisalat's mission is to extend people's reach. Thus Etisalat is actively developing advanced networks that will enable people to connect, to learn and to grow; to enable them to reach each other, businesses to find new markets and everyone to fulfill their potential. Across the UAE, and increasingly in international markets, Etisalat's mission of enabling its customers to enjoy the latest services and technologies in telephone, TV and Internet services has largely succeeded. Values The company has three central values that are at the core of their philosophy and consequent success; energy, openness and enablement. Etisalat esteems and nurtures the energy and dynamism required to achieve the very best in business, leading to capability of addressing future challenges and opportunities with ease. Their policy of being open, honest and fair extends to their customers, suppliers and employees, which creates a sociable and friendly atmosphere to work within. The company wishes to provide opportunities and to actively help people reach their goals, always delivering what they say they will.

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Advantage Apart from enabling the nation with basic telecommunication services, Etisalat also offers a range of innovative and modern services that have served to position UAE as one of the most advanced nations in terms of telecom services. With Etisalat, mobile users enjoy the benefits of superior voice and data applications like WAP, GPRS, 3.5G, MMS, Push-To-Talk, Black Berry services and others. Enterprise and individual customers on the fixed-line network have the benefit of services such as ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode), Frame Relay, VSAT and ISDN. The corporate offers fixed-line services over a Next Generation Network and has been migrating sections of its users onto the advanced network. By establishing NGN, Etisalat will be able to offer voice, video and data over one single source, enabling true Triple-Play functionality. Etisalat Entities Realizing that true empowerment can happen only with education, Etisalat is engaged in providing quality education to UAE with its Etisalat Academy and the Etisalat University College. These two initiatives are designed to turn the UAE into a centre of professional training excellence. Courses held here include subjects such as IT, Business Administration, Information Security, Basic Sciences, Communication Engineering, Electronic Engineering and Computer Engineering. EMIX (Emirates Internet Exchange) is the first Network Access Point (NAP) in the Middle East. Built on multiple STM-1 circuits landing on the East and West coasts of the UAE, EMIX's state-of-the-art platforms are designed for the transport of high-quality and high-speed Internet service. Emirates Data Clearing House (EDCH) was established in 1994 to provide a single point of contact for the roaming facility offered by GSM operators. It is one of only five companies worldwide that offers electronic data transfer and financial services. Ebtikar's product range includes chipbased smart cards with memory or microprocessor chips, as well as non-chipbased cards for multimedia applications. Ebtikar services the industries of telecommunications (Pay phones, GSM, Internet), health, parking and others. The Customer Care Centre from Etisalat was established in 2000 to handle all the Corporation's non face-to-face customer interactions, both in UAE and outside. Having over 500 seats, it is the largest operation of its kind in the Middle East, and is ISO-9001 certified. Apart from Etisalat including all its divisions and subsidiaries, the Customer Care Centre also handles inbound and outbound services for companies in the private and Government

Etisalat has invested in educational initiatives such as Etisalat Academy and Etisalat University College, which provide training courses at international standards. It has contributed towards gearing up a generation of telecom specialists, who work today to support expansion and investment plans of the Corporation in fourteen countries across Africa and Asia.

sectors, both domestic and international. Services provided by the Customer Care Centre to its clients include contact handling, telesales and market research, and call centre consulting services. Figures The year 2007 was dynamic for Etisalat with success at multiple levels, especially through its international expansion which saw acquisitions of licenses and assets in Indonesia and Nigeria. By the end of 2007, Etisalat reported annual Net Revenues of US $5,815million and Net Profits of US$1,831million, showing strong growth versus 2006. This trend is continuing in 2008 and as of July 14 Etisalat was reporting Net Revenues of US$ 3,390m and Net Profits of US$ 1,394m. Etisalat has received its inaugural international corporate credit ratings in 2008. Moodys has awarded an Aa2 rating, Standard & Poors A + and Fitch Ratings an AA-. Etisalat was also named as a Diamond company in terms of financial transparency by the SCA (Securities & Commodities Authority). Contribution to the Community Even though the main objective of Etisalat is to provide telecommunication services to the nation, it has always adhered to the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility. The corporation strengthens the society it serves by supporting social, economic, sports and cultural activities. It also participates in economic related conferences and exhibitions which are organised throughout the Emirates and the region and is an award-winning socially responsible

corporation. Etisalat has also won accolades from across the region for its Emiratisation programmes that have secured jobs for young national professionals for over 40 per cent of its workforce. Future In 1982, Etisalat was the first telecom operator in the region to introduce a mobile phone service in UAE, and was one of the early adopters of GSM technology, introducing it to customers in 1994. Since then it has established itself as a regional pioneer by introducing both 3G and MMS in 2003, and most recently, the BlackBerry service in 2006. Etisalat looks at a future in which technology extends its reach. Already, music, books and services no longer have to have a physical format to be sold online. Advanced networks will increasingly provide education, healthcare and other services and goods. For instance, telemedicine already allows patients to seek the best advice from doctors around the world; now robotic aids are beginning to make remote surgery possible. As the pace of technological change increases, Etisalat intends to extend its reach into new technologies, services and markets and, in the process, raise the benchmark in customer services, acquisition and retention, thus enhancing shareholder value. These advances and intentions to excel, at the end of the day, show what a successful corporation is all about.

Tel: 101 www.etisalat.ae

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CSR Etisalat supports people with special needs through their unique 'Freedom Package' which provides enhanced communications options. Their continued support goes to Dubai Centre for Special Needs - Phone System, People with special needs Centre, Wedding Ceremony for Special Needs People, and Deaf Week. Environment friendly initiatives include the use of electronic payments through the mobile which will help reduce paper waste and the Envirophone initiative to recycle people's old mobiles. Etisalat's Academy has implemented the EasyLearning initiative which works for the development and qualification of professional candidates in more than 134 countries.

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Over 40,000 BlackBerry customers 510 roaming agreements 186 countries As of July 2008, Etisalat has 6.83m mobile customers, 1.35m Fixed line customers and 1.02m Internet customers.

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Greening the community
Long established as the world's leading electronics brand, it is only fitting that Philips, that first began producing electric light bulbs more than a century ago, should be flying the flag for energy-efficient lighting technologies. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) have long been used for a variety of visual displays. Now LED technology is about to change the face of lighting across almost every segment, including homes, offices, hospitality, roads and retail sectors.

Philips will be running workshops together with the Dubai government, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in November 2008 to increase the awareness of energy consumption in hotels and supporting them towards energy efficient solutions. In the same month the company is organising a 'Green Week' in Dubai to increase public awareness towards energy saving.

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ntended to replace incandescent and halogen lamps, it is still early days for LED light bulb technology in terms of its performance. So too is the price tag relatively high at present. However, believes the company, over the next two to three years the positive benefits of LED lighting promise to be huge, in terms of both its long lifetime and energy saving properties. Recent research by Philips has shown potential energy savings of 40 per cent. In monetary terms, this is a global saving of around US$64 billion. This equates to 555 million tones of CO2, 1,560 million barrels of oil per year or the annual output of 530 medium sized power stations. "Commonly used products like incandescent light bulbs can easily be replaced by energy saving lamps," states DP Smedema, general manager for Philips in the Middle East and North Africa. "This replacement will save 80 per cent on energy consumption right away, which reduces CO2 by 41kg per year, per lamp. It also lasts two to three times longer, which dramatically reduces maintenance and saves time and money." Aside from the environmental and cost benefits is the adaptability of LED technologies. Aeshetially, LED lighting can provide any desired colour and create effects not possible with existing technologies. For road lighting, with no need for filters (coloured filtered incandescent lamps can lose 90 per cent of available light), the energy savings are significant. For industrial lighting, the extra low voltages of LED lighting (typically 12 or 24 volt) is a major safety advantage. "Each segment asks for a different approach," explains Smedema. "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 efficiency." Community awareness Still, concedes Smedema, creating public awareness is crucial to the uptake of such technologies within the region. "Because of limited knowledge and awareness in the Middle East, it is difficult to recognise and appreciate the difference between one lamp and another," he feels. "Logical behavior is that people buy the cheapest lamp as long as it

fits. Only after usage do they experience that its lifetime is short, light output is fading fast or lamps simply change colour. To make sure people buy the right product and prevent disappointment, we are setting up training programs and workshops in hotels and other segments. After the course, people are better prepared to make the right decisions and recognise the difference between the initial cost of a lamp and the value of lighting. After all the cheapest lamp is often the most expensive lighting solution." Philips will be running workshops together with the Dubai government, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in November 2008 to increase the awareness of energy consumption in hotels and supporting them towards energy efficient solutions. In the same month the company is organising a 'Green Week' in Dubai to increase public awareness towards energy saving. Walking the talk On an equal scale is Philips' own internal environmental pledge. As part of its EcoVision4 environmental action plan - now running for its fifth year - is a absolute reduction of its own operational carbon footprint of 25 per cent by 2012. This includes doubling its investment in green innovations by 2012 and further increasing the energy efficiency of its operations over the same period. Another major target is to generate 30 per cent of the company's total revenues from green products over the next five years (up from 15 per in 2006), "In the coming years Philips intends to grow in lighting in the Middle East," offers Smedema, referring not least to the region's fastest growing industry - tourism. "Building on current lighting contracts with some major hotel chains, we want to grow with major players changing them into 'green' hotels and supplying them with latest innovations using more LED technology. The UAE Government is already making tremendous inroads into developing environmental initiatives and technologies. It is our aim to continue to support the government to this end and making the Middle East an eco model for other parts of the world."

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

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Information, Communication & Technology

Framing new perspectives
Blink Studios, a recent subdivision of the Greenline Group, has come to life in response to an increasing market demand for television, motion picture, and corporate productions. As a central player in Dubai's expanding realm of 'presentation media', Blink Studios has recently begun to penetrate the international television and film arena, while continuing to strengthen its regional presence.

Blink Studios at Dubai Studio City

Tooters 3D Animated Series

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ince its establishment, Blink Studios has been at the forefront of digital animation in Dubai, both in connection with regional animated entertainment and computer generated (CG) visual effects for live-action. As the first animation studio to secure significant studio space at Dubai Studio City, Blink Studios stands as a reflection of the company's unwavering commitment to producing quality CG animation in the emirate. With Dubai's vibrant and fast growing economy abundant with a myriad of business and production initiatives, Blink Studios has responded to the rapidly increasing creative and commercial demand by focusing its energies on three distinct production divisions; a Film Studio, a Design Studio, and an Animation/ Visual Effects (VFX) Studio. "Boasting state-ofthe-art equipment and the most advanced technology available, Blink Studios is capable of producing content to suit a wide range of production budgets, while always maintaining the highest levels of professional standards", says Business Development Manager Tarek Mounir. The services offered in the Animation VFX Studio include animated series for television/ DVD, motion graphics, and walk-through animation; with the latter serving Dubai's booming design, construction and real estate sectors.

The Film Studio works with a cadre of seasoned directors, producers, writers and researchers who share a common agenda: To utilize Dubai's resources and rich environment, as well as the state-of-the-art facilities at Dubai Studio City to produce top-notch television programs, commercials and feature films. With its unparalleled regional relationships and associations, Blink Studios has access to a wealth of research and information pertaining to historical events, modern-day Arabia, and a variety of world cultures. With the unprecedented growth and significant economic power that Dubai has garnered over the past decade, it is no surprise that a growing abundance of companies have flocked to the region. In response to the massive influx of start-up companies who require corporate identities, branding and integrated solutions to express their individuality, Blink Design Studios is the definitive answer. In a market where the primary aim is to stand out among the rest, the Blink Design Studio caters to the overwhelming demand of Corporate Identities, Publications, and Web Design. The companies' mission is unequivocal: To deliver a product that is nothing short of excellent to its discerning individual and corporate clients.

