4For several reasons, there was never a more appropriate time thannow to publish a fresh edition of BEST OF UAE. Not only is this yearthe 40th anniversary of the founding of the UAE, but 2012 has alsoemerged as the year in which the ‘growing pains’ that characterisethe incipient socio-economic maturity of the region, are being feltfar and wide.Tracing this evolution through the prism of the nation’s marchtowards sustainability and diversification, a collection of innovativeorganisations, brands and entrepreneurs have been showcased toemblemise the development for which the UAE is today renowned.As a pillar of stability and progress in an environment of geo-political fragility, this seven-emirate confederation that cameinto being on December 2 1971, thanks to the lucid vision of itsfounding father late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan inmany ways reflects the best of what the region aspires to; namelypeace, prosperity and progress.Developing global business networks by sharing success storiesin an informative and visually appealing way is essence of howwe have developed our gvpedia brand that now has expanded itsannual book series published in over 40 territories worldwide.As one of its founding partners and a firm believer in the powerof promoting brands and places in this uniquely creative editorialformat, I take this opportunity to wish you happy reading.40 Glorious YearsChairman & InternationalGroup PublisherSven BoermeesterPublisher &Managing Group EditorLisa DuranteProject ManagerRitesh MatlaniCreative ProductionGVP ProgenyA division of GVP Media FZ LLCGraphic DesignerShahab SayedEditorial TeamDinesh RamanathanFrancesca LeenenGere GeorgeHeena MakLavanya NarayanNikita AroraSonam BhoneshwarSrijita ChattopadhyayWebsitegvpedia.comPublished byISBN # 1-904566-78-2Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracyof the information in the ‘Best of UAE’ publication.Neither ‘Best of UAE’ nor Tribe Media takes anyresponsibility for errors or omissions.All rights reservedThe Best of UAE is published under license fromGVP Media FZ LLC. No part of this publicationmay be reproduced, copied, transmitted, adaptedor modified in any form or by any means. Thispublication shall not be stored in whole or in partin any form in any retrieval system.Lisa DurantePublisher & Managing Group Editor
12Celebrating its 40th anniversary on Dec 2, 2011, the UAE has established itself as a bastionof regional prosperity and stability. Based on principles of sustainability that puts to effectiveuse abundant natural resources to build human capabilities and a diversified economy, it isestimated that an annual GDP of USD 358 billion will be reached by the end of 2012. Thecountry has shown remarkable growth since it was first founded by Late H.H. Sheikh Zayedbin Sultan Al Nahyan, Father of the Nation. Underlining its thirst to gain global recognition,the UAE follows a simple and effective strategy based on creating magnificent landmarks todraw inbound tourism and making bold strategic investments locally and abroad to boostthe nation’s profile and foster the contemporary world-class lifestyle that the UAE hasbecome legendary for.Emerging UAE
14BestofUAEVol.1While investing its vast financial surpluses to positivelyimpact world oil prices and build its infrastructure, diversifiedopportunities to accelerate the development process are takingroot. The UAE has also seen growing roles played by the non-oilsectors in boosting the national economy. By luring internationalbusiness and investors, an upsurge in inbound investment haskept the business scenario buoyant despite global economicchallenges.Reviewing the UAE’s economic and social blossoming, theprocess of development can be credited to the solidarity amongits people, the visionary leadership of its rulers and its confidencein the state and its policies overall. In addition, the multiculturalnature of the environment centrally positioned between diversecontinents and time zones has helped the UAE to become asymbol of growth, prosperity and globalisation.With a per capita income of USD 48,500 as of 2011, theUAE ranks 11th competing with dynamic economies of theWest. A liberal environment prevails ensuring that the over200 nationalities residing in this seven-emirate federation thatborders Oman and Saudi Arabia, live to their fullest potential.Political ReformIn line with the UAE’s rapid socio-economic developments, majorsteps have been taken, both at the federal and local levels,to reform the political system in the UAE in order to make itmore responsive to the needs of the country’s citizenry and toensure that it is better equipped to cope with the challenges ofdevelopment. Elections to the Federal National Council (FNC)are regarded as one of the most important developments in thereform process. To be re-elected every 5 years, this advisorycouncil was formed under the provisional constitution of the UAEin 1971. In 2011, an electoral college of 130,000 voters turnedout to vote at all polling centres across the Emirates. The ratio ofwomen voters at most of the centres was higher than men.EmiratisationTo further enhance opportunities of UAE citizens, which currentlycomprise a mere 11.5 percent of the overall population of 7.2million, the government has launched a proactive employmentpolicy called Emiratisation. Applicable in public and private
15sectors, this multi-pronged initiative is the government’s way oftackling unemployment. With aims of reducing its dependencyon foreign workers, the policy is helping Emiratis grow their skillsand knowledge needed in a diversified economy. In a bid tointegrate them successfully into the workforce, the governmenthas established a mandatory quota system in certain sectors,particularly in banking and telecommunications, and is imposingquotas on the private sector for employment of Emirati nationalstoo.HealthDespite promising figures, the UAE has several issues to address,such as worrisome health trends. High fat, high sugar diet andsedentary lifestyles have increased the incidence of diabetes,obesity and high blood cholesterol in the region. According tothe World Health Organisation(WHO), the UAE is ranked 18th inthe list of countries that have the most number of obese peoplewith 75 percent of the population being overweight. Diabetesoccurrence stands at 18.7 percent but expected to rise to 21.4percent by 2030. The rapid pace of modernisation may havebeen positive on many fronts, but in terms of the health of thenation, embracing fast food and sedentary lifestyles has wreakedhavoc on the nation’s wellbeing. Now that the awareness of thisemergency exists, initiatives are being pursued to improve thesestatistics.UAE and the Arab SpringIn the light of the Arab Spring, UAE became the saving grace forpeople in the Middle East looking for peace and stability. While, ittook a communist revolution in China to expand Hong Kong intoa major global city in the late 40s, similarly, UAE has also seen anon-going improvement with the influx of people and their savingscoming into Dubai. In its annual review, Daman Securitiesreported an 11.5 percent surge in UAE Central Bank deposits as asign of money flowing back into the country.Making its mark as a politically stable region amongst itspeers, UAE remains the top favourite country among Gulf nationsfor attracting expatriate talent and provision of employment. Inthe past year, more than Dh 36.73 billion in foreign investmentmade the UAE the ultimate hotspot for foreign direct investment(FDI) projects in the Middle East and Africa.
16UAE and New MediaThe 140-character trend has caught on to the users in theUAE. Social Media has become popular amongst top officials,academicians, citizens and expatriates. A whooping 200,000users on Twitter are from the UAE. A survey by Interactive MiddleEast revealed that most users from the region are guilty oflogging on to Facebook before other websites.His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum hasalso established himself as a social media disciple by regularlyinteracting with the world through Twitter and Facebook.The Emirates eGovernment, a part of the TelecommunicationsRegulatory Authority (TRA) institutes itself at raising thecompetitiveness of UAE through adopting excellent practices inall fields of eGovernment. The eGovernment strategy is part of acomplete and integrated system involving different governmententities with the aim of improving government services andmaking them available through innovative channels 24/7.International Relations and Human RightsSince its establishment, UAE has approached the realm ofInternational Relations with utmost diplomacy and acumen.The main features of the foreign policy is based on adoptionof dialogue, respect of international conventions,commitmentto the United Nations Charter and non-interference of othercountry’s internal affairs, and the settlement of disputes bypeaceful means. The main anchor of UAE’s foreign policy hasbeen building cooperation-based relations with all countries ofthe world.Strong on humanitarian philosophies, UAE is one of the mostliberal countries in the Middle East. The Human rights are legallyprotected as per the constitution of the country, which confersequality, liberty, rule of law, presumption of innocence in legalprocedures, inviolability of the home, freedom of movement,freedom of opinion and speech, freedom of communication,freedom of religion, freedom of council and association, freedomof occupation, freedom to be elected to office and others onto allcitizens, within the limit of the law.
17Environmental ProtectionThe UAE outdoes several big economies in levels of prosperityand standards of living. The ambition of providing world-classinfrastructure to its residents has often turned off the country’ssensitivity to resources. Not only does the UAE have the highestper capita Ecological Footprint in the world, but also, it ranksthird in water consumption after the US and Canada. Despitethese abominable figures, free water supply to Emiratis wasincreased by 20 percent annually with desalination of waterin the UAE increasing pressure on supply systems as demandcontinues to rise.The dichotomy here lies in holding questionable records ofpoor environment protection while sporting the world’s tallestbuildings and grandiose infrastructure. The Federal state is takingon a leadership role in raising awareness and campaigning forchange.Laws have to be followed by structural implementation.Though there exists a plethora of governmental agencies andnon-governmental organisations working towards the Greencause, coordination and cooperation will help in exploringpossibilities of a culture sensitive to environment protection.Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) has embarkedon building the first 10 MW solar PV power plant of theMohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, thelargest solar park in the region, which accords with theDubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030.Mohammed bin Rashid Gardens Project, worth Dh 200bnlaunched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,has received wide acclaim across the globe as it promises to strikebetween ecological integrity and real estate necessity.
20Abu Dhabi OverviewFast paced and electrifyingly dynamic, Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United ArabEmirates is rapidly underlining its position as the Sheikh among emirates in the UAEand a jewel among the members of the GCC. With every passing hour, the city is takinggreat strides towards success and finds itself placed rather admirably among the world’selite cities today.With the Ruler of Abu Dhabi and also the President of theUnited Arab Emirates, H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyanat the helm of the city’s progress, it is no surprise that Abu Dhabihas carved itself a rather conspicuous niche under the spotlightand continues to taste constantly expanding success. Blendingcontemporary ideals with traditional glory, Abu Dhabi has seenitself transcend all expectations over the years, something thatcan be attributed to the crown prince, H. H. Sheikh Mohammedbin Zayed Al Nahyan, who serves as chairman of the ExecutiveCouncil and has constantly been a major driving force behind theskyrocketing success Abu Dhabi has seen of late.As has been known since time immemorial, the Arab worldhas been awash with a considerable portion of the world’s oilresources, and since the discovery of oil in Abu Dhabi in 1958,the city has capitalised on the immeasurable value of thisresource whilst developing a non oil-centric economy supportedby tourism, industry and financial services.Shaikh Zayed Bridge, Abu Dhabi
21EconomyThe government of Abu Dhabi has been surging forward withstate of the art infrastructure and development activities outliningtheir long term economic blueprint, with the Department ofEconomic Development aiming to reach the goals set out by theemirate’s Economic Vision 2030 plan. The plan highlights many adiverse aspect, shrouding the manufacturing and financial sectorsas well as throwing light on health and education. With regardto the foreseeable future, Abu Dhabi is set to face challengeswith a possible dip in the property market as well as consumerexpenditure, which in itself has accounted for more than half theGDP in recent years. But financial crises and monetary issuesaside, Abu Dhabi follows a determined tunnel vision approachtowards future economic growth.FinanceThe National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), followed by the AbuDhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) are the largest among banks inthe capital, both of which are majorly owned by the Abu DhabiInvestment Council.Thanks to thoughtful measures taken by theCentral Bank and the local government, the Abu Dhabi economywas insulated against damage during the global volatility with theMinistry of Finance setting up a generous liquidity facility at thetime.Continuous injection of capital into the Abu Dhabi economy bythe government has seen the emirate strengthen itself againstall odds over the years. The Abu Dhabi National InsuranceCompany (ADNIC), a public/private enterprise in operation since1972, leads the sector. The massive National Health InsuranceCompany (Daman), established by the government, has alsogrown in prominence as the UAE’s first specialised health-insurance company. The Islamic banking segment too is startingto take a larger share in sector activities and gaining regionalprominence.Energy SourcesAbu Dhabi is affluent in the UAE’s hydrocarbon reserves, whichsum up to approximately 97.8bn barrels of oil and up to 5percent of the world’s gas reserves. The oil sector has continuallybeen the pinnacle of Abu Dhabi’s economy, accounting for 80percent of government revenues and pumping in capital to fundindustrial and financial services. On another note, independentwater and power projects are being installed via the Abu DhabiWater and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) to ensure sufficientavailability of these resources.Abu Dhabi is also placing heavy emphasis on being a globalpower in renewable energy and green technology, headed bythe efforts of the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (ADFEC),known more popularly as the Masdar Initiative. As a zero-carbon,zero-waste city – Masdar is a USD 22bn mixed-use developmentthat will eventually house 40,000 people, create 70,000 new jobsand bolster the emirate’s GDP by more than 2 percent, is slatedto steal the show when proceedings finally take shape. Solarand wind power are also alternatively being viewed as energysources that can assist in taking the pressure off the oil sector,as is renewable energy in the case of water and electricity. Inaddition the government aims to have renewable resourcesaccount for 7 percent of power production capacity by 2020.Transport ServicesThe transport sector constantly undergoes improvements andexpansions across various segments in order to ensure optimummobility of infrastructure and resources. Given the spike inpopulation growth, which hit 2.9 million at the end of 2011, AbuDhabi is eager to aid the next wave of urban development. Airtraffic has seen an increase in recent times, as has the capacityof the Abu Dhabi International Airport, the government isinvesting furthermore while the greater portion of the estimatedUSD 6.8bn worth of expansions have already been completed.Major changes are progressing at Abu Dhabi’s ports aswell. Under the patronage of the Abu Dhabi Ports Company(ADPC) and the Department of Transport, the emirate isshifting operations from the main port at Mina Zayed to theenormous Khalifa Port in Taweelah. In a pioneering venture forthe UAE, the federal government has set the ball rolling for along-discussed vision, which entails the connection of all sevenemirates via railway. The USD 3bn railway project will eventuallylink up with the larger 1940-km rail development that aims tospider into all six countries of the GCC.
22TourismAbu Dhabi’s reputation as a business hub has been bolstered byits rapid transition into a cultural and eco-tourism destination.The emirate is shedding light on the high-end, low-volumesegment through luxurious developments and cultural offerings.The Louvre and the Guggenheim are branching out to the Gulfregion with branches in Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island, the USD27bn cultural district project.The Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) isalso going after the escalating eco-tourism segment by carefullydeveloping some of its most naturally beautiful places onoffer. Sir Bani Yas Island, situated 170 km west of the capital,stands out as a prime example. TDIC is integrating sustainabledevelopment practices within the luxury resort planned on theisland, complete with an animal sanctuary and a promise to planta mangrove seedling for every visitor to the island. Various hoteldevelopments are underway to deal with demand as well asfuture increase.Most importantly, the introduction of the Yas Marina Circuitand the Ferrari World amusement park have reignited theinterest of tourists, whose volume has increased massively intothe emirate, which acts as a motorsport colossus in the regionplaying host to the annual Etihad Airways Formula One GrandPrix among various other events. Abu Dhabi has successfullyemerged as a tourism and entertainment hotspot in the region,with visits by world-renowned personalities taking centre stage,as have popular annual events like the Mubadala World TennisChampionship and the Formula One Grand Prix.IndustryThe emirate, like the most part of the Arabian Gulf, is widelyknown for its petroleum resources, but as part of economicdiversification, measures are being taken towards industrialproduction. Non-oil industry activities accounted for about50.3 percent of GDP at the end of 2010, and manufacturingin particular has made a significant contribution, increasingby more than 10 percent. The food, tobacco and beveragesegment accounted for most of the investment in manufacturing.Petrochemicals and plastic production is expected to grow as thegovernment pours more resources into heavy industry.Currently, heavy industry ventures are focused on the townof Ruwais and the industrial port of Mussafah, site of the AbuDhabi Industrial City and the planned Abu Dhabi Polymers Park.Upon completion the Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ) willalso feature the world’s largest petrochemicals complex. Themetals manufacturing sector is also set to grow as the USD 5.7bnEmirates Aluminium smelter, under construction in Taweelah,becomes the world’s largest greenfield aluminum plant. Theindustrial sector will play an increasingly prominent role in theeconomy and is a crucial part of the emirate’s diversificationscheme.MediaAbu Dhabi is steadily developing as a regional media andcultural supremo as government-sponsored initiatives andforeign investors director the sector to greater heights. The printsegment still dominates the UAE advertising market, accountingfor twice the amount spent on television. Promising inclusionssuch as The National, and expansions planned by Reutersshould ensure the industry stays on the move constantly. In therealm of television, locally based channels aim to take on moreestablished pan-Arab stations, like Middle East BroadcastingCompany (MBC) and Saudi TV.ADMC is viewed as a point of stability within the region thanksto generous government funding. The government inspiredlaunch of twofour54, an umbrella organisation that providessupport for the media sphere across the Arab world, has provenYas Marina Hotel, Abu Dhabi
23to be highly fruitful with its continuous involvement spurring aregional media outburst and constant growth in the media sector.Imagenation, the government’s film production firm, is alsoinvesting generously in the media sector, which could potentiallyprove to reshape the Abu Dhabi media landscape.TelecomThe IT and telecommunications sector has rooted itself asone of the strongest in the region, owing to ever growingdemand and efficient investment practices by the government.The Telecommunications sector has recorded extremely rapidgrowth over the past five years. Since Emirates IntegratedTelecommunications Company (du) hopped onto the telecombandwagon and consequently ended the monopoly of EmiratesTelecommunication Corporation (Etisalat) in 2006, prices havedipped and market competition has helped instigate considerablegrowth. Over the past decade, mobile penetration rates havealmost tripled. In the fixed-line segment, coverage is largelydelineated geographically, with du dominating in Dubai andEtisalat holding the advantage in the rest of the UAE. Thetelecommunications sector is an integral part of the Abu Dhabi:Economic Vision 2030 and the emirate is seeking to raise Internetpenetration to 60 percent by 2030.Primary focus generally lies on increasing the speed andpenetration of broadband Internet connections, and thegovernment is implementing stringent measures to increaseusage, such as free Internet hotspots throughout the city. BothEtisalat and Du are improving broadband infrastructure and areinstalling a fibre-optic network that maximises Internet speedstenfold. This network also provides the foundation for thedevelopment of new value-added services and products.Health Services and EducationAbu Dhabi’s health sector is continuously undergoing ametamorphosis as structural changes have seen privateinvolvement and competition flourish, driving up standards andbringing in greater investment. In Abu Dhabi, over one-fifthof the population is afflicted with diabetes and drastic ratesof obesity have also been recorded. The General Authority forHealth Services has been reformed into two separate entities toincrease efficiency - The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company(SEHA), responsible for public health centre management, whileboth the public as well as private sectors are regulated by theHealth Authority Abu Dhabi. Participation of the private sectorhas certainly been encouraged and SEHA has already engagedwith internationally renowned names such as John Hopkins andCleveland clinic to manage various public facilities. Meanwhile,mandatory insurance coverage has provided access to servicesfor expatriates. The National Health Insurance Company(DAMAN) provides the base of universal coverage.
24Dubai OverviewOver recent years, Dubai has enjoyed a diverse flavour in its make up with touristattractions, people friendly hotspots and record shattering structures like the Burj Khalifaand the Burj Al Arab highlighting much of what the city stands for. Abuzz with all kinds ofactivity, the emirate, situated in a geographical location palatable to hordes of travellersfrom around the world has highlighted the importance of diversifying from oil based wealthand resources. The Prime minister and ruler of Dubai and Vice-President of the UAE, H. H.Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has, followed liberal principles and spearheadedthe transformation of the emirate into a model for fast-track development and successfuldiversification policies.
25EconomyDubai has headlined non-oil sector growth in the UAE overthe past couple of years with wealth from hydrocarbons beingprimarily invested in the service sector, with special emphasison real estate and tourism. Dubai’s placement on the regionaland world map attracts a plethora of developers and touristsfrom around the globe, with Dubai’s ports, making it an idealmarket for the rising powerhouses of India and China. DubaiInternational Capital (DIC), a section of Dubai Holdings, hasacquired stakes in the UK’s HSBC Holdings and StandardChartered, as well as Munich-based European AeronauticDefence and Space.Financial ServicesThe banking sector in Dubai has seen a spike in recent times,due to a banking-smart population. The Dubai Chamber ofCommerce and Industry, is however well aware of the inevitabletrends in booming competition and has since opened itsbanking sector to fresh entrants to uphold growth levels. Theretail sector sees itself well diversified with strong consumerspending, negative real interest rates and product innovationwhile corporate loans and project finance deals remain atlarge. The UAE’s insurance sector is also shooting up at a rateof over 25 percent a year. Dubai leads in terms of insurancemarket share per emirate. Sharia-compliant insurance, betterknown as ‘Takaful’ is engulfing the market, with future growthprojected rather positively. Life insurance and motor insuranceis also on the rise, as is policies for fire and the marine, aviationand transport segments. The Dubai Health Authority has alsotaken a gigantic leap towards the growth of the health sector,with mandatory insurance for workers becoming a headliningphenomenon in the health sector.Energy SourcesOwing to its geographical placement at the centre of one ofthe world’s largest energy producing regions and its positioningbetween Europe and Asia, Dubai is well en route to becoming afinancial and corporate hub for the global energy industry. TheDubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) has set up two new crude oilfutures spread contracts while the government has embarkedon a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facility project.Oil industry heavyweights like Halliburton have relocated theircorporate headquarters to Dubai while companies such as BritishPetroleum and Shell have a strong presence in the locality. Dubaiis also exploring renewable energy options, such as solar andwind power and hydrogen and nuclear-based power stations.Electricity consumption has steadily risen of late and is projectedto double by 2015. Consequently, the Dubai Electricity and WaterAuthority (DEWA) increased its production capacity at a cost ofabout USD 19.9 billion in capital expenditure.TourismContributing an approximate one-fifth of the Dubai’s direct GDPand about one-third indirectly, Dubai’s hospitality sector attractedover 8 million visitors in 2011. Dubai’s tourism sector is surgingahead in retail, sports, and meetings, incentives, conferencesand exhibitions and medical tourism as well. Dubai is home tothe world’s only seven-star hotel, the iconic Burj Al Arab amidsta cosmos of other luxury resorts surrounded by opportunityfor adventure and world-class recreation. Al Maktoum Airport,scheduled for completion by 2015, will cater to the increasinginflux of visitors. It is expected to be the world’s largest airportcomplex with six runways, a port, attached residential areas andhotels as well as a free trade zone with the capacity to welcome150 million passengers annually.
26Transport ServicesDubai’s position as an aviation hub looks rigid courtesy of theexpansion of the existing Dubai International Airport (DXB) andthe construction of Al Maktoum International Airport, whichhas been poised to become the world’s largest aviation facility.Economic development is adding pressure to the Emirate’s roadnetworks and the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has takenconsistent efforts to enhance the public transport system andoffer new solutions to congestion. Vital to this strategy is themultiple award winning Dubai metro, which opened in 2009,and now holds the record of the longest driverless system inthe world, after having revolutionised the transportation systemin Dubai while buses, waterbuses and water taxis have beenupgraded to serve the people better. The RTA is investing USD1billion in a state-of-the-art tram network along the Al SufouhRoad. Additionally, the upcoming venture of Dubai’s Logistics CityBestofUAEVol.1will enable companies to distribute cargo via land, sea or air fromone location to another.IndustryIndustry is taking monstrous strides across the UAE as a whole,with the sector contributing to a massive chunk of the economywithin the past decade. Dubai has carved a niche for itself asa hotbed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) andrealises the importance of a flourishing industrial sector. To thisend, developers are working on the 52 million square metreDubai Industrial City (DIC), set to open by 2015 and aiming tobecome a centre for the region’s industrial and manufacturingsectors, including chemicals, heavy industry and F&B. DubaiMaritime City, part of Dubai World, will be the world’s firstindustrial centre dedicated to maritime and associated industries.Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal) is another feather in Dubai’sindustrial cap and is the largest single non-oil contributorto Dubai’s economy. Opportunities also exist for local steelproducers, the food and beverage industries as well as fertilisers.Telecommunications and TechnologyThe UAE’s telecommunications market has grown rapidly inrecent years. Etisalat has metamorphosed itself from a smalllocal company into a leading global telecommunications giant,while Du, has diversified its network and has grown into afully operational service provider today, proving to be fiercecompetition to Etisalat . Providers are looking towards the arrivalof mobile television, which is television beamed to a mobilephone handset. Information technology in the UAE has seenmajor investment over the past decade with Dubai Internet City
27attracting some of the world’s top IT companies. The IT sectoris still positioned for further growth, with Microsoft set to openan innovation laboratory in Dubai, to develop, in conjunctionwith Emirates Airlines, information technology solutions for theaviation and travel industries. Dubai has racked up a reputationas a major retail and shopping destination as well. Retailcomplexes occupy prime space with tourism and shopping beinginextricably linked. With a young, growing brand-consciouspopulation contributing to the metropolis that Dubai is, the city’sunique retail sector looks towards a rather promising future.Real Estate and ConstructionThe well-known fact that one-third of the cranes in the worldare in Dubai still holds true despite vicissitudes in real estateand construction market. Dubai Land Department has recentlyconfirmed the rise in increase of purchase of home and officeproperty. This comes as good news changing the otherwiseneutral gears of the property market. Despite rising costs andlabor and materials shortages, the sector has over USD 1.1trillionworth of projects underway. To begin with, the Business Bayproject, being developed by Dubai Properties and conceivedas a new central business district along with Dubai WorldCentral, which will be the largest development of its kind, withthe infrastructure to support 900,000 residents and 700,000workers. The emirate also promotes regional environmentalissues and with all builders and developers in Dubai having tomeet a stringent set of green building regulations. The realestate market in Dubai has witnessed an increase over the pastdecade; with growth in the residential segment in addition tothe commercial segment, Dubai is continuously expanding itsbusiness infrastructure to become a major financial servicescentre. The tourism sector is a primary driving force of thereal estate industry in Dubai, and, with millions more touristsexpected to flock to Dubai’s shopping and beach attractions overthe coming years, demand for luxury hotel rooms is on the riseand several large-scale developments look to fill in the mentionedspot. Similarly, the retail market is integral for the real estatesector, and the government is seeking to impose some order tothe mostly unregulated property market by introducing new laws,with a rather broad minded view of improving investment.Health Services and EducationMushrooming population indicate that the demand for healthcareservices in Dubai has increased with the need for hospital bedsset to double by 2025. The UAE government has reworked thepublic health infrastructure at primary, secondary and tertiarylevels and nine major hospital projects are underway at avalue of USD 596 million. Dubai has also invested generouslyin specialist care units and health education is becoming apriority in schools with public health initiatives underway. Fundsare also being allocated for research and development at theDubai HealthCare City (DHCC) with a USD 1.8bn public-privatepartnership with the Tatweer group. The private sector is alsoexpected to play an increasingly important role, with globalhealth care providers eyeing the Dubai market as a potentiallylucrative option. Changing scenarios here, Dubai’s educationsector is seeing a promising expansion with focused governmentinvestment and increased private sector involvement at everylevel. The creation of education and research free zones hasattracted world famous names in the field of education, whichcan be emphasised by the likes of Dubai Knowledge Village aswell as Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), which is hostto a galaxy of educational institutions from countries aroundthe world like Canada, Ireland, the UK and Belgium. The UAEgovernment has also localised education efforts to some extent,with each of the seven emirates encouraged to establish bodiesto liaise between local educators and the federal government onthe implementation of modernisation programmes.
28Sharjah OverviewSharjah is the third largest economy in the UAE, after Dubai and Abu Dhabi, covers 2,600square kilometres and includes three enclaves on the Gulf of Oman - Khorfakkan, Dibba,Hisn and Kalba, as well as two islands, Abu Musa and Sir Abu Nuair. It is the only emiratewith ports on the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, thus occupying a crucial axis at the hub ofglobal trade routes, ensuring its place as a centre of international commerce.The leadership of H. H. Sheikh Sultan Al-Qasimi is at theforefront of democratising the political process; bringing womeninto the political system, for example. Sharjah has achieved theright balance between economic development and preservingits unique cultural heritage, with visitors welcomed by ornateminarets, green parks and Dhows. The construction and realestate sectors are booming, as is the burgeoning tourismindustry.This emirate is carving out a distinct tourism niche for itselfin the Gulf, focusing on culture and attracting families. Sharjah’sruler has placed an emphasis on funding cultural projects. Aprime example is the Sharjah Heritage and Arts area, locatedin the heart of Sharjah; the buildings, historical sites, narrowalleyways and souks have been renovated.The emirate has the third largest share of the UAE’s 97.8billion barrels of proven oil reserves, with an estimated 1.5 billionbarrels. Over the past three decades, the ruler has sought tomake the emirate the centre for non-oil industrial manufacturingin the UAE, complementing the focus on real estate and businessin neighbouring Dubai. Much of this has been achieved throughits 19 industrial areas, which account for more than 40 percent ofall industrial activity in the UAE and 48 percent of the country’sindustrial gross domestic product.It is also the home to 45 percent of the UAE’s industrialactivities and makes up 40 percent of industry-derivedcontribution to GDP. The emirate’s geographical position meansit is in the middle of one of the fastest-growing regions in theworld. After setting up the first petrochemicals plant in 2007,more than 52,979 licences were renewed in 2010 with HamriyaFree Zone while the upcoming Sharjah Airport International FreeZone had 5,542 registered licenses in 2011.Sharjah is investing in real estate by building an island life,
29as, like other emirates. Sharjah’s Nujoom Islands developmentwill be built on a plot of land more than 5.6 million squaremetres off the emirate’s northern coast, with the initial phase ofconstruction estimated to cost around 35 percent of a total USD4.9 billion. The island will include 40 towers containing residentialand commercial space, alongside 145 apartment buildings, fourhotels and five yacht clubs. Growth is expected to continue in theconstruction sector, despite the rising costs of building materials,as population growth demands new homes and the infrastructureto service them.HE Sheikh Essam bin Saqer Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Officeof His Highness, the Ruler of Sharjah, and Head of the UAE’sAffairs in WHO, and Dr. Said Arnaout, United Arab EmiratesCountry Desk Officer, signed the agreement that allows for theaccession of Sharjah into the Healthy Cities Programmeme by theUnited Nations. This is another step taken by Sharjah towardsthe betterment of the emirate’s health as the programmemefocuses on the health related challenges produced by fast-pacedurbanisation that leads to poor health among people due to itsadverse effect on the environment, and the unhealthy eatinghabits and lifestyles it creates; a problem which a number ofcities around the world now face.Sharjah also possesses a rapidly developing educationalsystem that has recently several advancements at the primaryand high school levels. For higher education, the landmarkSharjah Education City, established in 1988, attracts studentsfrom the UAE and the Gulf. Reputed colleges like the AmericanUniversity of Sharjah, which is a coeducational university basedon American institutions of higher education but thoroughlygrounded in Arab culture, the Skyline University of Sharjah andthe University of Sharjah itself. The emirate is expanding itseducational capacity with its Ruler funding a multi-million dollarproject at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada to establish achair in Global Islam Studies in Sharjah.The land of MuseumsFor long the Emirate of Sharjah has taken pride in preservingand exhibiting local culture. Sharjah is the land of heritageas museums abound the city. Namely, the Museum of IslamicCivilization; exhibiting the world Islam since the early stages ofthe faith, Sharjah Science Museum; which is very popular withchildren and adults alike, the Maritime Museum; that catersto marine enthusiasts, the Sharjah Archaeology Museum; thathouses artefacts of the early Bedouins and the Sharjah ArtMuseum that promotes Emirati talent and art in the region. Whilethe Sharjah Aquarium remains a popular site for family visits, notto be missed are the elegant and Arabesque Souqs that offer agreat chance to observe an ethnic Arabian market.
30Ajman OverviewAjman, located near Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain, is one of the smallest emirate with an areaof just 260 square kilometres. It is a perfect blend of old and new that encompasses three mainareas: Ajman City, Masfout and Manama.
31Almost 90 percent of its population resides in the city, which hasgrown considerably due to an influx of people from neighbouringDubai and Sharjah. The strategic location at the entrance of theArabian Gulf places the emirate at an advantageous trade junctionbetween the east and west. Through leadership, strong politicalties in the region, generous development and efforts to encourageforeign investment, Ajman has garnered positive reputation as therising star among all the Emirates.Ajman has become a an inexpensive getaway from busiercities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai for residents, citizens and eventourists who wish to indulge in the newfound Arabian stylehospitality it has to offer. For instance, the Al Zorah project,located on the eastern side of Ajman Creek provides an exclusive,integrated holiday and residential destination. It is a USD 60 billionsustainable development project, established to a clean emirate.Historically, the textiles industry has dominated, but there hasbeen a recent shift to investments in the areas of chemicals andmachinery production. The boat-building sector is also expandingbeyond traditional Dhow building. Especially with burgeoningdemand for luxury yachts, manufacturers are meeting localdemand and developing a sustainable export market. With agrowing population eager for more retail opportunities, shoppingcomplexes are also being constructed. The Dana Mall spreadingover 150,000 square foot, worth Dh 400 million is one suchexample.Ajman’s property market was worth about Dh 3.5bn (USD953.05m). The cheaper and more liberal work permits in theemirate mean fewer problems with labour compared with the restof the UAE. Although as far as infrastructure is concerned, theemirate remains a key destination for new investment. Focus isdirected at further updates and possible relocation of the AjmanPort, better road links to neighbouring emirates and a new sewageand wastewater treatment plant. As air-conditioning drains theelectricity supply, district cooling that cools from a central locationto various locations has been introduced as an alternative.As for the economy of this emirate, Ajman Bank remains wellon track and is strategically positioned for growth. The Banksustained profitability after just three years of operation, is atestimony to the strength of the weatherproof and sustainablebusiness model, which is firmly anchored in the real economy.Ajman Bank delivered exceptional results in 2011 with a positivenet profit of Dh 7m for 2011, a year-on-year increase of 75percent. In December 2011, the bank recorded one of the highestEmiratisation levels across the banking sector.
32Umm Al Quwain OverviewKnown as the ‘mother of two powers’ due to its powerful seafaring tradition and influenceover land and sea, Umm Al-Quwain covers an area of 750 square kilometres. Laden withnatural allure, the emirate stretches from the beautiful, lush green coastal mangroveslining the shores of the Arabian Gulf, inland across the rolling sand dunes to the fertileoasis surrounding Falaj Al Moalla (a stretch of huge sand dunes). With an estimatedpopulation of 62,000 the emirate offers residents and tourists alike, a tempting mix ofextreme sports and historical sites.