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Roy Badro, Film Director

CG Perspective - Technology and artistry

Tarek Mounir, Business Development Manager and Hani, Kichi, Animation producer/ Director.

To serve this mission, Blink fosters relationships with its clients that are based on clear communication, creative collaboration, and professional partnership. From its inception, the team has positioned itself as a leader in global collaboration and co-production. "While maintaining its core principle of delivering only the very best, we have been successful on both a regional level and on a worldwide basis", Tarek explains. Through its relations with top international entertainment companies with decades of experience, Blink Studios is firmly committed to creating international content suitable for today's global market. Mounir Concludes: "As Studio City's first digital animation studio to successfully forge international partnerships, Blink Studios is paving the way for unprecedented, global production opportunities in Dubai."

CG Perspective - Precision and perspective

Tel: + 9714 425 3504 www.blinkstudios.ae

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The 'Best Of' Times
Launched in 2007, SAB Media has made significant progress in developing both The Times and The Sunday Times across the region from its Dubai Media City base, thanks to a unique partnership between it and Rupert Murdoch's News International.

The Times has covered the region since its earliest days, reporting on many of the region's significant founding events such as Sheikh Zayed's birthday on 2nd December 1918 to the announcement of the UAE's independence on 2nd December 1971.
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t was back in 1798 that The Times made its first appearance in The Middle East when its journalists reported on Napoleon's arrival in Egypt. Since then, like the desert sands, events and history have ebbed and shifted dramatically, during which time the newspaper, along with its sister title The Sunday Times, have grown to become two of the most influential and respected newspapers in the world. Along the way, The Times has maintained its presence in the region reporting on some of its most significant and memorable events, with the UAE's developing history regularly finding its way into the newspapers' columns. Today, the newspaper has an even greater link with the Middle East, thanks to a unique partnership between Saudi owned company SAB Media and Rupert Murdoch's News International, which sees the international edition of both papers being printed daily in the Middle East. Launched in 2007, SAB Media has already made significant progress in developing both The Times and The Sunday Times across the region from its Dubai Media City base. Both papers are now available in several GCC countries on the morning of publication and SAB Media is currently in the process of expanding its regional print sites across the rest of the Middle East to provide its daily offering to an even greater number of readers. Simultaneously, a full-colour product and a greater focus on Middle East content through a dedicated Middle East edition are also being developed which will all add up to produce a significantly enhanced package for the papers' many loyal Middle East readers. Focusing on a diet of international news, sport and a second to none business section - interspersed with regional advertising from the ever-swelling ranks of blossoming Middle East businesses - the papers currently enjoy a circulation of just over 22,000. This has been helped in no small part by significant and targeted marketing and subscription-building exercises, such as having the entire Times business desk team out for the Leaders in Dubai conference in 2007. Available through retailers or by subscription at home or at work, The Times and The Sunday Times contains an unparalleled depth and breadth of coverage that has become the newspaper's trademark over its 220-year history. Long regarded as required reading for political and business leaders, The Times and The Sunday Times combine objective news reporting with hard-hitting political analysis, lively commentary and incisive business reporting. "We are proud that we are now available daily in a region that is destined to play an ever more influential role in the world," explains James Harding, Editor of The Times. "Since 1798, when The Times reported Napoleon's arrival in Egypt, we have invested heavily in our reporting from the region and we now have one of the largest correspondent networks in the Middle East. Expanding our printing operations across the region is another significant moment in our history and we look forward to providing intelligent, informative and entertaining news, comment and analysis for many

new readers in the region." John Witherow, Editor of The Sunday Times added: "We are delighted to have this opportunity to extend the availability of The Sunday Times across this important region. We are proud of our reputation for delivering news and analysis to an intelligent and thoughtful audience. There are more than 3.5 million weekly readers of the Sunday Times and this figure is only increasing further through our partnership with SAB Media in the Middle East." "One reason we're excited to have the licence to publish The Times and The Sunday Times here is its broad appeal," said Sheikh Salah Al Belawi, Chairman of the SAB Media. "The newspapers offer advertisers a way to reach the region's political and business elite, along with an educated and engaged English-speaking audience. From a branding standpoint, The Times name sells itself. There is not another publication that can touch it, in terms of recognition and respect." SAB Media is a part of a conglomerate of companies under the umbrella of Saudi based SAB Group Holding Co owned by Sheikh Salah Al Belawi which cover a wide area of sectors ranging from construction to investments, real estate and retail. For all enquiries related to The Times and The Sunday Times both regionally and internationally,

Tel: +9714 364 2900 www.thetimesme.com

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ART, MEDIA & HERITAGE

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“Follow in the footsteps of your fathers’ virtue! How could you hope to climb high unless your fathers’ will climbs with you?”
Friedrich Nietzsche, German Philosopher & Scholar (1844-1900)

Courtesy Dariush Zandi

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Where art meets intuition
Architect, town planner, photographer, author, off-roader and visionary, Iran-born Dariush Zandi has influenced the Dubai skyline over three decades. His world encapsulates beauty, harmony and space, creating optimum living conditions by fusing the traditional and contemporary. His creations demonstrate an unfailing passion for art and restoration. A vibrant persona belies his subtle manner and modest demeanour.

Designed by Zandi, this home in Mirdif is a unique example of his architectural execution.

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Zandi's home is exquisitely designed, everything within it has a meaning and a purpose.

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o visit the Courtyard, one of Zandi's creations in Dubai, is to stumble upon a gem amidst a mechanised ocean. With warehouse after warehouse, the Al Quoz Industrial Area is not a conventional location for an art gallery yet, upon arrival, the secluded site seems all the more enchanting for it. Wandering through the gates, the sound of trickling water and picturesque attached facades of varying traditional styles, complemented by the juxtaposition of a

spacious modern glass building at the end of the walkway is the welcome. Born from his belief that nothing is impossible, being the first in the area, Zandi overrode the notion that such an artistic area could not be made possible on an industrial site and, paving the way for more as art galleries to move to the area. The Courtyard is an artistic oasis housing global art. Created to inspire, support and display the work of predominantly Middle

Dariush Zandi with wife Shaghayegh Arabi

The Courtyard is a haven of creativity and individuality that resonates with artists, architects and visitors alike.

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Eastern artists, it opened in 1998. Yet it is evolving constantly, mimicking its creator who believes that growth is the only permanence in life. He believes that life flows and is malleable; objects are added, detached and reused as part of a cycle. The artist's passion permeates the spectator as Zandi explains his work; "Look at these stones," he says pointing to one of the structures. "They were dumped by somebody else but were a treasure to me." Inspired by a favourite endeavour, he then guides to another area, "Those pulleys and railings are from an old dhow and this window sill holding plant pots used to be the toilet seats on a dhow. Preserving history is one of the most valuable things we can do, leaving something for the future." Zandi transfers these ideas to his condostyle personal residence. The apartment bursts with natural light from the floor to ceiling windows; the split level style promotes the circulation of air with high ceilings lending a feeling of space. Within this contemporary shell, Zandi has interspersed unique design features like the various parts of a Turkmen house. Scattered throughout are objects for a forthcoming project, featuring metals distressed by natural forces and time. With these old objects, Zandi sees a potential for renewed life. His home is gallery-like, yet not pretentious, nor overwhelming; everything within it has a meaning and a history, being found and treasured by him and his like-minded wife, the artist Shaghayegh Arabi. Dubai has been the ideal setting for Zandi's artistic vision and mission. His love for the city began upon arrival in 1978, explaining; "Dubai with its souqs and windtower houses reminded me of my childhood spent in one of Tehran's

oldest quarters: the Bazaar". The artist initially worked on the plans for an urban design competition based on the Creek side. The city was rich in opportunity for an architect and Zandi created the master plan for the Deira Creek Corniche project. Subsequently, he returned to the US for his post-graduate studies in urban design, architecture and town planning and it was not until 1980 that he returned to Dubai. Inquiring about his prior project, he was soon at work again, modifying his original design and transforming the creek in the process. Initially planning to stay for only six months or so, Zandi has remained in Dubai ever since. As a believer in fate he explains that his destiny; "It was a chance to use all my experience and all my travels. I had a city right here, under my hand - and that's not a chance that many people get." Zandi with help of a few friends developed the first art institute in Dubai, where he also taught interior design, architecture and photography to a diverse mix of students including Shirley Kay, wife of then the British Consul General. The restoration of Sheikh Saeed's house and the some of the houses in Bastakiya district are just a couple of his preservation projects. In addition, he has helped maintain the traditional buildings of Dubai in many areas, both through restoration and insightful design in keeping with the city's distinctive architecture. Demolition of old areas of Dubai has always been a sensitive issue for Zandi as he laments the loss of the old, seeing it as damaging to history, culture and simply a waste of resources. He has encouraged the preservation of older, decrepit areas that may have fallen victim to Dubai's construction craze and desire to reinvent itself.

Continuing his work, his newer projects evoke an element of the traditional. Whether it be villas on the Palm or townhouses, Zandi designs with people and environment in mind, creating optimum living spaces that emulate the essence of Emirati traditional design - wind towers, earth tones, landscape and working with water. The plans for an upcoming urban architectural project demonstrate Zandi's vision for Dubai. Utilising his creative temperament, the proposal for this area included the plans for a traditional walled city boasting crafts and souqs, as well as a convincing twists and turns: Zandi fantasized an entire history for the area, composing a letter from a father to his son, discussing the historical town. Even though the site may seem antiquated and decrepit, it embodies total harmonious living with the important feeling of community through his promotion of rebuilding the past and the tradition. Strangely, he had already designed a new township in that same area in 1981 as the town planner working for the city. For Zandi it does not seem unusual, as ideas take time to develop. "A city is organic; it grows at its own pace - sometimes slow, sometimes fast. In this case, the plans took 25 years." Zandi's belief in the flexibility of life leads him to pursue many projects. Photography is a natural passion, having taken his first pictures as a boy - "My camera has been like a faithful companion on all my trips", he explains. One of his most interesting projects was working with Michael Tobias on the photography book Dubai 24 Hours. While they were creating the superb images, film crews followed, making a documentary film, which is now a DVD.

Beautifully crafted yet understated and elegant, Zandi's architecture is frequently a refreshing relief from the excessive opulence of many of Dubai's landmarks.

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As an able photographer and author of series of “Off-Road In The Emirates” books Zandy has taken inspiration from the desert environment. Dubai has always held a unique place in heart; "I believe in destiny" he explains.

Excursions have also feature in Zandi's life. He has always been attracted to remote places and as a child he loved leaving Tehran to travel to the villages. "Life there intrigued me with its simplicity," he recalls. Sustaining this passion, Zandi has researched and written four volumes of Off Road in the Emirates (Motivate Publishing), the definitive guide to some of the UAE's most secluded and unspoilt

destinations. He is also the co-author of Architectural Heritage of the Gulf. Progressing every day, Zandi's zeal for life and opportunity may take him anywhere. Just recently he made a documentary series about Dubai's heritage architecture, "I don't claim to be a filmmaker, but I have knowledge of the subject and it interested me. So with help of a few professional I did it.''

Zandi's philosophy is inspiring and his vision is sincere. Despite his many accomplishments, the future for Zandi is as unknown to him as the roads he explores. Given his track history, it seems that anything can be expected.