33Rush of ExcitementThe scream of people as they jump off their planes can beheard in the air, the smell of burnt rubber looms over the areaand the booming sound of shotguns fired into the air awakenspeople from their dreamy state. Umm Al-Quwain is the fastestgrowing destination for extreme sports.1. Umm Al Quwain AeroclubSky diving is the primary activity and there is a team ofdedicated instructors. The training courses are completedmostly on time, due to the excellent weather conditions thatprevail throughout the year and because of the availabilityof a specially modified aircraft for this purpose. Besides thelarge numbers of UAE Nationals and Licensees who enjoy thissport, sky divers from the GCC and Europe have made thisdestination and activity uniquely popular in the UAE.2. The Emirates Car and Motorcycle Racing clubFounded in 1999 by H.H. Sheikh Marwan bin Rashid AlMu’alla, a motor car enthusiast and champion race driver,the racing club is the only one in the UAE to be recognisedby the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA) andFederation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM). Withregular international participants from Australia, New Zealand,Japan and India the club has a multitude of facilities formembers and non-members with its objectives derived andimplemented under the ordinance of the Supreme OrganizingCommittee.3. The Umm Al-Quwain Shooting ClubSpread over a large area, opposite to the Dreamland AquaPark and the UAQ Aeroclub, the shooting club is a safe andsupervised environment offering comprehensive outdoor andindoor ranges, various ammunitions and exclusivity. Underthe watchful eyes of qualified instructors and professionals,amateurs and the more experienced will enjoy the thrill of theshoot.Rich HeritageThe modern history of Umm Al-Quwain dates back some200 years when the Al Ali tribe moved their capital from AlSinniyah Island to its present location in the mid 18th century,excites everyone alike. Keeping in stride with the UAE history,the road networks are connected to charming villages wheremany Bedouin settlements still thrive.1. Al Dur IslandLocated along the coast near Umm Al-Quwain is the famousarchaeological site with the remains of a once important townof the region dating over 2000 years ago. Several interestingobjects including impressive tombs, stone houses, largestorage jars, and glassware from Egypt and Syria have beenunearthed with successive excavations.2. Umm Al Quwain FortThe fort has a well displayed jewellery collection, in-depthweapons collection and material from the emirates Al-Durarchaeological site. Most interesting of all, however, is theextraordinary story pinned to a wall of one of the towersrelating to the murder of Ruler H. H. Ahmed Bin Ibrahim AlMu’alla.
34Ras Al-Khaimah (meaning ‘the top of a tent’) covers an area of 2,900 square kilometresalong the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is heavenly to snorkel and dive into thewarm waters and experience an occasional encounter with dolphins, turtles, sea cows orwhales while exploring the coral reef. The 300,000-populated emirate also offers an upwardglance at the majestic Al Hajjar Mountains.Ras Al Khaimah Overview
35This dramatic juxtaposition of red-dunned desert and rockymountain and the blue water of the peninsula, create a stunningbackground for those wanting to trek into the rustic villages fora closer look at its inhabitants and the traditional way of locallife. Or maybe visit the various archeological sites, forts andabandoned villages that reveals a history dating back to 5000 BC.The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Board ensures the emirateis positioned as a historical destination. Because this emiratehas a very old heritage and the Department of Antiquities andMuseums have taken the initiative to manage the restoration ofmonuments of local and visual importance, like the watchtowersof the coastal towns of Jazirat Al-Hamra, Ma’arid and Rams.To accommodate the growing number of tourists, expatriatesand businesses, RAK is improving and developing an integratedtransport infrastructure. RAK International Airport will seek USD150m from the government over the next 20 years to improveboth cargo and passenger facilities with upgrades set to increasecapacity to 1.5m passengers per year. Improvement to roads willalso be made with about USD 272m to be spent in the next 10years.With the oil and gas sector contributing about 3 percent ofGross Domestic Product (GDP), RAK is diversifying its economyto investment, trade, industry and tourism. A major initiativetowards this has been the RAK Free Trade Zone Authority, theRAK Investment Authority and the Investment and DevelopmentOffice. The emirate’s business-friendly policies have seen aninflux of foreign investment in and outside of free trade areas.RAK’s young population is creating the need for moreresidential space. The emirate’s population is expected torise from around 300,000 to 750,000 by the year 2020.The government has established two property developmentcompanies: RAK Properties and Rakeen, to encourage buildingand investment in both the real estate and tourism sectors.Considerable effort is being directed towards the public sectorand social infrastructure, such as new schools, hospitals andresearch centres.Fun time in RAKRas Al Khaimah conducts the annual Ras Al Khaimah HalfMarathon. Registered with the International Association ofAthletics Federations (IAAF), the race calls for attention fromleading athletes and global sports media placing RAK at aninternational pedestal. One must get a glimpse of the UAE AwafiFestival, an annual desert event celebrating Arab culture. Themain attraction here is the dramatic sand dune drives and manyother interesting sites like a heritage village with traditionalfood and dance as well as shops for food and souvenirs. For thechildren, a petting zoo and plenty games are available. RAK alsoholds its own Terry Fox Run to raise money for cancer research.
36Fujairah, known as the ‘Jewel of Arabia’ possesses spectacular views of the HajjarMountains, white sandy beaches, and lush green landscapes filled with palm trees. Thedramatic mountain scenery delivers a stunning backdrop to the glorious blue ArabianSea and pristine stretches of beach. It is the only emirate that has a mountainous terrainand has a higher than average yearly rainfall, allowing agriculture to take place amongstthe sand. The government of this 130,000-populated emirate is actively promotingthe ongoing development of Fujairah as a tourist destination. The Fujairah Tourism &Antiquities Authority (FTB), established since 1997, works at developing and promotingtourism, and to utilise the various natural and cultural attractions.Fujairah Overview
Apart from a visit to KhorKalba, with its beautiful wide openbeaches, bird life and a view of families enjoying a nice picnic,the town of Fujairah is just splendid to gaze at, during thedusk. When the sun sets behind sand dunes, the sky glowswith heavenly beauty manifesting a sight that you have alwaysimagined. About 30 kilometres before Fujairah on the roadfrom Dhaid, you’ll drive through Masafi’s famous Souq Al-Juma(Friday Market) which is open everyday from 8am to 10pm andis abound with rugs, fruit, vegetables, household goods andsouvenirs.This emirate is also a paradise for water sports enthusiasts.The warm crystal water here makes it a perfect spot for divers,snorkelers and fishers. Apart from that, visitors can laze bythe pool or on the beach at the many hotel resorts aroundKhorFakkan and Badiyah.As far as the local industry is concerned, it consists ofcement, stone crushing and mining as well as an increase inconstruction activity. The federal government employs most ofthe local workforce with many working in the service sector.The free zones have also flourished as full foreign ownershipis allowed. H.H Sheikh Saleh Al Sharqi, younger brother tothe ruler, is widely recognised as the driving force behind thecommercialisation of the economy.Freedom of BusinessFujairah, the only emirate on the East Coast, has seen growthbut traditionally relies on fishing and agriculture. While theemirate has evolved into one of the world’s leading oil-bunkeringports, it also has several important industries including cement,stone and mining. In the recent years, there has also been amajor progress in construction industry and tourism, while thestandard of living in the emirate remains high. However, thebusiness potential of Fujairah remains relatively unexploitedoffering unique investment and business opportunities for bothdomestic and international investors and entrepreneurs.The Port of Fujairah next to the Free Zone enables investorsand entrepreneurs to fully take advantage of the emirate’s uniquestrategic location as the available shipping services provideaccess to all Arabian Gulf ports as well as all major ports in theRed Sea, India, Iran and Pakistan, not to mention at least weeklyservices to Europe, Far East and North America. Fujairah is alsohome to the Fujairah International Airport, the only airport onthe UAE’s East Coast and Northern Oman. The airport’s closeproximity to the Port of Fujairah makes it ideal for sea-air cargoand logistics. In addition, both the port and airport are close tothe Free Zone of Fujairah offering 100 percent tax exemption,100 percent capital and profits repatriation, 100 percent foreignownership and variety of other investment and business friendlypolicies and facilities.The emirate lacks the oil and gas deposits that benefitedAbu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, and instead has focused ondeveloping tourism and industry. While industry has relied onoil bunkering and other marine services that take advantage ofFujairah’s prime location outside the Strait of Hormuz, the touristtrade is almost entirely reliant on guests arriving by road fromother emirates. A new federal motorway between Fujairah andDubai promises to peel 45 minutes off travel times and boost thetourism, property and air cargo sectors. This will definitely attractmore trade with established business communities in Dubai aswell as improve real estate.
38UAE EducationNo more is it a privilege. It’s a necessity, a must-have, a must-do and most definitely amust-be. Education encompasses the essence of all the hopes, ambitions, and dreams thatwe’ve envisioned for the nation in the years to come. To turn this vision into a reality, UAEhas embarked on a sweeping journey to imbibe in its citizens a thirst for knowledge anddevelop leaders for a better and brighter tomorrow.Local UniversitiesThe first step in the sweeping journey to an enlightened futureis rooted in the country’s belief that every citizen of the nation isprepped by its educational institutions to compete and thrive in aglobal environment.Acknowledging the growing emphasis on education, almost11,532 Emirati students were enrolled at local universities in thefall of 2011-2012. “ This is the largest group of freshmen studentsin the history of UAE higher education institutions,” said SheikhNahyan, UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.Close to 5,533 enrolled in the Higher College of Technology(HCT), with 3,737 enrolling in the United Arab Emirates University(UAEU) and 2,272 set to join Zayed University (ZU). Basing theirfoundations on the pillars of innovation, inspiration and education,all three government backed institutions strive to provide citizenswith the highest standards of education and offer them a future ofsecurity and progress.Local universities are currently providing over 200 majors andscientific programmes that cover all knowledge fields to placeEmirati’s on a level playing field with students coming from majoruniversities across the globe.Zayed University, founded for UAE National women in 1998, withcampuses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, today educates more than7,000 male and female students from 19 countries providing themwith the opportunity to broaden horizons in various fields includinggovernment studies, arts, business, media and IT.Similarly, the United Arab Emirates University, established in1976 has expanded from an original four departments to thecurrent nine faculties. As of 2011, 650 faculty members of theUAEU offer over 12,000 students; graduate, postgraduate, PhDand Continuing Education Programmes in a variety of fieldsincluding Business and Economics, Engineering, IT, Food andAgriculture, Humanities and Social Sciences, Law and Medical andHealth Sciences.Last but not the least, the system of the Higher Collegesof Technology, founded in 1988, the largest higher educationinstitution in the UAE is currently educating more than 19,000students across 17 campuses in the UAE. With almost 2000 facultymembers, HCT offers 90 different, English-taught programmesin Applied Communications, Business, Engineering, InformationTechnology (IT), Health Sciences and Education at various levels.The Ministry of Education has adopted strategy “Education2020,” a series of five-year plans designed to introduce advancededucation techniques, improve skills, and focus on the self-learning abilities of students.International FranchisesHome to a wide expatriate population, the UAE is reinforcingits multicultural outlook by opening doors to several reputeduniversities from across the globe by encouraging them toestablish branches in the country, widening horizons in theeducation sector.Zayed University, Abu Dhabi Campus
39Private universities in Dubai and Sharjah have reportedan overall increase in their undergraduate student enrolmentnumbers at the start of the 2011-12 academic year. Variousreputed universities from India, Pakistan, America, Europe,Australia, Russia and Philippines have established educationalfranchises, hoping to provide quality education to citizens andexpats residing in country. The Dubai International AcademicCity (DIAC), education cluster of TECOM Investments has alonereported an approximate increase of 15 percent on total studentnumbers.To cater to the growing student and industry demand, privateuniversities have also increased the number and type of coursesbeing offered to students. The institution reporting the highestleap in its new undergraduate student intake is one of UK’s leadinguniversities, Heriot-Watt University whose Dubai campus hasreported an approximate increase of 40 percent. The institutionhas recently moved to its own campus and has introduced in total,nine undergraduate and postgraduate courses into its curriculumthis year.Next in line for universities with the highest enrolmentnumbers are India’s Manipal University and London’s MiddlesexUniversity. Both institutions have experienced an approximategrowth of 30 percent for new students. Keeping with the trendof introducing new courses, Middlesex has introduced an MBAwith five specialisations, a postgraduate programmeme in PublicHealth, another one in Human resources and labour relations,and a coming Master’s law degree next autumn, to add to itspresent range of courses. Manipal also recently introduced aDoctoral programmeme in biotechnology and has moved to itsown 750,000 square foot campus as of September 2011. Outgoingpresident of the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD),Professor Rob Whelan also reported an expected 17 percentgrowth. The leading Australian University also announced theintroduction of master’s degree courses in international studiesand media and communications as well as a Bachelors inEngineering, all accredited by the Ministry of Higher Educationand Scientific Research. In addition, the American University ofSharjah (AUS) and the Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai(RIT) expect their new enrolment numbers to increase between15 and 20 percent. RIT is also preparing to move to its owncampus.Moreover, AUS has launched an undergraduate programmemefor industrial engineering and is considering the introductionof postgraduate degrees in architecture and fine arts. Anewcomer to DIAC, Amity University, tops the list with most newprogrammemes introduced onto the market as it offers studentsThe University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) is one of the UAE’s oldest and most prestigious universities. Established in1993 by the University of Wollongong in Australia, currently ranked in the leading universities in the world.
40undergraduate degrees in the niche fields of nanotechnology,aerospace engineering, nuclear science and technology, solar andalternative energy and forensic science. Recognising the needfor localised courses, the Canadian University of Dubai recentlylaunched a MBA in Islamic Banking at the Najah Education andCareers exhibition in Abu Dhabi last October.All the above mentioned universities are eminent institutionsand have adapted themselves to meet the needs of UAE’spopulation. The aim is to allow students to build a globalperspective by offering internationally accredited courses that willequip them to survive in a globally competitive environment.Dubai International Academic CityDubai International Academic City (DIAC) the world’s only FreeZone dedicated to Higher Education has been developing theregion’s talent pool and adding to its knowledge base since itsestablishment in 2007.Dr. Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director, Dubai Knowledge Villageand Dubai International Academic City, and member of TECOMInvestments Education Cluster said, “The formation of DubaiInternational Academic City was the result of an unprecedenteddemand for higher education from both regional and expatriatestudents in Dubai. Incidentally, a greater demand rose out of thetremendous growth of Dubai Knowledge Village, the precursorto DIAC, which facilitated the emirate as a whole to attractrenowned educational institutions from around the world.”Spreading knowledge across an 18 million sq ft. campus,the community with state-of-the-art modern facilities hostsrenowned academic institutions from Britain, Unites States,Australia, India, Pakistan, Europe, UAE and Menasa. In 2010,DIAC hosted 53 percent of the universities in the UAE and 23.5percent of the universities in the GCC. Above 20,000 studentsfrom 137 nationalities have access to over 300 Higher Educationprogrammemes. Diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduatecourses allow students to choose from several fields such asEngineering, IT, Mass Communication, Healthcare, BusinessManagement, Fashion and Interior Design opening for them aworld of opportunities.Apart from academic offerings, the campus also offersstudents a wholesome college experience by offering leisureactivities, including pool tables, table tennis, foosball, air hockey,and video games. Popularly called the “Recreation room”, thefacility also features many indoor events like photographyexhibitions, talent shows, fashion shows and gamingcompetitions.In addition, DIAC students are supported by the StudentHub Team that organises social, cultural and sporting events.DIAC also supports AIESEC, the world’s largest non-political,independent, non-profit organisation run by students who areinterested in world issues, leadership and management. Itserves as an international platform for the youth to discover anddevelop their potential and build personal networks for a strongerfuture.Its motto “We believe in the journey, not the destination” iswell reflected in its vision to be a reputed, sought-after and wellrenowned education hub in the UAE.Knowledge VillageSpread across a picturesque one km long campus in the heart ofDubai, Dubai Knowledge Village the world’s only Free Zone areadedicated to Human Resource Management aims to develop theregion’s talent band and establish UAE as a knowledge-driveneconomy.Established in 2003, the community serves as a uniquehub for the best selection of Human Resource Management,Consultation, Training and Personal Developmentprogrammemes. With over 450 business partners, DKV aims toestablish itself as both a trusted business partner and a centre ofexcellence for proficient development. Some of the most famousuniversities from Belgium, Canada, Iran, India, Pakistan, Ireland,UK, Russia and Australia have established a separate branch inDubai Knowledge Village.Dr. Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director, Dubai Knowledge Villageand Dubai International Academic City, and member of TECOMInvestments Education Cluster said, “In line with the UAE’svision to create a knowledge-based economy, Dubai KnowledgeVillage aims to develop the region’s talent pool through settingup training and development institutions that focus on humanresource management, consultancy and personal development.”Today, a large number of DKV business partners have set uptraining centers, institutes and HR agencies to sustain and securetheir market share in this booming sector. DKV offers state-of-the-art campus facilities including a 330 seat auditorium, fullyequipped meeting rooms, 24-hour security monitored buildingsand campus, ample parking space, a food court, a 24-hourconvenience store and wireless Internet services.The growing demand for human capital influenced by Dubai’seconomic strategies is one of the key factors that contributes tothe zone’s success.
41School EducationThe difference between right and wrong, good and bad, selfishand selfless, respect and disrespect is all imbibed in children atan age when they start attending school. The values imparted tothem by their teachers are upheld throughout their life, which iswhy the choice of school is a critical decision in the lives of parentsraising young children.As President His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan,founder of the UAE said, “The greatest use that can be madeof wealth is to invest it in creating generations of educated andtrained people.”Currently valued at USD 2.8 billion with private sectorenrollment growing at 10 percent, the UAE is among the GCC’slargest education sectors. The country offers private and public,primary and secondary education for citizens and expats to choosefrom. Most of the secondary schools require students to takestandardised tests such as Advanced Placement, SAT, IB Diploma,IGCSE, GCE Advanced level or CBSE at the end of which they areawarded either a Secondary School Leaving Certificate or TechnicalSecondary Diploma.To ensure that educational opportunities and experiences arenot limited to those with financial blessings, the country offersfree primary and secondary education to all its nationals andmakes it compulsory for boys and girls from the age of 5 to 15to be adequately learned. To cater to the extensive expatriatepopulation, several reputed private schools are also in place tooffer a wide range of curriculums including those from America,Britain, France, Germany, India, Pakistan, Philippines and Russia.GEMS education, a forerunner in the private education sectorin the UAE, is currently running 35 educational institutions withhopes of expansion in the near future. Curriculums require allstudents to take Arabic language classes and Muslim students areencouraged to take Islamic studies as well.Although, the medium of instruction in public schools is Arabic,the growing demand for global competence has put specialemphasis on English as a second language to ensure that studentsare fully prepared to attend universities around the world andcompete in the global marketplace. In addition, rote instructionis being replaced with more interactive forms of learning withthe hope of turning education into an enjoyable experience. TheAbu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), Dubai Education Council(DEC) and UAE Ministry of Education accomplish this and more,by developing reform activities, auditing schools and consistentlymonitoring and developing professional qualifications of teachers,at the same time making sure that local traditions, principles andthe cultural identity of the UAE is sustained.DID YOU KNOW?1. 11,532 - Emirati students enrolled at local universities inthe fall of 2011-20122. 15 percent increase in student numbers for DubaiInternational Academic City3. 21,000 students enrolled at Dubai International AcademicCity and Dubai Knowledge Village (as of September 2011)4. Dh 200m spent on a new campus recently completed forHeriot-Watt University Dubai5. Dh 120m spent on a new recently completed for ManipalUniversity Dubai6. Dh 90m spent on a new School of Business andManagement recently opened at AUS7. USD 2.8 billion – Current value of UAE’s education sector8. Primary and secondary education - Free for all UAEnationals in public institutions9. Number of schools in Dubai as of 2011 sums upto 227,with 79 government schools and 48 private institutions10. Literacy rate of the UAE youth in 2010 - 94 percent malesand 97 percent females
42UAE AttractionsAccording to statistics from Visa, the world’s leading payment solutions provider, 2010 wasthe year of recovery for the tourism sector in the UAE. Of the total spend on Visa cardsby international visitors, USD 1.9bn came from just 10 markets with the British being thetop spenders by far, contributing over USD 441.2 million electronically towards the UAEeconomy in a year. Followed by American and Russian visitors, that spend USD 302.9 andUSD 238.1m respectively, these figures come as no surprise as the country has voted as thefavourite summer getaway.Among the many records held by UAE for its extravagant tourism offering, let’s not forgetthese includes an indoor snow park, a Ferrari theme park, a scenic view from the top ofthe world and so much more. These top tourist spots cannot be missed and are writingcontemporary history parallel to country’s striking past.Ski DubaiA fan of superlatives, the Emirate of Dubai has set newbenchmarks for the global recreation industry after the creationof the world’s largest indoor snow park in November of 2005 atthe centrally located Mall of the Emirates. An obvious favouriteof the kids, the 22,500 square metres marvel offers even grown-ups the opportunity to enjoy childlike excitement and transcendbehavioural stereotypes associated with adulthoodSnowboarding offers you the chance to slide and glide overa 400-metre long run, and keeps the adrenalin high throughthe ‘Freestyle Zone’ designed specifically with jumps and rails toappease your adventurous side. If you’re not the adventuroustype, build a snowman, take a tour of the snow park or simplyenjoy the view over the Ski’s main slope. To make possible theseemingly impossible, is something the UAE thoroughly seems toenjoy. Visit www.skidxb.comAt The Top, Burj KhalifaThe view from descending airplanes was hard to match until theworld’s tallest tower opened doors for an unprecedented view ofmatchless scenery. “At the Top”, lets you experience the splendourof the world’s tallest building from your vantage point on level124.The visit begins in the reception area on the lower groundlevel of The Dubai Mall and aboard a 65-metre long travelator.As the exciting journey catches speed, in a vertical ascent tothe observation deck, the doors open, and floor-to-ceiling glasswalls provide a spectacular unobstructed 360-degree view of thecity, desert and ocean. By night, sparkling lights and stars addto the splendour and grandeur. Special telescopes provide virtualtime-travel visions of the scenes beyond and below. The open-airterrace offers another perspective of the sweeping views belowand you can stay as long as you like before making the returnjourney. Visit www.atthetop.ae
43Dubai AutodromeThe region’s first fully integrated motorsports facility, DubaiAutodrome, lets you experience the thrill of smouldering rubber,speeding steel and growling engines as you see the fastest driversin the world in action and feel the adrenalin of the Kartdrome firsthand. Located 25 minutes from central Dubai, Dubai Autodromeserves as an exciting destination for large crowds, especiallytourists.Officially inaugurated in October 2004 when it hosted the finalround of the FIA GT Championship, Dubai Autodrome is designedto accommodate all types of motorsports events including thewell-known GP2 Asia, A1GP, and the Dunlop 24H enduranceI-Fly, DubaiDreamt of flying ever since you were young? Live your dreamswith the World’s first double skydiving simulator, I-FLY. Locatedat Mirdiff City Center in Dubai and spread over an enormous773 square metres, the 10 metres vertical wind tunnel offers aonce in a lifetime opportunity to rise to new heights. It makesthe experience worthwhile by bringing together state-of-the-arttechnologies and one-on-one instructions about exciting skydivingtechniques.The 35-minute first I-FLY lesson allows you to learn the basicsand then gives a two-minute flight with a professional instructor.Complimentary skydive gear is also rented out to enable youto experience actual flight at one-tenth of the cost of a tandemjump but much longer free fall time. Safe for kids, challengingfor adults, exciting for teens and pragmatic for Skydivers, I-FLYfeatures something for everyone. Endless excitement and peakinganxiety balanced with utmost safety and crowning professionalismoffer visitors an unforgettable experience. Visit www.iflyme.comchampionship racing series. To ensure that no one isleft out, the Autodrome combines behind-the-wheel andclassroom instruction at the ‘Race and Driving centre’ fornovices and experienced drivers to develop better drivingabilities and lets them experience first hand karting at theKartDrome. Visit www.dubaiautodrome.com
44Ferarri World, Abu DhabiThe world’s first Ferrari theme park and largest attraction of its kind, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is an intense multi-sensory experienceand a must-visit adventure destination. Owned solely by the Government of Abu Dhabi, the park offers more than 20 Ferrari-inspiredrides, a wide variety of Italian delicacies, the largest Ferrari store in the world and unique shopping experiences in a marvellouslydesigned space. Located at the fork between Europe, Asia and Africa; Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s fastest growing tourist attractionsis as an ideal location for ‘Ferrari World’.The park’s iconic sleek red roof, inspired by the classic double curve side profile of the Ferrari GT body, spans 200,000 squaremetres, hauling the largest Ferrari logo ever created. Home to the world’s fastest roller coaster has the same force one would feeldriving in an F1 car and breaking at maximum speed. Visit www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com
45Iceland RAKThe Iceland Water Park is part of the first offering of WOW RAK,a 120 acres family entertainment destination being developedin the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Officially inauguratedin September 2010, the 110,000 square metres facility isextensively themed as Penguin Home Land with a day capacity ofup to 15,000 guests. Besides traditional water park attractions,Ice land offers other unique amusements such as the PenguinFalls, World’s Largest Manmade Water fall, Rocky Polar Mountainswith the largest collection of water slides, Penguin Bay World’slargest Rain Dance Pool, Aqua Soccer, Coral Isle Snorkelling Pooland other thrilling experiences at the Arctic Wave Pool and Kidscove for little ones. Visit www.icelandwaterpark.comDubai DolphinariumExpect the unexpected at Dubai Dolphinarium, a part of DubaiMarine World located at Creek Park where one of the world’smost intelligent sea mammals, entertains visitors from acrossthe world. The 5,000 square metre marine facility is the first andlargest, fully air conditioned indoor dolphinarium in the MiddleEast. It is home to five Pacific and Black Sea bottlenose dolphinsand four northern fur seals that form part of the spectacular LiveDolphin and Seal show. A real crowd puller, this dolphinariumstrikes the perfect balance between education, entertainmentand environmental conservation. Interactive lessons enlightenchildren about the beauty of marine life and importance ofmarine conservation.Annually, the facility is visited by a record-breaking numberof 140,000 children. Dubai Dolphinarium also offers visitorsthe unique opportunity to swim with the dolphins and havetheir photos taken to carry home a wonderful snapshot of theirexperience. Since its opening in 2008, the dolphinarium has beenvisited by over half a million guests and visitors. Visit www.dubaidolphinarium.ae
Chapter 2Hotels & Resorts
50Hotels&ResortsPrestigious partnershipA brainchild of Giorgio Armani in collaboration with Emaar Properties, a one-of-kind hotel experience that issophisticated with subdued elegance, the Armani Hotel Dubai occupies Concourse Level to Level 8 and Levels 38and 39 of Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest tower in the world.It is well known that every aspect of the guest experience has been crafted and envisaged by the manhimself. The hotel is the manifestation of the designer’s long-held desire to bring his style of life to otherpeople who love to be immersed in an atmosphere that defines luxury and chic. With the highest standardsof excellence, the “Stay with Armani” ideology caters to those who wish to indulge in a ‘home-away from-home’ experience.Sophistication personifiedThe UAE hospitality industry is expecting a real boom with its target of 100,000 rooms for15 million visitors by the year 2015. Currently, there are over 33,731 rooms in the regionwith annual occupancy rate of 85 percent. Among these, a special 160 rooms and suitesare designed by celebrated Italian designer Giorgio Armani. Pushing the envelope andsetting a new benchmark in luxury hospitality is the renowned Armani Hotel in Dubai.
51Fashionable and classyWith unmatched views of the city, the hotel is ideallylocated near The Dubai Mall, the world’s largestshopping mall that had 54 million visitors in 2011 alone.The hotel boasts 160 suites and guest rooms with theculture of warm Italian-style hospitality ingrained inthe services. The elements of design of each roomrange from Eramosa stone floors to zebrawood panels,customised furnishings and hotel amenities offering thepersonal touch of the Armani name.In addition to the luxurious accommodation facilitiesoffered by the Armani Hotel Dubai, the dining sectionensures an exquisite and varied choices of cuisine,with seven different restaurants and fine dining areasto choose from. Not only did Armani Hotel Dubai makeit on the Condé Nast Traveller’s Hot List 2011 but alsoother accolades include being judged the ‘Best BusinessHotel’ and Armani/Amal, the in-house Indian restaurant,awarded the ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurant’ at the GulfConnoisseur Awards 2010.Signature TakeawaysThe retail section of the Armani Hotel Dubai offers avaried selection of high-end products and savouriesto suit your personal preferences and you can takehome a part of the Armani lifestyle for your lovedones. Handmade chocolates, biscotti and other edibledelights can be purchased at Armani/Dolci, the luxuryconfectionary. A floral boutique called Armani/Fiorioffers fresh flower arrangements and centrepiecesdesigned by Giorgio Armani. Haute-couture outletArmani/Galleria holds a vast collection of watches,handbags, jewellery and perfumes, all from the Houseof Armani.Armani to your sensesSaving the best for the last, the highlight of theArmani journey is the Armani/SPA, which embodiesthe foundations of the Armani brand. The threeSPA therapies have been designed specifically toaccomplish different goals of personal wellness.These include MU, FLUIDITÀ and LIBERTÀ. MU isdesigned to provide relaxation and stillness, FLUIDITÀTel + 971 4 8883888www.dubai.armanihotels.comenhances vitality and restores internal balance, andLIBERTÀ encourages freedom of movement andrelease of physical pain. The Armani/SPA offerstailor-made spa treatments to each guest, as well aspersonal fitness and terme facilities. With its uniquecombination of stunning architecture, minimalistelegance and distinctive hospitality, the ArmaniHotel Dubai has become a venue to host events withpanache. The hotel employs a team of committedevent professionals to design events, which best suitthe needs and demands of the client. An event at thehotel would comprise of state-of-the art audio-visuals,thoughtful floral centrepieces and gastronomic relishesmaking your time at the Armani unforgettable.Giorgio Armani, celebrated Italian fashion designer and the mastermindbehind the legacy of Armani Hotels and Resorts. Here with a miniaturecrystal replica of the Burj Khalifa.Amidst top-notch architecture and the buzzing Downtown Dubai, serenitywithin the Armani Hotel is magnetic and luring. Be ready to be spellboundby minimalist elegance and meticulous arrangements, cornerstones ofthe Armani signature, in addition to palatable world cuisines.Chic colours, smooth textures and bespoke ambience merge togetherimpeccably to transport the body, mind and soul to a sublime worldwhere hospitality takes inspiration from fashion and excellence drivesservice. Spread across 40,000 square metres, the Armani is a stalwartsymbolic of Dubai’s refined guest experience.
52Hotels&ResortsIn January 2010, Banyan Tree Al Wadi, opened doorsestablishing a new category in the hospitality industryby launching the first-of-a-kind desert resort in the UAE.Contrary to the perception of the desert being a habitatof scarce, BT has turned the tables to provide a luxuryindulgence paradise unparalleled. Located at Al Hamrain the northern emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, this exquisiteretreat is built on 100 hectares of desert plains with themajestic Al Hajjar Mountains as a backdrop.Sanctuary for the sensesLooking out on a striking vista of serene landscapes set across sapphire waters,reclusive at a beachfront villa you can witness a beautiful sunset and experiencehealing power of nature. This is no Utopian fabrication but the reality at theBanyan Tree Al Wadi RAK, a resort that lets you unwind in the most phenomenalyet eco-friendly ways.Famous for their spa treatments, Al Wadi features 10 tented treatmentpavilions. As a fact among all Banyan Tree Resorts, every therapist istrained at the Banyan Tree Spa Academy in Phuket to ensure expertisein wellness of refined kind.
53Realm of romanceJust a mere 45-minute drive away from Dubai, it is soonbecoming a hotspot for romantic weekends away fromthe strings of the city. The interface between the desertand the property has been intended to be as seamlessas possible, with the motive of providing guests withthe experience of staying in the desert. This waterfrontproperty houses about 101 tented villas and 32 privatevillas and has access to a championship 18-hole golfcourse.Symbiotic harmonyThe pool villas are deliberately devised on floors amidsand dunes to let you relish the natural atmosphere andto preserve vegetation of the desert. One distinct featureabout the RAK property is that it is the first BanyanTree property lodging its own nature reserve, horseand camel stables, water home, bird hide and falconsanctuary which occupies 60 percent of the scenario.Symbolic of the brand philosophies of BT, embracingthe natural eccentricities of a place and welcoming localculture is the ideal way to co-exist in symbiotic harmonywith your surroundings.One can see tributes to the Arabian heritage ofthe region, from the tented architecture inspired byBedouin settlements, to customary mud brick villaswhere meticulous details in Arabic woodwork, stylisedembroidered patterns and obscure carvings in arabesquewill reach for the transcendental.Tel +971 7 2067777www.banyantree.comMulti-faceted feastThe prime restaurant of Banyan Tree Al Wadi is situatedbeside the beach right next to the infinity pool where themenu is inspired from the sea and infuses local flavourswith international cuisine. You can enjoy a leisurely mealwith a fine selection of Asian and European flavours attwo major diners. Al Waha, known for serving Arabic andinternational food and Saffron, which specialises in Thaicuisine, are two places for your sensational gastronomicexperience while your eyes feast on the site ArabianGazelle and Oryx assembled at a nearby watering hole.Adventures of ArabiaHome to local desert animals such as gazelles, camelsand oryxes, providing guests with a priceless opportunityto closely interact with the stupendous Arabian wildlifewill for long remain a luxury no other hotel can offer.For the pursuit of adventure, participate in local Arabiansports like falconry, desert safaris, sand boarding,archery sessions and become aware about the flora andfauna. In addition, thrill seekers are encouraged to optfor snorkelling and diving among whale sharks, turtlesand occasionally dolphins, for a splendid experience.The resort provides integrated facilities such as a private pool and sunbathing deck and personal space on the beach, which are linked toyour villa. Moreover, the resort has garnered attention for its signatureAsian-inspired spa treatments conducting in calming environments.FACT CHECK• With humble beginning as a single boutiqueresort in Phuket, Thailand in 1994, BT has nowsuccessfully emerged as prestigious brand on globalhospitality-scape. Receiving of over 300 awardsfor its superb platter of romantic getaways, thisconglomerate is spread across China, Thailand, theIndian Ocean, Mexico, Indonesia and the MiddleEast.• After Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the UAE hospitalityindustry has as many as 14 upscale developmentscurrently in Ras Al Khaimah. The emirate haspresented itself as a lucrative opportunity forinternational hotel chains.
Where life happensThe hospitality industry in the UAE is expecting a real boom with its target of 100,000rooms for 15 million annual visitors by 2015. Spearheading this revolution is TheAddress Hotels + Resorts, the five star premium brand launched by Emaar HospitalityGroup. A swanky twist to your otherwise conventional five-star relishes, The AddressDowntown Dubai is the premium property of the group that goes beyond just offering awonderful guest experience.With the brand philosophy of ‘Where Life Happens’,The Address Hotels + Resorts properties are situatedin the most vibrant locations and cater to corporate,leisure, and group travellers. This modern brand focuseson a ‘one size fits one’ strategy where excellence ispersonalised and prioritised.Launched in 2008, The Address Downtown Dubai isthe brand’s flagship hotel; a place where cool meetswarmth and style meets sophistication, with easy accessThe Address Downtown Dubai overlooking the mesmerizing Dubai Fountain. 54to Dubai’s biggest landmarks and tourist spots. Locatedin Downtown Dubai, billed as ‘The Centre of Now,’ thehotel features 196 rooms and 626 serviced residencesoffering spectacular views of Burj Khalifa, the world’stallest building, The Old Town and The Dubai Fountain,the world’s tallest performing fountain, this is hospitalityin its most opulent avatar.“The hospitality and leisure business of Emaar hasestablished its strong credentials in its primary market ofHotels&Resorts
55Dubai with record occupancy levels and by contributingsignificantly to the Group’s recurring revenue streams,”says Mr Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of EmaarProperties. He added: “The Address Hotels + Resortshas redefined the concepts of hotel management andoperation through its ‘one size fits one’ approach, whichis gaining international acceptance. Our global expansionplans remain testament to the success of a Dubai-basedbrand, making strong strides internationally.”“The Address Downtown Dubai has set a distinct nicheboth in the business and leisure hospitality segments. Thehotel is now seen as a first-choice for visitors to Dubaiand we continue to welcome guests from new territories.We have strengthened our offerings and look forward toadding more to the hotel’s existing portfolio of world-classrestaurants and lounges,” says Philippe Georges Zuber,General Manager of The Address Downtown Dubai.UAE abounds with five-star spas that offer varyingversions of an escape to the land of bliss and tranquillity.The spa is a focal point of The Address Downtown Dubaiexperience, offering serenity amidst the hustle andbustle of the city. Awarded the ‘1st Runner Up for theBest Signature Facial Treatment’ at the Middle East SpaAwards at The Hotel Show in 2011, it encompasses 11treatment rooms and relaxation areas. The steam, saunaand ice cave ensure an indulgence that knows no rival.The hotel pampers guests with several food andbeverage choices including the upbeat and sophisticatedChinese restaurant, Hukama and Fazaris, an all-daydining restaurant offering a blend of Japanese, Asian,Indian, Arabian and Mediterranean cuisine. Those wholike to socialise in trendy and stylish ambiances canselect from the vibrant Latin-inspired Calabar loungeor the panoramic sky lounge, Neos, located on the63rd floor. The hotel recently launched a modern CigarLounge with the convenience of al fresco seating.According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, thetotal direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP inGCC countries is expected to reach USD 44 billion in thecoming years. In the United Arab Emirates, this figure isexpected to hit USD 19.9 billion in 2012, compared withACCOLADES GALOREThe Address Downtown Dubai has won severalaccolades including Best Hotel in The World at GlobalTraveler Awards US 2011, Condé Nast Reader’sTravel Award for ‘Oversees Business Hotel’ 2011,‘Best Serviced Residences in Middle East’ at BusinessTraveller Magazine Awards 2011, and ‘UAE’s LeadingBusiness Hotel’ at World Travel Awards 2011, amongothers. It also won the Best New Hotel at the ArabianHotel Investment Conference in 2009, Hotel BusinessLounge of the Year in Commercial Interior DesignAwards in 2008 and was part of the Conde NastTraveller Hot List in 2009.USD 16.6 billion in 2009. The Address Hotels + Resortsis poised to draw on the robust growth in tourism trafficto Dubai.With plenty room for globetrotters, businessmen andfamilies, currently, The Address Hotels + Resorts ownsand operates five properties in Dubai - The AddressDowntown Dubai, The Address Dubai Mall, The AddressDubai Marina, The Address Montgomerie Dubai, a premiumgolf retreat, and The Palace - The Old Town. Last year, TheAddress Hotels + Resorts recorded an average occupancyof 83 percent across its various properties, contributingsignificantly to Dubai’s hospitality sector’s growth.Tel +971 4 4368888www.theaddress.comDowntown Dubai: the centre of now
56Hotels&ResortsNestled in the mountainsAbout 115 kilometres south of Dubai, with a picturesque view of the majestic HajarMountains, the rural town of Hatta will give you a fascinating glimpse into the UAE’shistorical past. Origins of this village can be traced back 2000-3000 years. Now a touristhotspot with deluxe hospitality venues like the Hatta Fort Hotel, this is a getaway nestledin the mountains for visitors and residents of the UAEHatta Fort Hotel is an award winning property, providing chalet – style comfort and hospitality for over three decades.As the nation celebrates 40 years of success, Hatta Fort Hotel has reiterated its hallmark as a refined leisure,relaxation and comfort destination.
57Sustainable and vibrantTourism in the Islamic world has grown in leaps andbounds thanks to multilateral cooperation betweenprivate hotels and government authorities as seenincreasingly in the UAE Dubai Municipality has investedan estimated USD4.8 million in greening projectsin Hatta to create new possibilities of vibrant andsustainable growth in an increasingly competitiveindustry which, as we see, is raising economies out ofthe global downturn.Hatta Fort Hotel has left no stone unturned to offerluring business, holiday and tour packages to guestsfrom Arab and Islamic countries. Boasting a collectionof 50 deluxe villas, suites and rooms; a varied choiceof entertainment options such as tennis, mini golf andarchery; and breathtaking mountain scenery views, thehotel’s popularity is unmatched due its advantageouslocation and closeness to Emirati roots.A place that nurturesAccording to beloved General Manager Sergio Magnaldi,“As a Dubai and UAE getaway destination for so manyyears, there are many expatriate and UAE nationalfamilies whose children have enjoyed playing in the hotelgrounds. We also have groups of friends stopping overfor lunch after camping in the surrounding areas.”After the rave reviews post refurbishing in 2007, thehotel celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2011 and theinflux of occupants only continues to soar. Apart fromthe varied entertainment options, the hotel also offerstemperature-regulated swimming pools, a clubhouse anda beauty centre.One of the hotel’s main assets is, of course, its staff.From the front door on arrival, to room service, foodand beverage staff and even the entertainers, all are tobe congratulated for providing efficient and courteousservice with a genuine interest in providing the perfect‘Hatta Experience’.Tel +971 4 firstname.lastname@example.orgHatta Fort Hotel has the Gazebo Pool and the unique rock pool with a thrilling waterfall. Both pools are temperature controlled and offerfabulous views of the surrounding Hajar Mountains.Deluxe villas, suites and rooms with breathtaking mountain sceneryviews, the hotel’s award winning service is unmatched due itsadvantageous location and Emirati influences in hospitality.Guaranteed excellenceIt is no surprise that Hatta Fort Hotel was awarded aCertificate of Excellence in 2011 by TripAdvisor, theworld’s most trusted travel advice website. This award,reserved for establishments who constantly excel incustomer service, has proven that Hatta Fort Hotelmaintains impeccable hospitality standards.David Thomson, Regional General Manager of JebelAli International Hotels, added, “Hatta Fort Hotel hasalways exceeded customer expectations. Our guests’experiences are of the utmost importance and to receivethis honour based on their feedback is a real measure ofexceptional loyalty to our brand.”The little ones will find plenty to do at the Hatta Fort Hotel. From minigolf, seasonal swimming lessons and a host of fun-filled activitiessuch as face painting, crayon drawing and sand painting on holidaysand special occasions.
58Hotels&ResortsA mere 5-minute drive from the Dubai World Trade Centre andDubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, two ofthe city’s premier business hubs, this modish hotel is located inthe heart of the city within the residential and corporate hub ofJumeirah on Dubai’s Al Mina Road. The property is near some keyaccess points including Sheikh Zayed Road, Jumeirah Beach andPort Rashid.Luxurious journeyRamada Jumeirah is Dubai’s premier deluxe hotel, a perfect destination that has givenitself completely to the pleasures of impeccable hospitality. Offering maximum comfortand refinement of a genuine kind, complemented by unique dining and leisure facilities,this four-star hotel caters to business travellers and discerning holidaymakers who aredrawn to its strategic location.Ramada Jumeirah has mastered the art of exceeding your expectations from a four-star hotel. With its strategic location, the hotel is now a favourite of businessmenand travellers alike.Savour the exotic flavours of world famous cuisines and experience authentic dining in a vibrant, energetic and stylish setting.
59Complete packageManaged by Abjar Hotels International LLC, thehospitality arm of Al Mulla Group, Ramada Jumeirahis committed to excellence exceeding four-starstandards. The elegant suites and deluxe roomsare stylishly appointed and come with high speedinternet connectivity, access to a state-of-art healthclub and spa, a roof top swimming pool, a fullyequipped fitness centre and sun deck with beautifulviews. Spacious underground parking, efficientconcierge services and a regular shuttle bus toJumeirah Beach and shopping Malls offer additionalconvenience for its guests.Tel +971 4 7027000www.ramadajumeirah.aeLeisure and FitnessThe Spa offers two separate areas for ladies andgents, each having its own sauna, steam room, Jacuzziand massage room. A blend of diverse professionalmassages, beauty treatments and facials are madeavailable to heal and refresh you to look your best.The Hotel also offers a magnificent health clubwith a complete range of fitness equipment to meet allyour fitness, wellness and relaxation needs. In additionto the hotel’s numerous amenities, you will love theoutdoor temperature-controlled swimming pool underthe basking sun of Dubai, complemented by the pool baroffering light snacks and refreshing drinks.Distinctive spectrum of tempting foods, energeticsetting and superb service makes this a worthwhileexperience.ATRIUM a lobby lounge serving signaturehomemade pastries and cakes.CUISINES an all-day dining restaurant servingMediterranean and Internationally influenced cuisineswith the view of a live open kitchen featuring a LavaStone Grill.GINGER an Asian fusion restaurant, serves a newgeneration of South East Asian Cuisine fused with awestern ambience and vibrant yet minimalist setting.THE DOCKS a one-of-a-kind Scottish pub, servingbeer, Malt whiskey and Traditional Scottish snacks.MAGNUM a chic trendy boutique lounge bar servesinnovative cocktails aiming at setting a new standardfor upscale nightlife just after a busy day at work.Within well facilitated and fully operational boardrooms at Ramada Jumeirah, businessmen are always making presentations and taking decisions.Utilise the well facilitated health club to stress-bust between business and travel.A certain benefit for the business travellers as theygain assistance from a host of corporate facilities thatassure to meet all of their commercial requirementsincluding fully operational boardrooms and meetingrooms, in addition to a large onsite business centre.The hotel also offers a choice of elegant internationalcuisines, a pub and nightclub.Dining and EntertainmentThe variety in dining at this landmark of luxury is beyondordinary. Discover a world of cuisines and blissfuldelights whilst being taken on a unique culinary journey.Whether you prefer a casual stellar breakfast, a lightleisurely lunch, or an intimate dinner for two beneath atree, there is something to satisfy every agenda.
Chapter 3Entertainment& Nightlife
62Online powerhousefor entertainmentFor over 15 years, Viva Entertainment has brought the movies home and also branchedinto providing a comprehensive online buying platform in 2008 called AIDO.com.Adhering to local as well as international standards, their quality and scale of contentbear the testimony of their expertise as the largest online retail store in the Middle East.Entertainment&NightlifeAIDO.com started with a simple scheme of satisfying the demand for older movies classics, bestsellers, sagas, prequels and even the renownedIMDB Top 250 movies.The idea was triggered when, during the financialcrisis, most retail outlets had drastically cut down theirrange of movie titles to avoid maintaining inventory thusfocusing their business on new popular releases. AIDO.com became a one-stop-online-shop to fulfil the demandfor classics, bestsellers, sagas, prequels and even therenowned Internet Movie Database (IMDB) Top 250movies that were nearly impossible to find in retail stores.“AIDO aims to be the destination for customers to getanything related to books, movies, gaming and so on.An abbreviation for ‘All I Do Online’, AIDO is thebrainchild of Sanjay Amarnani and CEO PavanAmarnani. The advent of AIDO.com has shaken upthe entertainment retail industry in the Middle Easternregion. Challenging the “mall mentality” that ischaracteristic to this region, AIDO aims to revolutionizethe way consumers buy entertainment products. For thefirst time, shoppers in the Middle East no longer need tovisit a mall to buy movies and games and can order fromthe comfort of their homes
more than 40 percent of their online shoppers come backfor more.Special priority for UAE customersAIDO.com interacts with its target consumers throughsocial media tools like Twitter and Facebook, ensuringthere is complete possibility of critical feedback. Keepingahead of their game in the region, AIDO.com has alsointroduced the payment option of cash on delivery forcustomers in the UAE only; also ensuring the delivery ofgoods within 24 hours. With immense passion towardsthe sales of their exclusive products, and an expedientgood e- experience AIDO.com is thriving to become thebiggest online store for entertainment.www.AIDO.comComprising of more than 10,000 products, AIDO.com has anextensive collection of films, games, gadgets, books, accessories,gifts and novelties.We are aggressively expanding our product range and working in conjunction withconsumer electronics companies to provide the largest range at competitive pricesand compelling services that include fast delivery and manufacturer warranty”, saidCEO Pavan Amarnani.Consumer fulfilmentOffering more than 10,000 products, AIDO.com is not limited to an extensivecollection of films alone. Their products are now extending into games, gadgets,books, accessories, gifts and novelties. In order to meet customer expectations oftrust and transparency, they list the stock inventory of each of their products on theirsite. This ensures the delivery to customers all over the world in matter of days.With customers’ interests at the core its brand philosophy, AIDO.com isconstantly refining range, pricing, delivery time and support which is apparent as63"AIDO aims to be the destinationfor customers to get anythingrelated to books, movies, gamingand so on. We are aggressivelyexpanding our product range"Pavan Amarnani, CEO, AIDO.com
EntertainmentBig screen indulgenceDespite a plethora of entertainment hotspots, for many residents in the UAE, thebest night out still remains going to the movies. The recent past has seen the cinemaexperience transform with the advent of 3D technology. In addition, the best digitalsound, top-notch facilities and delectable food options makes Vox Cinemas the mostpopular movie entertainment provider.64VOX Cinemas elevates the movie experience to a new level with multiple screen options. One can choose between VIP seating such as the exclusive VOX Gold andVOX Max or traditional seating hall with a capacity of over 500 viewers.Catering to the country’s multiculturalaudience, Vox Cinemas is cinematic innovationat its best. Showcasing films from all over theworld, this leader in entertainment has 50screens in five locations across UAE. Strategicplacement in retail shopping malls provides theperfect opportunity, to visitors and residentsalike, to escape into a world of fantasy anddrama. One can head to Deira City Centre, Mallof the Emirates, Mirdif City Centre, Abu Dhabi’sMarina Mall and Ajman City Centre to indulge inwonders of the big screen.
65guests with bigger chairs, more leg room, personal, largertables, bigger arm rests and more padding in the seats.And as it is a big screen concept, screens are normally atleast 90 metres wide, all with digital sound. Vox Gold, is the brand’s premium indulgence conceptthat provides more luxury, bigger reclining chairs,electronic recliners to adjust chairs and table servicewhere you can order food while enjoying an actionpacked scene. The full-fledged café with scrumptiousburgers, wraps, fajitas, fresh juices, gelato ice creams,all packed in combo meals is worth a try.New Age technology4k digital projections is the brightest digital projection inthe movie entertainment market. This supreme facilityis 20 times the resolution of a standard screens andhence more engaging to the viewer. 4K digital projectionsystems have four times the number of pixels andresolution than any other digital cinema in the region,creating a more immersive and compelling experience.This enhanced resolution created a roar with summerblockbusters such as The Green Lantern, Harry Potterseries and action packed films such as the Transformers.Alternative ViewingVox cinemas provides guests with variety by offeringalternative content options including major sportingevents (World Cups, UEFA Champions Leaguematches, Wimbledon and much more), coupled withforthcoming concerts and children’s events, ensuringthat UAE residents are given a variety of entertainmentalternatives through their local VOX Cinema.When there’s so much of wholesome happy timeavailable at your nearest Vox Cinema look no where else.See your favourite movies the way they are meant tobe seen- bigger, better, and only at Vox because there’snothing like it.Spotting a new opportunityFormerly known as Cine Star Cinemas, Vox is now whollyowned by Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Ventures. “Majid AlFuttaim Ventures is an incredibly successful brand in theMiddle East. At its core, the group aims to bring localownership and local perspective to international businessopportunity,” said Cameron Mitchell, CEO Vox Cinemas.Before the brand makeover, this cinema businesswas a joint venture between MAF and an Australianshareholder. However, now with 100 percent localownership, MAF has ventured into a bigger businessopportunity to grow and develop the brand throughoutthe Middle East. Innovative and easyVox Cinemas have given moviegoers an exciting,comfortable and spellbinding experience. Theirinnovative ideas and convenience in booking tickets,elaborate seating arrangements and varied diningoptions have created a loyal group of customers. Youcan have your own Vox loyalty card made in a fewseconds and get bonus points every time you see a flick.No queuesCustomers can purchase tickets and choose seats online.Being the only cinema with an iPhone app, it’s now easy tofind out what’s playing at your nearest screen. The mobilewebsite allows Blackberry and other smart phone users toget a glimpse of movie trailers and reviews. Kiosks at thecinema have been arranged for people who wish to avoidthe queue and thunderous promotions on your bank creditcard are an icing on the cake.Comfort and pizzazzVox has multiple seating and cinematic options for all kindsof movie buffs. Couples, families, bunch of friends canchoose between traditional or VIP seating options. The VoxMax concept, which is a big screen experience, provideswww.voxcinemas.aeWhat’s a movie without scrumptious popcorn and some icy cola to go with? VOX has the most impressive food options to enhance your visit to thetheatre. For yummy slush to crunchy nachos, flock to VOX for a gala time.The world’s biggest blockbuster premiershappen at your nearest VOX Cinema.Get a glimpse of Potter magic or TomCruise’s death defying stunts on thebig screen.Log on to VOX’s Facebook page toparticipate in competitions and winfree tickets.
66UAE NightlifeThe nation is at par with global hotspots like London and New York boasting of ahappeningnightlife. With the glitterati descending, world-famous DJ’s spinninginternational music and award-winning bartenders, clubs and pubs, located inprominent hotels, get the multi-ethnic crowd coming out clad in chic wardrobes tosocialise and enjoy stunning life after dark. From dance clubs by the beach to designerpubs with a view, you only have to ask.360° at Jumeirah Beach HotelSet at the end of its very own wharf, 360 degreesis an iconic nightlife venue in Dubai. It’s combination of laid-back attitude, alfresco venue surrounded by water and pumping music make it a staple on the nightlife calendar.The helipad shaped outdoor setting boasts panoramic views of Dubai’s coastline, Burj Al Arab’s light show,Jumeirah Beach Hotel and vivid sunsets over the Arabian Ocean. The prime location overlooking the city’s everchanging coastline creates a buzzing vibe, where you can chill for hours to the cool house tunes playing until theearly morning. With a heady mix of shishas and cocktails it’s where the city folks are lounging from high noon tosundown.A must place for tourists and residents to spend an evening of revelry. Visit www.jumeirah.com
67Chi@ The LodgeChi @ The Lodge is popular for its four-roomed, multi-themed venue catering for a wide variety of clientele. Ithosts over 3000 people and offers ‘Miami Style’ outdoorclubbing experience like no other club in town.Onceinside, Chi@The Lodge presents varied design and musicchoices. Chi Garden is a superb R&B and house discovenue which takes you out of Dubai and straight intothe ambience of a Balinese themed garden. Openingonto the garden is Chi Club, exquisitely designed witha modish look based around whites and blues. Further,there’s Chi Red, a moody themed space with deep redlow-lighting and funky décor,which is home to good oldrock and indie tracks. Finally, the Chi Lounge is anotherall-white alternative where the music transforms yetagain to hip-hop, funk and soul.Visit www.chinightclubdubai.comBarasti, Le Meridien Mina Al SeyahiBarasti is an award winning beach venue full of excitement. With great music, a palatable menu, delicious cocktailsand an exotic atmosphere set by the sea, the lounge has become a must visit joint for social butterflies. Flop out ina comfy chair on the deck and let the breeze blow idly over you for a classic expat experience. Offering a variety ofcuisine, it’s the best place to dine with amazing views of the Gulf to a backdrop of live music. With a mellow mood inthe early afternoon and a buzzy evening, the real appeal of Barasti is the venue itself.Visitwww.lemeridien-minaseyahi.comAllure byCipriani, Yas IslandIndulge in an intriguing experience at Allure byCipriani located inside the Yas Yacht Club building.Overlooking the spectacular Yas Marina F1 Circuit,the venue is set amid the clear turquoise waters andmangroves of Yas Island. A global hospitality icon,Allure brings the Giuseppe Cipriani legacy to AbuDhabi in the most elegant and sophisticated way.This is a superb experience combininglavishdécorand vibrant lighting, high ceilings, stimulating visualdisplays with a state of the art sound system.Visit www.nightcluballure.com
68Cirque Du Soir, Fairmont HotelLondon’s most infamous celebrity nightspot, Cirque Du Soir arrived in Dubai in November 2011 at The FairmontHotel. The theatrical and circus-inspired club stands out on the club scene with a cast of stilt walkers, contortionists,tattooed dancers, jugglers, drummers, freak shows, burlesque dancers, sword swallowers, magicians and fire eaters,entertaining crowds all night long. Among live performing acrobats, a popcorn machine and a clown, Cirque certainlysets itself apart from its clubbing competitors. Visit www.cirquedusoir.comCavalli Club
69Nasimi, Atlantis The PalmPart bar, part restaurant, part club –Nasimi is an ultimateblend of entertainment with fashion and one of thesuperb social scenes in the region with quality dining.In addition to a unique beachfront location, Nasimiincludes fully-serviced beach facilities with sun loungers,cabanas and day beds, plus culinary delights fromSushi and Sashimi, Asian delights to Mediterraneanfavourites, perfectly paired with a great selection of NewWorld wines, cocktails and beers.As day becomes nightNasimi Beach is also a place to party, especially at theweekends when the city heads to this hotspot to danceon the sand. Visit www.atlantisthepalm.comTrilogy, Souk Madinat JumeirahAt the splendid Souk Madinat, with three levels of pureentertainment, the Ground Floor, the First Floor and TheRooftop, Trilogy hosts some of the top electronic musicacts in the world. With a line-up of popular DJ’s spinningcutting-edge music, this club is one of Dubai’s finestnightspots.The impressive interiors are a fusion ofMoroccan design and warehouse roughness, whichdefinitely makes this a place worth your time.Visit www.jumeirah.comCavalli ClubInspired by and launched in collaboration withcelebrated designer, Roberto Cavalli, this club is theepitome of all things fabulous. A glittering restaurant,lounge and club put together in the signature styleof Roberto Cavalli.Shadowed by a cloud of Swarovskicrystals, the club is divided between numerous smallerlounges outfitted in animal-print furnishings and lily-shaped dance floor attended by DJs spinning electronichouse and hip-hop.Visit www.cavalliclubdubai.com
Chapter 4Travel & Tourism
72Travel&TourismGood to goThe only Indian airline meriting a profit as of October 2011, IndiGo, is a recent additionto the aviation-scape in the Middle East. As the emerging leader among private, cost-efficient carriers, IndiGo is setting new norms for the aviation industry worldwide.At home grounds in India, with a market share of 21.3percent as of January 2012, the airline flies around1.5 million people a month and is projected to grow7.5 times by 2020. Running successfully since August2006 the airline has consistently affirmed that customersatisfaction is its topmost priority. Affordable farescoupled with quirky advertising campaigns have backedthe airline’s remarkable mindshare, but as almosteveryone who flies will vouch, advertising and smart-looking stewardesses count for nothing if flights are late.With its headquarters in Gurgaon, India, IndiGoremains to be the only airline with 80 percent of itspilots who are CAT III compliant, equipping them betterto manage delicate situations. It was recently awardedby the Bangalore International Airport for ‘SafetyExcellence’ for outstanding contribution in airside safetyand also bagged the Express Travel World Award forOperational Excellence amongst low cost carriers in2009.Staying true to its mission to provide passengers witha safe and hassle free experience, the airline recentlysealed the largest order in the history of aviation byplacing an order for Airbus A320Neo, for which it wasawarded the “Best performing Airbus A320 FamilyOperator” in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regionin May 2011. At the 2005 edition of the biennial air-show at the Le Bourget Airfield in Paris, the biggest suchevent in the aviation industry, IndiGo made a dazzlingappearance by placing an order for 100 Airbus A320planes to be delivered by 2015. The baby step expansion
73Tel +971 4 3557355www.goindigo.incontinues even today. Six years later, in January 2011,IndiGo signed a deal to buy 180 aircraft between 2016and 2025 - effectively, one plane to join the airline every20 days. In May 2011, the airline bagged the Best OverallPerformer at the Assocham Civil Aviation CentenaryAwards reiterating that a well-rounded and wholesomeexperience is what it aims to offer its flyers.Spreading its wings across maps and globes, theairline is currently operating about 319 daily flightsthrough 51 aircrafts connecting 32 destinations in Indiaand abroad including Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai, Muscatand Kathmandu.IndiGo in UAEThis Indian budget carrier made its debut flight to Dubaiin September 2011 and is expected to launch operationsin Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in coming months, intensifyingcompetition with other Indian and overseas airlines.“We will definitely be launching flights to Abu Dhabi andSharjah in the future, but it would be sometime later.The priority would be to add more frequencies on theDubai route,” said IndiGo President, Aditya Ghosh.Having launched its maiden flight to Dubai from Delhiwith a 90 percent load factor, Ghosh said the airline’sforward bookings for the sector looked “reasonablygood”. Starting October 2011, IndiGo also launcheddaily flights between Mumbai and Dubai in the pursuitto increase its international frequency on such busy andrewarding short-haul routes. “Dubai is a key marketfor us and launching operations in this market is in linewith our growth strategy outlined for the Middle Easternskies,” he continued.With over 280,000 flight departures since 2006 and40 million passengers aboard till date, its commitmentto provide quality services to its clients stands tall. Listedfor three consecutive years, among the ‘Top 50 BestCompanies to Work For’, the airline provides a motivatingand hospitable environment to an extensive workforce of5000 employees.Acknowledging its responsibility towards society,the airline also announced the ‘Good Karma’ campaignin November 2011, to help under privileged childrenand honor the spirit of childhood. The initiative, inpartnership with ‘Save the Children’, a non-governmentorganisationis purely voluntary for IndiGo passengers,and has already garnered up to 20 lakh RupeesThe airline is also trying to maintain a balancebetween the cost effective fare plan designed forpassengers and environmental sustainability throughthe use of green technology. IndiGo is the first airlinein the world to get the brand new IAE (joint ventureof Rolls Royce and Pratt & Whitney) engines calledSelect One, that are designed ensure environmentalprotection and stability.
74Travel&TourismCarrier from the capitalHaving recently announced its first ever profit in 2011, Etihad Airways, our internationalcarrier from Abu Dhabi has defied the global financial crisis, high oil prices and thrivedin adversity during the Arab Spring. Revenues have climbed by 36 percent to reach USD4.1 billion taking the airline beyond its humble hope to just break even.Ever since Etihad Airways first took to the skies inNovember 2003, the UAE’s national airline has beenmaking headlines across the world. It has gone on tobecome the world’s leading airline and grown at a paceunprecedented in the history of commercial aviation.Its intentions to offer quality services to its clients havebeen indisputable from the very beginning.James Hogan, Etihad’s President and CEO, said:“Despite several challenges, in 2011 we delivered ourpromise made long ago of a profitable venture.We havesuccessfully met the expectations of our shareholders bycreating an airline that is best in class, operates to thehighest safety standards, and makes money.”Hoping to increase its passenger traffic to 10 millionin 2012 ,it rightfully bagged the Air Transport World’s“Passenger Service Award” for 2012 acknowledging itsgenuine service philosophy, streamlined hospitality andthe ability to foster multiculturalism through employmentfrom more than 120 different nationalities.The rate at which Etihad has expanded its network ofinternational flights is unparalleled in the global aviationindustry. Its fleet of 65 aircrafts operates more than 1000flights per week, serving an international network of84 passenger and cargo destinations in 52 countries. Itoperates over 90 services per week from Abu Dhabi to 12destinations in Europe.Fruitful PartnershipThe airline has also recently collaborated with Airberlin,Europe’s sixth biggest carrier, to become its largest
75Tel +971 2 5110000www.etihadairways.comshareholder and operate four flights a week betweenBerlin and Abu Dhabi from January 2012 onwards.This deal sees it literally spreading its wings acrossthe globe by adding 157 destinations and access to 35million new passengers.Not only is each Etihad aircraft state-of-the-art butso too is the in-flight product. Whether in DiamondZone (first lass), Pearl Zone (Business) or Coral Zone(Economy) each guest enjoys the highest standard ofcomfort, cuisine and entertainment. Offering some of thelargest personal TV screens in the industry, the airlinemakes each flight worthwhile with over 600 hours ofentertainment including as many as 116 TV titles, 78movies, a CD library with more than 400 albums and 14radio channels. This enhancement of in-flight travel hascaught the eye of the industry and Etihad Airways hasbeen recognised as not just in the Middle East but as theWorld’s Leading Airline consistently over the years.In December 2011, it announced a deal valued atmore than a billion US dollars with aviation computertechnology provider Sabre Airline Solutions to utilisecutting edge software across its reservations, inventory,marketing, planning, e-Commerce, distribution anddeparture control operations. Hogan said, “Thisgroundbreaking deal will play a pivotal role in providingEtihad Airways with the tools necessary to achieve its nextphase of growth and profitability targets in an innovative,sustainable and cost effective manner”.Despite the commercial success it has achieved,Etihad continues to reaffirm people’s faith through selflessinitiatives such as the 2009 agreement it signed with“Masdar”, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted future energy savingcity, to reduce the airline’s carbon footprint.As an Arabian carrier, it lies in Etihad’s vision to reflectthe best of the region’s hospitality and enhance theprestige of Abu Dhabi in the East and West.
76Travel&TourismHello tomorrowOn 25th October 1985, Emirates flew its first routes out of Dubai with just twoaircrafts—a leased Boeing 737 and Airbus 300 B4. 27 years of undeterred commitmentto safe and sound travel have placed the airline on a high pedestal. Its preference forquality over quantity has transformed it into a globally influential brand and contributedto the flourishing success it celebrates today.Over the years, the airline has grown in scale andstature through competition with infinite internationalcarriers that take advantage of Dubai’s open-skies policy.The Government of Dubai, its whole and sole ownerbelieves that treating Emirates as a wholly independentbusiness entity is the secret behind its thriving success.The airline has recorded an annual profit every yearsince its third year of operation.With a fleet of more than 160 aircrafts flying over 100destinations in 66 countries around the world, the airlineis expanding its network rapidly. Over 1,000 Emiratesflights depart from Dubai each week on their way todestinations in six continents. In fact, Emirates flightsaccount for nearly 40 percent of all flight movements inand out of Dubai International Airport.The airline’s decisions over time have assured fliersthat its intention to offer people a pleasant, comfortableand safe journey is more than just a marketing tactic.Highlighting its incredible growth, the airline is currentlythe world’s largest operator of both the Airbus A380and Boeing 777. From a fleet of 60 aircraft in 2004,to its current 161 wide-bodied aircraft, the airline hasexhibited dramatic growth. Satisfied clients are nosurprise to the airline.
77Tel 600 55 5555www.emirates.com/aeIn the financial year 2010/2011, Emirates carried 31.4million passengers and 1.8 million tonnes of cargo. Italso produced a net profit of a whopping Dh 827 million,for the first six months ending 30th September 2011.“Emirates’ latest half-year performance is testament tothe airline’s strong business foundations and tenacityto stay on course and continue to grow despite theunsteady marketplace,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed binSaeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive,Emirates Airline and Group.With over 400 awards for excellence worldwide, theairline has been acknowledged for its contribution to thelocal and global aviation industry time and again. Thisincludes the Air Transport World’s “Airline of the Year”award in 2011 and the Skytrax World Airline Award for“World’s Best Airline Inflight Entertainment,” for theseventh year in a row.Moreover, the airline hires, trains, supports and hostshighly qualified staff to carry out specialized operationsinvolved in aircraft maintenance and management.Divisional Senior Vice President IT for The EmiratesGroup and Head of Mercator, Patrick Naef, was recentlynamed Chief Information Officer of the Decade by CIO,Europe’s leading IT magazine for Chief InformationOfficers and top business executives.The airline has also announced plans to establish adedicated flight-training centre called the Emirates FlightTraining Academy by the third quarter of 2013, a Dh400 million project to train up to 400 students at a time.Emirates Group is working towards acquiring state-of-the-art equipment and trainers to meet worldwideaviation standards. Students who successfully completethe course will be awarded a Commercial Pilot Licenseon graduation and will be ready to commence specificaircraft type training.Reasserting its social responsibilities theorganisationruns the ‘The Emirates Airline Foundation’,meant to provide humanitarian and philanthropic aidto children in need and eradicate poverty. In December2011, the airline also flew a demonstration flightcarrying the UAE Delegation to the 2011 United NationsFramework Convention on Climate Change. It wasable to use techniques to reduce flight emissions andsave over five tonnes of CO2. Years of good and bad,black and white and right and wrong have enabled theorganisationto grow as a credible entity and encouragedit to continue providing impeccable service standards toits loyal customers.
78Travel&TourismThe wings of ArabiaAir Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low cost carrier is chartingnew routes and new trends as it opens the skies by encouraging regional travel to anincreasing base of passengers. Air Arabia flies directly over 65 destinations across theMiddle East, Asia, North Africa and Europe, covering a mass population of over 3 billion.