Tel: +9714 347 5050 www.courtyard-uae.com

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Artistic horizons explored
"Art Dubai has become the region's commercial art-trading hub and an immensely important platform for the whole international art community, providing a chance for important regional artists and art initiatives to engage at a serious level with curators and collectors around the world. We aim to build on the success of this year's event and continue to expand on an extensive range of arts projects, artworks and galleries and educational programmes for Art Dubai 2009," says John Martin, Director of Art Dubai.

Throughout the year Art Dubai engages with the local community through the work of START, an outreach programme which seeks to establish artist lead workshops for deprived children across the Middle East. The fair also works with local universities and arts students, running a comprehensive Internship Scheme
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rt Dubai, an annual international contemporary art fair taking place each March at the Madinat Jumeirah, is preparing for its third year in March 2009. In its initial two years the event established itself as the leading art event of the region, bringing together top commercial galleries from thirty countries exhibiting work by more than 540 artists as well as a host of international visitors - ranging from art professionals to collectors and a culturally engaged public. The unique quality of Art Dubai is the variety of subsidiary projects and events that take place throughout the week. The Global Art Forum is fast becoming the Middle East's leading cultural platform, with fifty of the global art community's most respected curators, collectors and artists coming together in candid debate, presenting and disputing their ideas of where the region is positioned in the international arts scene. Speakers ranged from Glenn Lowry, Director of MOMA, New York, Rem Koolhaas, Architect from Rotterdam who is involved in a number of projects in the UAE and artists such as Daniel Burren and Ai Wei Wei. Art Dubai 2009 will see the display of the winners of the first year of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize. In both 2007 and 2008 a number of innovative art projects and commissions were displayed across the venue; on the water terraces surrounding Fort Island and Jumeirah Beach. The car park was transformed into 'Art Park'; a venue for video work by a host of artists such as Kader Attia, Lida Abdul and Idris Khan and installations by artists such as Jitish Kallat and Khalil Chishtee. Bidoun commissioned an Artist Cinema and local design agency Traffic designed the Bidoun lounge. 2008 saw the first curated project,

Salima Hashmi curated 'Desperately Seeking Paradise' including work by the leading artists from Pakistan working today. Other artists who have displayed their work as part of Art Dubai include Wim Delvoye, Tarek Zaki, Lawrence Weiner, Amir H. Fallah, Sunil Gawde, Subodh Kerkar, Nadim Karam, Parviz Tanavoli and Lara Baladi. Art Dubai encourages the whole arts community of Dubai to display the best of contemporary art from the region and abroad so that international visitors can see the wealth of talent here. The Creek Contemporary Art Fair, established by the XVA Gallery based in Bastakia, Bur Dubai is a satellite fair displaying the work of a number of artists in houses in the historical quarter of Dubai. DIFC held a 'Season of Arts' during March and the Jam Jar operate the Art Bus, taking visitors to the city on a tour of the highlight sites across the city. In 2009 for the first time, Sharjah Biennial will open the day before Art Dubai and will be the fairs main partner, ensuring that all VIP and Press guests to the region will attend both events. Since Art Dubai 2008 a number of new gallery spaces have opened, for example Ayam Gallery from Damascus, Syria now have a spectacular space in Al Quoz which is growing to be the commercial gallery centre of the city with a host of more established galleries based here such as The Third Line, B21, Meem Gallery. With an aim to be inclusive instead of exclusive in their approach, Art Dubai is evolving as a platform for talent and artistic innovation in the region and further afield.

Tel: +9714 342 2395 www.artdubai.ae

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Eastern Perspectives
Lily Bandak's photography portrays a striking vision of the UAE, highlighting the advancement of its cities with more traditional images in order to communicate the complexity and beauty of the people, their culture and achievements.

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er initial visual project aims to dispel the western misconception of the Middle East as inferior in terms of scientific and technological development and she pays particular attention to the unknown accomplishments of the many talented and ambitious women she has met through her work. In addition to this commendable objective, a more recent ambition is to highlight the difficulties faced by people with disabilities and moreover, what they can achieve with the right help and support. This is a particularly passionate project for Lily as she suffers from Multiple Sclerosis - a condition that, since her diagnosis in 1984, has caused physical disability restricting her to a wheelchair and impeding her photography. After a period of frustration, Lily sought help from the Vocational Rehabilitation services in

the US and designed a camera which could be fastened to her wheelchair allowing her to continue her work within the Middle East. Lily's return to the region began with her travels in Bahrain and continued into the UAE, throughout which she endeavored to demonstrate to the Arab World that a person with disabilities, even in a wheelchair, could be an active member of society. The biggest challenge that she faced was trying to change people's attitudes towards those who are disabled. She found that people in general and more particularly in the Middle East saw disability as a finite condition worthy of pity. Her aim for the future is to introduce assistive technology to the region so that the disabled can be more independent. The situation of the disabled is rapidly

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improving within the UAE as people realize the importance of valuing all members of society and see what inspirational figures like Lily Bandak can achieve. Although private care is available, more recently there are widespread public efforts to ease the problems of people with special needs and support their families. Some of the organisations in the UAE that assist in this include the Sharjah Humanitarian City, Emirates Special Needs LLC (Abu Dhabi), Abu Dhabi Centre for Care and Rehabilitation, Dubai Club for Special Sports and Takamul (Dubai), just to name a few. In addition, the UAE Government passed the Disability Act (Federal Law No.29/2006) in November 2006 which protects the rights of people with disabilities and special needs. It is now the responsibility of architects and construction companies to provide equitable facilities to their new sites for all members of society, as recognition and subsequent action by these groups helps to increase general awareness. Born in Jordan, Lily is now an American citizen, living in Newark. She was educated in Paris and the US, studying at such institutions as the Philadelphia College of Art, the University of Delaware and the Antonelli College of Photography. Her work has included the personal photography of many public figures within the Middle East, inclusion as the only female to have her work on permanent display in the White House and her participation in the book, Images of Egypt, sponsored by the Egyptian government. This is all just the beginning for Lily as her vision is to see people with special needs not just supported in separate schools and organizations, but integrated within society. For her, this can be achieved through assistive technology and the UAE would be an ideal place to launch her ideas due to its positive and progressive attitude. From her early memories of a small fishing village that was Dubai in 1980, the vision that it represents today is something that Lily is very proud of and her photos share this with the rest of the world. "I am hoping to change the outlook on people with disabilities, especially in the Arab World and I wish I could get people to join me in this effort. We, in the Arab World, have over 10 million people with disabilities and we need to try and help them", she concludes.

www.arabworldphotography.com

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Tracing centuries of craftsmanship through photography.

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Art in pictures
With the range and diversity of visual arts growing in tandem with Dubai’s inexorable development, the voraciousness for novelty and the quest for aesthetic appeal is a testament to the emirate’s desire to appear picture pefect.

Together with Rodney Keith, Heidi Rohm, Managing Partner Riot Art puts the philosophy of her company into focus. When did you establish Riot Art and what was the rationale for starting the company? Riot Art was established in 2007 and was born from the passion for great photography. As commercial photographers we believe that great photography is a piece of art, capturing moments and evoking emotions, and looks at it best when well presented - ie printed and mounted in large format. Not able to find a printer that could give us the quality and colour reproduction we wanted - we saw the opportunity to offer a superior and niche product and service, allowing everyone to turn their photography into a masterpiece.

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How has the firm evolved over the years since its inception? How many people do you currently employ? We are a team of 12 and growing …… Our print to canvas has evolved to an online service enabling clients to upload their photographs online and even have them delivered! We have also created and evolved our own distinct style in the Studio - specialising in attitude and alternative family portraits. Understanding our client, the brand and getting under the skin of commercial photography projects means that we can capture photography that is to the client's expectations. What were both Rodney and you doing before you started the business? Rodney has always been in the design and creative industry and worked with world renowned photographers learning from the best. Heidi's marketing background, and love for photography was a perfect skill set match and then it was just a matter of getting the wheels in motion! Can you briefly run through your main operations and services? Of these, which do you consider to be Riot Art's unique competitive selling proposition(s)? At the Riot Art Print Shop we wanted to encourage everyone to enjoy the photographs they had taken - turning it into wall art, by printing their favourite photographs to large format onto canvas or fine art so they could be enjoyed everyday. We spend time recommending interesting crops, and making minor retouches. Most importantly the quality of the print and the work we produce is exceptional our customers can be guaranteed their prints will be a lifetime memory. We use only the best quality canvas, papers, ink and equipment from leading suppliers. We sum this up as - More than you expect - and I think this applies for all

aspects of our business. The Riot Art Portrait Studio seemed a logical extension to the existing business our studio team wanted to do portraits that were different and edgy. By providing a relaxed atmosphere we capture the personality and spirit of everyone we photograph - we also encourage personal items and props at the shoot. After the studio shoot we edit images digitally, the client then returns to view the images and can then chose to purchase images individually, framed, on canvas or from our range of very popular collections. Our own unique edgy style and ability to capture moments that will always be a memory of a good time spent in the studio apart from having a great portrait to hang on the wall. Our talented studio photographers are dedicated to detail, and their passion for photography and personality are evident in their work. Riot Art Photography has become synonymous with exceptional bespoke photography which aids communication and tells a story for our clients. We aim to seek out the unique features of our projects, understand the application of the photography and ensure that we deliver photography that is both exceptional, on brand and becomes our clients best communication tools. We believe that our photography should be able to tell a story and make words redundant. Of most importance to clients is the time we spend understanding and driving a clear brief, this enables us to deliver photography which more than meets expectations, and become their best communication tools. What are the emerging trends in photography? Trends change all the time - people often have a preconceived idea of what they like. In the studio our edgy style is popular with high and low key photography is getting very popular i.e: great use of lighting. Clever photography which is emotionally appealing and thought provoking is a trend commercially. We believe

every photograph should provoke emotion and this is the key to adding value to the trend and style we achieve. What changes have you witnessed in terms of the UAE's development as a hub for visual media and branding services and where do you see the market heading from here? Clients in the UAE expect the best and they also expect delivery to be in line with international standards and very often work produced by local company's not only rivals but challenges some of the best world wide. What's next on the agenda for Riot Art? Where do you go from here? We are working on subsequent outlets in UAE and abroad. Our mission is to become synonymous with photography that is exceptional - our joy comes from seeing clients taking a trip down memory lane as they look at their photos and remember the time in the studio - or a holiday photo that they printed to canvas.

Tel: +9714 422 4166 www.riot-art.com

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CSR, GREEN INNOVATION & ASSOCIATIONS

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“Poverty is unnecessary... Business money is limitless”.
Muhammad Yunus, Microcredit Pioneer, Nobel Prize winner for Peace, 2006

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People Empowerment
Grameen-Jameel is a not-for-profit limited company jointly owned by Grameen Foundation and Bab Rizq Jameel Limited, a subsidiary of Abdul Latif Jameel Group. The company was founded in March 2007 and incorporated in Cyprus with a branch office in Dubai's International Humanitarian City. It is an example of the social business concept pioneered by 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. Grameen-Jameel works to maximize social impact while reinvesting all of its profits in the business so that it can continue to support microfinance institutions.