79Tel +971 6 5088888www.airarabia.comWith an operating fleet of 27 brand-new A320 aircraftsand 44 others in the pipeline, the airline has crossed itstwenty million passengers mark. “ We owe our successto our customers who chose to fly with Air Arabia. Welook forward to serving many more passengers in theyears to come,” said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed AlThani, Chairman of Air Arabia.Since it started operations in 2003, the airline hassucceeded in its vision to be among the world’s leadingbudget airlines in terms of profit margin, innovation,reputation and operational excellence. With anemphasis on convenience tourism, Air Arabia is the firstinternational budget airline in the region to offer residentsshort weekend breaks to exciting regional destinations.Modelled after leading American and European low-cost airlines, Air Arabia’s services are tailored to satisfylocal preferences and make air travel easier and frequentfor all. Through their powerful value proposition, ‘Payless. Fly more’, Air Arabia encourages residents whohave previously been unable to afford air travel to doso more frequently. With over 100 departures per daythe flight travels about 60,000,000 miles annually. Aworkforce of over 1000 employees from 60 differentnationalities is proof of the airline’s high standards ofmulticulturalism.Air Arabia’s flight officers have extensive experiencefrom multiple international airlines with several captainsflying for over 20 years each. Its CEO, Adel Ali wasnamed ‘Airline CEO of the Year’ for 4 years. Thisexperience ensures the level of trust that the carrier israpidly being associated with. The first female pilot tofly for a UAE airline stands as a further testament to theorganization’s proactive stance.With a string of accolades to strengthen its brandposition, Air Arabia has also accumulated severalachievements in its eight years of operation. Forinstance, its financial break-even results in the airline’sfirst year of operation, is a ground-breaking feat forany carrier. In addition, the airline announced net profitfor the three months ending September 30, 2011 at awhopping Dh 100 million.It also received MENA Travel Award for the BestAirline for four consecutive years followed by the AirbusOperational Excellence Award for the next five years.Low fares, uncompromised service standards, easeof booking and payment flexibility contribute to theairline’s rapid growth and efficiency that are compellingconventional airlines to slash their costs and fares.A fitting manifestation of expediency, the airlinepasses savings back to passengers with on-boardpurchase catering, offering an affordable variety offood and beverages. Additional in-flight services includein-flight entertainment and Duty Free shopping with abeautiful selection of gifts and luxury items.Based at Sharjah International Airport, Air Arabiacustomers enjoy the benefits of quick access to Dubaiand other Emirates, fast check-in processes, lowcongestion, friendly airport staff, as well as access toother commercial carriers served at the airport. ‘Pay lessand Fly more’ indeed.
Chapter 5Café and Dining
"Tim Hortons is to Canadians what the falconis to the UAE; an intrinsic part of the cultureand an inescapable symbol of Canadian life."
82Always brewing. Always baking.One may think of cola as the most popular drink in the world but the truth will surpriseyou. With more than 400 billion cups consumed every year and coming second to oilin monetary value, coffee is the world’s most popular drink. Being the 15th largestimporter of coffee in the world, the UAE has an impressive network of over 4000coffee shops. A new entrant in the region, Tim Hortons, the iconic Canadian café andbakeshop, has besotted coffee shop goers.Cafés&DiningOutPreviously, annual coffee consumption in the UAE hadreached 3.5 kilograms per person, which surpassed theUK’s 3 kilograms per person. Intake of coffee and bakedgoods is only expected to rise as Tim Hortons stirs theUSD 2.2 billion casual dining market estimated to touchan astonishing USD3.24 billion by 2015.When Tim Hortons opened its doors in September2011 in the UAE; its first cafe and bakeshop outsidethe North American continent, the brand immediatelyengulfed a passionate fan base living up to expectationsof Apparel Group, the franchise owner and affluent retailbusiness group in the region. Tim Hortons’ brewinggained popularity among those familiar with the brandand got first timers going gaga over baked goodies andPanini sandwiches.With a grand opening on Sheikh Zayed Road, the cafésoon expanded to popular hotspots such as Deira CityCentre and The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residences.With people queuing up at counters, a diverse crowdcan be found at every outlet enjoying Timbits, freshlybrewed coffee and delicious donuts, muffins andpastries.Now running five café and bakeshops in Abu Dhabiand Dubai together, Apparel Group has massiveexpansion plans for the brand scheduled for 2012. Asthe brand’s popularity continues to grow, it comes as nosurprise that Tim Horton’s will pose a challenge to otherinternational coffee shop franchises as it sets foot inother countries in the GCC.When asked about the appeal of launching in the UAE,For those who love to snack, Tim Hortons offers one of the widest varieties of freshly baked donuts, soft and chewy cookies and Timbits, or donut holes, for a well-deserved mid-day treat.
83Tel 800-TIMS (8467)www.timhortons.comDavid Roy, Managing Director International Operations,UK, Ireland and the Middle East, said: “Much likeCanada, the UAE is a vibrant, outward looking country;it attracts people from across the world, and having TimHortons launch successfully here gives us a sense of itsacceptance in other markets. At our UAE restaurants,you can see the different nationalities represented.It doesn’t matter where you come from, we all likesocialising, we enjoy fresh food and fresh coffee andwe like nothing better when that’s combined with goodvalue and quality.”The unique experience at Tim Hortons is a crossbetween a cafe and a quick service restaurant. Arelaxed yet sophisticated and metropolitan feel to it, therestaurant allows you to grab food that is good-to-go orchill out to enjoy a range of sandwiches, burgers anddelicious cold beverages. Walk in during lunch hours andyou’ll see groups of colleagues or families enjoy heartysoups, freshly made Panini and wraps.Tim Hortons’ signature product is its signature premiumroast coffee, made with 100 percent Arabica beans.Every 20 minutes a fresh pot of coffee is brewed as thebrand brings this freshness in more than two billion cupsserved worldwide every year. Those most familiar withTim Hortons know the most common coffee ordered bycustomers is the ‘double double.’ It’s a coffee with twocreams and two sugars and is unique to Tim Hortons.Among the UAE consumers, the cold coffee menuseems to have struck a cord. With the temperaturesnever bowing down in the region, cool and creamy IcedCappuccino and smooth French Vanilla cappuccino areproving to be popular ways to beat the heat.Tim Hortons operates a UAE-centric Facebook pagecatered specifically to the local community, and isattracting followers on Twitter, where fans talk abouttheir favourites on the menu and which branch they areat. It is sure to generate a bigger following and moreonline activity as more Tim Hortons Cafe and BakeShops open across the UAE.Found at Jumeirah Beach Residences’ The Walk, DubaiOutlet Mall, Deira City Centre, on Sheikh Zayed Road andat Abu Dhabi’s Mushrif Mall, get a taste of the world’sbest coffee and baked goodies at this always brewing,always baking Canadian café.Comfortable seating, free wireless access, indoor and outdoor seating make Tim Hortons a perfect joint for people from all walks of life. The staff isimpeccably trained, the food is made fresh in front of you, service is quick and efficient.
84Gastronomy driven by passionThey say good food and great times bring folks together from all walks of life. Thesignificance of the food and beverage industry cannot be denied as the unifying threadthat binds together the different cultures and nationalities that co-exist in the UAE.From the traditional Arabic coffee (also called Qahwa) to your American Espresso, it’s allhere. Symbolic of gastronomic fusion and merge of cultures, Mille Miglia Restaurant &Cafe is an outstanding must-visit place from the 2837 cafes in the UAE.Cafés&DiningOut
85Tel +971 4 3316288www.millemigliarestaurant.comTaking its unique name from the eponymous world-famous 1000-miles annual Italian race, for 8 yearsMille Miglia has enjoyed a growing reputation amonglocals and visitors alike. Owned and managed by formerautomobile businesswoman Jocelyne Chidiac, MilleMiglia stays true to its automotive roots with a dash ofepicurean adventure and speedy service. The cuisine,a mix of French and European delights and traditionalArab food, has been extremely successful with patronsof cafés.UAE consumers are particularly optimistic regardingtheir spending on dining and entertainment and preferunique spots that offer variety. “My emphasis is widelyMediterranean, as it mirrors my own tastes and that ofmy loyal clientele. We reward them with fresh offerings,daily specials and seasonal treats,” said Jocelyne, whohas time and again shown her enthusiasm and passionby brining in talented culinary experts from all over theMediterranean and inscribed innovation on the menu.The personalised service at Mille Miglia is noteworthyas a trademark of the experience and one of themany reasons for its success. Jocelyne’s aim has beento create an ambience like home away from home,with wonderful service and delicious food. She alsocommented on the instant popularity any new dishreceives at Mille Miglia. Customers can indulge theirpalate in luscious specialties, such as the signature MilleMiglia salad, Mille Hammour and Red Velvet Cake amongmany other favourites. One of Mille Miglia USP is the stunning pool terrace thatis popular during the winter months, with lounge tunes inthe background, bean bags to laze on and garden swingsthat give everyone the rare opportunity to commune withnature – a true haven in the heart of Dubai.Speaking about her transition from a career in theautomobile industry to restaurateur, Jocelyne said“It was challenging at first since I managed bothresponsibilities simultaneously. Then I decided that Iwanted to focus on the service industry and materialisemy dream of being a top-notch restaurateur.” Today,she credits her success to her discipline and dedicationto the customer and being creative and up-to-date withtrends.Jocelyne is the brand ambassador of Mille Miglia andis much appreciated by her clientele for her consistentefforts in offering a wonderful time at the café. Herlong working hours surpass midnight, as the cafécomes to life under the stars, ensuring everything is inplace and service is super efficient. Visit Mille Miglia inthe daytime or in the evening to experience one of akind dining and enriched hospitality.The restaurant’s name does every bit of justice toits decor and ambience. When asked about the uniqueautomotive theme, Jocelyne said her passion for finefood and speedy cars produces a fabulous combinationand this beautifully resonates with her customerswho dine at the café. The décor includes automobileart, elongated cases full of car miniatures, funky wallcolours drawing the race map and spacious seating.New additions have been made to the interiors to createspecial spaces for sports enthusiasts to watch a gameas they munch on scrumptious delights. The café’spopularity soars during the holy month of Ramadan asmany people decide to flock to Mille Miglia for Shishatime with friends post Iftar.Jocelyne Chidiac
86Cafés&DiningOutLuxurious dining on Dubai CreekAccording to a recent survey by MasterCard, the world’s most trusted payment facility,the UAE is famous for world-class dining and a diverse array of cuisine offerings, whichcater to a wide range of ethnic groups and age brackets. UAE consumers spend anaverage of USD 229 per month on eating out said the survey, which indicated positivelyon the hospitality sector. Setting a new benchmark in luxurious dining, transforming atraditional Dhow cruise experience to a contemporary and artistic way to feast is theelegant Bateaux Dubai.Enjoy a beautifully romantic dinner onboard the glass-encased Bateaux Dubai, transforming the traditional Dhow experience into something spectacular.
87Dubai’s only glass-encased floating five-star restaurant;Bateaux Dubai has a winning formula of fine diningunder the stars. A red carpet leads you up to theBateaux Dubai, and you are sure to feel like a celebrityas you board the vessel. The smooth sail along DubaiCreek gives you a glimpse of the traditional Bastakiyaand modern landmarks of Deira and Bur Dubai.Bateaux Dubai resonates brand values of excellenceand personalised hospitality. The 56-metres long cruiseis creatively designed with a flat bottom and fourindependent engines for the waters of the creek toensure the boat sails seamlessly. The smoothness of thisluxurious floating restaurant allows you to freely movearound and enjoy your time on deck under the stars.Cruising along the Dubai Creek for more than fiveyears, Bateaux Dubai has gained the privilege of beingrecognised as a desirable dining destination for localresidents and a must-have experience for visitors.With a combination of cutting edge technology andoptimal effort, the cruise is a creation of the reputedspace between tables. For private parties, the gourmetmenu can be altered to your liking in advance, while onpublic cruise nights Bateaux Dubai presents an extensivea la Carte menu.The menu is international with some East-meets-West inspired dishes. The chef uses unique ingredientsand delectable food is prepared on board in a speciallydesigned kitchen. Bateaux Dubai’s prestige and panacheas a superb dinner cruise surpassing the traditionalexpectations promises an unforgettable experience andis definitely should not be missed.French company Seine Design. The restaurant deck hasfloor to ceiling glass windows ensuring unobstructed360-degree views of the traditional sights. In addition,the hi-tech air-conditioning facility ensures utmostcomfort, while a top-end sound system delivers asplendid acoustic experience.Offering its guests a rare fusion of sensory delights,both visual and savoury, chefs at Bateaux Dubai havedevised a superb high tea menu consisting of a varietyof gourmet sandwiches, warm scones with homemadejam and clotted cream, plus pastries such as chocolateéclairs, lemon meringue, baked pear tart, berry pavlovaand coconut marshmallows. The gastronomy is alluringwith a wonderful display of local architecture.The aquatic theme of the interiors, shine with glossedwood and dim lighting, is ideal for quixotic dining. Theimpeccable staff is hands on with the managementof Bateaux and warmly welcome the guests aboard.A leisurely cruise along the Creek accompanied by aunique culinary adventure is the only way to describethis splendid getaway.Bateaux Dubai makes itself available for various eventssuch as romantic specials, corporate functions, privateparties, fashion shows, press conferences, productlaunches, wedding receptions and so much more. Thecruise houses over 300 standing guests for cocktailreceptions or 200 comfortably seated guests with ampleA gourmet journey and a feast for the eyes, Bateaux Dubai combinesthe best flavours with Dubai’s wonderful night scenery.Tel +971 4 email@example.com
Chapter 6Arts & Culture
90Arts&CultureBuzzing world of artArt makes ordinary life just a bit more interesting. Contemporary art deals with issuesdirectly related to its present day world. Founded in 2008, Carbon 12 is a majorcontemporary art destination in Dubai and a leading symbol of emerging artists as wellas internationally recognised names.
91Situated in Alserkel Avenue - Al Quoz, here you canfind art in its most vibrant form, covering a broadselection of mediums including photography, painting,and sculpture and media art. Modern artists havechosen to highlight the idea or impulse behind theirwork rather than focusing on the medium or methodused. Open to experimentation, art expression inthe Middle East has got audience thinking about thesubject as the most important aim of the artwork. The introduction of contemporary art marked thebreaking of manacles by artists to move from theconventional inclination towards aesthetic beautyand purity to address subjects such as politics,which affect the layman. This is what brought thecommon man closer to the artist who didn’t seem‘high and mighty’ like an untouchable philosopherany more. The gallery is recognised as one of theleading persuaders on the subject of nurturing youngemerging talent. Carbon12 represents artists andshowcases incredible artwork of numerous artistsaround the globe providing them with opportunities totake their place in the international spotlight.Carbon 12 constantly initiates to cross boundariesand set its artists on the international stage everyyear on various occasions, including Art Dubai or VIPArt Fair making the Dubai hub and home alike. Thisdistinct position encourages Carbon 12 to place artistsfrom the region within a wider context.With a fusion of painting and photography, therenowned Carbon 12 reflects on the present state andredefines the way contemporary art is visualised. Thespontaneous and calm, yet curious and audaciousnature of Carbon 12 makes its approach towards artvaried from conventional galleries.Carbon 12 displays the work of world class artistssuch as the photographer Erwin Olaf, who recentlyreceived the prestigious Dutch State Prize of theArts, Johannes Vermeer Award 2011, André Butzer,known as “the best abstract painter in the world”and numerous other artisans. One of the well-knownemerging artists is Sadjdi, an Iranian painter whosevast apocalyptic landscapes fashioned from householdTel +971 50 4644392www.carbon12dubai.compaint illustrate a dark, deserted world almost devoidof human life.By conducting solo and group exhibitions withstructural interests, the gallery’s prime mission is todeeply investigate into the current state of contemporaryart and broaden the scope of emerging artists withtheir agenda. Several interesting solo adventures andcollaborative experiments are in planning, so stay tunedfor Carbon 12 in and beyond 2012.
92Arts&CultureSpearheading artand expressionThe arts industry in the UAE ropes in close to 20,000 visitors from 31 different countriesannually. Leading art auctions surpass more than Dh 51 million per auction. thejamjarGallery stands out as one of the few committed to the ideals and values of the artindustry.
93Commitment to the artsFor the last seven years, thejamjar Gallery has becomea dedicated zone to promote the arts and culture scenein Dubai. It carves a platform for like-minded individualsto express through dialogue and interaction, and boastsa diverse range of art forms such as film, music, theatreand the visual arts.A wide range of servicesThe gallery includes an extensive portfolio of services,such as art consulting, organising events for publicand private art projects, and the Creative Learningprogramme, which is an integral component of thejamjarethos. thejamjar has also dedicated itself to nurturingyoung and upcoming artists, which is done throughthe artist residency programme. It promotes culturalexchange through its collaborations with renownedinternational galleries. The 40,000 square feet DIYstudio is quite possibly the unique trademark ofthejamjar. Equipped with easels, paint and art supplies,along with a coffee bar and music, the studio aims tobring art alive in a relaxed and friendly environment.In addition, thejamjar also actively advocates thecreative arts scene in Dubai, by supporting local theatreproductions, hosting ‘Act Up!’, a yearly scriptwritingcompetition, and conducting ‘mahmovies!’, a bi – annualseries of diverse and provocative art house films, curatedby renowned director Mahmoud Kaabour.ArtintheCityIn the year 2007, thejamjar decided to spearhead anexciting new project, known as ArtintheCity. It is acomprehensive arts and culture guide, designed toprovide information about the world of visual arts,literature, film, theatre, music and literature in theUAE This is facilitated by a regularly updated website,a community blog, social media, and even an iPhoneapplication.“We have had two motives in developing this concept- to make a meaningful contribution to Dubai’s vibrantand burgeoning cultural palette, and to offer residentsand visitors an unprecedented treat” stated Hetal Pawani,director of thejamjar Gallery. ArtintheCity containsinnovative concepts- the ArtMap and the ArtBus. TheArtMap, an initiative supported by the Dubai Culture &Arts Authority, is a tri-annual publication which featuresup to date maps of the UAE’s developing landscape andacts as a platform to a global audience by working withlocal galleries, international art fairs and biennials.The ArtBus, known as the UAE’s shuttle to the arts,provides guided tours of the city’s prominent galleries,studios, art centres, alternative art spaces and art fairs.According to Ms. Pawani, “The ArtBus is not merelyrestricted to art aficionados. Just about anyone - collegestudents, art teachers, visitors or other interestedindividuals can board the tour, for an initiation and first-hand experience of art in Dubai. Our guides are friendlyand trained, and will provide pertinent information togive passengers an appetite before they reach theirdestination.”ArtintheCity is greatly instrumental in Art Dubai theleading art festival in the UAE, and is instrumental inits proceedings and events. The festival takes placeannually in March. Year after year, thejamjar Gallerycontinues to play a prominent role in the local art sceneand is anticipated to bring new innovation, artists andventures to region in the coming months.Tel +9714 341 firstname.lastname@example.org
94Arts&CultureCreativity galoreArt is inherent to shape the cultural and social structure of any society, as it drawson the rich heritage of people from different nationalities. Launched in 2006 with avision to create a truly extraordinary educational as well as entertainment flagship, theDubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre is one such remarkable milestone on the city’scultural landscape.DUCTAC, the brainchild of local art-lovers, emerging as avibrant symbol of the diversity and cultural affluence ofDubai, it is the first modern and versatile performing artscentre in the Gulf providing innumerable opportunitiesnestled within an enjoyable and artistic atmosphere.The core mission of the centre is to involve thecommunity and encourage a spirit of participation intovarious activities, further discovering new talents inthe creative field. DUCTAC aspires to confer towardsthe artistic and cultural expansion of the region byhosting a variety of events and performances for Dubai’sglobal population and tourists. The centre incorporatessomething for all art lovers irrespective of their age andbackground.Set in the heart of the Mall of the Emirates andspanning about 7,424sqm, the venue embraces a 543
95seat theatre, a 150 capacity studio theatre, a highspecification visual arts gallery, dance and rehearsalspaces, specialised studios for activities like painting,sculpture and photography are fully equipped to meetthe needs of every level, ranging from beginners toprofessionals. In addition to these, the centre is alsohome to an Arts Materials Shop and The Old Library, theoldest English language library in the city.As a non-profit organisation, DUCTAC became areality with the support of numerous leading multi-national and local corporations. Bringing the best indance, music, and theatre to the city’s residents andvisitors, the centre manages a wide variety of shows,events, exhibitions, workshops and classes, which takeplace every week and provide edutainment in almostevery creative genre. Apart from showcasing local and international artists,DUCTAC exhibits many annual cultural projects. Everyyear from November to March, the centre hosts an artfestival, which represents adept performers from theregion and around the world.The Gallery of Light at the Arts Centre is concernedwith exhibiting arts practice that is evolving andexperimental and collaborating with under-representedartists both regionally and internationally.A course at DUCTAC’s Manu Chhabria Art Centre isan ideal way for art enthusiasts in the UAE to undertakea new hobby and enhance their ability or ascertain anew skill. With a vast number of classes appropriate forevery stage, from a beginner to an advanced learner, it’sall made available within this remarkable venue.In addition to its numerous art divisions, the centrealso provides programmes for drama and dance,which is a perfect medium for children and adults toenhance their communication tacts and level of focusand imagination. Engaging in such activities proves tobe vital for future development as it is a great way toboost self-confidence and enable interaction with a widergroup of people.Above all, it is an exciting and motivating venue foreducation, recreation and creativity and is destined tobecome The Cultural Heartbeat of Dubai with massiveopportunities and ample resources equipped at thecentre, which are open to the entire community of Dubai.Tel +971 4 3414777www.ductac.org
96Arts&CultureArt from ArabiaEstablished in 1995 by pioneering Syrian Mayla Atassi, the Green Art Gallery symbolisesand supports regional art, providing an opportunity for aspiring artists. It is one ofthe first galleries in the country to be a local foundation and has represented majorcontemporary Arab and international artists.
97Since its launch, the gallery has mainly focused onthe artists from the Arab World, such as Lebaneseartist Paul Guiragossian, Syrian master artists FatehMoudarres and Louay Kayyali, and Iraqi artist IsmailFattah. It has also been a channel for a number ofinternationally recognised artists. With a white paletteand spacious flooring, Green Art provides a perfectstop-off for those who admire serene surrounding andsome exquisite culture.With standard temporary exhibitions and anincreasing permanent collection directed on the workof artists residing in the UAE, this commercial gallery isdedicated to fostering local talent and developing theart scene. In addition, it helps to edify artists aboutinternational art distribution and endorsement.In 2008, under the supervision of its directorYasmin Atassi, the gallery’s image was recreated witha reformed identity and artist record, only maintainingthe brand name. To this day, Green Art Gallery is oneof the finest galleries in UAE, showcasing artwork withan alluring mix of abstract, impressionist, traditionalrealism and modernist styles.After relocating itself to a 3000 square feetwarehouse in 2010, the gallery widened the scope forseveral inventive and outstanding ventures for futuredevelopment. Most recently, the gallery has beenpersistent towards the growth of popular and upcomingartists around the globe including Hale Tenger, KamroozAram, and Shadi Habib Allah to the artist roster.Green Art Gallery has become a prominent part ofvaried local and global art fairs, including Art Dubai,Zoom Art Fair in Miami, Contemporary Istanbul inTurkey, and most recently the Moving Image Fair inLondon. Currently, the gallery is said to conduct vitalprojects in collaboration with international curators tothe spectators of Dubai.Only a minor number of institutions in Dubai sharesuch history and awareness of regional art as Green Art.The gallery aspires to persistently maintain local trendsin contemporary art.Tel +971 4 email@example.com
Chapter 7Mall Destinations
100MallDestinationsJust what you needWith an extensive array of ostentatious malls, exclusive outlets and designer boutiques,the region has earned its status as a shopper’s paradise. The launch of the firstshopping mall in Dubai thirty years ago effectively opened the gates for the Emirate’sbooming retail sector. One such shopper friendly mall situated at a short distance fromthe heart of Dubai is the Oasis Centre.
101Dubai is the most established retail location in the UAEand continues to stay advanced in terms of product. Asper research carried out by Cushman & Wakefield, theannual footfall in major regional malls remains strong,with the malls in Dubai attracting a significantly highervolume of visitors rising up to 37 million.A mid-sized shopping mall owned and managed bythe Landmark Group, Oasis Centre continues to servethe ever-growing population in the Dubai city. The 1.44million square feet mall spread across four levels is theEmirate’s exclusive shopping landmark, with a plethoraof brands across categories to choose from, making it aone-stop destination. The centre gains reputation for itskey strengths such as convenience and choice of value-for-money stores across diverse brands.“The Oasis Centre in Dubai provides a truly shopperfriendly environment. It is offers its customers acompletely engaging encounter. With kiosks in thewalkways and numerous stores, you’re sure to findsomething you’re looking for,” says Neelesh Bhatnagar,From fine dining to fun and family dining, Oasis Centrehas over 15 restaurants, to suit every taste. It has anenormous food court with specialty eateries, fast food,ice cream parlours and cafés aplenty that will tenaciouslytempt your taste buds. As for entertainment, Fun City isthe perfect place for children with creative games andfun-filled programmemes designed to engage and exciteabound.For adults who wish to indulge in wellness therapiesor looking forward to a workout session, Oasis Centreincludes one of the largest wellness and fitness hotspotswithin a dedicated area of 70,000 square feet namely,Fitness First, a prominent chain of world-class gym andhealth club facilities, as well as the transformationalBalance Wellness 360 degree Club and Café.One of the unique concepts at the mall is the CelloMusic and Ballet Centre, which provides an opportunityto the adults and children to whet their dancing talentswith extensive lessons in music, ballet, belly dance, jazz,tap dance, hip hop and martial arts.Recently, an addition to experiences at Oasis was theBeat Diabetes Walkathon with celebrity partners and over400 participants walking for a good cause. As a part ofLandmark’s initiative to raise awareness about a crucialhealth problem in the region, Oasis Centre became theepicentre of activity and engagement with the community.Loyalty RewardsLandmark Group’s loyalty scheme called Shukranextends brownie points to customers on their purchase,making Oasis Centre a shopping haven. For loyal patronslooking to avail further value-for-money, Shukran is atruly rewarding experience and a smart way to earn andredeem rewards ensuring customer satisfaction.As the mall celebrates it’s third anniversary withhumungous prizes and awe-inspiring discounts, not tomiss the entertainment and treats for little ones, OasisCentre is just what you need for a day of fun in the city.Tel +971 4 5154000www.oasiscentremall.comNeelesh Bhatnagar, Director, Oasis CentreDirector Oasis Centre. “For shopping scoop one canalways pick up the very handy Oasis Times, the mallnewsletter on what’s hot and what’s not and countlessstore promotion information,” he adds.The mall boasts its multiple and diverse outletshousing over 84 stores and provides the finest range ofretail merchandise including Home Centre, Babyshop,Splash, Shoe Mart, Lifestyle and Beauty Bay, the rapidlybooming electronics chain in the UAE called E-max andQ Home Décor, unique world of furnishing luxury. Itswell-structured, elegant and spacious ambience offerssomething for everyone. With a wide variety of diningand entertainment options visitors experience more thanjust shopping at Oasis Centre.
102MallDestinationsFor the love of shoppingUAE is the retail maze of the Middle East. The grandeur of malls lures millions ofglobetrotters every year making it one of the most celebrated shopping destinations.Not only do these malls house the best brands but provide amusement, dining,entertainment and leisure under one roof. One such world class shopping paradise,located in the heart of Sharjah, is Mega Mall.The rebranding campaign of Mega Mall hasgarnered much attention in the media. Thiscommendable creative effort was rewarded forits brilliant marketing by earning Mega Mall a spotin the top three finalists at the 2011 InternationalCouncil of Shopping Centres MENA MarketingAwards, in the advertising category.As a generous reward for its customers andretailers, Mega Mall launched the 10-monthlong promotion raffling off the stunning new2011 BMW 316i each month. Between March 1and December 31, 2011, shoppers were entitledto a coupon for every Dh 200 spent at the mall,which got them closer to their dream car.
103A new beginningAfter decades of success and recognition, Mega Mallhas undergone an image revamp that embodies anew look and feel of the brand of Mega Mall. With theunveiling of a new logo, the management revealedthe significance of the two intersecting letter M’s. Notonly does it represent the initials of the mall but italso symbolises the mall’s aim to live in harmony withthe community, making it a part of their daily lifestyle.Through beautiful colours and timeless designs, MegaMall embraces the Islamic traditions and keeps alivethe heritage and humility of Sharjah.Shop till you dropMega Mall includes a wide variety of retail outletsproviding superior quality consumer goods for men,women and children. From high-end footwear andhandbags, jewellery and watches, cosmetics andhealth products, sportswear, household goods andelectronic items, there’s nothing you wouldn’t findhere. The spirit of the mall remains in its excellentquality of products while attractive prices andpromotions are bringing 20,000 to 30,000 shoppersevery day.Food and filmWhether you wish to grab a quick bite to eat betweenshopping sprees or dine in style with your familyand friends, Mega Mall lets you do your thing. Ithas a large food court with Japanese, Lebanese,Chinese and Italian cuisines among the many othermulticultural cuisine options. If you’re not the diningkind, then you’ll spot cosy coffee shops and enticingice cream parlours. On the entertainment front, theseven-screen Grand Cinemas offers visitors the latestfilms for all age groups with various language options,from English to Arabic and Asian languages.Fantasy and moreIf parents wish to indulge in retail therapy undisturbed,Mega Mall has one of the largest operating indoor familytheme parks in the UAE, based on an oriental theme storybuilt up to provide edutainment with a dash of mysteryand magic. Antics Land, as it’s called, is a mysterious landfull of surprises for the little ones. It encompasses a roller-coaster, monorail, 3D cinema with latest animated flicksfor kids. A haunted house, flying fish, twister, tumblingtreasure and mini ferries wheel are just some of the manythrilling experiences enjoyed not only by children but alsotheir guardians.Loyalty RewardsAptly named, the Mega More Loyalty Programmemeprovides ongoing discounts in selected outlets whileconstantly keeping the customers informed of the latestpromotions and sale sprees. Throughout 2011 loyalcustomers have enjoyed a unique promotion where everymonth a brand new BMW 316i was raffled off. Shopperswere entitled to a coupon for every Dh 200 spent at MegaMall between March 1 and December 31, 2011.No compromiseMega Mall provides additional facilities for its visitorswith helpful services like ATMs and all-day bankingservices, currency exchange, public payphones, indoorand outdoor car parking facilities accommodating up to1000 vehicles and convenient access to public transport.Mega Mall is a must-visit destination for everyshopaholic who wants only the best things in life.As a mark of respect and solidarity, the 40th anniversary celebrations of United Arab Emirates as a nation were as grand as it could get. From folklore,to painting competitions and outdoor and indoor souks, Mega Mall welcomed guests from the public as well as different government departmentsto join the celebration.Rendering an unforgettable experience to adept shoppers, Mega Mall is one of the largest malls situated in theNorthern Emirates. It holds the most popular international, regional and local brands in its premises. The Mall boastsa wide diversity of outlets with over 150 retail shops and anchor stores, seven-screen cinema, a family entertainmentcentre and a food court with over 15 outlets, making it a one-stop spot for all the fun you want to have.Tel +971 6 firstname.lastname@example.org
104MallDestinationsArabian style retail therapyDubai’s popularity as the world’s premier shopping destination comes as no surprisewith more than 54 million visitors in only shopping malls in 2011, surpassing the39.2 million visitors to the Times Square in New York City.Though there’s a surprisingassumption that if you’ve seen one mall, you’ve seen them all. With an overabundanceof global brands, each mall provides a different flavour of entertainment. Behold, themajestically Arabian yet contemporary, Mirdif City Centre by Majid Al Futaim Group.
105Ecology and communityBeing the first shopping mall in the region to follow eco-friendly and sustainable construction techniques, MirdifCity Centre proffers a spectacular architectural backdropto impressive options of retail and entertainmentconcepts. With social mottos of community building,MCC has dedicated areas medical clinics, spa, personalgrooming facilities and a fitness centre. Entertainmentzones for children, over 430 stores for grown-ups toindulge, and gigantic food courts in every direction, thisis ‘the place for you’.Ramp it up in styleWith more than 260 stores all dedicated to fashionand beauty, MCC is the only answer to every fashionconundrum. Fetching a new wardrobe is now madeeasy with an unusual blend of luxury, high street andaffordable casual brands at the mall. At MCC, vanityknows no boundaries. Your expectations for products, beit men or women, will surpass and you’ll be transfixed tochoose what’s best for you.Food and funMany have outgrown the conventional food courtbecause of a lack of personalized experience. At MCC, anew genre of gourmet dining within a mall has caughteveryone’s attention. With stunning interiors, impeccableservice and food presentation, you don’t feel like your ina mall premises.PLAYNATION, a unique interactive leisure zone forchildren and adults, is always bustling. Bowling, rides,I-FLY- Dubai’s first indoor skydiving adventure spotand cute trolleys for cotton candy and juicy treats willengage you in a theme park inspired journey. Parentscan leave their children busy and happy at AQUAPLAY,an indoor water-based edutainment junction, and watcha flick at VOX Cinemas. If nothing, the Central Galleriaat MCC always has stage shows with comic and mimeartists, dance performances, flash mobs and live musicperformances to mesmerize you.Tel +971 4 8006422www.mirdifcitycentre.comDid You Know?Mirdif City Centre is the first shopping mall in theUAE to be awarded the GOLD LEED certification forsustainability in September 2011.Awarded a Guinness World Record for the mostpeople painting simultaneously during the MCC’sopening week, and as a part of its Community ArtProject, 481 students from around Dubai broughttheir creativity together for a record attempt.In November 2010, the mall was awarded twointernational marketing awards, a gold and silver,from the International Council of Shopping Centres,for the Asia region. It is the only shopping avenuefrom the Middle East to win such accolades.
Chapter 8Luxury Lifestyle
108Luxury&LifestyleWorld class confectionaryfor all agesRegarded as the one of the most vibrant sectors in the Middle East food industry, theconfectionery market is worth Dh 300 million, records an annual growth of 10 percentand predicts a rise to 16 percent by 2014. Candelite, a new confectionery and savouryconcept by Landmark Group, offers an extensive range of 2000 products and 100brands, from over 20 countries.Candelite, the exciting confectionery and savoury concept by Landmark Group, offers an extensive range of 2000 products and 100 brands, from over 20 countries.Sweet successFounded in February 2011, Candelite is the newestfeather in the Landmark Group cap, whose retailturnover is estimated at USD 4.7 billion. With the growthof the confectionery market approximated at 94.7percent over the last six years, Candelite has enteredthe area at an appropriate time, with a wide variety ofproducts on offer.According to Vipen Sethi, CEO of Landmark Group,“the decision to develop and invest in the confectioneryand savoury concept comes from the need to fill a gapin the market and bring premium global brands thatoffer exceptional value for money. The Landmark Groupis leveraging its solid retail strength to organize andrealise the business potential of this dynamic sector inthe region. Candelite is our unique treat to the MiddleEast consumer and we are confident it will evolve as thepreferred choice across all age groups.”