What if it were possible to channel the power of the free market to solve the age old and seemingly interminable problems of poverty, hunger, and inequality? Grameen Jameel is overturning conventional banking practice by removing the need for collateral by creating a banking system based on mutual trust, accountability, participation and creativity

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he company helps alleviate poverty in the Arab world through microfinance. Grameen-Jameel has set a goal of reaching one million new active microfinance clients in the Arab world by 2011. In order to achieve this, the company forms strategic partnerships with microfinance institutions (MFIs) throughout the region who share its values: commitment to reaching women and the poorest; aggressive growth plans; and financial sustainability. Grameen-Jameel provides support to MFIs through its products, services, and financing. This support enables MFIs to increase the breadth and depth of their outreach, as well as strengthen their financial and operational sustainability to better serve their clients. Through its partnerships in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Tunisia, Grameen-Jameel has reached more than 200,000 new microfinance clients. In addition to partnering with MFIs, Grameen-Jameel works closely with Sanabel, the Arab microfinance network, and Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a multi-donor consortium housed at the World Bank, to facilitate the spread of information on best practices among microfinance practitioners. The Arabic Microfinance Gateway, the first major online resource for microfinance in the Arab world, is a result of close cooperation between Grameen-Jameel, Sanabel and CGAP. Our Roots Grameen-Jameel is the first of its kind to target microfinance in the Arab world in order to address poverty and unemployment, and shows how two very different organizations, a western non-profit organization and a for-profit, privately-held Saudi company can come together to achieve common social good. Grameen Foundation is a global nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC that combines microfinance, technology, and innovation to empower the world's poorest people to escape poverty. Founded in 1997 with the support of Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, the Foundation has a global network of 52 partners in 22 countries. Abdul Latif Jameel Group, based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is one of the Arab world's most successful and respected business groups. Founded in 1945 by the late Sheikh Abdul Latif Jameel, the company was granted sole distribution rights for Toyota vehicles in Saudi Arabia ten years later, which it has maintained ever since. ALJ has a very active community services program with emphasis on education, training and development.

A revolutionary and more humane form of capitalism, microcredit is a cost effective weapon to fight poverty serving as a catalyst in the over all development of socio-economic conditions of the needy who have been kept outside the banking orbit on the grounds that they are poor and hence not bankable.

Tel: +9716 430 9120 www.grameen-jameel.com

Spearheaded by Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, microcredit which is an innovative banking program that provides beneficiaries, (mainly women) with small loans they need to launch businesses and raise their families out of crippling poverty, is coming to life in the Arab world.

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Small is powerful
One of the most mercurial cities in the world; Dubai's streets can shift direction overnight whilst buildings seem to materialize on the skyline as if conjured there rather than built. The construction craze that has swept it up has transformed the emirate into the buzzing metropolis it is today. Ensconced in comforts and prosperity, it can be easy for some to forget the human price behind the architectural rewards. Some worker's malaise underscoring some of the projects that Dubai is so proud of does not reflect the proactive stance that the Government wants for its precious labour force.

Approximately 700,000 foreign laborers frequently work for up to 14 hours a day, seven days a week for a little as 1.9 Dhs per hour, a meager wage that they some don't even receive for months on end. Exhaustion and malnutrition occur and the hazardous working conditions mean that injury, even death, can be a far too common reality.

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s well as the efforts of the Dubai Economic Development Department, who have put in place controls aimed at regulating worker’s rights and standards of living, one charity that aims to bolster this process by extending assistance at grass roots level, is Helping Hands. Thanks to the dedication of its founders, Elle and Roger Trow to bettering the lives of those in need, amazing improvements are being made. “We give a helping hand and there are no strings attached. It does not matter to us where the person is from, what his religion or beliefs are. If he or she is needy and we have it, we give it.” By collecting and providing care packages that include food and basic requirements such as bedding and toiletries, Helping Hands is a lifeline to those in Dubai struggling to survive. The charity can also help labourers break the crippling cycle of

debt, which is endemic, since many workers have borrowed large amounts to get to the Gulf in the first place. Helping Hands started in 2006 when Elle and Roger visited a labour camp to deliver food parcels and, shocked by what they saw, immediately realised the enormity of the problem. By raising awareness in the community, they received an encouraging response: “There are many people with the same caring hearts who help and support us with amazing loyalty and generosity in giving us all the material requirements we need. In effect, we are a channel for all of those people here who tell us that Dubai has been good to them, and who have wanted to 'give back' to society but did not know how to go about it until we came along and enabled them to do just that”, she says. Being first and foremost humanitarians, Helping Hands targets the lowest paid migrant workers; “the most exploited, the most disrespected, the most underprivileged: the invisible, the disposable and neglected members of society. We touch the lives of human beings some people don’t even know exist”. Roger and Elle moved to Dubai in 2001 after having lived in Bahrain for 20 years, where they also were involved in charity work. Since Helping Hands was established they have visited the camps once a month, delivering nutritionally balanced food packs,

which include items such as rice, tinned fish, tea bags and milk, directly into the hands of the poorest labourers. By January 2007 the generosity they encountered was so great that they started to carry weekly Friday collections in the car park of the Mall of the Emirates (level two, zones A to F between 11am and 12pm) which enables people to donate food, blankets and clothes directly to those most in need. The charity has now evolved to assist house-maids who have fled their homes due to appalling treatment. These young women are often severely traumatised, grossly over-worked and victims of mental, physical and sometimes sexual abuse. The evolution of Helping Hands is a testimony to the generosity of many in Dubai and makes a genuine difference to the most vulnerable members of society, not only by providing them with basic needs such as food, but also by restoring a degree of human dignity. “We have had some tough times and it is very time consuming, but we never lose motivation or feel like giving up because we know the burdens of the people we are helping far exceed our own. The atmosphere when we go into a camp is joyous and being able to help truly needy people is, for us, a blessing”, Elle concludes.

Tel: +97105 567 1434 www.helpinghandsuae.com

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CSR, Green Innovation & Associations

Building Bridges
Business with the Middle East /North Africa (MENA) region is thriving thanks to high oil prices that have led to unprecedented regional growth and development. Boasting the largest market for British companies in the MENA region, as well as a large UK expatriate resident workforce, Dubai offers particularly rosy business opportunities. With its unrivalled regional business intelligence acumen and vast government and private sector contacts network, The Middle East Association (MEA) is uniquely placed to assist in propelling businesses to take advantage of the opportunities on offer.

Widely recognised as the UK's foremost private sector organisation for promoting trade and good relations with MENA, Turkey and Iran, the MEA is an independent and non-profit making association founded in 1961, representing some 400 large and small companies from all business and industry sectors in the region.

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ith its diversified economy, (non-oil sectors contribute around 95 per cent of GDP) healthy growth rate (around 15 per cent) business friendly environment, excellent infrastructure, communications and numerous free zones, Dubai is a magnet for foreign investment, with British companies leading the inbound investment pack. Even traditional British culinary stalwarts such as The Ivy and the Wolseley restaurants are setting up shop; the question every company must ask is, can we afford to forgo a presence in Dubai? The MEA does not believe so. Widely recognised as the UK's foremost private sector organisation for promoting trade and good relations with MENA, Turkey and Iran, the MEA is an independent and non-profit making association founded in 1961, representing some 400 large and small companies from all business and industry sectors in the region. The Patron of the Association is HRH The Duke of York, UK Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. Its strong support of Business Councils and excellent relationships with the UK Government and Arab Governments are widely recognised. Membership is strong and progressive, and turnover has doubled in the last three years. This is a reflection of the energy that the MEA has put into developing relationships with the MENA region. The MEA takes more businesses to the MENA region than any other organisation. In the last twelve months the Association has led ten missions to the region. It continues to break new ground, taking three missions to Northern Iraq in the last couple of years. Another new initiative is the launch of the MEA Women in Business Network which is evolving in cooperation with Women in Business International. Its in-house programme of events, including VIP and Ambassadors lunches, is popular, with over 50 events held a year. With successful conferences on Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia attended by high level business delegations from the country concerned, the strength of the business network is proving to be a useful resource for international business development. The MEA is becoming increasingly sector focused - the financial services sector and the education and skills sector are priorities. The 'City and the GCC Countries Conference', now in its third year, is recognised as the premier event for promoting financial cooperation between the City of London and the GCC countries. This year's event, organised in cooperation with the City of London Corporation, attracted an unprecedented level of support from across the GCC region, lead sponsors being Bahrain Economic Development Board, Qatar Financial Services Authority, Emirates National Bank of Dubai and Boubiyan Bank (Kuwait). Aside from assisting in business expansion, the important focus on the education and skills sector reflects the urgency of the need to bridge the skills gap in the region, and the UAE has featured strongly in the MEA's initiatives. With its

Michael Thomas, Director General MEA (sixth from right) with mission members during the MEA trade mission to Northern Iraq, October 2007

John Hawkins lunch: 'John Hawkins, HM Consul General Dubai; Chris Innes Hopkins MEA; Geoffrey Barrow, John Crane EAA; Michael Thomas, Director General, MEA at an MEA lunch for John Hawkins

partner, Compass Rose, the Association is working on the pioneering MENA Learning & Leadership Programme (MLLP), a highly innovative programme bringing together the key pillars of private sector, government, civil society and academia to develop and deliver sustainable solutions to learning and development in MENA. The programme was launched in 2007 in the UAE and has generated a huge amount of interest. The 25strong education and training mission to the

UAE in March 2008 was successful, benefiting from the personal involvement of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan bin Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Education and Scientific Research. With support from such influential figures within the MENA region and beyond, MEA aims to bridge the gap between east and west in terms of both business and education.

www.the-mea.co.uk

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Building Bridges
In existence since 1987, The British Business Group, Dubai and the Northern Emirates (BBG) is committed to encouraging the development of British business in the UAE and to strengthening the links between the UK and Dubai as well as the Northern Emirates.

The BBG was set up in 1987 to encourage the development of British business in the UAE and, in its 20th year, now has over 1,200 members. It undertakes a wide range of activities from communicating with decision makers and testing British goods to sharing best business practice and arranging networking events for its members.
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Mark Beer, Chairman and CEO, BBG

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oday almost 1,783 British companies are registered in Dubai, along with thousands more which are managed by Britons. With a sizeable community of over 150,000 Britons residing in Dubai, making it the largest British community in the region, the relationship between the UK and the UAE continues to flourish. Latest figures from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) state that a July 2007 report from the DCCI showed that the UAE was the UK's largest trading partner in the Gulf region in 2006: some 56 per cent of the UK's exports to the GCC region went to the UAE, equating to £3.6 billion worth of goods. Of that total, 80 per cent was destined for Dubai. In return, the UAE supplied around one third of the region's total £3.3 billion worth of exports to the UK. Again, Dubai accounted for the lion's share of the £1 billion UAE exports by supplying 66 per cent.

"Clearly Dubai, and the UAE as a whole, is attracting growing attention from the British Government, a fact underlined by its announcement last year that the country has been identified as one of the UK's ten key 'emerging markets' where the British Government is keen to deepen trade and investment relations. According to figures from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the UAE is the UK's ninth largest export market in the world", explains Mark Beer, Chairman and CEO, BBG. "The liberal investment climate in the UK reflects the investment climate which has been created here in Dubai by the Government, and this is something the BBG supports strongly as part of their overall commitment to reinforce business links between the UK, Dubai and the Northern Emirates", he concludes.

Tel: +9714 397 0303. www.britbiz-uae.com

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Women United
H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai is renowned for his respect and support of women, stating "Arab women are half our community - Sometimes better than men. Perhaps in the past we lagged behind, but today she is growing to better heights in our society and is able to achieve goals within our communities. She will only grow". Realizing this vision is the aim of the Dubai Women Association and what they work towards, by promoting the role of women in the UAE to ensure equal rights and ever improving prospects. The Dubai Women Association was established in 1974 and is chaired by Sheikha Amina Al Tayer. It is a public welfare establishment that exists under the umbrella of the General Women's Association of the UAE. With cultural and social activities represented in conferences, symposiums, lectures, workshops and more, all activities undertaken come under a comprehensive plan that aims for the participation of women in the development and uplifting standards in cultural, social and other vital fields.