109A little something for everyoneCandelite is divided into eight diverse sections, whichensure a choice of treats for anyone. The sectionsinclude Kiddy Delites, Funky Treats, No-Guilt Options,Classic Delites, Gourmet Room, Snackin’ Around, GiftsGalore and Chill Out Zone. With 19.5 percent of thepopulation currently living with diabetes, the store takeshealth issues of Middle East residents into consideration,which is the motivating factor behind the section ‘No-Guilt Options’. The section contains a wide spectrumof sugar-free, organic, gluten-free, low-calorie andall-natural brands, which are put through a series ofstringent laboratory tests by their manufacturers andcertified by the respective regulatory authorities fortheir nutritional value. The range represents almost 12percent of the collection in the store. Another prominentsection of Candelite is the Gourmet Room, which boastshigh end chocolate brands such as ‘Rococo’, artisanchocolates from the UK, ‘Divan’, gourmet Turkishdelights, and ‘Al Nassma’, the only camel milk chocolatein the UAE Candelite’s Business Head Jani Viswanathstated, “Extensive research of the confectionery andTel +971 4 809 5633 email@example.com wwww.candelitesweets.comYou need not compromise on health to experience the wonderful offerings from Candelite as it houses plenty suger-free no guilt options.So much chocolate and so little time is exactly what one feelswhen visiting a Candelite outlet in their nearby mall because there’ssomething for every family member.A prosperous futureThe Landmark Group has rolled out four large-formatstores covering a total retail space of over 14,500 sq.feet. This includes four large shop formats and sevensmall format stores making a presence in differentshopping malls in the UAE With a starting investment ofUSD 100 million, Candelite aims to open nearly 50 smalland large format outlets in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman,Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in the near future.One can find a variety of organic options in chocolates and savouriesat Candelite, it’s what makes them refreshingly different andunmatchable.snack industry has gone into the making of Candelite.We aim to cater to the eclectic choices of themulticultural palate that defines the Middle East region.We have selectively identified brands and products thatare healthy, nutritious and offer unmatched taste,”
112Secret of chicStyling involves character playing. Conquering a slight coquettish flair by floutingessential style rules is the ultimate poise for any woman with a love for fashion. Ifyou are devoted enthusiast, your heart is expected to skip a beat when you hear theword S*uce. Under the vision of Zayan Ghandour, Fatima Ghobash and Dina Valrani,the store characterizes fashion muses with its extensive couture mix.FashionS*uce was never the one to follow trends, so when the firststore opened at the Village Mall in the February of 2004, itstenacious spirit to be unique spoke through its ambianceand décor. Overwhelmed by the response from the localpatrons, the expansion progressed towards the capitalcity and by 2010, S*uce was ready for The Dubai Mall. Astore that breeds between Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang,Thakoon, Vanessa Bruno, Zac Posen and many othercontemporary brands, S*uce has locally established itselfas a dominant base for transnational couture.Fashion has a fickle personality; it is nervy andimpatient, sometimes, even nostalgic for the past, butmostly leaning towards its fixation for new and improvedphilosophies. S*uce’s brand mix supports this dictum. Newdesigners breaking into the scene are finding solace in itsbrand equity. Fleamandonna, Deloris Petunia, Fairgroundand Maria Lucia Hohan are a few of the regionalnewcomers scheming under the patronage of S*uce.
113Often in Dubai, art and fashion entwine with oneanother for higher cause. S*uce collaborates with theArt Week, by Art Dubai the leading international art fairin the MENA region held in the month of March everyyear. Art Week positions this region as an arena for new-fangledart production. S*uce has also involved itself withdifferent genre of eccentric artists like Fafi, LemaAlireza,Polly Becker and Sugar Vintage. This foundation of ameaningful association arises from the commitmentorganisers of Art Week show towards the participationof local art organisations, colleges, commercial galleriesand non-commercial spaces.S*uce is where luxury meets panache. Conde Nast,Forbes, Travel and Leasure and US Vogue are only afew top scores in the list of publications S*uce has beenfeatured in. Whilst, awards like Emirates Woman BestIndependent Boutique of the Year Award in 2006 andthe Best Boutique at the Grazia style awards 2007, 2010and 2011 are accentuating this tangible style portal’sbrand image.Retail may have been where S*uce began, but it isnot where it ends. Serving as the distribution arm ofS*uce, Two Scoops was launched in 2010. A team thatbears 16 years of fashion trade show experience acrossParis, Tokyo, London, Milan, New York, LA, and Sydney,along with a growing network of buyer relationships, TwoScoops works closely with young designers to launch andexpand their brands both regionally and internationally.S*uce’s constant drive to remain the finest sought-after-fashion-forward store, leaves one wanting morethan they should possess.A concoction of subdued flamboyance, exclusive stylesense, and a mysterious yearning makes an impeccablydressed woman even more irresistible. A woman whowears apparels from S*uce lives this dream; she is thequintessence of full stop glamour in life.Tel +971 4 3447270www.shopatsauce.comDubai • Abu Dhabi
1 Best of DubaiFashionPassionately Pretty - NOOSHThe burgeoning fashion industry of the UAE largely constitutes to the revenue of thenation. According to a new report by consultants AT Kearney, the UAE has the highestfashion clothing sales per capita per year clearly signifying the audience appeal towardsluxury apparel. A name that embodies extravagance in fashion is NOOSH; with brandidentity of Passionately Pretty, this is established on the philosophy that casual doesn’tmean boring and that formal can be striking without being over the top and highmaintenance.Inspired by something as simple as coffee, thewoman behind NOOSH, Noora Alikhan found herselfdrawn to sketching dresses over café lattes whileacquiring culinary expertise and practicing paintingin Florence. “There are almost no dresses in mycollections you couldn’t wear to brunch with yourfriends and keep on through the day till dinner with.That was especially important to me because it isexactly what I felt was missing in my otherwiseflourishing wardrobe”.While the ideation may have started with acup of coffee, the beautiful colours on the streetsof Florence stirred NOOSH’s aesthetic. Built onNoora’s love for style that is effortless and feelstrue to the person individuality, her description forcasual means simply ‘no-fuss wear’. To enhance hernatural flamboyance in fashion design, Noora tookcourses from London School of Fashion and soonafter, NOOSH was launched in mid-2011 at a chic artgallery in DIFC where the city’s glitterati got talking atthe avant-garde feel of the collection. Growing amidstits up-close and personal fan-base, all their dressesNOOSHMuch like the city of Dubai, Noora Alikhan combines both herwestern influence and Middle Eastern cultural vision onto thegarments for NOOSH Couture.Fashion114
2Best of DubaiTel +971 50 8410751www.nooshcouture.comare devised with meticulous ideas and modern artconcepts.These dresses feel just as good on the inside asthey look on the outside. The detailing brought homeby Noora as beautiful memories from trips to Italy,adds a precious touch with its sparing usage. “Littleluxuries, from soft linings to a beautifully uniquedress bag, I want someone to feel the love we put inall the details,” says Noora.Much like the city of Dubai, Noora Alikhancombines both her western influence and MiddleEastern cultural vision onto the garments for thisspecial collection. One of her notable collection is ‘Arton Hanger’ that showed at the lavish Armani PriveClub inside the Burj Khalifa and involved collaborationwith regional artists like Nik Nejad, Laila Masri, TiniMeyer. “Sometimes I look at a painting and love itso much that I want to wear it!” Encouraged by thisthought, the designer Noora Alikhan has createdthis collection. Keeping up with four seasons ofluscious fashion, this designer has got the techniqueof getting things right. The concoction of personalfavourites with a touch of prevailing design sense,she experiments with fabrics, colours, stylesand embellishments expressing a playful side offemininity.“Little luxuries,from soft linings toa beautifully uniquedress bag, I wantsomeone to feel thelove we put in all thedetails.”Noora Alikhan115
116Bringing togetherthe fashionableWith consumer spending rising by nine percent in 2010, the fashion market in theregion is progressing radically. One of the leading contributors to these staggeringnumbers has been ‘United Designers’, a pioneering retail and fashion concept storeconceived by Yahya Stapic, in October 2011.FashionWith a clothing market worth USD 12 billion andthe highest per capita sales in the world, the Gulf isemerging as the heart of the global fashion industry. In2010, the UAE was ranked as the second most attractivemarket for apparel retailers after South Africa.According to a study conducted by the French FashionUniversity Esmod - Dubai, the leading fashion institutionin the region, the surge in the Arab fashion sector is acombined result of the emerging pervasive ‘mall culture’,a robust retail fashion business; and a rising regionalinterest in the world’s top designers and the growingpopularity of Arab designers. According to the survey,one-third of the respondents claimed to be buying luxurygoods and were identified as one of the most energeticconsumers for designer apparel and accessories. Withno dearth of choice or brands, the cosmopolitan city ofDubai particularly, has become renowned as a meltingpot of fashion brands.Yahya Stapic, Founder and CEO, United Designers, inaugurating its very first store at Mirdif City Centre
117The first of its kind in the region, the UnitedDesigners concept store located at Mirdiff City Centreoffers accomplished as well as upcoming fashionenthusiasts, the opportunity to showcase their workon a commercial level within the fashion industry.Through specialized business support, a fashionsavvy team, multi-platform integrations, and a retailcounterpart, it provides the stepping-stone for localand independent designers to realize their dreams anddiscover new horizons.“United Designers is the ideal platform for designersto shine brighter and is not only about discoveringand nurturing new and existing fashion talent in theUAE, but also mentoring so they can build their brand.United Designers is the new generation of the UAEfashion scene and we’re extremely excited about whatit means for the local fashion industry as a whole,”says Yahya Stapic CEO and Founder.The regional fashion scene is still unveiling butstatistics reveal that the industry is moving in theright direction. Inspired by the desire to help realizeindividual potential, and enhance the quality anddiversity of Middle East fashion, United Designersis undertaking steps to emerge as a hub wheredesign philosophies are born and nurtured. Theboutique aims to showcase between 20-30 designers,each with their own branded retail space, grantingcustomers access to creations designed exclusivelyfor the store.Representing labels like ANAYA, ARAS Jewellery, BlackApple, Dar Maryam Al Shaibani, Dima Ayad, Gaiora,GRIN, Homa Q Abayas, KALA, Le Grana, Maison Rana,Meher & Riddhima, nawá, poca & poca, Queen Abayas,PONSOT prêt- à-porter, Rouge Couture and Shrekahnth,United Designers plans to expose UAE audiencesto fresh, trendy, and exclusive creations cateringto individuals with diverse personalities, styles andattitudes. Whether its women who walk on the fashionedge or those who adopt a more conservative approach,United Designers manages to strike the perfect balancebetween modesty and extravagance.Being born out of a CSR initiative itself, UnitedDesigners believes in giving something back to society.Working under the banner of UD Engage, the corporatesocial responsibility initiative, United Designers aimsto interface with the creative community and promoteprojects that help create socially, economically, andenvironmentally healthy communities. By undertakinginitiatives that allow it to collaborate and engage withartists, stylists, photographers, graphic designers, andstudents on fresh and exciting projects, it is establishingitself as more than just a commercial entity.In the words of Stapic, “As a community inspiredenterprise, United Designers was keen to play anintegral role in the design field right from the outset. UDEngage promises to give comprehensive support andencouragement to artists, creatives and designers, onall levels.”Raising the bar for the fashion industry worldwide,United Designers is inspiring young fashion aficionadosto pursue and realize their dreams and ambitions.Tel +971 4 firstname.lastname@example.org
" Everything we do is guided by our clear core values of ‘Passion for excellence,Integrity in everything we do and Commitment to all stakeholders.’ These valuesguide us along the path to distinction and help us reinforce our standing as apowerful business house and a beacon for Arab excellence." Abdul Wahid Al Rostamani, Chairman, A W Rostamani GroupChapter 10Automotive
120Total commitmentThere are currently many large business conglomerates in the UAE that started offas small, family enterprises in the 1950s and 1960s. Through intelligent investmentand ambitious, strategic expansion, they have ridden the wave of growth in the1980s, 1990s and 2000s into highly successful operations, not just locally butregionally as well. Currently at the pinnacle of success, AW Rostamani Group is oneof those special businesses.AutomotiveFrom modest beginnings in 1965, Abdul Wahid AlRostamani has grown his business into one of thelargest and most respected commercial entities in theregion. By successfully blending Emirati hospitalitywith international expertise, the AW Rostamani Groupnow boasts a diverse network of strategically locatedbusinesses, everything from real estate and propertydevelopment to logistics and lighting, to ArabianAutomobiles Company (AAC), the heart of the currentAWR Group.“A successful business must be run on family values,and you must treat your employees like they are family,”
121www.awrostamani.comsays Michel Ayat, CEO AWR Automotive. “If youremployees don’t feel like they are respected and valued,why would they want to work for you? This belief is atthe core of the AW Rostamani Group.”Michel Ayat began his career at AWR in 1990, and hasseen many changes and breakthroughs in the companyin the years since. “One of the major milestones forAWR Automotive was in 1994, when Nissan establisheda regional office here in the UAE. This brought the branddirectly to the market, where customers’ requirementscould be evaluated firsthand, and it allowed us here atAAC to work directly with them as partners in the region,which benefitted everyone.“It became perfectly clear that to be successfulhere, an automotive brand needed to have the rightcombination of quality products, the right pricing, andthe best after sales service possible. Nissan and AAChave been able to achieve this, and we owe our successto this strategic partnership.” AWR Automotive now alsoincludes the Infiniti and Renault brands, with the AWRTrading Company division handling storied British brandMorris Garages (MG) and Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile(ZNA), two exciting new Chinese-owned entries into theMiddle Eastern auto sector.“When deciding whom to partner with, we alwayslook at quality as the number one determining factor– both quality of product and quality of people,” saysAyat. “After that, you must make sure you have a goodIT infrastructure, and finally, you need to grow andmaintain excellent customer relationships. If you do allthese things, the financials will naturally fall into place.the helm, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s focuson quality and excellence in all areas of business isalways an inspiration to reach for the highest levelsof achievement. This is also one reason why ourEmiratisation programmes have been so successful,and AWR currently employs many Emiratis in our HR,CRM (customer relationship management), support,procurement and finance departments.”With such a push for excellence, it’s no surprise thatAWR’s goals for the future are ambitious. “Our mainfocus in the immediate future is to invest in strongopportunities in China and India to tap into the bestthat is available in these burgeoning markets,” saysMichel Ayat. “Our main financial goal is to be a USD2 billion-a-year revenue business by 2015. But, morethan anything else, our overall goal is to be knownuniversally as a ‘world class’ organisation in everythingwe do, from our systems and processes, to our excellentrelationships with customers, to our support for andinvestment in employees.”For in the end, everything comes back to the peoplewho form the core of the company. “We invest in ouremployees so they will invest in us,” continues MichelAyat. “We have programmes in place to ensure thedevelopment and enrichment of our people, and webelieve that special recognition for excellent work isvery important as well. We want all our employees tounderstand they have been a big part in our success,and that they continue to be our most valued asset aswe head into a bright future here at AWR.”Abdul Wahid Al Rostamani, Chairman, AWR Automotive“This is an important lesson I’ve learned fromtwo very influential figures for me – Abdul Wahid AlRostamani, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed binRashid Al Maktoum. Mr. Al Rostamani has shown howa family business can thrive with passionate people atMichel Ayat, CEO AWR Automotive
122Ruling theautomotive landscape“Very often, people will walk into the showroom and say ‘I want to buy a Nissan,’when what they mean is they want to buy a Patrol,” says James Thomas, GeneralManager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Arabian Automobiles Company(AAC), Nissan’s exclusive distributor in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. “That’s howembedded both the brand and the Patrol itself are in the local culture and automotivelandscape.”AutomotiveIt’s hard to argue that point. The Patrol is an iconicvehicle in the UAE, with a history dating back to the1950s when traders used to need them to traverse thedesert sands between, at the time, far-flung settlementsand airports, either transporting their families orbringing goods to market. Now, of course, the UAE isa fully modern country with highways everywhere, yetthe remembrance of those early days – and a passionfor power, style and comfort – keeps the Patrol in theenviable position as one of the best-selling Nissanmodels in the country, and one of the most recognizablevehicles on the roads of the region.Understanding the significance of the Patrol in UAE,Nissan Motor Company’s product planners in Japan tookthe bold step of actually designing the latest version,internally designated the Patrol ‘Y62’, specifically forthe region, and even held the global launch at AbuDhabi’s Emirates Palace. The importance of that event
123Tel 800-NISSANwww.nissan-me.comwas reflected by the attendance of mercurial NissanPresident Carlos Ghosn. The Y62 Patrol is now the basisof a limited edition 60th anniversary version, loaded withspecial features to celebrate a true automotive icon.Happily for Nissan, while the Patrol may be iconic in itsown right, it certainly isn’t the only car with deep rootsand passionate owners here in the UAE. The ubiquitousSunny sedan has long been a mainstay for families asit has always offered a winning blend of affordability,spaciousness and comfort. Many Sunny owners arerepeat customers, drawn back by the quality anddurability they’ve come to expect from Nissan. “Sunnyowners are extremely loyal,” continues Thomas. “Weoften hear from them that it’s almost as if their Sunny isan additional member of the family.”One of Nissan’s strengths is that it produces an arrayof vehicles across a wide spectrum of the automotivemarket. So while the Patrol offers rugged luxury, andthe Sunny affordable durability, the GT-R delivers pure,unadulterated power with everyday drivability. With itsshow-stopping design, the sleek GT-R has developed acult following in the UAE, with some local enthusiastsstarting the ‘GTZ Club’ in 2009 to celebrate the GT-R, 350Z and 370Z sports cars. The club has grownexponentially since then, and it has become a great wayfor people of many different nationalities to meet eachother and socialize around their love of fast Nissans. Thegroup frequently organises events and road trips aroundthe UAE to spread the word about the driving excitementthat GT-R offers, and to share their passion for the smellof high-octane petrol, burnt rubber and the sound of apowerful engine.Also extremely popular in Dubai, and around theworld, is the Juke, the game-changing compactcrossover launched in Dubai in late 2011. Praised for itsunmatchable styling, the Juke’s popularity has made it abit tricky to get a hold of, with AAC’s initial stock orderselling out as soon as it arrived in the showrooms.And then along came ‘Juke-R’, taking Dubai by storm.Juke-R has the styling of a Juke but with the frameand engine of the GT-R supercar. It’s a powerful, funkycar, and with those attributes, where better to stageits world premiere than in Dubai? Journalists fromaround the region and the world descended on the cityin early 2012 to watch the ultimate crossover take onthree supercars in a head-to-head battle for supremacy,beating them all handily – it’s all on YouTube too. TheJuke-R proved to be such a huge success that Dubairesidents are scrambling to figure out how to get one.So while the present is shining for Nissan in Dubai, thefuture looks just as bright. “Nissan sees the Middle East,and especially the UAE, as one of the leading regionsfor growth in the world,” says James Thomas. “With anaggressive product plan featuring new models and astrengthening of the brand’s position here, we expect tobe turning a lot more heads in the years to come.”James Thomas, General Manager, Marketing and CorporateCommunications, Arabian Automobiles Company
124Inspired performance“Every car Infiniti makes is designed and built around one simple concept: inspiredperformance,” says James Thomas, General Manager, Marketing and CorporateCommunications, Arabian Automobiles Company (AAC), Infiniti’s exclusive distributorin Dubai and the Northern Emirates. But Infiniti’s focus on luxury doesn’t end with thevehicle – it extends to all aspects of the customer experience: product, centre andservice.AutomotiveInfiniti is a relative newcomer to the UAE, with the brandlaunching here in 2004. Since then it has seen itself claimlarger and larger pieces of the luxury landscape, with the2008 debut of the sleek and powerful second generationmid-size crossover FX one of the major turning points.“The market here loves the FX – it really took the marketby storm when it launched here and it’s still our best-selling vehicle,” continues James Thomas. “In one sense,you could say that the FX has become the ‘face of Infiniti’in the region, and with a recent design enhancementearly in 2012 giving it an even more powerful, athleticfeel, things are looking better than ever.”Also on the product front, Infiniti is defining itself withmore graceful and powerful offerings across all marketsegments. The G Coupe, G Sedan and G Convertiblemix sensual, sporty designs with the high-quality andState-of-the-art Infiniti Centre on Sheikh Zayed Road
125Tel 800-INFINITIwww.infiniti-me.comindividualized look that Infiniti is known for, while the MSedan offers enough luxurious power and presence torival even the most established names in the industry. Onthe crossover front, the EX model comes in as the juniorpartner to the previously mentioned FX, while roundingout the range is the magnificently appointed QX, a trueluxury full-size SUV with an interior that can seat sevencomfortably and adapt effortlessly for any need.But it’s not just the vehicles that define the company’sUSPs as a luxury automaker. Everything about Infiniti’s‘Total Ownership Experience’ (TOE®) (a trademarkedcustomer handling process) is designed to deliver the bestpossible customer service from top to bottom, somethingJames Thomas eagerly embraces and promotes. “It’sreally up to us here at AAC to deliver on the promiseof the Total Ownership Experience,” he says. “We fullybelieve that customers are not just customers … theyare our guests, and as such, we offer them the higheststandard of service possible, and that means treatingthem as our honoured guests when they come into theInfiniti Centre. Buying a luxury car is about more than justthe car – it’s about the entire experience.”One of the most significant ways that AAC and Infinitiare investing in the TOE in Dubai is with the new, state-of-the-art Infiniti Centre plus dedicated service centreon Sheikh Zayed Road, which opened in 2011. As thelargest Infiniti Centre of its type in the world, it hasquickly become a noticeable point of reference in a cityalready famous for its many architectural statements.The Centre itself is a wonderful example of elegant,contemporary design, while the lobby, lounge andgallery areas all aim to promote a customer experiencefar beyond that of the automotive retailing norms.As Thomas aptly puts it, “AW Rostamani and AAC’scompany vision is ‘I CAN,’ which stands for Integrity,Commitment, Adding value and never being satisfied.If we’re not offering our customers the best customerservice we possibly can, then we’re doing somethingwrong.” Nissan (Infiniti’s parent company) agrees.AAC has been named a ‘Nissan Champion Distributor’,awarded for the highest levels of sales performance andcustomer satisfaction, for three years straight. “Beingnamed a Champion Distributor three years in a row isa magnificent achievement, and it shows that ‘I CAN’ isnot just lip service. We ensure that all our employeesare passionate about the company and the products sothat they are willing to go that extra mile. Given that wehave an extremely high rate of customer retention forthe region, we feel that we’re on the right track, but ofcourse, we’re never satisfied.”The future is now all about continuing the Infinitistory, and working hard to put Infiniti firmly on the mapnot just in the UAE, but in the entire region as well. Withthe new quality and luxury standards being set now inDubai, it shouldn’t be long before everyone else in themarket starts following Infiniti’s lead.James Thomas, General Manager, Marketing and CorporateCommunications, Arabian Automobiles Company
126Sleek and sophisticated“Between 2007 and 2011, we more than tripled our sales,” says Claudio Camera,General Manager, Dubai and Northern Emirates, Renault. Renault’s growth during thatperiod far outpaced the market, and it is now the fastest growing automotive brand inthe region.AutomotiveRenault has become a great success story in the UAE.When AWR Automotive took over the brand in 2005under the auspices of Arabian Automobiles Company(AAC), there was only a small selection of vehiclesavailable, based mostly on what was then on offer inWestern Europe. In the following years, AAC workedhard to expand Renault’s presence, evaluating theavailable product range to determine the best modelsfor the local market, and branching out into otherchannels, such as fleet sales. The result has been thefreshest product range on the market, with Renault ableto offer some of the best styling and safety standards atextremely affordable prices.“The main differentiators for us are safety andvalue,” continues Camera. “Twelve of our models havewon 5-Star Euro NCAP awards, the highest possible
127Tel 800-RENAULTwww.renault-me.comindustry. In 2010, Dubai and Northern Emirates won theaward for Best Sales Performance in the GCC, and justrecently was awarded the Renault Dealer of the Year forthe GCC for 2011 from Renault headquarters in France,a huge honour for Arabian Automobiles. “Winning theDealer of the Year award was very special for us,” saysClaudio Camera. “The whole team works extremelyhard and is passionate about the brand, and so to haveour achievements recognised globally meant a lot toeveryone here in Dubai.”Buoyed by the positive results of recent years, Renaultis planning an aggressive campaign to grow volumes by67 percent in 2012, and grow the business by openinga new showroom and service centre in Sharjah tocompliment the current centres in Deira and Al Quoz,along with rolling out plans to make sure Renaultvehicles are serviceable anywhere across Dubai andthe Northern Emirates, guaranteeing, as with all AACofferings, that customers will have unrivalled access toservices no matter where they are.evaluation for safety in Europe. Many safety featuresthat are extras in other cars, or that will becomemandatory in the future, are already standard forRenault. We’ve always been ahead of the curve.” Butwith Renault, standard safety features do not equateto a sacrifice of style. Cars like the Laguna coupe, andespecially the Megane convertible, demonstrate a sleekand sophisticated European look that rival anything elseon the market, but at much more affordable prices.Success in the fleet sector has had trickle down effectsto personal sales as well, as many people involved withthe vehicles at their company will either recommendRenault to their friends, or else buy one themselves.“Fleet customers are extremely knowledgeable,discerning buyers,” says Claudio Camera. “They arealways trying to find the best balance between price andvalue over a two-to-three year period. This is why manycompanies in the UAE, including the largest rental carcompany, have chosen Renault to include in their fleets,because of the value our cars provide in that they onlyneed to be serviced once every 10,000 km. Renault alsobacks up every vehicle we sell with a full three-year,100,000 km warranty. All this, combined with AAC’salready robust after-sales services, means our customersknow they are completely covered no matter what thesituation, and it’s why we’re seeing a very high rate ofreturning fleet customers.”One of Renault’s most popular recent models hasbeen the Safrane. Stemming from the Renault/Samsungalliance in Korea, the Safrane was refreshed and re-launched specifically in the Gulf in 2008, and by 2010had reinvigorated people’s awareness of Renault. “Thenew Safrane is now definitely our ‘pillar model,’” saysCamera. “It was the main choice of our fleet customers,and the market is finding it highly desirable in terms ofits affordability and quality.”All this success has not gone unnoticed by the“We want to be in the top three of European brandsin the UAE by 2015,” concludes Camera. “By expandingour footprint and launching great new models that fitthe region, like the all new Duster, we know that we canachieve all our goals.”
128The next big thingFor decades, North America dominated the automotive manufacturing industry,but countries like Japan and Korea were able to establish brands strong enough tocompete on the global market. China is currently positioned to be the next big playerin the automotive industry. Showing great vision, AW Rostamani Trading Company hasstrategically partnered with China’s two largest automakers to bring the best of thisexciting new market to the UAE.AutomotiveMorris GaragesMorris Garages (MG), the iconic British automaker,has been a true pioneer in the auto industry since itsinception in 1924. Taking that heritage and melding itwith modern technology and flourishes, SAIC (ShanghaiAutomotive Industry Corporation), China’s largestand leading automotive manufacturer with over 5million vehicles sold in 2011, re-launched the brandin 2008 with an eclectic line-up guaranteed to makethe difference by providing the absolute best value formoney available. MG offers everything from the funkyMG 3 hatchback to the sporty 350, 550 and 6 sedans, tothe ground-breaking, amazingly affordable luxury of thewell-appointed 750. AWR Trading is confident that MGwill be able to quickly find a place in the UAE market.
129www.saicmg.com/english/www.awrtrading.com/ZZ/index.htmleconomy without sacrificing quality,” continues Rajkumar.“With ZNA, we can offer well-made vehicles 20 – 25percent less than the competition, and the fact thatwe have such a high retention rate with our currentcustomers shows that they are very happy with theirpurchases. We call this ‘sustainable value’, and it is ZNA’skey strength in the market.”M.K. Rajkumar, Director, AWR Trading“We have a very strong belief in the MG brand,” saysM.K. Rajkumar, Director, AWR Trading. “We testedthese cars for over two years here in the UAE to ensurethat they would be a good fit for the country’s uniqueclimate, geography and consumer, and confirmedthem to be of European quality in both material andmanufacture. And, since MG is part of the AWR Tradingfamily, customers have access to the best after-salesnetwork available, with fourteen service centres acrossthe UAE. We’re confident that all these things add up toa winning recipe for success.”ZNAZNA (Zhengzhou Nissan Automotive Co) is another greatChinese success story. Established in 1993, ZNA is ajoint-venture between DongFeng Group and Nissan andbuilds both Nissan- and ZNA-branded vehicles, making itChina’s second largest manufacturer after SAIC. Nissan’sinvestment ensures a strict approach to quality, withall design and manufacture done in collaboration withNissan engineers, and most ZNA vehicles include Nissancomponents.AWR Trading’s main focus for ZNA in the region (theyare the distributors in the UAE, KSA, Oman and Iraq) isfleet sales – everything from taxis, to driving schools, toemployee transport. ZNA’s main offerings are perfectlysuited to this purpose, with a range of vans, minivans,pick up trucks and the unique “MPCV” (Multi-PurposeCommercial Vehicle), a truck-van mix that offers greathauling power and capacity.“ZNA is perfectly poised to make a breakthrough inthe regional fleet market,” says M.K. Rajkumar. “Wealso tested these vehicles here for two years, alongwith sending our own technicians to China for on-the-ground training to learn about the vehicles first-handfrom the people who design and build them.” Whilequality is important, the main factor for fleet customersis price. “Our customers are looking for the best possibleFutureBoth MG and ZNA, which share an exclusive showroomon Airport Road in Dubai, are poised for expansion inthe years ahead. “With MG, our goal is to be a majorcontender in the UAE within three years,” says Rajkumar.“We really feel that as the word spreads about thesecars, people are going to jump at the chance to ownsuch well-made vehicles at such economical prices.”Much the same goes for ZNA in the fleet sector. AsRajkumar puts it, “ZNA’s reputation for quality, safetyand durability – backed by Nissan – puts us in a strongand privileged position. Combined with AWR Trading’sleading after-sales network, customers simply can’t getbetter value for money.”
Chapter 11Real Estate
"Its tangible, its solid, its beautiful.Its artistic, from my standpoint, andI just love real estate."Donald J Trump
132RealEstateSurvival of the fittestIn the past, the world witnessed the roller coaster ride of Real Estate in the UAE.Thankfully, there are now better laws implemented to ensure trouble free homeownership in the region. Still, many are trapped by unforeseen challenges when lookingto make an investment of such a kind. Behold SPF Realty, a successful collaborativeventure by the best minds in market.
133The programme provides supervision in maintainingand managing the rented out properties throughout therental tenure to ensure hassle-free rental yield and addlasting value to the property.SPF’s reputation as a world class realty group hasbeen attested and enhanced by a slew of awards overthe years. Standing out at the Arabian ResidentialProperty Awards and being declared as the ‘HighlyCommended Real Estate Agency in Dubai and Arabiaregion’ in 2011, has only reaffirmed clients’ faith in theorganization’s continuing efforts. Now recognised as theUAE’s Best Property Portal, SPF realty is a culmination ofdecade long experience and expertise, on its way to beone of the best real estate companies in the region andmake a difference in the property business.Touted as one of the best employers and the coolestpeople to fetch you ideal properties, SPF Realty isa trendsetter. A joint venture by Mahendra Singh,Kalpesh Sampath and Ranjeet Chavan, who with theircombined strength and experience of 21 years in theregion have been running the organisationsuccessfullysince 2006. With the aim of developing an internationalbrand that facilitates the sale, purchase, investmentand management of property, the brand has succeededin delivering exceptional service and maximum returnson investment to its stakeholders. Besides treading onthe path of commercial success and viability, it has alsoequipped new investors with knowledge about the localand global real estate market which has proved to be astepping stone to success.Sprawling an area of 7000 square feet on SheikhZayed Road, the organisationhas incorporated time-tested elements to help arrive at correct investmentdecisions for its clients. Investing in Real Estate isoften like walking on a minefield of uncertainties. SPFRealty helps customers shift through this jargon andmake sense of the tricky game by putting togethera talented and experienced team of experts whoprovide foresight and business acumen. Excellentrelationships, with UAE’s premier developers includingEmaar, Dubai Property Group, and other top firms inthe sector enables the organisationto offer the mostprofitable options to its clients.Consultants maintain up-to-date, in-depth informationabout properties available for buying and enable clientsto buy the best holdings at the best prices. With thedemand for housing escalating speedily and supplyfinding it hard to keep up, the organisationensuresthat customers are informed about new and upcomingprojects at the earliest. Since SPF Realty is wellnetworked with Real Estate agents, developers andmortgage companies, it is also able to make fastdealings on property sales and provide clients withprofitable returns on their properties. To keep up withthe exploding landscape of the UAE rental market, theorganization’s database also provides clients with insiderinformation about the best rental homes, apartments,villas, and modern town houses in prestigious locationsacross the country. Enabling them to narrow their searchdown based on price, location, and features, SPF Realtystands to have the most comprehensive site in the UAEand facilitates leasing options for its clients. In 2010, itwas awarded the ‘Best Real Estate Agency Website inDubai and Arabia region’, reinforcing its commitmentto offer a stress-free experience. Adding more value totheir superlative services, the organisationhas initiateda Property Supervision Services for its property-owners.Tel +971 4 email@example.com
134RealEstateCarving potential imprintsWith a stable economic growth in the past two years, Dubai’s economic outlook for2012 is aimed towards a growth of 4.5 percent. In 2011, the Real Estate RegulatoryAgency (RERA) concluded the receipt of financial statements for 70 percent of all realestate projects registered at RERA.By constantly analysing the property market for new developments, trends and innovations, Footprint ensures their presence at the forefront. They effectivelyprovide periodic property reports that are distributed through their online mediums to all their customers.Even though property advancement acknowledged inthe previous years is now showing signs of levelling out,demand continues to keep the market spry and investorsflocking. Footprint Real Estate’s (FPRE) portfolio isremarkably imposing, creative and assorted, rangingfrom commercial and residential properties, to thoselooking forward to investment ventures.A Dubai-based real estate consultancy firm, FPREwas launched in April 2008 with an earlier record ofsuccessful private real estate investments and propertydevelopment operational in Sharjah since 2005.Attributes that make them distinct in the real estatemarket are their approach and their business model.Driven by market research that signifies current needsand latest trends, FPRE has never strayed from providingunmatchable options to both small and big investors.FPRE also caters to real estate fund managementcompanies in a bulletproof manner to provide valuable
135connect a customer with a property owner.FPRE has been responsible for the selling and leasingof copious properties located in Palm Jumeirah, DubaiMarina, Emirates Hills, Springs, Meadows, Greens AlBarsha, Tecom, Marina, Mirdiff , Dubai Silicon Oasis,Business Bay, Jumeirah, Umm Suqiem, Dubai Motor Cityand Dubai Media City.In a market where client faces complacency amidstreal estate brokers and consultants, evolving customeradherence and personalised approach at Footprint RealEstate has been a major success facet for the companyand its long-term goals of making an impact in findingthe dwelling you always wished for while keeping everypenny’s worth.insight into annual expenses and return on investment.They thorough understanding of the market andfarsightedness can provide estimates on propertyvalue in the future. They also remain in the loop withcommunity developments and suggest key locations toinvest your penny for reaping optimum benefits.With sustainable economic development assured bythe discretion of prudent management, Dubai becomesthe perfect place to host their consultancy services.The local economy is supported by sundry and openmarket policies that encourage business confidenceand international investments. Geographically, itis just four to six hours from various key regionalmarkets including India and suitably sited between twouniversal hubs - Singapore and London. With its zeropercent taxation regime, significant infrastructure andrising population, it is clear why Dubai is the land ofmany global investment echelons.FPRE lays its focus on invention and applies evolvesconsultancy concepts, with the aim of building networksand setting new standards in the market. Understandingthe diverse needs of each customer, the companyadopts new ways to enhance their work as a mediator toIn order to provide reliable services to customers, Muhammad AtherKhawaja, Director of Footprint Real Estate, makes sure that his team ofconsultants is a blend of nationalities, which helps them to adapt andcater to cultural and language unique to clients.The company’s team of senior property consultants is dividedaccording to their experience and expertise in each property divisioncovered, which includes commercial, residential and investments.Tel +971 4 4308205www.fphomefinders.comwww.facebook.com/fphomefinders
136RealEstateConnecting buyersand sellers worldwideAlthough a young company by conventional standards, in its first year of operations,Bridging Continents Real Estate Brokers (BCREB) has acquired a loyal base of local andinternational clients. Having outshone real estate stalwarts in delivering results, whatdrives BCREB is a family oriented approach and its ability to go an extra mile to helpyou find the ‘perfect home’.At the helm of this family owned, family orientedcompany are two dynamic personalities – JimmyBergeron and Tatyana Holkina. Their commendableleadership and globalised perspective is due to theirdiverse backgrounds; Tatyana is from Riga, Latvia andhas resided in Dubai for over 5 years now whereasJimmy, who is dual citizen of Canada and the USA, hasbeen in the region for 3 years.Besides her degree in law, Tatyana has worked as areal estate consultant in Europe and the Middle East foralmost two decades. Her meticulous attention to detailensures that the company adheres to all governmentlaws and regulations during any transaction. “I havewitnessed the ‘Golden Years’ in Real Estate, as well asits ‘Dark Years’. I was confident that I could weather thestorm by being ethical, smart and savvy in my dealings,”said Tatyana Holkina, COO Bridging Continents, on beingprobed about the impact of the financial downturn onher ambitions in Real Estate.Jimmy Bergeron, CEO and Tatyana Holkina, COO with their team at Bridging Continents Real Estate.
137What makes a family different from another areits members. Here is where BCREB is blessed withhardworking, fun-loving and productive individuals thatcarry the firm on their shoulders. As inspiring leaders,Jimmy and Tatyana have infused a culture of ‘belonging’and care about the staff both professionally andpersonally. Respect trickles down to everyone keepingthem content and competitive.At Bridging Continents, going ‘above and beyond’the client’sexpectationsis the onlysustainableway to dobusiness.A recentinternationalclient receivedall sorts of assistance forvisit visas, accommodation,transportation and banking service fromthe company. After conducting business theclient did voice his extreme satisfaction andthe recommendation reached his hometown inKazakhstan. Today, BCREB has frequent internationalinquiries on property investments and purchase in Dubaiand boasts a burgeoning base of international clientele.Jimmy and Tatyana are committed to the companyas owners and dedicated to each other as life partners.“Business does challenge our personal relationship attimes but we navigate through tough times to emergeas stronger people. We love being together, we loveworking together and we love growing together,” saysJimmy while Tatyana agrees on the same.With an impressive first quarter in 2012 andmaster plan to open offices in North America, Europeand Malaysia by year-end, Bridging Continents isunstoppable on the road to becoming the best realestate brokerage firm in the region.Jimmy, on the other hand, narrates a different story.He gathered his skills on leadership, management andstrong sense of ethics from his 14 years of US Militaryand International Security work. In 2007, Jimmyestablished his first company in Canada. Alongsideowning several businesses world over, today, asthe co-owner of Bridging Continents, he brings hisentrepreneurial experience to devise a winning strategyfor BCREB.Despite a plethora of real estate brokers in thecountry, Bridging Continents stands apart in itscommitment to never waste a client’s time. The key hereis ‘value added’ customer service, which is hard to find inthis market. “Clients become family members and goingan extra mile for them seems worth it because theirpositive feedback ensures our strive for excellence is notin vain,” says Jimmy Bergeron, CEO, Bridging Continents.Due to the unique blend of their expertise, Jimmy andTatyana have been able to troubleshoot at all times andprovide the client with immaculate options, be it rentinga studio or buying a Signature Villa at Palm Jumeirah.“The moment that I most eagerly await is that warmfeeling our customers experience when they say ‘Yes,this is the one’ and it lightens up stars during daytimefor us,” adds Tatyana. This emotion, she says, appliesequally to renters, homebuyers or investors, as they allneed to be convinced that it’s worth every penny.Tel +971 4 4541172www.bridging7continents.com
138RealEstateHarbor Real EstateAs a holistic real estate service provider, Harbor Real Estate has been setting newbenchmarks for the property sector in Dubai since 2001. Based on innovation,experience, and credibility, the organisation has been running operations successfullywith the aim that clients in search of property management, leasing, sales andinspection solutions won’t have to look beyond Harbor.With over 15 years of combined real estate experiencein the local and international domain, the Harborproperty management and transactional teams are welltrained to embrace change and offer quality services toclients with absolute integrity and transparency. With astrong desire to improve the way the industry operates,the organisation is pioneering change throughout thesector. Its result oriented approach that treats clientsas partners ensures that both the service and businessgoals are accomplished fully and fairly.It also offers intellectual, capital and technologyresources that develop and deliver superior analytical,research and client service tools to help clients makeinformed decisions and seize market opportunities inorder to receive a competitive edge. Enabling themto steer through the investment process by offering acomplete solution right from inception to execution,Harbor Real Estate has now become the purest form ofclient representation in the real estate sector, assistingclients in optimising their properties portfolios.Encompassing advisory, marketing, sales, leasing,property management and property inspection, Harbor
139the process for clients, Harbor has completed over 2,900inspections till date and prepared in-depth assessmentreports based upon technical expertise and years ofexperience in the industry.Harbor Real Estate received a letter of appreciationfrom the Dubai Real Estate Institute, the official trainingand certification arm of the Dubai Land Departmentand Real Estate Regulatory Agency for its ongoingcontribution to support RERA and DREI in elevating levelsof professionalism in the industry through its certifiedreal estate education programmes. In acknowledgementand appreciation of its contribution, it also receivedcommendation from various reputed companies includingEmirates, National Bonds Corporation, ETA Star, TameerHoldings, TBWA/RAAD, ACI Accounting, The AmericanUniversity in Dubai and so on. In 2010, Harbor wasawarded the best real estate agency in Dubai andrecognised as the best provider of real estate agencymarketing in Dubai and the Arabia region.To reiterate its commitment to serve society, Harboralso sponsors the Annual Unicef and Liberty MedicalCenter charity event that supports children in needReal Estate undertakes the entire responsibility to deliverthe maximum value and peace of mind to its clients.Leasing and selling strategies that worked in thepast require an overhaul in today’s challenging realestate environment. Harbor helps you match theright properties with the right buyers and tenants andformulates a professional, carefully planned, stress-freeand profitable approach that goes a long way.With a portfolio of over 4,000 strata-titled propertiesexclusively managed by Harbor Real Estate, Harbor is byfar the largest private property supervision managementfirm in Dubai today. With a strong focus on innovativeoperating and capital budgeting, cash flow planning,result-oriented marketing and leasing strategies,preventative maintenance and customer service, theproperty supervision management takes the headachesoff clients’ plates. Day-to-day maintenance, propertymarketing and leasing, tenant management, rentcollection, dispute resolution, legal representation andregistration and long-term capital planning are also takencare of.Investing in Real Estate is tricky business. To simplifyTel +971 4 3251616www.harbordubai.comProperty Management ServicesTotal Peace of Mind Optimizing your property value Maximizing your rent returns Owner protection Ejari Registration & legal representation Cost control & maintenance supervision Day to day property & tenant supervision Financial management & rent collectionExperience the best standards of quality and effective real estatesolutions with Harbor Real Estate.Contact one of the Harbor property management advisorson 04 325 1616 or 050 916 6543Fishing for a Good Deal?Contact Harbor Real Estate to talk to one of our consultants orvisit our webiste to view our large selection of good deals.+971 4 325 1616 I www.harbordubai.comall over the Middle East. In addition, Harbor providesongoing support to various charity organisations,including but not limited to, The Shelter, SheikhMohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Center for Culturaland Social Understanding, The Awqaf & Minor AffairsFoundation and the Initiate to Motivate Foundation.With lives becoming busier, and businesses trickier,clients are in search of individuals and companies thatcan be trusted and deliver tangible results in an efficientand effective manner. With Harbor’s track record, thereis no doubt that it is and will continue to be one of theleading companies in that circle of trust.Harbor was awarded the best real estate agencyin Dubai and recognized as the best provider ofreal estate agency marketing in Dubai & the Arabiaregion.To reiterate its commitment to serve society, Harboralso sponsors the Annual Unicef & Liberty MedicalCenter charity event that supports children in needall over the Middle East. In addition, Harbor providesongoing support to various charity organizations,including but not limited to, The Shelter, SheikhMohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Center forCultural and Social Understanding, The Awqaf &Minor Affairs Foundation and the Initiate to MotivateFoundation.With lives becoming busier, and businesses trickier,clients are in search of individuals and companiesthat can be trusted and deliver tangible results in anefficient and effective manner. With Harbor’s trackrecord, there is no doubt that it is and will continueto be one of the leading companies in that circle oftrust.T: +971 4 325 1616www.harbordubai.comLeasing and selling strategies that worked in thepast require an overhaul in today’s challenging realestate environment. Harbor helps you match theright properties with the right buyers & tenants andformulates a professional, carefully planned, stress-free and profitable approach that goes a long way.With a portfolio of over 4,000 strata-titled propertiesexclusively managed by Harbor Real Estate, Harboris by far the largest private property supervisionmanagement firm in Dubai today. With a strongfocus on innovative operating and capital budgeting,cash flow planning, result-oriented marketing& leasing strategies, preventative maintenance& customer service, the property supervisionmanagement takes the headaches off clients’plates.Day-to-day maintenance, property marketing &leasing, tenant management, rent collection, disputeresolution, legal representation & registration andlong-term capital planning are also taken care of.Investing in Real Estate is tricky business. To simplifythe process for clients, Harbor has completed over2,900 inspections till date and prepared in-depthassessment reports based upon technical expertiseand years of experience in the industry.Harbor Real Estate received a letter of appreciationfrom the Dubai Real Estate Institute, the officialtraining and certification arm of the Dubai LandDepartment and Real Estate Regulatory Agencyfor its ongoing contribution to support RERA andDREI in elevating levels of professionalism in theindustry through its certified real estate educationprograms. In acknowledgement and appreciationof its contribution, it also received commendationfrom various reputed companies includingEmirates, National Bonds Corporation, ETA Star,Tameer Holdings, TBWA/RAAD, ACI Accounting, TheAmerican University in Dubai and so on. In 2010,Feel the Harbor difference by contacting one of our sales or leasing consultantson 04 326 1616 or visit our large selection of property at www.harbordubai.comTrade License: 618031 I RERA Reg. Number 2004 I DCC Number: 1036702Property Management ServicesTotal Peace of Mind Optimizing your property value Maximizing your rent returns Owner protection Ejari Registration & legal representation Cost control & maintenance supervision Day to day property & tenant supervision Financial management & rent collectionExperience the best standards of quality and effective real estatesolutions with Harbor Real Estate.Contact one of the Harbor property management advisorson 04 325 1616 or 050 916 6543
Chapter 12Décor, Design& Interiors
142Decor&InteriorsMidas touch to your propertyConfidence is returning to the UAE Real Estate market as Dubai Land Department hasobserved a steady increase in residential and business property transactions. Investorsand homebuyers now indulge in elevating the worth of their investment through the highquality interiors and décor. One such supplier of superior quality finishing lines in buildingmaterials is Ponti International.
143Zeki Farra started in 1974 as the General Manager for AlFalah Building Materials and Trading Co. LLC, which wasunder the ownership of his uncles. When Al Falah closedin 2011, Zeki decided to renew the business of supplyinghigh-end European ceramics, kitchen furniture and moreunder the flagship of his newly established company PontiInternational. Following are excerpts from the interview:Why the business of finishing lines in buildingmaterials?I moved away from the family business of textiles, to joinmy uncles in their business of supplying building materialslike cement, steel, timber, binding wire and so on. In acompetitive market, I realised the need to venture into aniche market. I understood very early in my career, thatworking on the top of the pyramid is more advantageousthan scouting for opportunities in lower grounds.What makes your product different fromcompetitors?Be it the Star Gate at Zabeel Park, the HolidayInn Crowne Plaza and even the Emirates FlightCatering Services Unit, all these are testament of ourcommitment to excellence. They have stood for decadesdespite very high wear and tear and this highlights thegenuine reputable brands we represent.And of course, your products are costlier.On many occasions I have lostbusiness just becausepeople were thinking in terms of price brackets but onthe other hand I have undertaken esteemed projectsin town from people who knew they were buying at acostlier price but they are getting their money’s worth.Ihave secured projects despite my competition providingbuilding materials at cheaper rates. The client knows myproduct is superior and it runs parallel to their vision.What principles have kept you in business?The one motivation I have: I want to thrive and servethe market and my customers. In business you lose andyou win, but it’s your reputation that matters. I alwayskeep promises. There are many people in the market whoover promise and under deliver and I am lucky to havethe opportunity to thrive on their mistakes and keep mypromises though they are more realistic.Tell us that one highlight of your career.The day before Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait, whenmany people were struggling to keep their businessrunning, I received a LOC valued at Dh 3 million for DubaiCargo Village. That was the highlight of my career.How did the financial downturn impact yourbusiness?When the recession hit the UAE, there was looming athreat on the operations of Al Falah with a parabolic declinein turnover. The company had overhead costs such asshowrooms and stock. From the lessons I learned duringtough times, I was able to devise a unique business modelfor Ponti International to work on a project basis andrepresent exclusive European brands in the region.Zeki Farra, Managing Director, Ponti International
144Decor&Interiors Your success philosophyHonesty, fairness, clarity and a little bit of luck blend to define my success philosophy. We represent the best globalbrands in the business and are grateful to them for placing their faith in us. Not only have we brought quality productsto the Arab world, but have stood by our clients to serve and solve any problems they face. People trust us to add theMidas touch to their property.BRANDSBRANDSIris CeramicaMade in Italy, Iris Ceramica products are the best inthe world. Successfully sold and cherished in over 80countries, Iris occupies the leading position thanksto advanced technologies. Your love for ceramics andfinishing products will be satiated well with its rangeof offerings. Different colours and superb quality, theycan stand the test of time and weather any storm.All products are resistant to flexion, abrasion, frost,chemical and stain proof.FMGFabbricaMarmi e Graniti constructs products conceivedto free the creativity of architects, designers andplanners by offering a large range of man-made naturalgranites, stones, travertines and stones suitable for themost widely varying applications, from major projectsto small residential contexts. This genuine innovationtoday enables FMG to offer the international marketunique products.Graniti FiandreSpearheading the concept of ‘Perfect Freedom’in architecture, Graniti Fiandre has provided theextraordinary in porcelain stoneware for over 30 years.This ISO certified brand is the trademark of excellencein the chemical industry. The brand highlights arespecialised ranges like ‘Marmireali’, ‘Pietre Preziose’ and‘Granitireali’ that have attained a guarantee that lasts a100 years.
145N & C NicobondThe Nicholls and Clarke Group of Companies is a businessdedicated to the manufacture and supply of the finestbuilding materials. Founded in 1875 in London, it hasgrown to become the largest privately owned Englishmanufacturer and distributor of fine quality tiles,bathrooms and related products.ZeykoIf you equate food to happiness and health, the place inyour home that needs your most attention is the kitchen.Where work and play blend in perfection, a Zeyko kitchenis the gem of the house. Having meticulously met highstandards for decades now, Zeyko is a testament tothe possibility of extraordinary performance at not soextravagant prices.Domus LineaMotivated by changing demands of the market, DomusLinea is committed to research and improvement of itsproducts. It’s slogan, ‘THE FORCE OF NATURE’ highlightsthe company’s eco-friendly operations. It remains theundisputed leader in the production of furnishings andfittings designed by the fusion of elegance, class anddesign.Pedro BeltranA family run brand for generations, Pedro Beltran is aniconic name in the world of ceramics. The firm has growna great deal since its foundation, constantly evolving tobecome a point of reference within the current Spanishceramics sector. It enjoys a fine reputation, and itsdesigns are extensively used, in several countries.Tel +971 4 3807355www.ponti-intl.com
146Decor&InteriorsAn abode like no otherNot very long ago the UAE witnessed the rise of a mortar empire. With the world’smost spectacular architecture amidst us, it is only fair to have interior furnishingsof impeccable design and quality. Overall expenditures in the interior designindustry skyrocketed to a USD 22.5 billion in the UAE in 2011. Carpe Diem, housinginternationally renowned décor ideas and products, is a hallmark of the art of stylish andinspired living.The Carpe Diem showroom in Dubai displays an inspired range of designs and fine craftsmanship from Grange– a collection preferred by those with impeccabletaste and an enthusiasm for exclusivity.
147Dubai now hosts its own ‘Festival of Interior Design’and has welcomed international brands to offers theircollection to the diverse public. Bringing the finest fromthe European continent, Carpe Diem offers world-classfurniture and professional interior design consultancyservices. Founded by Tania Willems in 2000, and locatedin Jumeirah, this 6000 square feet villa showroom, givesyou a valuable dose of interior inspiration among itsblend of contemporary and classic styles of living.Bespoke designsAs the sole supplier and retailer of bespoke furniturebrands like Grange, Carpe Diem is at the helm of drivinga new niche of inspired designs in furniture. Not onlydoes it cater to all your needs but brings an influence ofculture in your choice of home décor. “In decorating yourhome spaces, priority should be given to comfort andfunctionality. Aesthetics is the icing on the cake. Grangedoes just that,” said Tania, whose passion for interiordesign since childhood manifested into Carpe Diem.GrangeWith a zest to create flawless furniture for family homes,Grange provides a wide range of elegant designs in bothclassic and contemporary style. Established in 1904, thebrand continues its French cabinet-making tradition as acreator and distributor of furnishings, endorsing centuryold rare qualities of finishes leaving it trademark legacyin every collection.Choosing from the best fabrics, finishes, furnitureand a variety of fittings that create the personality of aninterior space, Grange creates the most beautiful abodesthat can transform the way you live and share yourspace with loved ones. Devised with bold and vibrantcolours, Grange’s versatile pieces can give a stylish andpleasant ambience to any living room.Tel +971 4 3444734www.carpediem.aeHand-made by skilled craftsmen, Grange furniture has always famed itself by the choicest collection of superb furniture in varied colours with eachpiece sharing the unique legacy of originality and sophistication.Grange goes greenNew collections from Grange are a burst of creativity andboldness with the traditions of French cabinet making,safeguarding century-old expertise and the particularqualities of rare finishes, while also paying respect to theenvironment through its ‘green’ practices – an integralpart of its company culture. Grange relies on a network ofsuppliers that abide by current social and environmentallegislation and are committed to improving theirenvironmental performance targets, use of ‘green certified’spare parts, and no longer use polystyrene in theirpackaging; switching to use of recycled materials only.Recently, The Ermitage collection by GRANGE wasinspired by the furnishings of the Winter Palace in St.Petersburg, Russia, home to the Tsars. The ornate LouisXVI style furniture is emboldened by vibrant colours andfluted mouldings found in royal chambers.Carpe Diem has established itself as a place toinspire peaceful, happy and stylish living as futurecollections from Grange will make a deliberately uniquestatement and perfectly express the brand’s ability tocombine creativity and tradition.“What’s impressive is that modern lifestyle has beenincorporated into classical furniture. Their new TV unitsare perfect for flat screens and consoles can house aniPad too. And it only gets better every year,” added Tania.In addition to its unique skill to combine originalityand tradition, Grange is recognised for its ability indecoding popular styles to warm, modern interiors. Asa designer and merchandiser of furniture, Grange hasalso taken inspiration from the historic icons such MarieAntoinette, who in her time represented style, elegance,flamboyance and classy living.
148Decor&InteriorsFashion for the homeVogue USA Editor Anna Wintour once said, “I’ve long believed that the eye runsnaturally from the catwalk to the kitchen.” Taking inspiration from fashion to designor accessorise an interior space is Yasemin Richie’s forte; a Dubai based designer andinterior stylist and co-founder of Yasemin Richie London. Yasemin Richie London createsexclusive artwork, home accessories and couture furniture fusing fashion trends and theprinciples of interior design.A striking print on a blank wall turns boring into inspired. An antique couch in a modern room becomes art décor. Originally from London, Yasemin Richie’s work isinspired from what she loves – cultures, cities, fashion and films.Yasemin Richie, originally from London, has an undyingpassion for art, fashion and interior design. It is this verypassion that inspired her education at the Chelsea Collegeof Art & Design and the London College of Fashion, alongwith the Interior Design Institute in London, and thereason why she devised a unique career for herself as adesigner and stylist of interiors. Her passion is also seenin her blog, which contains regular articles and posts onfashion, interior design and art. Company values revolvearound the idea that it is reassuring and uplifting to bein a well-designed space, especially one that stylishlyrepresents your tastes and personality.
149Yasemin Richie London deals mainly with a rangeof home accessories and furnishings, with designs thattend to be a fusion of classic shapes with nuances ofedgy, modern themes and contrasting imagery, witha specific focus on British iconography which Richiejust cannot resist. The company started with thesuccessful launch of Yasemin Richie’s first home décorart collection, and has grown ever since. The team offera wide range of limited edition home décor art, and isregularly commissioned to create original artwork andbespoke furniture for private clientele and corporates.Fashion inspires a great deal of Richie’s work. “I liketo think of what I produce as fashion for the home,” shesaid. “I love the challenge of making an empty spacecome alive and giving it a personality,” she added whilealso laying emphasis on being able to understand theclient’s need and lifestyle to design the space that is notonly beautiful but also practical to them, “There is nopoint leaving a client with a beautiful interior that theycan’t use or that doesn’t suit their lifestyle.”In addition to the artwork, Yasemin Richie Londondesign and produce unique furniture pieces. “We eitherrestore genuine antique or vintage furniture giving ita modern twist or design and produce reproductionpieces that are handmade using our locally basedteam,” she stated. “As with all our products available inthe UAE, in an effort to support and develop the localcreative community, each element of a bespoke piece isproduced entirely within the UAE – from the carpentryand printing of the unique fabric design to upholsteryand hand finishing the piece. We are also careful toensure that all materials are ethically sourced.”Pop Art, fashion illustration, the art deco movement,iconic architecture, street art, graffiti, and manycontemporary artists can be seen as influencers toRichie’s design work.Her experience in the film and music industries hasalso molded her perceptions, and can be seen in herupcoming collection, entitled ‘Story Lines’. ‘Story Lines’is an exemplary collection, which uses classic filmsas a medium to create accessories for the home. Thecollection embodies the style of the film through colourand recreates its visual impact on a particular accessoryor a piece of furniture.Richie has successfully taken inspiration from UAEculture to depict the modern architecture and alsoweaved Arabic calligraphy in her collection called Letters& Steel, which is a deconstruction of the art of Arabiccalligraphy on a background of metals giving it analmost industrial feel.Yasemin Richie London products and collections areavailable in Singways stores in the Mall of the Emiratesand Jumeirah Beach Residence, and the Mood store atGalleries Lafayette in Dubai Mall. Full collections can alsobe found and purchased through the website.Tel +971 50 9125400www.yaseminrichie.comYasemin Richie
Chapter 13Beauty & Wellness
152Beauty&WellnessRefined wellness conceptOver the years, the simplicity of our traditional lifestyles has been overshadowed bythe complexities of modern life. To restore the simplicity of our traditional lifestyles,Landmark Group’s revolutionary wellness concept, Balance Wellbeing 360, is workingtowards maintaining our internal rhythm through lifestyle guidance and therapies drawnfrom ancient wisdom and modern science.Ayurveda, a healing system that originated in Indiaapproximately 5000 years ago believes that theentire universe is made of five elements- Air, Space,Water, Fire and Earth. The five elements in the rightproportion in our food give us the balance of ‘Energies’and govern all psycho-physiological processesresponsible for creating balance in the body, mind,and soul. Several philosophers from other countrieshad similar beliefs and eventually laid the foundingprinciples for a healthy lifestyle.Spanning over 20,000 square feet on the third level ofOasis Centre, Balance Wellness Club; crafts and presentsa perfect fusion of traditional Ayurveda concepts andcontemporary styles to cater to customised and wholesomelifestyles. It aims to make wellness part of everyday life andoffers a 360-degree wellness philosophy that encompassesall aspects of life including exercise, diet, counselling,meditation, therapeutic massage, herbal therapies and anumber of life-changing solutions. It is dedicated to thosewho are in search of peace, harmony and well-being.
153Visitors are given the opportunity to meet highlytrained Ayurveda consultants who discuss their mindbody health, identify underlying imbalances, analysetheir body type and make recommendations. A panelof experts comes up with a programme of treatmentsand therapies and helps fine tune every aspect of theirlife from overall health to diet, activity, sleep, lifestyleand emotional wellbeing, which is re-evaluated on amonthly basis to match the changing scenario.The Wellness Club also offers daily Yoga and Pilatesclasses. Yoga is taught as a way of life and theprogramme is customised to match specific needs.Tailor-made Pilates, fitness recommendations andcoaching are also an integral part of the bodyworkfocus. It also has a boutique with handpicked artifactsand accessories from around the world, includingcarefully selected natural skin and hair care products,organic cotton clothing and accessories, yoga mats,meditation pillows and incense.The highlight of Balance Welbeing 360 is however,the cuisine offered by the Balance Café which reflectstraditional styles of cooking, reinterpreted in acontemporary manner by blending ancient Ayurvedaconcepts, Yogic know-how and macrobiotic foodswith modern day wellness-oriented nutrition. Offeringa rare combination of health and affordability, themeal plans from Balance Café eliminate the need tomeasure calorie intake and portion sizes. As part of itscommitment to offer a unique yet convenient solution,the café has recently launched the delivery of client-specific meals to homes and offices as part of its aimto help patrons enjoy a customised balanced diet.Another major attraction of the club is its Spa,Balance Wellness Club, which hosts 21 treatmentrooms and offers a wide range of therapeuticAyurveda and Tibetan massages, Hydrotherapy andMiddle Eastern treatments and European therapies.Tel +971 4 3847010 /11Info.firstname.lastname@example.orgWith an experienced panel of experts givingcomprehensive recommendation, reputed and welltrained therapists, wide range of natural and organicproduct and service offerings and affordable rates,Balance Wellbeing 360 is indeed, the 21st centuryapproach to better living.
154Beauty&WellnessA symbol of successFounded in 2004, Bulandi Distributors FZE is a sister company of Tanzania basedBuniyad Limited, a leading trader of cosmetic products. Initially the company wasfunctional within a 545sqm warehouse starting with a single agency named Dark andLovely hair care products, a US brand. The organisation specifically adheres to therequirements of African population in the UAE and MENA region.
155Tel +971 4 2352949www.buland2trading.comBusinesswoman Harsha Bagia, a Tanzanian withIndian origin, has been a primary motive behind theestablishment and consequent success of Buniyad Ltdin Tanzania in 1993. With their constant marketingstrategies and customer focused approach, thecompany made its mark across the UAE within a shortspan of time.Bulandi’s remarkable growth can be attributed to itstotal commitment to provide customers what they needin the most efficient way. “Our location in Jafza (JebelAli Free Zone) has enabled us to meet our deliverycommitments efficiently allowing us to grow at such apace,” says Harsha Bagia, Managing Director, BulandiDistributors FZE.As a part of their development plan, Bulandi initiatedits operations through a subordinate Buland 2 TradingLLC situated in Deira, Dubai – the retail and wholesaletrading hub of the city. It has proved to be an excellentsource for traders coming to Dubai from different partsof Africa and enables Bulandi to resourcefully reach outto its clients. The company has incorporated variousbrands to its portfolio since its launch and achieveda substantial turnover of Dh 18 million in their firstbusiness year.By classifying consumer needs and requirements, thecompany has integrated the finest brands in variouscategories to effectively deliver quality products toits clients. Currently, Bulandi houses over 30 brandswith more than 2,000 stock keeping units in differentproduct lines.In addition to their industry base of hair care products,Bulandi also deals in skin care and salon equipment.The company lays its focus on a six point developmentapproach inclusive of availability, awareness, quality,reasonable value, service and satisfaction.Bulandi has exceeded the market growth by two andhalf times when recession hit in 2009. The companywitnessed over 30 percent rise in its revenue duringthat year, which comprises of 250 percent above theestimated market growth in the sector at that time. Inthe last seven years, Bulandi has achieved more than afivefold growth in its annual revenues increasing fromDh 8 million in 2004 to Dh 60 million in 2010.“We are aiming to achieve Dh 100 million in revenueby 2012. All our efforts are geared towards securing thisformidable goal, which includes quadrupling our storagecapacity in Jafza, the backbone of our impressive growthso far,” explains Harsha.Buland 2 Trading is one of the leading cosmetics agentand reliable partner to its distributors, wholesalers, retailtraders and commercial users in the Middle East andAfrican regions. The company’s key mission is to provideits consumers with excellent quality of products andexpert services and caters to the needs of all who careabout their beauty.As a future development plan, Bulandi intends to growtheir profile with the inclusion of various segments inthe cosmetic industry comprising of new brands in theexisting categories. “We want to be a single source of allcosmetics for ethnic consumers in the GCC and Africa,”says Harsha.By classifying consumer needs and requirements, the company hasintegrated the finest brands in various categories to effectively deliverquality products to its clients. Currently, Bulandi houses over 30 brandswith more than 2,000 stock keeping units in different product lines.Harsha Bagia, Managing Director, Bulandi Distributors FZE
156Beauty&WellnessCreating lifestylechanges for lifeLiving in this part of the world may get cushy for some, but for many it’s not good forhealth and longevity. Forty percent of the country’s healthcare budget is gobbled upin preventing diabetes and obesity. Defying the ‘obesogenic’ environment to inculcatea better way of living is GO Exercise Solutions. Established in 2011, it specialises inoffering programmes in fitness, physical training and healthy living.GO Exercise Solutions is a concept that is run bythe delivery of its services. According to Grant Go,who is a fitness trainer by profession and founder ofGOES, ‘Fitness is a journey in people’s lives. Everyjourney must start somewhere, and we are dedicatedto being there from start to finish. While we improvethe body, we must improve and strengthen the mind.Our support, professional standards, and knowledgeprovide the strong foundation for creating changeswithin people.’Living in the UAE, one is exposed to blatant fast foodadvertising and thunderous discounts at the nearest sweetshop. Furthermore, the promotion of electronic goods andtheir rampant consumption has led to a physical inactivegeneration with adverse health affects that come along. GoExercise Solutions is determined to help as many peopleas possible reach beyond their fitness abilities and uncovertheir full potential, and to create long lasting positivechanges that will enable people to get the best out of life.The company’s primary goals are to work closely with
157Tel +971 55 3463436www.goesfitness.comthe education system in the UAE and to formulate plansto improve the knowledge of health education and fitnessabilities among children and their parents. The company’sprogrammes are very result-oriented, and are designed andreviewed by higher education professionals, before beinglaunched. These measures have enabled the company tocontrol the services being delivered by the trainers andhave earned a great deal of credibility.A formidable part of GO Exercise Solutions’ business isattributed to two key services offered by the company. ‘GO4 LIFE’, which is a training programme, is a complete fourweek package that includes training sessions, nutritionaldiet plans and a guide, weekly educational videos, trainingfocuses on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, full bodyassessments, and world-class functional training tools forfaster results.Champions Fitness Challenge, which is a trainingassessment, is a multi-level assessment grading systemthat tracks people’s fitness levels and gives everyonea new goal to achieve every singletime. It consistsof five divisions: Entry, Competitor, Athlete, Elite andChampions. Each person begins from the Entry level, andhas to achieve gold status in each division before movingon to the next one. The Champions division is a routinethat will test an athlete in all areas of fitness. In addition,services like fitness retreats, nutrition products, activitygroups, in-school physical training and personal training arealso offered.The company has received tremendous positive responsefrom parents and individuals. It has taken an initiativeto launch a training programme in some of Dubai’s localschools, where the parents can train three times a weekimmediately after dropping off their children to school. Thisprogramme saves a lot of time, and training is accessibleand easy. It also motivates the children to becomehealthier.When asked about his/her wellness mantra, Grantstated, “No one can define me, no-one can tell me whoI can and cannot be,” and that is truly an extension ofwhat the company truly aims for-helping define healthyindividuals that lead a balanced life. The core motto ofGO Exercise Solutions is ‘fitness is a journey for everyone;fitness is the gateway to a better way of living’.Grant Goes, Founder and Trainer , Go Exercise Solutions
158Beauty&WellnessCelebrating spectaculargroomingThe global beauty and grooming industry has recorded a growth of more than 4 percentannually, with the Middle East beauty market making a turnover of more than Dh 3billion. Beauty and grooming company NStyle International is one of the key players inthis industry, having spent a successful decade in providing premium grooming servicesto its customers.As a premium brand in providing beauty, grooming and wellness services, NStyle International is the first choice of those who wish to look good, feel great and stayahead of the times.