In line with Dubai Government’s ambitious plans for social upliftment across numerous spheres; women unite for educational empowerment
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"Arab women are half our community - Sometimes better than men. Perhaps in the past we lagged behind, but today she is growing to better heights in our society and is able to achieve goals within our communities. She will only grow".
H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Bringing joy to the lives of children from diverse walks of life

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n 2008 Dubai Women Association has played an active role in the UAE community, helping to realize the aims and ambitions of women in the region whilst endorsing and strengthening national values. Currently, The Association has two branches, one in Al Khawaneej and the other in Hatta. Nurturing and educating the younger Emirati generation is a particularly salient aspect of what the Association achieves, as with over 50 percent of the local Arab population under the age of 25 the importance of creating a well-qualified, progressive and motivated female populace cannot be under-estimated. It was with this aim that the Dubai Women Association launched a National campaign entitled 'Successful Marriage', under the sponsorship of H.H Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, which sought to raise awareness of family values and limit the negative affects of divorce. H.H Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum Bin Juma al Maktoum clarifies, "The motivation of the national campaigns and programs is undoubtedly an embodiment of the noble objectives of support and

security to family, household, and marital stability. Such programs will contribute to confronting the pressures of the age of globalization and will be considered as a conscious response to the attitude of the UAE". Other recent campaigns include the first conference in Doha dedicated to exploring the importance of the mother tongue in child development. Dubai Women Association is dedicated to ensuring women are up to date with the latest technology and IT skills; which are why they launched the first women IT centre in the region in cooperation with International Learning Solutions (ILS), an innovative centre based in Knowledge Village. This reflects the General Women's Union consistent enthusiasm for setting up advanced training programmes in different fields for the development of UAE national women skills so as to keep pace with the rapid changes and developments witnessed by the region.

Tel: +971 4 266 2737 www.women.ae

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Chapter
GET UP & GO

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

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Get Up & Go

Essential information for travellers
Well known and well regarded as the strategic, financial, commercial and tourist hub of the Middle East, Dubai is a thriving business metropolis, trend setter and window on the world for the UAE and region overall.

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Alcohol Alcoholic beverages are available in major hotels and clubs, but not in restaurants outside any hotels. Non-Muslim residents can purchase supplies of liquour for home consumption by obtaining a permit. Bargaining In a city built on commerce, haggling is a routine part of shopping in Dubai. Almost everything is negotiable - the standard procedure in the souks and markets is to offer the vendor half the quoted cost, and to haggle an agreeable price upwards from there. Business hours Unlike western nations, the working week in Dubai runs from Saturday to Wednesday. Government offices are generally open between 8am and 2pm, opening an hour earlier during summer. Businesses and offices usually trade between 9am and 6pm with a 1 hour break. Dubai Government offices work a 5 day week, with a Friday and Saturday weekend. Climate The perfect period to visit Dubai is between October and April when the climate is mild. Most years there are only about five days when rain falls. Temperatures are temperate from December to March, ranging from 26°C to 30°C in the daytime and 12°C to 16°C at night. From May until October, however, temperatures soar between 38°C and 44°C during the day, and 26°C to 30°C at night. Clothing Light clothing is appropriate throughout the year, but a jacket is often required for cool winter nights. Many of the air-conditioned hotels and restaurants can also be quite cold, so carry a jacket out with you. During the summer months it is preferable to wear loose, comfortable, washable clothes in fabrics suitable for the hot, humid conditions. Except on beaches and around swimming pools where modern swimwear can be worn without contravening local dress codes, visitors are expected to dress conservatively in public. Beneath the harsh Middle Eastern sun, it's highly recommended to protect yourself with sleeved clothing, hats and sunglasses. Hotel restaurants do not insist that male guests wear ties, but most men, if not wearing a lightweight suit and tie, will at least be in smart casual attire. Credit cards Major credit cards are accepted at the major hotels and some of the larger shops. Cash is preferred by most vendors, however, and will usually gain visitors a better price. Currency Dirhams and fils are the units of currency with 100 fils to the Dirham (Dh). The Dirham is tied to the US dollar at a steady exchange rate of $US1 = Dh3.675. Banks usually give the best rates on foreign currency exchange, but hotels and airports are often quicker and are open outside banking hours. Money changers tend to have a wider range of currencies, but their rates may be higher. Exchange rates are published daily. Driving licences A temporary local driving licence is issued when hiring a self-drive vehicle, if possible, produce a valid passport, two photographs, and an international driving licence. A national licence from any of the following countries is acceptable in lieu of an international licence: Germany, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, UK, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Duty free allowance Two litres of spirits and two litres of wine (for non-Muslim adults only), 200 cigarettes or two kilograms of tobacco, and a reasonable amount of perfume. There are no restrictions on the amount of currency you may bring to Dubai, and no customs duty on personal effects accompanied or unaccompanied. There is a duty free store at the airport for incoming visitors, which also stocks liquor. Electricity The electricity supply is 220/240 volts AC at 50 cycles. Embassies Most diplomatic missions are located in the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi. There are, however, some consulates and commercial attaches in Dubai. Health requirements No health certificates are required currently for entry to Dubai except for visitors who have been in a cholera or yellow fever-infected area during the 14 days prior to arrival. Health requirements can always alter however, so it is advisable to check the status with your travel agent prior to departure. Language The official language is Arabic, but English is widely understood in hotels and shops, and used as a second language in business. Because of the cosmopolitan expatriate population of Dubai, numerous languages are spoken, particularly Urdu, Hindi and Farsi. Medical care There are numerous well-appointed, modern hospitals, including the American Hospital that is viewed as one of the top medical centres in the Middle East. Most hotels have their own doctor on 24-hour call, and chemists stock most common medicines and health products. The locations of rostered 24-hour chemists are announced in the newspapers daily. Newspapers Two English language newspapers, the Khaleej Times and Gulf News are published daily in

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Television Arabic and English commercial television stations broadcast round the clock. Dubai One televises a variety of programmess in English. Some are locally produced, but many originate from the UK, US and Australia. Time The UAE time is four hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. There are no special summer daylight savings times. Tipping Tipping habits in Dubai are similar to most places throughout the rest of the world. Even where a service charge is applied, staff expect a little extra. Ten percent is acceptable in hotel restaurants; for luggage porters at airports a tip of Dh5 or Dh10 is standard, depending on the volume of luggage. Visas The majority of visitors to the UAE require an entry visa - only GCC and British citizens with the right of abode in the UK may obtain a visa on arrival. Transit visas for 14 days, or visitor visas for 30 days, the latter renewable for a maximum of 100 days, are easy enough to obtain in advance through either the hotel at which you are staying, or a business contact in Dubai. Those travelling on Israeli passports, or with Israeli visas, will not be granted entry. Visitors leaving Dubai whose visas have expired will face a fine of Dh100 per day of illegal stay. Water Clean and sanitised, tap water comes from desalination plants and is safe for human consumption; however, many people prefer the bottled water served in most hotels and restaurants.

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Dubai, as well as several Arabic newspapers. Foreign newspapers, especially British, are freely available in hotel bookshops and supermarkets, albeit a day or two late. Photography Dubai is appealing to photographers worldwide for its diverse scenery and picture scapes. Photographers must respect that certain restrictions are manadatory. It is forbidden to photograph Muslim women and military or other government installations. It is polite to request permission before photographing any nationals. Be sure to protect all photographic equipment from sand and heat. Public holidays Since the dates of Islamic holidays are not fixed, it is preferable to ask a local or consult the daily newspapers for information. There are some fixed non-Muslim holidays like New Year's Day on 1 January, the holiday to mark the Accession of HH Sheikh Zayed on 6 August, and National Day on 2 December. Christmas is often observed by Western companies, and some diplomatic missions may also observe Easter. Radio Numerous Arabic and English commercial

radio stations broadcast in Dubai. UAE Radio Dubai broadcasts in English 24 hours a day. Ramadan This is a Holy month of meditation and fasting when Muslims abstain from eating, drinking or smoking during daylight hours. Non-Muslims should resepct these religious customs when in public. During Ramadan, working hours are reduced. Business is sometimes conducted after dark. The end of Ramadan is marked by ceremonial cannon shots, followed by joyous feasting and dancing over the three-day Eid AI-Fitr holiday. The dates of Ramadan change each year. Religion Islam is the official religion, but other creeds are tolerated. There are several Christian churches, such as St Mary's Roman Catholic Church, and the Holy Trinity, which is interdenominational. Every Muslim is required to pray five times a day, with the precise prayer timings published daily. Shopping hours Shops are open from 9am until 1 pm, and from 4pm until 9pm or later. Most supermarkets remain open all day except Friday, when they

close for prayers between 11.30am and 1.30pm. Taxis Taxis are clean, readily available and comparatively affordable. They are easily obtainable in Dubai. The Dubai Transport Corporation's ivory coloured cabs are fitted with fare meters. In the case of all other taxis, fares are subject to negotiation between driver and passenger. Taxis operate a very convenient service rate, Dh3 for pick-up, followed by Dh1.7 per kilometre. For longer journeys, an hourly rate of about Dh30 is reasonable, and for a day the price is negotiable upwards of about Dh500. Telephone Telecommunications in Dubai are efficient and state of the art. Telephone calls within Dubai are free of charge and International Direct Dialling is available to most countries. Pay phones can be operated by coins (Dhl or 50 fits) or phone cards, which may be purchased from the Etisalat Company, post offices or licensed agents throughout the city. The major hotels have fax and telex services and can organise modem access.

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Get Up & Go

Dubai at a glance
It’s undeniable that the UAE has made intelligent use of modern technologies and management systems in order to further its impressive socio economic diversification programme. Recognising however that there is more to development than meets the modern eye, taking a fresh look at its unique desert and seafearing heritage is equally important in maintaining valued traditions and maintaining the balance of an increasingly sensitive eco system.

Falconry

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alcons were once used to hunt food by the desert people but today falconry has the status of a national pastime in the UAE. Two breeds of falcons: the Saker and the Peregrine falcon are among the most popular for hunting purposes. In the old days when falcon and Bedouin hunted for food together, they would be trapped along the coast during their autumn migration. They were then trained, used in hunting food and later released in the spring to carry out their hunter role. Trust, bonding and a rare understanding between the captive bird and the trainer is needed to train the falcons to catch prey. Because the houbara bustards, the birds of prey, were due just three weeks after the falcons were captured themselves, it was also an intense exercise sport. Once the falcons were trained to catch prey, in time for the migrating bustards, the falcon remained a constant hunting companion to the Bedouins throughout the winter. Even other prey such as curlews, hares and gazelle, were occasionally hunted with the help of the saluki dogs.

Pearling

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vital source of livelihood in the Arabian Peninsula since ancient times, income from pearling was cyclical and a bad season often resulted in mounting debt for families involved. By the end of the Nineteenth century pearling flourished and physically fit men began to opt for pearling as a profession over nomadic life. They participated in the diving expeditions known as ghaus in the summer, and wound their way home to cultivate their date gardens in the winter. This was especially the case with the Bani Yas sub tribes, based out of Liwa. In a couple of generations, pearl diving had become entrenched as a profession in the area we now know as the UAE. There were over 1,200 pearling boats operational and a rudimentary business model had been carved out in the industry. Many of the Bani Yas pearlers formed cooperatives, jointly owning their boat and sharing the profits according to a mutual agreement. Each boat carried a crew of about 18 men. The captain or nakhuda took the biggest share and a larger share was taken by the divers as compared to the haulers. Money was then left in the kitty for the following season. Life at sea on the pearling boats required physical endurance and mental fortitude. Pearling also imposed long periods of absence from home resulting in tremendous responsibility for the women left behind to tend to children and old folks. It was as if entire villages were bereft of young able bodied men during the four summer months. Over time certain tribes grew roots in particular areas and coastal habitats such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. However, the advent of the cultured pearl in Japan in the 1940s, caused the natural pearl markets to collapse and this had a ripple effect on the pearling settlements and tribes dependent on this trade.

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The Camel

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he camel has functioned as the ship of the desert and was practically a life line for the old time inhabitants of the UAE who had a partly nomadic lifestyle. The Bani Yas, the largest tribe in the UAE, trudged the vast sandy stretches of what we now know as Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Awamir and Manasir tribes too roamed the desert region but closely guarded the locations of oases. Crossing wide swathes of the desert in search of brush and bush vegetation that sprang to life after erratic rains, some of the Bani Yas Bedouins were fortunate enough to be able to return to a home in the oases to cultivate their date palms. Camel owners among them who had a grazing pasture near their palms were especially lucky as they could harvest dates while their livestock grazed and drank at the wells shared by the community. The original multitasking friend of the desert Bedouin, the camel needed water and had the job of fetching it too. When the caravans were on the move it served as a beast of burden to transport household goods as it was uniquely suited to the inhospitable terrain. The Bedouins raced camels for entertainment and for the most part camel milk was the only source of diary protein available to the Bedus during long summers. The hardy camel could go without water for days and its meat was considered a delicacy reserved for feasts. Camel skin made sturdy bags, useful containers for carrying water and other utensils. Fine cloaks, known as bight, woven from fine camel hair were coveted items. Even the bedu's rugs and tents were fashioned from the hide of this supremely versatile desert mammal.

Ibn Majid

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xploring uncharted territories is not new to Arabia. Ibn Majid, fondly known as the 'Lion of the Sea' is a figure of the region's sailing history. Although his is the more well known name, his father, grandfather and other ancestors were part of a family of illustrious sailors long before Vasco da Gama even sighted Cape of Good Hope or had treaded Arabian sands. History shows that Arabs had explored European waters much before the Europeans had crossed the Indian Ocean. Although we don't have the exact date, Ibn Majid's date of birth is said to be between 1432-37. Born in Julfar, which is close to present day Ras al Khaimah, his sailing adventures were documented by him in 40 surviving works, of which 39 are in verse. While all his writings are marked by a lyrical quality, some short, others long, the 805-verse Al Sofaliya, that narrates the journey between India and Sofala on the Mozambique coast, is possibly the longest. The Fawa'id is another opus that is a comprehensive tome detailing Ibn Majid's vast store of navigation knowledge and also deftly weaves in the knowledge base of early Arab astronomers. Ibn Majid died at the age of about 70, soon after he wrote his last known poem in 1500 AD.

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Chapter
SHARJAH

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“Sharjah is the cultural and educational centre of the UAE and it takes pride in preserving the country’s heritage as well as promoting Arab culture and traditions”.
H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council & Ruler of Sharjah

With an impressive array of over twenty museums, several art galleries and beautifully restored heritage areas, Sharjah uncovers the secrets of a unique Arabian lifestyle and culture such as the Blue Souq, the largest of Sharjah markets, built according to Islamic design.

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Sharjah

Sharjah Forever
Aside from being declared as the cultural capital of the Arab world by UNESCO, Sharjah also leads as an industrial economy, contributing more than 40 per cent to the UAE's annual GDP. From ports to parks, museums to manufacturing plants and universities as well as economic free zones aplenty, the emirate has them all.

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harjah, or 'Sarcoa', as it was known in ancient times, is the third largest emirate of the UAE. Covering an area of 2,600 sq km, it straddles the Arabian Peninsula, overlooking the Arabian Gulf to the west and the Gulf of Oman to the east. Picturesque and yet urbanised, there are plenty of modern tourist facilities and loads of sunny beaches, as well as standard residential, retail and commercial facilities to suit the diverse 700,000-strong population. Hotspots Sharjah has superb waterfronts such as the Buheira Corniche along the city coastline. The Corniche, as well as the well-maintained parks dotted all over, boast dedicated barbecue hot spots for anytime picnics during cooler months. Mountain bikers and trekking enthusiasts however usually head for the Hajar mountains that circumvent the port city of Khorfakkan. For

adrenalin junkies, the annual F1 powerboat race is a must see fixture. The city has hit the headlines as a major venue for cricket, especially the One Day Internationals and the Sharjah Cricket stadium is an important stopover for visiting cricket fans. The Al Khan lagoon passing through the city offers a touch of Venice right in the middle of the business-cum-residential district. Check out the Eye of Emirates at the Qanat Al Qasba, an amusement centre perched on the Al Khan Lagoon. A giant wheel ride, with air-conditioned cabins, worth taking for the bird's eye view it gives not only of Sharjah but of the neighbouring emirates as well. The abra (water taxi) rides are fun and the clutch of restaurants in the centre offer a fine mix of local flavours and international cuisine. It has a few shops as well to pick up a few knick knacks but for any heavy duty memorabilia the souks are your best bet.

Sharjah's most famous souk, the 'Blue Souk' close to the 'Khalid Lagoon', was constructed in 1979 and is an architectural landmark for its traditional design. The 600 plus shops at the Souk offer everything from gold and precious stones jewellery to brass and copper curios; Persian carpets and rugs to cosmetics. The trick is to drive a hard bargain. The shopkeepers appreciate this as well. The Plant and Pot Souq, Fruit and Vegetable market, 'Al Majarrah Souk' are also a delight for bargain hunters.

Although Sharjah is the seat of culture and learning, it has a proven track record of 12 per cent industrial growth. With a climate conducive to foreign investment in its Free Zones, it is surging ahead with a healthy economy too.

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Museum's galore If you are crazy about digs, the Sharjah Archaeological Museum is a good place to go. The Science Museum and Discovery Centre has interactive hands-on sessions. The Natural History Museum and Desert Park has a comprehensive selection of the flora, fauna, marine life, reptiles and avian life of the Arabian Desert. The Arabian Wildlife Centre houses the myriad species of the Arabian Peninsula in their natural environs. Culture keepers The 'Culture Square', with its iconic sculptured Qoran symbolises Sharjah's emphasis on culture and learning. For the culture vultures there's more than enough to spend days in understanding the Islamic heritage - The Sharjah Islamic Museum has preserved rare and unique artefacts. The Sharjah Art Centre, in the Bait Al Serkal located in the heart of the city, was inaugurated in 1997 and displays a permanent collection of art on the ground floor. The Sharjah Art Galleries housed in the Obaid Al Shamsi house, have resident artists and a number of art workshops lined up throughout the year. Lectures, seminars and an art bazaar are regular happenings as well. In addition, the House of Abdullah Al Sari, under the umbrella of the Sharjah City of Humanitarian Services, conducts workshops for special needs people. Healthy, wealthy and wise Although Sharjah is better known as the seat of culture and learning, it has a proven track record of 12 per cent industrial growth. The emirate has a substantial cache of onshore gas and liquid gas. Due to its strategic location and safe environment the UAE in general, and Sharjah by extension, is an attractive destination for the MICE industry. Like leisure tourism, this is now a key component of the state economy. Sharjah World Book Fair The Sharjah World Book fair is a ten-day annual event usually held during the first half of December (the twenty-fifth session was from 5 to 15 December 2006) at the Sharjah Expocentre. The idea initially took off as a vehicle to encourage reading habits across age, nationalities and cultures. It has succeeded in its aim to make quality books both accessible and affordable to all. The event now attracts worldwide publishing houses, agents, research centres, colleges, universities, educational aid manufacturers and the media. The annual 'Publishers Prize' and 'UAE Book Prizes' are respected recognition internationally. Booming business Sharjah's industry-friendly policy today contributes to more then 40 per cent of the country's industrial GDP. It has smartly leveraged its geographical advantages of land, sea and air links to offer logistical, warehousing and distribution advantages. It's sea traffic alone has registered a growth rate of more than 50 per cent mainly because it is the only emirate with seaports on the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. The Emirate extends infrastructural facilities for investors and also offers low custom duties - as low as 4 per cent on some imported goods and on food items being even lower at a mere one per cent. Pure gold bars are totally exempt from custom duty. To encourage industrial growth the government of Sharjah subsidises the real cost of industry in water and electricity by almost 70 per cent. Hence independent field studies have concluded that the cost of industrial investment in Sharjah is 35 per cent less than in any other emirate. Moreover, the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry extends full support in carrying out field surveys and preparing feasibility studies. About 16 special industrial zones, each dedicated to a certain industry, spanning about 40 sq km have been established to the north of the city. They are all connected through a modern network of roads to the seaports and airports of the Emirate.
Highlighting the emirate’s focus on rediscovering its rich Islamic heritage through architecture and evocative landmarks, cultural monuments abound in Sharjah.

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Aside from being declared as the cultural capital of the Arab world by UNESCO, Sharjah also leads as an industrial economy, contributing more than 40 per cent to the UAE's annual GDP. From ports to parks, museums to manufacturing plants and universities as well as economic free zones aplenty, the emirate has them all.

Sharjah Airport Industrial Zone (SAIF) Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIFZone) and the airport have been instrumental in boosting the state's economy. SAIF-Zone is the fastest growing airport free zone in the region, while the international airport has proved to be a leading cargo hub. Speed, reliability and costeffectiveness have been the cornerstones of Sharjah's industrial policy. A stable government, proactive policies, solid industrial base and attractive incentives packages have attracted big tickets names and investments in Sharjah. www.saif-zone.com Educating All The first formal school in the region was established in Sharjah, in the 1950s, next to the 'Souk Al Arsah'. The old school building is now a part of the Heritage area. The University of Sharjah currently offers 13 Master's programs in various fields, including Arabic, Business and Communications, Computer Science, Engineering, Law, History, Islamic studies and English translation. Encouraged by the state's thrust towards education several reputed international Universities have set up base in Sharjah recently. www.sharjah.ac.ae

To discover more about Sharjah www.sharjah.org. Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry www.uaeinteract.com/scci Sharjah International Book fair www.uaeinteract.com/sibf Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority www.sharjah-welcome.com Sharjah City Guide www.dubaicityguide.com/sharjah/index.asp

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Sharjah

Your partner in progress
Offering unlimited perspective that has developed with a consistent focus on quality since its inception in 1973, at Bank of Sharjah services do not stop at basic account management or advice on financial investments. It evolves with each account holder, in the pursuit of results, not just promises.

The onset of global recession not withstanding, in 2007 the International Monetary Fund painted a positive outlook for the UAE banking sector, but warned there may be challenges ahead. In 2008, the going is still good. Still, the challenge of diversifying the economy further through non-inflationary growth remains a concern, given current escalating inflation on basic commodities, rents and services. Accentuated by a weakening US dollar, these issues are driving the debate as to whether Gulf nations should be de-pegging their currencies, and the formation of a unified GCC currency further up the agenda.