159charities, and their great work in offering education toimpoverished girls across Africa and Asia and assistanceto children with dire medical disorders that live incombat zones,” said Bazzari.“A decade after setting up NStyle International, I lookback at my journey as an Arab female entrepreneurand feel blessed to have been able to give back alongthe way to the underprivileged across the communitieswe operated from and work closely with a range ofhonourable causes.”Tel +971 4 3398414www.nstylintl.comEstablished by Lama Bazzari in Bahrain in the year2001, NStyle International is the umbrella company forpremium grooming brands NStyle Nail Lounge, NStyleNail Care, and Urban Male Lounge. The companycelebrated a prosperous decade in 2011, with a total of15 branches in the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Jordan thatcater to over 40,000 customers, both male and female,per month. The company is defined by a luxurious andhygienic store environment and exceptional customerservice. Stringent care of quality standards with acreative and varied menu of services reflects the highestbenchmarks of expertise.Due to the growing popularity and prosperity of thecompany and its brands, franchise requests have beenpouring in from companies in Europe, Asia and theMiddle East and North Africa region. It aims to double itsstore outreach by 2013 and enter new markets locallyand across the globe. The 40 member managementteam proves to be a valuable asset to the company, whoefficiently control the staff of over 500 people who workacross the stores.The brands under NStyle International have becomesome of the most renowned brands in beauty andgrooming. NStyle Nail Care, which is a premium nailcare product range, was a bronze award winner at theprestigious VIVA Beauty Awards in March 2011. NStyleNail Lounge, which is the focal point of the company,provides services in luxurious and indulgent pamperingat affordable prices. The most recent and uniquebrand in the NStyle International family is the UrbanMale Lounge, which was launched in 2006 as a projectto provide premium grooming services to the malepopulation of the UAE.The driving force behind the flourishing success of thecompany is undoubtedly the founder and CEO, LamaBazzari. In addition to being a prominent figure andentrepreneur in the industry, Lama was also instrumentalin the empowerment of women and served as a mentorto those women who seek to set up businesses of theirown. This led to the launch of an official programme incorporate social responsibility, termed as ‘Give N Style’.Over 1000 women participated in this programme, tooutstanding results.“We continue to expand our official programmeof corporate social responsibility by donating fundsto notable charities such as Dubai Cares and PCRFwith full proceeds of two NStyle nail polishes, whichwere introduced and named respectively after theseWant a ‘Me Day’ or a ladies afternoon out, there’s nothing like going forthe best manicure, pedicure and spa treatments in town. Head to thenearest NStyle Nail Lounge to pamper yourself and de-stress.Leading a burgeoning male grooming industry, the Urban Male Loungeis the haven for men who need to look sharp and refined. The menuis tailor made for businessmen who are on the move and even thereclusive kinds.
160Beauty&WellnessWholesome wellnessIf you wish to take a blissful and relaxed journey through Balinese, Japanese and Thaiways of unwinding, visit SensAsia Urban Spas and indulge your sense in a graceful andelegant, yet refreshingly Asian experience of well-rounded wellness.“It all started one day in the midst of the hustleand bustle of Hanoi, when I was in search of a lazyafternoon to indulge myself. The idea was to createmy own sanctuary, since I had the perspective of theideal consumer,” remembers Salina Handa, founder ofSensAsia Urban Spas. “SensAsia Urban Spa has becomea reflection of myself. I wanted a hideaway; somethingthat could turn the city’s buzz into a purr.”The SensAsia Urban Spas Experience has been carefullydesigned to inculcate the ideals of privacy, effectivetreatments and good quality ingredients; in order to makeit a calming and harmonious one. With four branches inThe Village Mall, The Palm Jumeirah, Emirates Golf Cluband the SensAsia Express in Mall of the Emirates, this isa concept that is extremely passionate about pamperingand rejuvenation. Treatments have been arranged underdifferent categories, which are tailored to suit specifictypes of people.SensGolf, exclusive to the SensAsia Urban Spa atEmirates Golf Club, is an array of treatments created tosuit an avid golfer; SensMama, which caters specificallyto pregnant women; SensConscious, which comprisesof anti-cellulite and body toning treatments andSensJourneys, which consists of unique treatments fromdiverse areas in Asia. Treatments also include a widevariety of massages and facials, with the availability ofgift packages and group treatments, which are termedunder SensGifts.
161Tel +971 04 4179820www.sensasiaspas.comHelen Spearman, Deputy Editor of lifestyle magazineWhat’s On, said, “A true urban retreat. One of the mostsensational spas in Dubai.” It is no surprise the spabagged the award for the ‘Best Spa Destination’ at therecent Viva Beauty Awards.Being a place that promises the most rejuvenatingexperience, it is no wonder why SensAsia Urban Spasis one of the best in the business. Remember to ‘loveSensAsia, as SensAsia loves you!’Since 2004, SensAsia has made a mark in thebusiness of beauty and wellness in Dubai. They havethe distinction of being listed on SpaGenie, a websitegiving information on some of the best spa deals inDubai. According to lifestyle portal TimeOut Dubai,SensAsia is ‘a true urban spa that wouldn’t feel out ofplace in down town New York’. Faye James, weddingplanner and founder of ‘The Bridal Makeover’, stated,“When my brides feel the stress is just getting too much,I always suggest the perfect antidote at SensAsia.”
Chapter 14Medical & Healthcare
"We delight in the beauty of a butterfly,but rarely acknowledge the transformationsit has experienced to achieve that beauty."
164Medical&HealthcareProof of a pioneerThe burgeoning global skincare and aesthetics industry looks rosy compared to othersectors. According to ‘Skincare: Global Industry Guide’, the industry is expected togrow by 21.4 percent annually till 2014 reaching a USD80,128 million. The KaliumGroup of Companies is one key player in the region that is growing from strength tostrength as pioneer in medical innovation when it comes to lasers and anti-ageingaesthetics products.Besides being a rapidly growing distributor of highquality medical equipment, aesthetic devices andskincare products, the company has established a strongsales and distribution network in the region with officesin Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon,Syria and Jordan.“Kalium strives to be the company of choice tosatisfythe needs of professionals in the aesthetic medical fieldsnamely, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, laser andskin specialists working in the Middle East. We achievethis by tirelessly researching global innovations in themarket and ensuring that they have genuine value forour growing network of clients,” says Nazih Khattar,Managing Director, Kalium Group.Kalium’s products range, which includes reputednames like Nimue, Mesoestetic and Innosearch, isnot only world-renowned but also evidence-basedand innovative. It understands the importance ofpromoting science by continuously exchanginginformation, knowledge and know-how. As such, itmaintains open channels of communication betweenglobally valued practitioners and the products itrepresents through their well-trained sales andmarketing teams.
165Laser technologyThe global aesthetics market has witnessed the rapidevolution of laser technology for anti-ageing and hairremoval – which contributes to over 40 percent in thefield of aesthetics entirely – recent market trends havealso indicated that body and facial contouring are alsorapidly gaining momentum. “Specifically for hair removal,the gold standard equipment is the Diode laser,”mentions Khattar. Ninety percent of practitioners agreewith the same and recommend it as the most successful,reliable and effective laser treatment on the market.Additionally, the Diode is FDA approved and remainsthe best choice for hair removal with a high penetrationdepth that does not compromise melanin absorption andyet is safe for all skin types.Tel +971 4 282 email@example.com service to clients and practitioners. Technicalemergencies are taken care of within 24 hours bythe regional support team on call. However, like anythriving organisation, Kalium does have its share ofchallenges in a diversely competitive market such as theUAE. Often found playing the role of educating clients,aesthetic practitioners on misconceptions, Kalium hasthe knowledge to deal with information manipulated fordriving sales. “There are unscrupulous agents sellingunregistered products here. Not only does this pose ahealth hazard but tarnishes the scientific credibility ofthe industry,” Khattar expresses his concern.As the global aesthetic industry thrives, Kalium continuespioneering in medical aesthetics and anti-ageing. Khattaris confident about his set-up, “Our role is not merely tosell laser equipment and cater to demands for anti-ageingtreatments, but to equally facilitate a seamless after-sales process and allow sophisticated evidence-basedtreatments flourish. This enhances the medical landscape,improving the services our clients provide and the valuewe bring to the market,” he concludes.Nazih Khattar, Managing Director, Kalium Group of CompaniesNew progressWith the advent of Soprano XLI Diode Laser System,aesthetic hair removal has achieved what wasconsidered impossible. An innovative product from AlmaLasers Limited, (USA) delivers effective and result-driventreatment for permanent hair reduction, no matterwhat the skin type. Khattar takes pride as a distributorof the Soprano due to its gold standard 810-nm diodeand Alma’s In-Motion TM Technology to deliver uniformenergy on the body part to be treated. Through gradualdermal heating, the laser impacts the hair follicle andreduces hair regrowth. “And the icing on the cake is thatit is guaranteed to be pain-free,” he adds.More from KaliumThe company’s supplied lasers are CE marked and FDAapproved and registered with the Ministry of Health.“We have sourced these premier solutions for varietyof treatments including skin/photo rejuvenation, skintightening, vascular and pigmented lesions and otherconditions like spider and varicose veins, psoriasis andso much more,” Khattar explains.Operating for almost a decade with eight officesin the Middle East, Kalium boasts a strong post-
166Medical&HealthcareAesthetica: Look forwardto yesterdayAesthetic medicine has come a long way since it became recognised as a disciplinetwo decades ago. Far more than a preoccupation centred on obliterating wrinkles;nowadays it is as much about achieving a radiant complexion and maintaining optimalglow overall. As the boundary between cosmetic surgery and non-invasive aesthetictreatment continues to blur, there is one pioneer who champions the cause of evidence-based approaches to create a sense of harmony between the two.Regionally recognised expert Dr Maria Angelo-Khattarbrings a scientist’s touch to this rapidly evolving plethoraof methods designed to preserve, enhance and rejuvenateface and body. As the founder and driving force behindAesthetica; a result-orientated chain of clinics offering goldstandard aesthetic treatments designed to achieve visibleoutcomes with a natural effect. A highly experiencedpractitioner, Dr Maria and her team of expert practitionersare the first in the region to introduce a plethora ofprocedures such as Accent Radio Frequency, Ellanse,Organic Peel, Photopneumatic Therapy, AutologousCellular Rejuvenation to name a few. With a wealth ofinnovative technology at their disposal, they have foundways of overlooking the limitations of chronological age byfocusing on reducing biological age instead.By advocating that patients should incorporate theseminimally invasive techniques into the pattern of ahealthy lifestyle based on balanced nutrition and physicalactivity, the prospect of looking and feeling great at anyage becomes attainable.The clinic offers unique solutions within five maincategories: skin refining, facial contouring, body reshaping,acne treatments and permanent hair reduction, ultimatelyattracting a wide range of clientele. “Statistics have shown
167that better looking people are at an advantage in theprofessional arena and this is the main reason why morepeople are now opting for aesthetic procedures”, she says.Simple, regular facial contouring, in contrast to radicalsurgery, is able to easily curb the effects of a stressfulor unhealthy lifestyle whilst avoiding the invasive andtime consuming effects of the scalpel. “As a solution to aproblem that used to seem unsolvable - until recently - it isboth intelligent and artistic”, she added.However, remaining true to its origins and needs oftheir clientele, Aesthetica adapts and grows with Dubai’sever-moving cosmopolitan lifestyle, remarkably bybuilding on the initial concept of a ‘lunchtime peel’ byadding increasingly more sophisticated procedures toits service portfolio. Having had enormous success withnon-invasive procedures, Aesthetica’s natural expansionis to reposition itself as a one-stop shop for aestheticswith anti-ageing solutions to include plastic surgery,Dermatology, hair implants, Sclerotherapy, bio identicalhormone replacement and other related procedures atthe vanguard of science.Take Autologous Cellular Rejuvenation (ACR) forinstance. Considered as one of the most innovativeemergences in aesthetic medicine, this techniqueharvests and re-injects the patient’s own platelets (thecells responsible for skin regeneration) back into theskin. Remarkably successful for alleviating dark under-eye circles and depressions, this is a revolutionaryprocedure towards a problem previously unsolvable.Dr Maria also advocates the judicious use of newgeneration collagen stimulating fillers such as Ellanse’,which ultimately replenishes the skin’s lost lift andstrength as “this concept of the body being stimulated tobuild volume through soft tissue regeneration is a verynatural and appealing solution to many.”Although renowned for its dedication towards anti-ageing medicine, Aesthetica is a leader in treating moreserious flaws such as surgical trauma scars, and theclinic’s commitment to a personalised service. “We arealways conscious of the distress that even the tiniestfacial flaw can potentially create, this is why problemsare addressed with confidence, in confidence,” Dr Mariaexplains, reinforcing the clinic’s philosophy.Not only destined to merely rejuvenate the face,Tel +971 4 342 8383www.aestheticaclinic.comDr Maria Angelo-KhattarAesthetica offers technologies to transform the entirebody with an extensive range of body reshaping and hairremoval treatments to create a harmonious silhouette.With the aim of eradicating unwanted lumps and bumpsfor instance, Dr Maria’s most sought after head to toetreatments include laser and injection lipolysis and theAccent Radiofrequency device that targets fat depositsand cellulite.Aesthetica embraces sustainable expansion andremains a thriving pioneer in the domain. Dr Maria is alsothe Director for the Aesthetic Anti-Ageing Fellowship bythe American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Recently,the Fellowship Certificate Training course was held at theAesthetica Clinic in Dubai Healthcare City. Through fourdays of intensive learning, physicians from all over theworld attended the training seminars designed to helpthem reinforce their Aesthetic Medical practices. Being theonly centre sanctioned to offer this Fellowship outside theUS, Aesthetica continues to progress with internationally-accredited solutions to aesthetic and anti-ageing wellness.
168Medical&HealthcareInnovative beautyenhancementMedical Aesthetics and cosmetic surgery are now considered the premier solution tosustaining ethereal youth, with a multitude of remedies on offer to deliver stunningimprovements, achievable to all. Striking the perfect balance between medicalexcellence and luxury, Dermalase Clinic offers the chance to turn the proverbial ageingclock gracefully and in style.When time and gravity start to take their toll, thisexclusive, result-orientated beauty enhancement clinicis the first port of call. Specialising in minimally invasivetreatments including skincare, laser treatments, botoxand fillers, clinical dermatology, as well as plastic surgery,Dermalase engages in the best that the industry has tooffer - all under one roof. Nestled in the heart of Jumeirah,care and precision is at the heart of the clinic’s philosophy.“All Dermalase’s minimally invasive treatments arecarried out from the up-market clinic’s safe and tranquilJumeirah villa, which boasts seven treatment rooms anda dedicated and highly-qualified staff of 14 – includingexperienced doctors, nurses and practitioners,” ensuresOperations Manager Natasha Bennett. The well-beingand comfort of their patients presides as the clinic’stop priority by “utilising only FDA and or CE markedequipment and scientifically-proven products,” addsBennett. The finishing touch is that, “all procedures areperformed in a highly-personalised and luxurious settingin one of Dubai’s most popular and easy-to-access
169locations,” only enhancing the groups’ stellar reputation.The team is credited with an outstanding accumulationof experts in the field, notably Dr Qassim Ahli (M.B.B.Ch)who specialises in plastic surgery, botox and fillersand Dr Ali Singel (LRCSI, LRCPI, M.B.B.Ch, NUI, DDsc,MSc, MD) who specialises in dermatology. Their subtletechnique and talented touch have made the vast rangeof surgical procedures on offer, including rhinoplasty,liposuction and facelifts, highly sought-after by clientele.In addition, Dermalase also branches out to caterto clinical dermatology, with several accomplishedaesthetics practitioners on hand to tackle all differentsigns of ageing and acne conditions. Combined withstate-of-the-art equipment, the team uses their savoir-faire to reduce lines and wrinkles, redefine contoursand tighten tone and texture. Culminating in the perfectfacial pick me up, Dermalase pledges their allegianceonly to the elite, scientifically proven skincare productsof Nimue, Mesoestetic and InnoSearch for instantaneousresults to guarantee a youthful fresh complexion andcustomer satisfaction.Tel +971 4 3497880www.dermalaseclinic.comNatasha Bennett, Operations Manager, Dermalase ClinicAlways meticulous to the finer details, Dermalase’sintensive hand treatment and combination necktreatment work wonders for targeting these notoriouslydifficult yet often the first visible signs of ageing.The clinic has the highly effective Soprano laser hairremoval machine, to help remove unwanted hair fromthe underarm and bikini areas and highly efficient skinpeeling treatments.However big or small the procedure, this is a clinicwith a difference, bearing in mind cultural differencesand patient care without losing the essence of luxury.“Dermalase’s multicultural and multilingual staff aretrained to re-enhance patients’ beauty, utilising state-of-the-art equipment and procedures practiced under veryhigh ethical standards,” a perception in succinct harmonywith Dubai’s status of prestige and luxury.The clinic’s defining feature is their combinationpackages. Clientele are often in hot pursuit of themixing and matching of the various treatments for anindividualised programmeme, a concept adhering to thegroup’s philosophy of conscientious personal attentionand dedication to the patient needs.Ever popular is the Body Treatment package, usinghighly effective CO2 therapy combined with Accent Ultraand LipoDissolve treatments. With Accent Ultra beingthe most advance body reshaping workstation, it is non-invasive and uses ultrasound energy to treat cellulite andfat reduction. Alongside the CO2 therapy, this treatmentis able to target stubborn cellulite, reduce rough skin,stretch marks, fat deposits and loose skin resulting in asmooth, refined silhouette.A radiant, smooth complexion is a worthwhileinvestment, so look no further than that of thecombination eye treatment as a starting point.Synchronised pixel resurfacing, cell therapy and eyerejuvenation, using the most advanced technology andMesoestetic products; this combination is the key tobanishing fine lines, wrinkles, loose skin, dark circles anddepressions in the hard-to-reach and delicate eye area.Dr Qassim Ahli (M.B.B.Ch) who specialises in plastic surgery, botoxand fillers at Dermalase ClinicDr Ali Singel (LRCSI, LRCPI, M.B.B.Ch, NUI, DDsc, MSc, MD)who specialises in dermatology at Dermalase ClinicDr. Qassim Ahli (M.B.B.Ch) who specialises in plastic surgery, botoxand fillers at Dermalase Clinic
170Medical&HealthcarePioneering healthcareA recent edition of the Edelman Health Barometre study elaborates on ways healthcareis taking front seat in the UAE with 32 percent of Emiratis describing their health asexcellent, and 27 percent of expats saying the same, compared to only 14 percentglobally. With a vision of a healthy UAE, Liberty Medical Group has maintained pioneerstatus in medical services for over 13 years in the region.Liberty Medical Group has helped the people of UAEpreserve what is the most precious asset – our health.The network focuses on providing quality medical careservices, and has now introduced a medical, and researchand training centre in addition to the dental clinic thathas been running since its inception. In 2005, driven byunsurpassed growth in the number of patients and fueledby a passion for continuous development, the dental clinicwas relocated to its new spacious premises in Jumeirah.Today it boasts eight branches and over 14 renowneddentists covering all dentistry fields.The new medicalcentre is hoped to boost the credibilityand reputation ofthe brand as it continues to carry and build its heritage.The founder & managing director of the LibertyMedical Group, Dr. Majd Naji, has earned his positionas the most celebrated cosmetic dentist in the MiddleEast as he continuous to push the bar by deliveringexceptional leadership and developing tireless initiativesand innovations. His experience, contacts, passion andreputation plays an integral part in ensuring that this
171evolution accomplishes the ultimate vision of LMG beingthe most renowned private hospital in the Middle East.An organisation that serves both, its patients andemployees is sure to tread on the path of success.LMG assures patients of professional, compassionateand empathetic services and employees of a rewardingand encouraging atmosphere that acknowledges andappraises their efforts and commitment.“We have an opportunity in which we can set a newbenchmark in health care, in which we can truly reformhow medicine is practiced and delivered. And we needto do it right. It is a great responsibility. It is a greatopportunity,” said Dr Majd Naji. His philosophy onpatient care is twofold. In addition to providing the bestavailable care, he is dedicated to educating his patientsand introducing them to the latest developmentsin the dental cosmetic field and utilizing the safest,least invasive and most advanced treatment methodsto produce the best results. With the larger goal ofcontributing actively to the growth and well being of thecommunity, LMG continues to accomplish more than itset out to do.“We are determined that the community we servebenefits from our success and we translate thisdetermination to practice, by engaging in variousinitiatives, programmes and charity causes aimed atsocial welfare, health care and the underprivilegedsections of our society namely children”, said Dr Majid.Based on the pillars of leadership and excellence,passion and innovation, exceptional service andnurturing staff, the centre hopes to achieve operationaland clinical excellence, pursue learning and innovation,gain advocacy and market share, maintain financialhealth and emerge as a positive and proactive corporatecitizen. Sticking to the highest standards of safety,the centre offers its patients and their families a cozyand comforting experience. The hope is that it willbe recognised as a leading medical organisation thatdelivers and promotes innovation in quality care.Tel +971 4 395 firstname.lastname@example.orgDr Majd Naji, The Founder and Managing Director of the LibertyMedical Center.In the drive to constantly improve its services, itaims to develop and deploy structured communicationprogrammes and initiatives that will build awareness,familiarity, comprehension, engagement, loyalty andadvocacy. The group, in association with severaluniversities and institutes has also organised highstandard academic programmes, courses andconferences to educate people at large.Improving the lives of patients and their families is atthe heart of everything LMG does. That was the promisemade by Dr Majd Naji when he founded LDC in 1998. Itis a promise reconfirmed by the institution every day.
172Medical&HealthcareTransforming healthHealthcare in the UAE continues to enjoy robust growth, despite global vicissitudes. Withthe rapidly growing health challenges in the region, medical institutes are constantlyevolving to meet individual needs. Founded by Dr Graham Simpson, Eternity MedicineInstitute (EMI) is one of the first healthcare providers in the world whose standardpractice is to execute a practical, concierge-styled age management programme toaddress and improve over 500 health indicators and bio-markers.With a vision statement of transforming health throughknowledge and wisdom, EMI provides its patients withexpert advice on the negative metabolic, functional andanatomical trends, which are overlooked in their bodies.The institute delivers a medical model allowing clientsto implement the best of age management diagnosticand therapeutic programmes. Equipped with the mostadvanced diagnostic screening technology in the world,EMI provides the world’s most comprehensive evidence-based therapeutic treatment programmes for cardio-metabolic disorders, erectile dysfunction and other agerelated problems. In addition, the institute also offersnutrition, diet plans and hormone replacement therapy.Eternity Medicine Institute is breaking new groundfor patients by introducing Bioidentical Hormonesto the region, which are used to treat a host ofconditions including menopause, andropause andcardio-metabolic disease. The Institute is the firstlicensed distributor of Bioidentical Hormones and theirproduction is currently underway in a compounding
173pharmacy located in Dubai Healthcare City.Dr Graham Simpson M.D., Chief Medical Officer ofthe Eternity Institute, which is located at Dubai Marina,says “Many women have told me that they had beenstruggling to acquire Bioidentical Hormones, so to seethem safely licensed here is a great step forward. Weoften think of replenishment of hormones in terms ofjust treating menopause, but it is also of great valuein the fight against cardio-metabolic diseases, whichranks very high in this region. At Eternity, we advocatea proactive role to healthcare. The license of theBioidentical Hormones together with our state-of-the-art health screening and our belief in making sensiblelifestyle decisions could well make many lives morefulfilling, and indeed longer.”EMI is also now a landmark of excellence in the USA.Eternity situated in West Los Angeles with a 3,200 sqfoot facility, housing advanced diagnostic equipment, it ispositioned to lead in vanquishing cardiovascular disease.Tel +971 4 4508181www.eternitymedicine.comDr Graham Simpson, Founder, Eternity Medicine Institute andMedical Director of Eternity Medicine Institute International.Graduated from the University of theWitwatersrand Medical School in Johannesburg,South Africa, Dr Graham Simpson is boardcertified on Internal and Emergency Medicine.Besides being a licensed homeopath, he isa founding member of the American HolisticMedical Association (AHMA). Moreover, he is theauthor of Wellman (live longer by controllinginflammation 2011), co-author of Spa Medicine(Basic Health, 2004) and has taught as anassistant professor of medicine at the Universityof Nevada, Reno. In addition, he is also certifiedin Age Medicine by the Cenegenics EducationResearch Foundation and remains a consultantfor the Cenegenics Medical Institute.The GCC healthcare outlookAccording to Alpen Capital, the GCC healthcare marketis expected to grow 11 percent annually and is on a‘high growth curve’. Healthcare expenditure is projectedto rise to USD 43.9bn by 2015 from an estimated USD25.6bn in 2010. Outpatient and inpatient markets areexpected to account for 82 percent and 18 percent,respectively, of the overall market size. Currently, almostUSD 14bn in healthcare-related projects are underwayacross the GCC, with the UAE alone accounting for 20percent of those expenditures.The 37th edition of the largest healthcare event in theMiddle East, Arab Health Exhibition & Congress held inJanuary 2012, witnessed several groundbreaking keyannouncements from across the healthcare industry.Featuring more than 3,000 exhibiting companies from 70countries, the show was attended by 70,000 healthcaretrade professionals, aiming to confront rising publichealth issues across the GCC.Eternity Medicine Institute is among the thrivingchange makers that will continue to revive the lives ofmany with innovation in technology and gold standardmedical practice.
Chapter 15Childcare & Toys
176Childcare&ToysSo much more than a toy shop‘Play’ is to a child, what ‘work’ is to man. What you expose your toddler up to the ageof five is crucial to its brain development. It is during this phase, intelligence is restoredand reasoning begins to cultivate. With a mission to ‘help children reach their potential’,Early Learning Centre (ELC) is a global specialist toyshop brand that has accompaniedchildren aged up to six since 1974.With the market for toys and games in an upbeat mood in the UAE, holidays and festive seasons generate a high volume of sales of traditional toys and games,thanks to the strong custom of gift giving in the country. ELC is the first choice of children and parents alike.
177Tel +971 4 3355232www.facebook.com/elcmeDedicated to helping children develop and learnthrough play, The Early Learning Centre (ELC)provides an unmatchable range of toys designedto stimulate holistic growth. The brand has helpedchildren explore the boundaries of their imaginationand creativity to make learning fun. While the globalmarket for toys is expected to be worth a whoppingUSD 122.2 billion in 2012, USD 5.3 billion of thatbusiness can be found only in the GCC.Thanks to its high spending power and youthfulpopulation with 30 percent of GCC under 15 yearsold, the region has seen no plunge in the demand oftoys despite financial downturn. The UAE’s appetitefor toys is particularly exciting for toy retailers andsuppliers as local manufacturing is low and parentsdo not compromise on the happiness of their children.To assist parents further, ELC has identified skillsthat are crucial to the development of children andincorporated those into product design. In this way,parents can be sure that they are not only buyingtheir child a simple toy, but rather an product thathelps their child evolve and grow. This is also whereELC differentiates itself from competitors.Strategic approach to child development at ELCinvolves understanding that toys act as a medium,if carefully tailored, through which children practicecreative thinking, observation and problem-solvingskills. While designing toys, ELC works closely withexperts, child psychologists and children themselves toensure all toys are top quality, safe and above all, fun.The future remains bright for ELC with 80 storescurrently across the GCC and another 6 stores plannedfor 2012. With a sound expansion plan and researchand expert support in child development, ELC hasgeared up to tackle any new challenges coming its way.Developing a successful business relies oncustomer growth and more importantly, on organicgrowth. Expansion opportunities lie in improving thecustomer offer by launching new product intervalsthroughout the year. By developing quality toys thatare safe and reliable, ELC has also complied to newrules on child safety by the Gulf StandardisationOrganisation (GSO). Contrary to the substandardmass imports from China, ELC toys come with a safetyguarantee that puts parents in a worry-free zone.Last but not the least, ELC is constantly on thelook out to add value in its offering throughout theyear to give customers their money’s worth. Much hasbeen done to retain the excitement of the brand andto maintain a loyal base of customers.The brand, through its global existence of almost four decades,carries a lot of heritage along with it and has been in the UAE marketnow for over 15 years. Internationally, ELC has grown tremendouslywith over 350 stores globally.
178Childcare&ToysThe place for little onesGranting both parents and children the joy of creating cherishable memories; Babyshop,the region’s leading retail destination for children’s products, has been in operation inthe UAE for over 20 years with 30 stores running successfully across the country. Toadd to the fleeting expanse, it recently announced an investment of Dh 250 million peryear, for the next five years across the Middle East and North Africa region.Established in Bahrain in 1973 the concept currentlyoccupies over 1.88 million square feet of retailspace, with 146 stores across the Middle East andNorth Africa. The expansion plan aims at adding 33new outlets to its global portfolio including five newstores in the UAE adding 70,000 square feet to thecurrent area.“As we expand our network we pledge ourselvesto provide a consistent value added experience to ourpatrons”, said Vinod Talreja, CEO Babyshop.The launch of this spectacle laid the foundation ofThe Landmark Group, which is today the region’s topretail and hospitality conglomerate, operating 1200outlets and encompassing over 18 million square feet
179Tel +971 4 3395339www.babyshopstores.comacross the GCC, India, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon,Yemen, Sudan, Kenya and Pakistan. With over 40,000committed employees, the chain’s spectrum nowincludes prominent international brands like Lee Cooper,Barbie, Disney, Graco, Ferrari, Maui & Sons, Fisher Price,Little Tikes, Maxi Cosi, Cambrass and Babyshop’s own in-house brands such as Juniors, Charmz and Giggles.Babyshop believes in facilitating a holistic growingexperience for children up to sixteen years of age, andoffers a comprehensive range of products includingfashion clothing, baby basics, safety and hygiene items,nursery furniture and toys at affordable prices.“Babyshop has evolved as a brand over the past39 years. The brand has garnered the continuedpatronage of its consumers as it has consistentlydelivered value to every life it touched. It has beenour endeavor to provide a wide product range offeringunmatched value and product quality to our patrons,”added Talreja.Besides the commercial success that the brandhas achieved, it has also managed to win the trustand confidence of its customers by pioneering severalnoteworthy causes. In November 2010, Dubai HealthAuthority (DHA) officials revealed that traffic accidentsVinod Talreja, CEO - Babyshopwere the primary cause of infant mortality in the UAEand account for 63 percent of all child deaths. To fightthis shocking number, Babyshop conducts an annual‘Child Safety Awareness Initiative’, a region-widedrive championed to highlight the importance of childsafety. Through this initiative Babyshop has pioneeredthe dialogue on child safety by creating extensiveawareness through conducting road shows in selectschools across the UAE.Rahul Saxena, Head of Marketing, Babyshop, said,“The campaign endeavors to partner with parents andsupport them to proactively provide their children asafe environment. Our team of buyers has studiedthe touch-points in the life of children, and identifiedpotential high-risk situations that can be avertedthrough precautions - at home, in the car or outdoors.”Going the extra mile, the brand has also tied-upwith Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority to maketaxis toddler-friendly. It has donated fifty car seatsto RTA Taxis and informed taxi drivers about thesignificance of the same. RTA commended its effortsand added, “We will promote this new feature throughmany media platforms and are confident that parentsseeking cabs will proactively use the ‘Child Safe Taxis’.”Run by the Landmark Group, one of the region’smost prestigious multinationals on its way totriumphant success, Babyshop is sure to tread on thesame path and offer the best of the best to patronsacross the globe.
180Childcare&ToysKeep them amused and happyThe UAE’s appetite for toys and games continues unabated growth with recent researchconfirming consumers in the region give high priority to keeping their children amusedand happy. As one of the leading distributors of toys in the region, World Wide Traders(WWT) has contributed to choicest possessions for little ones.Findings by Euromonitor International indicate that the Middle East market for toys and games was recentlyvalued at USD4,570 million, an 8 percent surge over previous records.The UAE market is particularly excitingfor toy manufacturers, retailers and suppliers as the average consumer here spends approximately USD 30per head more than their counterparts in the region.
181Tel +971 6 5579456www.wwtrader.aetremendous value to the consumer. Understanding whatchildren want combined with an impressive businessacumen has lead to creating distribution centres in SaudiArabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait resulting inannual growth of 40 percent in size, product portfoliosand reach. Furthermore, strategic partnerships haveallowed its distribution wings to spread to Jordan, Syria,Lebanon and Iran. Backed by a team of highly dedicatedprofessionals and motivated staff, the company catersa wide range of clients in the local market and theinternational market.A remarkable achievement by the company wasembarking on operations in the Indian sub-continentunder the name Smart Toys Trade Pvt Ltd, India. Withthe head office in Hyderabad, the regional centres ofdistribution can be found in Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai,New Delhi and Kolkata. Though the market is competitive,and rather different in its behaviour than the Middle East,WWT has been able to affirm a leading position.One of the key objectives for distributors of anykind is to explore the plethora of marketing optionsand devising a judicious mix to create a media plan tomaximise outreach and popularity of its products. Onthis note, WWT has established its own retail stores‘Smart Kids Toys’ in Muscat, Oman and Doha, Qatar.Recently, it has opened a dedicated retail toy showroomunder the same name, in India (Hyderabad, Delhi andPune) with a floor space of 8,000 square feet.“Our emphasis will be on opening of such retailstores in key geographic locations which compliment andincrease the market reach for the range of toy productswe have. I think the retail sphere is an interesting role forus as distributors because of commercial advantage andthe fact we can drive our products out to consumes withmore vigour,” said V. R. Rao, Managing Director WWT.Today’s children are flooded with animated movies,cartoon characters, animated video games on consolesand iPads, like never before. However, there’s stillsomething special about having that one toy that’salways there for you.Be it in the embrace of a plush toy, or fascinationwith superhero merchandise, these are companions thatmove from one generation to another. They continue tobe popular even today as toy industry figures indicatethat children’s fascination with these continues to drivethe market upward. WWT’s success is a testament to itsmajor shareholding in the game.The toy industry in the region mirrors the growthtrend exhibited worldwide. With humble beginningsin 1999, and a little over a decade’s operations, WWThas grown by leaps and bounds. A head office at SAIFZone and new additions to a monstrous warehousewith state-of-the-art technology, logistics andwarehousing has allowed seamless distributionof toys.“For us, the customer comes first. Our policiesensure that client servicing takes top priority on to-dolist. We keep stocks in our warehousing facility in SAIFto meet urgent demands and manage crisis. We caterthrough prompt deliveries and this has only helped ustap into dynamic markets,” said V. R. Rao ManagingDirector, WWT. Mr. Rao has two decades of experience inretailing of branded toys. He is able to bring a wealth ofknowledge in understanding the customers and formingkey strategic alliances with reputed manufactures. Hispartnership with K. A. Babu, Chairman, WWT and formereducationist has helped the company function ethicallyand launch educational toys in Arabic and English adding
" Determination, strategy and vision for the future are ourreal resources in the quest for excellence and success."H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, UAE
184BankingYour partner in progressHaving earned the distinction of being the first consortium bank in the GCC, theBank of Sharjah (BOS) has made tremendous strides since its inception almostfour decades ago. Following six core values of performance, ethics, transparency,initiative, commitment and quality; BOS has been on a mission to achieve strongand sustainable performance for its shareholders.Bank of Sharjah is the winner of accolades such as the ‘Best Board Award’ by Hawkama, the Institute for Corporate Governance in the Middle East, for exercisinggood disclosure practices in the UAE. And in 2009, winner of the ‘Mergers & Acquisitions Deal of the Year’ in the region by The Banker Magazine, thanks to thesuccessful acquisition of the assets and liabilities of BNPI branches in Lebanon.