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Varouj Nerguizian, General manager Bank of Sharjah

ven though the global economy may be in slowdown mode, the UAE’s meteoric growth shows no sign of abating. A report by Bank of Sharjah (BOS) illustrates this positive trend further: high oil prices and the growth in non-oil sectors have seen a huge flood of liquidity into the region. With total GDP growth in the UAE estimated at an impressive 8.5 per cent in 2007, at 21 per cent, growth in non-oil sectors accounted for 65 per cent of the UAE’s economy. Founded in 1973 by the Government of Sharjah, late Mubarak Al Hassawi and Banque Paribas, 20 per cent stake each. BOS was the first Bank in Sharjah to offer its shares to the public, with an initial capital of AED15 million in 1973. Banque Paribas, one of Europe’s top financial organisations, remained a shareholder and source of advice from the beginning until 2002. The Management always followed a conservative policy and concentrates on corporate banking and investments, including project finance, structured and IPO lending, Private Banking, and SME banking. Thanks to sound strategic planning, today BOS is at the forefront of new developments and opportunities as it has been since the beginning. Through steady and successful expansion, the BOS now has branches in Abu Dhabi as well as Dubai, and more recently has started operations in Al Ain in 2007. Offering a wide portfolio of commercial, investments, retail and private banking solutions. The departure of Banque Paibas has by no means hindered the growth of BOS. “Bank of Sharjah has performed consistently well over the past decade,” offers general manager, Varouj Nerguizian. “Net profits for 2007 were AED404 million - an increase of 26 per cent compared to AED320 million in 2006. The Bank also registered an additional profit of AED56 million in shareholder’s equity, up 10 per cent from the year before.” Total assets grew by 29 per cent to AED10.8 billion in 2007, from AED 8.3 billion the previous year. For the benefit of shareholders, the Bank split the nominal value of each share, first to AED10 in 1999, then to AED1 in 2003. In 2004, BOS shares were listed on the Abu Dhabi securities market. New avenues In the meantime, BOS remains in an excellent position to reap the benefits of the multi-million dollar infrastructural developments by financing the comprehensive development of infrastructure in the Emirate of Sharjah. The expansion of Sharjah Airport, infrastructural road developments estimated at AED1.5 billion, and the Hamrya power plant desalination project, the first phase of which is valued at AED560 million. Aimed at both business investors and tourism is Sharjah Marina, a development of freehold projects, hotels and restaurants, at a cost of AED15 billion. “Our expansion initiative falls within the Bank’s strategy to tap into growing UAE markets and support our clients’ activities,” Nerguizian continues. “As a result, the Bank has evolved to becoming the largest financial institution in Sharjah, in terms of both capital and equity.” It is also the only bank in Sharjah to receive a top rating from Fitch, an

international rating agency. The Fitch assessment measures aspects such as financial performance, sustained growth, asset quality, liquidity and asset capitalisation. BOS aims to stay primarily within the corporate banking segment, investment and private banking, and intends to gradually build its franchise throughout the Middle East region and chose Lebanon as a platform for the future Levant operations. As to investments Bank of Sharjah invests in strategic segments such as Oil and Gas, Telecommunication, Real Estate and Financial Services. In January 2008, Dubai’s Real Estate Regulation Authority (RERA) authorised Bank of Sharjah to operate Escrow accounts (funds deposited under the trust of a neutral third party) for property developers registered with RERA. Escrow legislation aims to curb real estate malpractices and offer greater transparency, providing both buyers and developers peace of mind in their property transactions. Looking to the future, continued expansion remains high on the agenda. In July 2007, the Bank acquired the Lebanese Banque de la Bekaa SAL, providing it with the license to continue its wide range of banking activities in Lebanon. The transaction represents Bank of Sharjah’s first significant banking acquisition outside its home market. The Bank is in the process of acquiring the operations of Banque Nationale de Paris Intercontinentale, Beirut which will be finalized during 2008. “This will be instrumental in the bank building and strengthening its franchise throughout the Middle East - and our continued expansion from thereon”, asserts Nerguzian. Generating growth In March 2006 BOS was the first in the UAE to issue 500 million convertible bonds at a nominal value of AED1. On maturity in March 2008, the bonds were transferred into shares by paying a premium of AED2 per share. On 17 March 2008, 395 bondholders converted their bonds into shares. A total of 487,472,086 bonds, this represented 97.5% of bonds originally issued. The capital of the Bank after the conversion stands at AED1,737,472,086, excluding the AED12,527,914 worth of bonds not converted. Through this successful conversion, the Bank’s total equity has reached AED3.5 billion, positioning Bank of Sharjah among the UAE’s best performing financial institutions. The new equity will further support the Bank’s expansion plans and help its organic growth while maintaining its significant capital base. Since its inception Bank of Sharjah has delivered extremely high cash returns to its shareholders, says Ahmed Abdulla Al Noman, chairman of the board, and every cash capital contribution inclusive of premiums has been returned to shareholders within a very short span of three years.

Tel: +9716 569 4411 www.bankofsharjah.com

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Sharjah

Flying High
The Middle East is poised on the edge of a low-cost aviation boom. With growing tourism and extensive intra-region business travel, this comes as a welcome alternative to the traditionally all-frills airlines operating in the area.

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s the first low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East & North Africa, Air Arabia only knows too well the remarkable growth opportunities of this sector. “Since we started almost five years ago, we’ve been able to revolutionise the air travel industry in this part of the world,” says Board Member and CEO, Adel A. Ali. “We’ve created a new niche market offering superb value for money with 40 to 50 per cent less than market rate along with safe and reliable operations.” Travellers have welcomed the new concept with open arms. Air Arabia commenced operation in October 2003 with two aircraft flying to five destinations. Today it serves over 39 destinations in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Indian Subcontinent, CIS and Europe - and is adding an average of four to six new destinations each year. The airline is also expected to grow its fleet to over 50 aircraft by 2015 from current fleet of 15 new Airbus A320s aircraft. An expanding reach The figures speak for themselves. Air Arabia was able to achieve financial break even point from first year of operations and record a double digit growth since then. Early in 2008, Citigroup issued a coverage report identifiying Air Arabia as one of the world’s most profitable and fastest growing airlines. “Our net profit in 2007 was AED376 million,” confirms Ali. “This is up 272 per cent compared to AED101 million in 2006.” The Airline is currently in expansion mode. Operating out of Sharjah International Airport - its primary hub – Air Arabia recently commenced operations from a new hub in Katmandu, Nepal by launching Nepal’s first Low Cost Carrier (LCC) flyYeti.com connecting passangers from this region to further destinations in Asia and the Far East. The company is also planning to open another hub in the capital of Morocco, Rabat later in the year. In March 2007 Air Arabia offered 55 per cent of its capital for initial public offering. The AED2.5 billion IPO included over 40,000 local and international investors and marked Air Arabia as the first publicly owned airline in the Arab world. Clearly, the potential for expansion in the region accentuates the differences in demand between low-cost carriers here and elsewhere in Europe and the USA. The Middle East aviation market is growing at a double rate compared to the World’s aviation growth and still, LCC market penetration in this region is below 2%, compared to 11% and 25% in Europe and US respectively. Air Arabia is considered the biggest airline to serve India amongst all other Middle East Airlines by offering flights to 15 different destinations across the Indian subcontinent. For instance, “India is a huge market for all airlines - and we’ve entered the market in a big and different way, offering services to nonmetro cities,” Ali comments. “The Levant also holds big opportunities.” As for the airline’s main customer base, “It’s a real mix of expatriates, families, students and business people,” he remarks. Budget Holidays Air Arabia Holidays brings you exciting holiday promotions and experiences with mini-breaks from the UAE to regions in the Middle East, North Africa, Indian Subcontinent and CIS countries. Week-end escapes are now very much affordable as Air Arabia offers unique and customized holiday packages with a wide range of three to five stars hotels. Instead of spending week-ends in your town, you can now easily be in a new country every week!

Adel Ali, CEO with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamad Al Thani, Chairman Air Arabia

A profitable business How do low-cost airlines such as Air Arabia manage to operate with such reduced airfares? Also described as ‘budget’ or ‘no-frills’ airlines, low-cost carriers is a smart business practice where costs are reduced and passed by to customers through cheaper air fares, simply by efficient business practices such as short-haul destinations, operations to secondary airports, established and effective distribution network (web based), one type of aircraft and optional but affordable customer in-flight services such as food and beverages. “The low-cost concept doesn’t mean that you have to work on tight profit margins. It means doing business in a more efficient way, explains Ali. “The business model should be mature enough to adapt to changes in the market.” One way that Air Arabia has streamlined its operations is by running a young fleet of single-type of Airbus A320 aircraft. This minimises maintenance costs, plus enables crew training and resources to focus on one product. Electronic ticketing and faster turnarounds at each airport enable further efficiency of resources. Neither does low-cost equate discomfort. Air Arabia claims the most legroom of any economy class in the region. In Europe however, some budget airlines have recently come under scrutiny as the optional extras may result in bumping up the price so much that they are no longer competitive with other airlines. Passengers may expect to pay an additional amount for each piece of luggage, an assigned seat number and payment by credit card - as well as the usual in-flight extras. “The service must be customised to meet local preferences. What works in Europe may not work in the Middle East,” counters Ali. “Air Arabia customers do not pay for luggage and there is no priority seating. The only extra is food at what we believe to be an affordable price. Of course customers must evaluate any additional costs that may be involved. But at the end of the day, low-cost carriers offer customers the choice.”

Tel: +9716 558 0000 www.airarabia.com

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Pioneering the tourist boom
As Sharjah’s only five-star resort, Radisson SAS is a testament to a ‘Yes I Can’! attitude and unsurpassed facilities and comfort. A major renovation process has elevated the resort to world-class status and service. This, together with its prime beachfront location, sets it apart from the competition.

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ounded and owned by eminet figure, Mubarak Abdul Aziz Al Hasawi and His Highness Sheikh Sultan, Radisson SAS Sharjah opened its doors in 1982, under the name Sharjah Continental Hotel. Superbly located overlooking the blue waters of the Arabian Gulf with its own white sandy beach and bay, the hotel has been in a prime position to take advantage of the growing leisure and business tourism industry. In 2002 the hotel became part of Rezidor Hotel Group and shortly afterwards embarked on a major renovation project, transforming the resort and vastly increasing its range of facilities and activities. Central to the Radisson SAS Sharjah’s impeccable reputation as a quality destination, is its level of service and positive attitude towards its guests. “Every staff member is fully trained with the Yes I Can! philosophy,” explains Guy A. Chidiac, the resort’s general manager. This empowers them to deal with every request positively and make every guest feel that their well being is the sole priority of the member of staff assisting them.” This attention to service is what qualifies the resort’s five-star status. Whatever their query, guests feel appreciated, valued, and are assured of a positive response. Renovation and expansion In 2006, Radisson SAS underwent a major renovation, expanding its portfolio of facilities for both leisure and business. All public areas of the resort were refurbished including the grandiose and luxurious atrium lobby, making an immediate impact on guests as they enter the resort for the first time. In keeping with its beachfront location, the décor is fresh and elegant, with marine accents that include palm trees, wicker furniture and seashells. “Our new and improved leisure facilities include the Bay Club,” offers Chidiac, “a state-of-the-art fitness, spa and beach club comprising two fully equipped gyms (including a private ladies-only gym), an open air beach gym, four temperature controlled swimming pools, separate saunas, tennis, billiards, bowling and a children’s fun zone and private bay.” Another addition particularly popular with

leisure tourists is the choice of staying in one of the poolside Boutique Cabana Collection, ideal for relaxing by the pools and enjoying the cooling sea breezes, while enjoying all the amenities of the standard rooms. The highlight of the resort’s renovation however, has to be the Café at the Falls Signature Restaurant. Set in the tranquil surroundings of an indoor tropical forest complete with waterfall, river and wildlife, the Café is also home to a koi fishpond, birds and turtles. Business par excellence The facilities for the business guest have also been expanded and enhanced, with a dazzling array of conference and meeting rooms suitable for every corporate event, meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions. From the Harbour Room Boardroom, seating twelve, to the Mubarakia Ballroom with a capacity of 800 guests, the Radisson SAS is without doubt Sharjah’s premier business hotel and resort. As Chidiac says, “We are proud to say that we have the most number of meeting and events rooms, versatile and flexible to accommodate every requirement an event organiser is looking for.” In total the resort offers two ballrooms and eight meeting rooms, all complete with the latest in technological support and superior catering services. With an eye to the future, Radisson SAS begins its second phase of refurbishment and expansion as from the summer of 2008. This will include renovating the executive business floors, room refurbishments and more meeting rooms. For Chidiac, the positive feedback received from customers on the renovation projects completed thus far, more than justifies further expansion investments. “The welcome changes have been greatly appreciated by all, especially our guests, who are thoroughly enjoying the new facilities,” he concludes. “We look forward to completing all of the renovations, which will give us a unique identity and will set us far above the competition.”

Guy A. Chidiac, General Manager, Radisson SAS Sharjah

Tel: +9716 565 7777 www.radissonsas.com

Ready for business

Ready for relaxation

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WHAT’S ON
ARABIAN TRAVEL MARKET 1 to 4 May Both inbound and outbound travel are catered for at this tourism exhibition Venue: Dubai World Trade Centre Host: Reed Travel Exhibitions Dubai Tel: (9714) 390 2966 Fax: (9714) 390 8161 www.arabiantravelmarket.com DUBAI WORLDWIDE PROPERTY SHOW 17 to 19 May A world of investment opportunities Venue: Dubai Grand Hyatt Host: Dubai Shows Limited Tel: (9714) 331 9688 Fax: (9714) 331 9480 www.dmgdubai.com THE HOTEL SHOW 3 to 5 June The Middle East exhibition for hotel equipment, technology and services. Venue: Halls 4 to 8 (DWTC) Host: dmg world media Dubai Tel: (9714) 331 9688 Fax: (9714) 331 9480 www.dmgdubai.com DUBAI AIRSHOW 2007: 11 to 15 November The 10th international aerospace exhibition. Venue: Airport Expo Dubai Host: Fairs & Exhibitions Limited Tel: (9714) 286 7755 Fax: (9714) 286 6166 www.faris-exhibs.com

BEAUTY WORLD 20 to 22 May The 12th Beautyworld Middle East is an exhibition for beauty products, cosmetics and perfumery. Venue: Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre Host: EPOC Messe Frankfurt Tel: (9714) 338 0102 Fax: (9714) 338 0041 www.messefrankfurtme.com

INDEX 2007 1 to 5 November The 17th Middle East international furniture, interior and retail design exhibition. Venue: Dubai International Exhibition Centre Host: dmg world media Dubai Tel: (9714) 331 9688 Fax: (9714) 331 9480 www.dmgdubai.com

MIDDLE EAST INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW: 13 to 18 November An exhibition for the motor industry. Venue: Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre Host: Dubai World Trade Centre LLC Tel: (9714) 332 1000 Fax: (9714) 331 2173 www.dubaimotorshow.com

WHAT ADVENTURE
AERIAL TOURS Take an aerial tour of Dubai. Helicopters and plane tours offer a bird's eye view of the city and operate throughout the year, with prices from 250 dirhams for a 45-minute flight. Or float on the breeze in a hot-air balloon over Dubai's striking countryside. Amigos Balloons Tel: (971 4) 289 9295 BASTAKIA QUARTER The Bastakia Quarter in Bur Dubai is one of the city's most picturesque heritage sites. It was built in the late 19th century by Persian merchants attracted to the city by its relaxed trade tariffs. The area has been declared a conservation area and, while some buildings are private homes, many are open to the public. Bastakia Quarter, Bur Dubai CAMEL RACING A trip to the camel races, which take place on Thursday and Fridays from October to April, can be one of the most memorable highlights of any visit to Dubai. Located on the fringe of the city, the races at the Al Wathba Camel Track are vigorous and exciting. Al Wathba Camel Track DESERT SAFARIS 01 No visit to Dubai would be complete without a trip into the desert. Such excursions are best organised as part of a group tour, but offer a taste of the true heartland of Arabia. The majesty and tranquillity of the desert can be experienced in a choice of exciting half-day, full-day and overnight safaris. Arabian Adventures Dubai Tel: (971 4) 303 4888 Net Tours Tel: (971 4) 266 6655

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THE BIG FIVE SHOW 25 to 29 November The 28th Middle East international building and construction event. Venue: Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre Host: dmg world media Dubai Tel: (971 4) 331 9688 Fax: (971 4) 331 9480 www.dmgdubai.com WATCH AND JEWELLERY DUBAI EXHIBITION 12 TO 15 December The Middle East's largest jewellery and watch show. Venue: Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre Host: Dubai World Trade Centre LLC Tel: (971 4) 332 1000 Fax: (971 4) 331 2173 www.jewelleryshow.com

DUBAI SHOPPING FESTIVAL December 2007 to February 2008 A multi-faceted experience of shopping and entertainment. Tel: (971 4) 223 5444 Fax: (971 4) 223 5888 www.mydsf.ae

DUBAI DESERT CLASSIC Date TBA PGA golf tournament. Venue: Emirates Golf Club Host: Dubai Desert Classic Tel: (971 4) 295 6440 Fax: (971 4) 295 6026 Email: www.ugagolf.com www.dubaidesertclassic.com

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL Date .TBA Venue: Dubai Media City Host: Chillout Productions FZ-LLC Tel: (971 4) 391 1196 Fax: (971 4) 391 8930 www.dubaijazzfest.com

DUBAI TENNIS OPEN Date TBA Tennis championship. Venue: Dubai Tennis Stadium Host: Dubai Duty Free Tel: (971 4) 216 2425 Fax: (971 4) 224 4455 www.dubaitennischampion ships.com

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL RACING CARNIVAL Date TEA Horse racing. Venue: Nad Al Sheba Racecourse Host: Dubai Racing Club Tel: (971 4) 332 2277 Fax: (971 4) 332 2288 www.dubairacingclub.com

DUBAI CREEK Dubai Creek offers a picturesque glimpse of Dubai's trading heritage. You can choose to sail or take a traditional abra (water taxi) for a one or two-hour cruise, or tour operators offer both day or night cruises. Creek Cruises Tel: (971 4) 393 9860 Creekside Lesiure Tel: (971 4) 336 8406

DUBAI MUSEUM 02 The AI Fahidi Fort, which houses the Dubai Museum, was built around 1799 and has served as palace, garrison and prison, but was renovated in 1970 for use as a museum. Colourful dioramas depict Dubai's history, while artefacts dating back more than 3000 years provide visitors with a taste of ancient civilisations. Al Fahidi Fort, Al Al Fahidi Street, Bur Dubai Tel: (971 4) 353 1862

DUBAI WATER SPORTS ASSOCIATION Dubai is famous for the wide array of water sports its waters provide. From diving and snorkelling to sailing and water skiing, the Dubai Water Sports Association, situated at the upper end of Dubai Creek, is an excellent point of contact for all water-based activities. Dubai Water Sports Association Tel: (971 4) 324 1031

HATTA One hour's drive from Dubai City is the ancient fortress village of Hatta. The village, which is more than 200years-old, and Juma Mosque, which stands amid palm groves, draw visitors all year round; however, the drive is as fascinating as the destination itself, taking the visitor through burnished sand dunes and mountains varied in colour. Juma Mosque Tel: (971 4) 852 1374

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Best of Dubai & Northern Emirates Vol. 3 Distribution Partners

I

N addition to an international distribution to CEOs, chairmen and owners of the top companies in GVP’s global publishing network, a handto-hand corporate gifting distribution by GVP’s editorial participants to their principal clients ensures that the publication reaches a valued cross-section of buiness readers. Editions are also for sale in leading bookstores in the UAE, on Amazon.com, Gvpedia.com and via direct sales from GVP offices worldwide.

Top hotels, resorts and airport lounges showcase this edition which has been regarded by inbound travellers as a focus point from which to network for business relationships or acquire products and services. Selected high net worth individuals including those with assets over AED 5 million, as well as company directors and foreign investors via the GVP internal distribution database are also covered. Government decision makers, including senior management at development agencies, chambers of commerce, regional institutions and commerce associations receive copies ‘Best of Dubai & Northern Emirates.

AL MANZIL Burj Dubai Boulevard The Old Town, Burj Dubai Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +9714 428 5888 almanzilhotel.com southernsunme.com

ATLANTIS The Crescent The Palm Jumeirah Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +9714 426 1000 www.atlantisthepalm.com

THE PALACE - THE OLD TOWN The Old Town Island Downtown Burj Dubai P. O. Box 9770, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +9714 428 7888 www.thepalace-dubai.com

RAFFLES DUBAI Sheikh Rashid Road, Wafi P. O. Box 121800 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +9714 324 8888 www.raffles.com

QAMARDEEN Burj Dubai Boulevard The Old Town, P. O. Box 11788 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +9714 428 6888 www.qamardeenhotel.com www.southernsunme.com

THE MONARCH DUBAI One Sheikh Zayed Road P. O. Box 125511 Dubai, U.A.E. Tel: +9714 501 8888 www.themonarchdubai.com

THE WESTIN Al Sufouh Road c/o Dubai International Marine Club P. O. Box 24883 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 399 4141 www.starwoodhotels.com

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www.dubaitourism.ae

Patron, HRH The Duke of York, UK Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. www.the-mea.co.uk

Dubai Chamber of Commerce Industry www.dubaichamber.ae

Australian Business In The Gulf www.abiguae.com

Association of Professional Interior Designers www.apid.ae

Australian New Zealand Association Avalon@emirates.net.ae

www.online.britbiz-uae.com

www.bigbustours.com

Chairwoman, Sheikha Amina Al Tayer www.women.ae

Information Systems Audit & Control Association www.isacauae.org

Smart Business www.reachgulfbusiness.com

www.cultures.ae

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Sharjah is the third largest of the seven states which form the United Arab Emirates. The settlement of Sharjah dates back some 6,000 years when it is believed to have been called Sarcoa. The population was small and people relied on trade and sea faring in addition to farming, hunting, fishing and pearling. Many of the early settlements were based around the 'falaj', a man made underground water course. Today Sharjah is a bustling Islamic city that accomodates residents from worlwide living and working in diverse sectors; from services through to manufacturing. Sharjah has it all

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Wadi and Jebel ('Jebel' means 'mountain') Al Faya are on the western edge of the Madam Plains. Wadi Al Faya carries whatever is left of the rainwaters from the Hajar Mountains once it has passed through the Madam Plains. The wadi dissipates into the desert sand beyond Rashidiya, in the emirate of Sharjah, just before reaching the Sharjah-Al Dhaid Highway. This wide, quiet wadi winds through the desert in a northerly and northwesterly direction. Because of its distance from the mountains and its porous characteristics, it takes a great deal of rain to get the water flowing in the wadi bed. Heavy rains in 1988 and 1990 produced flash floods of immense size that were carried long distances through the wadi, eventually creating lakes around Sayh Musannad, just before the Sharjah-Al Dhaid Road. It's after such rains that the wadi and its elements are at their best and the majestic size of the wadi is realised. It turns green and blooms with desert plants, shrubs and flowers. The abundance of vegetation makes the trip through Wadi Al Faya a memorable one.

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www.GVPedia.com

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