185A rich historyIncorporated in December 1973, Bank of Sharjah wasfounded by the Government of Sharjah, the HassawiGroup and French banking group Paribas, who held20 percent stake in the bank. In the wake of themerger between BNP and Paribas, the newly formedBNP Paribas sold its stake in 2002. Bank of Sharjahmaintains a strong relationship with its previousstakeholder. Former representatives of BNP Paribascontinue to sit on the Board as independent directors.Employing expert minds and using innovative financial tools, the paramount aim is to provide financial solutions that deliver results. At Bank ofSharjah, developing and maintaining long-term business relationships are pivotal to its success. The Bank’s belief in proactively assisting customersand clients and focusing on their individual needs, while providing unparalleled service, has ensured customer loyalty.Exemplary achievementsThe Bank is primarily a corporate Bank, catering toUAE-based businesses, SMEs, the government, andgovernment related entities. It offers general bankingservices, project finance, trade facilities, syndicateloans, and short-to-medium term loans. In addition, theBank engages in private banking, wealth management,and investment.At Bank of Sharjah, developing and maintaininglong-term business relationships is instrumental in its
186reached Dh 20,934 million as on 31st of December2011 with the bank’s equity has reached Dh 3,951million while total deposits reached Dh 14,940 millionin the end of 2011.Commitment to societyBank of Sharjah has also made a commitment tosociety by supporting the advancement of educational,cultural and sports initiatives. The Bank of Sharjahhas established a “Chair in Finance and BusinessAdministration” at the American University of Sharjah,with a contribution of Dh 15 million. The establishmentof this chair contributes to the enrichment of teachingand research at the university as envisioned by H.H.Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Rulerof Sharjah, and President of the American Universityof Sharjah. The development of local educationalinitiatives is a fundamental part of Bank of Sharjah’sBanking success. The Bank believes in proactively assistingcustomers and clients with measures that focus ontheir individual needs and provide unparalleled service.The records of time have shown profound customerloyalty because of our collective efforts.The bank took its first international step in financearena with the acquisition of Banque de la BekaaSAL in Lebanon. In addition to this acquisition, Bankof Sharjah also took over Banque Nationale de ParisIntercontinental, Beirut, a member of BNP ParibasGroup based in Lebanon. By combining both purchasesto form Emirates Lebanon Bank S.A.L., this becamethe first full banking venture by the UAE in Lebanon.This venture permits customers in both countries toleverage the financial network and services of bothBank of Sharjah and Emirates Lebanon Bank S.A.L. foroptimum efficiencyGoing from strength to strength, 2011 was a financiallysuccessful year for Bank of Sharjah. Total assets
187Tel +971 6 5694411www.bankofsharjah.comSince inception, Bank of Sharjah has beengoverned by its core values.They shape the bank’s culture; define itscharacter and impact decision-making. Corevalues are their ladder to success.BOS CORE VALUES• Performance• Ethics• Transparency• Initiative• Commitment• QualityCorporate Social Responsibility programme of whichthe Chairman, Ahmad Al Noman, and the otherBoard Members are passionate about. Enhancingand developing resources in our local educationalinstitutions builds a strong skills base for the futureand it is Bank of Sharjah’s belief, that through thedevelopment of ‘The Bank of Sharjah Chair in Financeand Business Administration’, knowledge and expertisein these areas will thrive.Apart from the financial advancements in its lifetime, Bank of Sharjah has also made a commitment to society by being involved in theadvancement of educational, cultural and sports initiatives. In July 2011, board members of the American University of Sharjah passed aresolution to establish the Bank of Sharjah Chair in Finance and Business Administration, with a contribution of Dh15 million by BOS.
188BankingPioneer in Islamic bankingBeing the first commercial bank in the world to convert to an Islamic bank, SharjahIslamic Bank has won several accolades since it was launched 37 years ago. Despite theglobal economic challenges, Sharjah Islamic Bank stands out as one of the few banksthat achieved excellent financial results.
189Commendable financial commitmentAn Amiri decree, issued by HH Dr. Sultan binMohammed al Qassimi, led to the formation of SharjahIslamic Bank (SIB), formerly known as National Bankof Sharjah now boasts 23 branches in the UAEIn 2002, Sharjah Islamic Bank successfullyconverted to an Islamic banking organisation. Thisconversion led a change in the operating systemsand procedures of the bank, with employees beingtrained in traditional Sharia’a banking. Managementof investments and wealth of businesses is carriedout in compliance with Islamic Sharia’a laws andregulations. The bank also offers a Sharia’a compliantscheme known as ‘Hassalati, a profit earning accountfor youngsters below the age of eighteen, whichteaches them the importance of investing theirsavings in an Islamic manner. SIB ensure that bankingsystems and services offered adhere to economic andfinancial development and are shaped by moral, socialand religious beliefs to meet the requirements of adiversified customer base. In the wake of the 2008global financial downturn, research has shown thatIslamic banks were better positioned to withstandadverse market or credit shocks from the outset.With its broad range of retail, commercial,corporate, investment and international bankingservices open to Islamic customers as well,Mohammed Abdullah, CEO of Sharjah Islamic Bank,stated “We have developed a wide range of retailbanking products and services which combine thetrusted and traditional values of transparency, trustand commitment with innovation and technologyto deliver superior modern banking solutions. Weare also proud to announce that we have recentlylaunched our ‘Priority Banking’, which offer eliteservices and a range of exclusive benefits to VIPclients.” Sharjah Islamic Bank also launched ‘Nebrass’,which is an integrated phone banking service thatoffers breakthrough services and immediate responseto requests and queries at anytime and fromanywhere. ‘Nebrass’, which is available 24/7, providescustomers with high-level Islamic banking services,as well as easy and secure access to comprehensiveinformation through an expert team of phone bankersand superior technology.
190Banking Braving the global economic crisisSince 2008,Sharjah Islamic Bank has takenprecautionary measures to prevent negative impactsfrom recent events. In addition to implementingcorporate governance principles, they also restructuredtheir credit policies and updated procedures, controlmethods and risk management. Because of these steps,SIB managed to maintain the appropriate amount ofliquidity in the economic crisis, unlike many other privateand retail banks which suffered heavy losses.When asked about the solidity of the banking industryin the GCC region, Mohammed Abdullahcommented,“Very solid - according to UAE Central Bank data, UAEbanks boosted their shareholders’ equity by nearly 8.4percent in the first two months of 2010 to maintain theirposition as the largest capitalized banking system in theArab World. According to the data, this followed a recordannual increase of nearly Dh 78 billion in the banks’combined capital through 2009, one of the most difficultfinancial periods for banks globally.”He also mentioned that rather than an obstacle,the crisis should be considered as a chance forfinancial institutions to conduct a thorough review oftheir operating policies and that GCC banks requiregovernance structure, financial transparency andperformance management to achieve speific strategic
191SIB are treated. “Tailor-made products and services areaimed at meeting our clients’ financial requirements, andSharjah Islamic Bank is committed to providing flexiblebanking coupled with outstanding levels of customerservice and support,” said Mohammed Abdullah“We takea proactive and responsible approach to our economicand social role in developing society.”Sharjah Islamic Bank’s efforts, to provide premiumbanking to its customers, have brought them greataccolades. This includes the Mohammed bin Rashid AlMaktoum Business Award, Sharjah Economic ExcellenceAward and the Dubai Quality Award, which werereceived in 2009. In addition, SIB also won a HumanResources Award for Banking, and a recognition awardfor the highest Emiratization ratio among GCC countries.Going from strength to strength, this is one bank thattruly exemplifies the honour of Islamic banking and itsage-old traditions.goals. He also felt that the economic crisis had a weakimpact on the GCC finance industry, as the systemremained almost unhurt by the crisis. Even though somefinancial institutions were affected, they were seento have a quick recovery due to the central and corefundamentals of the GCC banking sector. The promptintervention by the governments, central banks and thebanks themselves also helped in tackling the crisis withrespect to the GCC.The precautionary measures positively reflected thebank’s financial results for 2009, which was a yearthat proved to be one of the worst periods in globaleconomic and financial history. Net profits amountedto Dh 260.1 million, which was a 12.3 percent from theprevious year. With assets increasing by Dh 438.7 millionand client deposits totally to Dh 9.9 billion, SIB stood outas a winner in the financial storms that have swept theworld.Aiming to be the bestWhat is it that makes Sharjah Islamic Bank emerge asone of the best financial institutions in the country? It isthe tradition of respect and care with which customers ofTel +971 6 5998517www.sib.ae
192BankingOutstanding dimensionsGiven its status as the principal banking group in the region, in 2011 with a net profitof Dh 2.5 billion, up 6 percent compared with the previous year, Emirates NBD (ENBD)certainly stands out as a leader in UAE’s banking sector. ENBD is the outcome of amerger between Emirates Bank International and the National Bank of Dubai, thesecond and fourth largest banks in the UAE respectively.The bank is operational in the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Jersey and has representative offices in India and Iran.Throughout its existence, the group has been honoured with 19 prestigious accolades.According to Rick Pudner, CEO of Emirates NBD, “Despite an extremely challenging and volatile externalenvironment, we have delivered a robust set of financial results with net profits for the year being six percent.This was after adopting a significantly more conservative approach to de-risking the balance sheet. Whilethe economic backdrop remains challenging, our successful execution towards our strategic imperatives andstrong levels of capitalisation and liquidity position the Bank strongly to take advantage of selected growthopportunities in the future”
193UAE’s banking leaderAs a leading retail banking franchise in the UAE,the group swiftly developed a reputation for strongbrand equity in the dynamic and highly competitivemarketplace. Currently, there are over 141 financehouses of ENBD spread across the UAE.One of the bank’s in-house programmes – Network,now offers great value in the market, by providing creditcard services to other banks including collection servicesand point of sales. In order to encourage Emiratisationwithin the market, ENBD installed a small businessfinance scheme, Al Tomooh, which grants interest-freeloans to entrepreneurs, keeping aside an amount of Dh50 million to carry out such transactions.Emerging marketsAs a tribute to the 40th Anniversary of the UAE, EmiratesNBD launched an Arabic website to serve as a portalto the bank’s complete range of services. The Arabicedition of the website is intended to meet the diverseneeds of Arabic speakers amid more than one millionENBD customers and can easily be accessed throughthe bank’s existing English version of website. Bothsites portray an array of interactive facilities,successfullymaking this the bank’s largest division.According to Gary Dugan, Chief Investment Officerof Private Banking at Emirates NBD, “Despite globaluncertainties, emerging economies will grow in 2012.Even if the Euro zone is in recession and strugglingto make headway, emerging markets should continueto see solid economic growth, underpinned largelyby demographics, including a young and vibrantpopulation that is still growing in the Middle East.”In terms of contributing towards the society, thebank is involved in a number of corporate socialresponsibility activities, which focus on priority causesin the UAE such as charity, education, environment,culture, art and sport. Besides following severalinitiatives adhered to preserve the UAE’s culture andheritage, ENBD also launched the first pearl museum inthe region in 2003, comprising of the massive collectionof natural pearls in the GCC.Tel 600 540040www.emiratesnbd.comFuture outlookThe UAE banking industry is learning from itsexperiences, in an increasingly competitive market.While the UAE economy has proved to be quiteflexible towards global and regional expansion in2011, the external environment continues to bechallenging ensued in a further tentative outlook.Nevertheless, ENBD’s capitalisation, liquidity andoperating profitability remain highly strong providingboth buoyancy and flexibility for the future. In addition,the bank is equipped with a plan to further improveshareholder returns and benefit from the selecteddevelopment opportunities.Emirates NBD affirmed a 6 percent increase in net profit for 2011,amounting to Dh 2.5 billion. The outcome includes the takeover ofIslamic financial institution Dubai Bank, which ENBD executed inOctober 2011.
We are committed to contributing towards therealization of the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 by leadingthe insurance sector as Your Reliable Insurer.”Khalifa Al Kindi, Chairman of the Board, ADNIC
Symbol of reliabilityAs more people in the UAE begin to believe in insurance, not just as an economicnecessity, but as a small price to pay for peace of mind, the sector has demonstratedvigorous growth over the years. As a pioneer in the field, Abu Dhabi National InsuranceCompany (ADNIC) is an insurance provider with an impeccable portfolio of services. Asthe company celebrates its 40th anniversary, coinciding with that of UAE, it’s time toreiterate its instrumental role in building a brighter, safer future.InsuranceThe success of ADNIC is a testament to its sustainable and well-grounded approach to growth that is not only profitable, but alsoinnovative. The steady progress can be reviewed in terms of itsstrong financial position in the marketplace, focus on modernization,expansion of branch and broker distribution network, establishmentof the Business Development and Customer Relationship Managementdivision, and efficiency of customer service through its call centre.“ADNIC’s strong financial performance reflects and correlateswith the resilience and innovation demonstrated by the UnitedArab Emirates in its urge to emerge as a more bulletproof economyfollowing the recession. And we at ADNIC want to take every effortpossible to maintain the strong leadership and brand reputation,” saidWalid Sidani, CEO, ADNIC.Gross written premium increased by 17 percent for the year 2011,in addition, its net underwriting income increased by 24 percent to Dh275 million compared to Dh 222 million the previous year. Registeringa growth of 11 percent with net profit reaching Dh 158 million for theyear is a big move up from Dh 142 million in 2010. This is primarilydue to the company’s strategy to increase its premium retention levelsand cross-selling initiatives on high quality risks.Having total assets valued at Dh 3.670 million, ADNIC’s financialstrength has been reaffirmed time and again by the leading globalfinancial rating agencies with A.M. Best’s A (Excellent) and Standard& Poor’s A- with a positive outlook. ADNIC is one of a select fewinstitutions to have their financial rating maintained in the A categoryacross the Middle East and North Africa.196
197During 2011, ADNIC implemented improvements to its operational systems, made investments in its branchand broker networks and expanded its consumer product lines. The company opened a new branch in Dubai tostrengthen its operational base in the Northern Emirates. Two new additions to the ADNIC product portfolio were theSAFE+ (Office Multi-Cover) and 24/7 Auto Life (Motor comprehensive insurance with embedded life insurance). Aspart of a strategy to connect with consumers, the ADNIC Yas Run—a 10km running event on Abu Dhabi’s Yas MarinaCircuit—was a first-ever initiative to promote the company’s brand and values, and to emphasize on how crucialthey think healthcare and insurance is to the wellbeing of a nation. Following recent achievements, the companywill embark on opening a new regional office in Abu Dhabi which will be dedicated to serve the capital city and thewestern region.
From the Chairman198Khalifa Al Kindi, Chairman of the Board, ADNICInsurance
“Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC) is a company of peoplewho are proud of their past and excited about their future. At ADNIC, weare defined by the character and integrity of our people. We work to serveour customers by providing competitive insurance solutions and creatinginnovative products, while always seeking to enhance shareholder value.To be the best in what we do, we give importance to our reputation,consistency and values. The leadership of the UAE and its Abu Dhabi Vision2030 provides us with new and exciting business opportunities for theyears to come. We are committed to contributing towards the realization ofthe Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 by leading the insurance sector as Your ReliableInsurer.”Khalifa Al Kindi, Chairman of the Board, ADNIC199
CEO speaksWalid Sidani, CEO, ADNICInsurance200
“The story of ADNIC is one of accomplishments, challenges, and trust inthe future. We have a solid history in the insurance industry, which can betraced back to our humble beginnings in 1972 with an office in Abu Dhabiand few staff members running the business. Today, ADNIC has come along way to where it proudly stands as the best insurance company inMENA region. Our team comprises 470 insurance professionals from 24nationalities with a network of full service branches across the UAE. Byexecuting our strategic pillars and abiding by our core values, we havedeveloped a healthy and transparent relationship with our customers,employees, business partners, and the community at large. ADNIC iscommitted to helping people meet their insurance and risk challenges oftoday to be able to enjoy a better tomorrow.”Walid Sidani, CEO, ADNIC201
Core ValuesInsuranceADNIC takes pride in being at its moral best.The intimate interactions with shareholders,partners, clients, and employees help form ahierarchy of eligible corporate communication.They are built on the groundwork of loyalty,reliability, transparency, teamwork, integrity,and excellence enabling them to trend adelivery of outstanding results.The philosophy behind its business strategyarises from seven self-stated strategic pillars.1. Customer Service to ensure that eachinteraction is effective.2. Ensuring availability of products and services.3. Employer of Choice within the insuranceindustry.4. Expansion of the suite of products and services.5. Innovation and Technology to ensuresolutions are offered efficiently.6. Modernization of processes, facilities andinfrastructure.7. Product Development to ensure solutionsare created to address the evolvingbusiness needs.202
203dependable entrepreneurship endeavors.In the spheres of Corporate Governance, ADNIC hasgrown in leaps and bounds to ensure its shareholders,employees, partners, and customers have faith in itsoperations. ADNIC maintains high levels of transparencyand accountability throughout its management practices.The company consistently implements monitoring ofbusiness objectives, strategies, and procedures thatcomply with legal framework and remain ethical, havingestablished an Audit Committee and other such bodiesto guide the Board and assist in maintaining stringentstandards of governance throughout ADNIC.The workplace at ADNIC is characterized by continuouschange and growing diversity. Business success andemployee satisfaction depends on adaptability to change,which the company has mastered in 40 years of smoothsailing. A unique concept in this sphere is ADNICity LifeCommittee. This is an approach that recognizes thatemployees need to manage business and other socialand personal aspects of life. Having launched social andhealth awareness programmes, the company continuesto maintain its status as a favorable employer across theregion.ADNICity Life Committee also organises socialengagements like the Annual Family Day, AnnualRamadan Iftar, ADNIC Health Day, Weekly FootballMatches and has its own in-house cricket teams beating itout on the pitch while spectators cheer.The company began in 1972 in Abu Dhabi as a compositeinsurance company offering all lines of insurance. Since itsinception, ADNIC has endeavored to be the leading andprominent provider of quality and affordable protectionproducts and services in the United Arab Emirates, aswell as a leading provider of risk underwriting solutionsacross the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.Burgeoning within the insurance sector of the UAE thatesteemed at Dh 22 billion at the last quarter of 2011,ADNIC aims to become the leading insurer of choice inthe Middle East and North Africa Region.ADNIC has always invested in fruitful partnerships thatwould lead to expansion of its impact with thoughtfulassociations with strong national and internationalcompanies where return of these partnerships wouldinevitably benefit the shareholders and customers. Onesuch joint venture is with Vanbreda International NV tocreate a unique international medical insurance productcalled SHIFA, which provides customers seamless medicaland healthcare coverage across the globe.Unprecedented CommitmentWith the company’s existence for several years in themarket, ADNIC has witnessed continuous, unabatedgrowth in all insurance segments with strong financialresults and balance sheet that consistently ranks them asthe industry’s finest. ADNIC’s strength lies in its financialmainstay and a reinsurance protection that enables atrustworthy short-term and long-term commitment withtheir clientele and partners alike. They have undertakenthe responsibility of serving clients with regional,alternative, and international insurance solutions therebysafeguarding quality of life and becoming the fortitude of40 years
204Community RoleNot only has ADNIC been the first insurance companyto ever introduce a 10 km health marathon at the YasMarina Circuit, but it has also played a community rolesince the time of its inception. Its corporate philosophyembraces the idea to constantly strive for the bettermentof lives. It has played a vital role as a major employerand significant contributor to local charities.Frequent is ADNIC’s participation in Blood DonationDrives where employees come in big numbers astestament to ADNIC’s promise. It has also lent itssupport to the Terry Fox Run against Cancer.Product and ServicesADNIC sports a strong financial position; dedicatedmanagement and skilled professionals, coupled withits long-term commitment to innovation in qualityproducts and services that has made it a leading andpreferred insurer of choice, regionally.With this top-notch position, comes responsibility.ADNIC provides a comprehensive range of pioneeringproducts and services, which can be tailored to meetthe evolving insurance requirements of clients fromall walks of life. To guarantee that all their productsand services are in line with client’s needs andexpectations, ADNIC created the “ADNIC ProductInnovation Committee” (APIC) that develops newinsurance products, taking inspiration from latestpractices of the insurance industry worldwide.ADNIC’s services are principally distributed intoPersonal Insurance and Commercial Insurance.Insurance
205theft, water damage, earthquake, and other perilsthat include sabotage and terrorism, consequentialloss, and fine arts, jewelry and other precious items.• Yacht Insurance Another broad spectrum of security covers insurancefor personal yacht or pleasure crafts owned byindividuals.Commercial InsuranceTo become an inevitable support system of corporateclients, ADNIC designed an elaborate set of insurancesolutions covering diverse sectors including Aviation,Marine, Energy, Construction, Transportation, Healthcare,Hospitality, and much more.• Aviation Insurance An all-inclusive suite of aviation insurance solutions,including hull and spares all risks and liabilities, hulldeductible insurance, airport owners, operators orhangar keepers liability, repairers, maintenance oroverhaul liability, products liability, satellite insuranceand Manufacturers Hull and Liability.• Energy Insurance (Onshore and Offshore) Dealing in several types of energy insurancesincluding products tailored for alternative energy,ADNIC’s Onshore and Offshore insurance coversinclude Construction and Operational Risks.• Engineering and Construction Insurance Protection against any kind of loss or damage thatcovers contractors all risks, contractors’ plant,equipment and machinery, machinery breakdownand much more. Their financial lines insurancePersonal InsuranceThis offers a plethora of services that cater personallyto individuals and others that gratify propertiesmaintenances and acquisitions.• Life Insurance Securing an individual or a group, ADNIC compriseslife insurance with the widest and most flexiblecoverage in the regional market. The provision forcompetitive rates for premiums and modest termsand conditions makes ADNIC accessible for all.• Medical Insurance (Individual and Group) Medical insurance offers enough range of policiesthat ideally support an individual or a group. SHIFAinsurance provides global medical coverage on adirect billing basis through a network of internationalmedical service providers. HALA (meaning ‘welcome’in Arabic) is a medical insurance product tailoredexclusively for tourists that visit the UAE. HALAspecifically meets all the UAE government’srequirements for travelers. MUSSAFER insurancecoverage protects from the damage or loss ofbaggage, medical expenses and other incidents thatone may face travelling from the UAE.• Motor Insurance The Motor insurance provision offers aComprehensive Third Party Liability and Fire andTheft insurance coverage for individual clients.• Property All Risks Insurance (Home and Contents) The Property (Home and Contents) insurance productcovers loss or damage to any dwelling caused by fire,
206provides an assured coverage against banker’sblanket bond (bbb), fidelity guarantee, directors’and officers’ liability, dishonesty, disappearanceand destruction (ddd), purchase protection, money(in-transit and in-safe), crime and Stock BrokersInsurance.• Liabilities Insurance This type of insurance has variations from workers’ compensation to public and employer liability andis also inclusive of professional indemnity andmedical malpractice.• Marine Cargo Insurance ADNIC offers cargo insurance products covering therisks in transit for all types of cargo transported byvarious modes of conveyance (such as sea freight,airfreight, land transit and parcel post) on standardterms and conditions including advanced loss of profit.• Marine Hull Insurance Marine hull insurance includes coverage for all typesof vessels including cargo ships, oil tankers, LNG’s,tugs, barges, supply vessels, dredgers, pleasurecrafts and commercial yachts.Insurance
207Toll free 800 8040www.adnic.aeand knowledge to understand insurance requirementsand develop the right solutions to help any corporate tomitigate their exposures.The future aheadOperating from the UAE since 1972, ADNIC holds astrong competitive position among the Abu DhabiSecurities Exchange (ADX) listed companies with amarket share of 16 percent. Their current capitalstands at Dh 375,000,000. With this financial strengthand an aptitude for long-term commitments withtheir clientele, ADNIC leads most of the UAE’s megadevelopment projects, while still being able to offerviable solutions to the Small-Medium Enterprises(SMEs) and individual clients. Receiving global awardsand recognitions is yet another acknowledgement ofADNIC’s stability, evolution and high standards. Eachyear, ADNIC proves its financial strength and stabilityreceiving global recognitions from prestigious entitiessuch as Standard & Poor’s (S&P), A.M. Best and theWorld Finance Magazine.While the UAE insurance market is already showingsigns of inflation, finance gurus in the Middle Easthave predicted sector growth by more than Dh 63billion by 2015 in total premium income. ADNIC’spromising position in the market already confirms thatthe company will spearhead this stupendous growthtaking the country and its people to greater heights.• Motor Fleet Insurance The Motor Fleet Insurance consists of ComprehensiveThird Party Liability and Fire and Theft insurancecoverage for fleets and also provides Third PartyLiability cover to fleets traveling across Arabcountries under the Orange Card policy.• Property Insurance Coverage for the loss or damage of an insuredproperty caused by fire, lightning and explosion iscovered under Property Insurance. This policy alsoincludes extensions such as natural disasters andmalicious acts.• Specialty Risks Predicting and preparing for such risks makes ADNICprecursors of the insurance industry in the UAE.Specialty risks include political risk coverage, eventcancellations, live stock insurance, and Deteriorationof Contents of Deep Freezers and Refrigerators.More from ADNICADNIC’s services extend into reinsurance, claim servicesand loss prevention, solving client’s various propertiesrelated conundrums. The reinsurance service is forinsurance companies operating in MENA region. Theclaim services handle claims with the most innovativeand effective approach by establishing accurate andtimely reserves to assure ability to pay claims, nowand in the future, while the loss prevention works withthe clients to bring the best potential in a businessidea and improves business performance through theimplementation of effective risk management strategiesand recommendations. They have the technical expertise
Chapter 18Corporate Profiles & Entrepreneurs
" Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight."Henry R. Luce, American Publisher
210Benchmark in business freedomFor almost two decades, the Sharjah Airport International Free (SAIF) Zone has servedas a unique alternative for conducting business for locally based organisations in theUAE as well as multinationals looking to spread operations in the Middle East. The SAIF-Zone currently boasts an operation of approximately 5,542 companies, state-of-the-artmodern facilities and an access database of more than 2 billion consumers.Sharjah dominates half of the industrial activities in the UAE with easy access to regional and international business zones through efficient commuting channels throughair, land and sea. SAIF-Zone only further boosts this unique quality with state-of-the-art infrastructure and efficient business services.CorporateProfiles&Entrepreneurs
211Surge in opportunityThe proximity of the SAIF-Zone to the SharjahInternational Airport comes as an advantage, as theairport is home to the largest air cargo hub in the MENAregion, and connects 230 destinations across the globe.SAIF-Zone ensures a trouble free working environment,advanced technology and has leased land for unrestrictedprivate development. The availability of an internationalairport and two seaports has increased sea-air traffic by50 percent in the last four years, taking trade relationswith other countries to a whole new level. The fiscaladvantage of the SAIF-Zone is immense, with 100 percentexemption from corporate and personal income taxes forevery single stakeholder in the concerned organization.The essence of Sharjah‘Sharjah is the undisputed industrial nerve centre ofthe UAE, accounting for 38 percent of the country’sindustrial GDP,’ says H.E. Sheikh Khalid Bin AbdullahAl Qassimi, Chairman of SAIF-Zone. According tohim, Sharjah ‘boasts of the latest amenities that anymodern city offers but simultaneously retains its richcultural heritage and traditional values.’ Despite thevast progression in its economy, Sharjah continuesto maintain Islamic traditions and implementlaws toensure public decency and safety. With Port Khorfakkanand Port Khalid serving as the ports for trade inSharjah, the emirate has continued to prosper in thelast 40 years.With minimum procedural hazards, SAIF-Zoneoffers a single window solution to all investor requirements. The Zone ensurescommitment to quality performance.The establishment has created a newbenchmark in providing business freedom and growth opportunities for severalmanufacturing companies.
212Efficiency at its coreThe top management at prestigious organisationsconducting business at SAIF-Zone have had severalpositive things to say about its operations over the lasttwo decades. Mr. Lalu Samuel, who is the ManagingDirector of electrical accessory company Clipsal MiddleEast, has witnessed the company’s growth since itsinception. ‘We established Clipsal Middle East in 1996,’he states. ‘Over the years, we have found that theresponse for services received from all the departmentsat the zone have been very efficient, this has contributedto our growth over the years’.Indian conglomerate Godrej Group set up their MENAoperations in the year 1997, and have been conductingtheir businesses across the GCC ever since. ‘We areamong the first few investors to set up an office in SAIF-Zone and find a large amount of personal involvementin their approach’ stated the General Manager of GodrejGlobal Middle East FZE in 2006. ‘We have been in theSAIF-Zone for the past nine years and have no chancefor any disappointment. We have found that SAIF-Zone’s approach towards their customers is extremelywelcoming.’There is no magicformula for successin business. As theworld transformsinto a global village,one needs freedom,opportunity andvision. The rest willunfold beautifully.“”Emblematic of the dream of a new Sharjah, SAIF-Zone is the government way of aiding growth in business in the region. Today, it is the ideal business hub for conductingsmooth business in a hassle free environment.
Tel +971 6 email@example.comWhy SAIF-Zone?In comparison to other business hubs in the region, SAIF-Zone boasts of quick processing of licenses for trade,industrial and service providers. The Zone is competent inthe facilities it provides to manufacturers for assembling andpackaging as well as import and export. Sponsorships andvisas for staff and on-site accommodations are available ataffordable packages for start-ups.Plethora of business administration amenities such ascourier agency, customs office, banks and postal services,travel and secretarial assistance is available at the tip of yourfingers. The infrastructure has been developed to improveday-to-day functioning and to allow more scope for growth.Salient Features of SAIF-Zone• License fee issued in 24 hours of submission of officialdocuments• 100 percent exemption from corporate and personal income taxes• 100 percent import and export tax exemption• Highly qualified bilingual administrators• Strategic location with superb global and regionalcommuting thanks to admirable sea, land and airtransport channels• Access to key international ports in the Arabian Gulf andIndian Ocean• Inexpensive energy and stringent conservation policies• Quality local and international banking services and SME loan plans• Sharjah provides the most cost-effective living and leisureamenities for families in the UAEWith a hundred fold increase in registered licenses and its inception, the SAIF-Zone has completed 16 successful years and has surpassed several milestones of growth inexpansion. Licenses issued in 24 hours of submission of official documents and 100 percent exemption from taxes has resulted in 5542 license as of December 2011.213
214Adding value in tradeFormed in 2000, Source Rite International FZCO (SRI) is a Dubai-based free zonecorporation with a large clientele in East Africa. From its initial business of trading awide variety of products including industrial chemicals, branded footwear, electronicsand construction equipment, the company today has focused its trade activities onindustrial chemicals and branded footwear and apparel.CorporateProfiles&Entrepreneurs
215growing substantially,” says Carl Garry Peaple, Director.He added, “Acquiring footwear brands was indeed acalculated step for us. My decade long experience infootwear and apparel distribution prior to starting SourceRite International told me this was the right thing to do.”Source Rite buys chemicals from world over to supplyto mining industry in Africa and carries out operationsin chemical trading business its Kenya base. While it hasleading suppliers of chemicals in the UAE such as EnocInternational, Petrochem Middle East and Kemsol Ltd.,the local brand controls the footwear, accessories andapparel business line.“We have a reputation of being selective in the brandswe choose to represent. Providing efficient service andpromoting the brand through advertising and in-storesupport has been a winning notion for us,” explainsPeaple. Today, retailers are convinced to sell our productsbecause it carries the Source Rite International legacy.Future plansEvidently, Source Rite International has plans to extendits expertise into the world of retail. This progressioncomes with the company’s vision to grow and betteradapt to market demands. The focus will remain appareland footwear and the retail ventures will be spreadacross malls in the UAE.The UAE has effectively facilitated trade operationsby conferring effortless licensing procedures,communication, storage and transportation facilitiesand commercial centers. According to the economicsurvey conducted among people of the private sectorestablishments, wholesale and retail trade output talliesclose to Dh 103 billion annually, which is almost 27percent of total output of private establishments.In 2005, new shareholder and visionary, Carl Peaplestreamlined the footwear, apparel and accessoriesbusiness to reaffirm market presence. Peaple’s extensiveexperience in the Middle East with fashion distributionallowed the company to expand its network of retail clientsin the fashion and sportswear business in the region.Widespread presenceSource Rite International has successfully representedwell-renowned global brands such as Fitflop (UK) Mojo(USA), Glagla (France), Native Footwear (Canada),Brooks (USA) and Sanuk Surf Footwear (USA). Outsidethe UAE, Source Rite’s portfolio expands to Bahrain,Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Inthe African continent, Egypt and Kenya remain its twomost lucrative markets.Over the years, Source Rite has done exceedinglywell in acquiring sponsorship for federation such as theUAE Swimming Federation and even supported the AbuDhabi Police Academy and the Military among manyother initiatives for boosting market presence.Emerging marketsWith its distribution centre, showroom and officesbased in Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, Source RiteInternational’s twofold business strategy to switch fromchemical trading to footwear unlocked new potentialsfor the company. With a substantial portfolio of nichefootwear brands, today the company is recognised as anexclusive regional distributor of FitFlop across the MiddleEast - a brand that had a previously committed globalfollowing with its fashion-meets-fitness mantra, in early2009. Within two years, since FitFlop has arrived in themarket, the label’s in-store presence has exceeded toabove 200 locations.“In terms of toning footwear, the trend started fouryears ago among GCC consumers and it is one that’sAfter joining in 2005, Carl Peaple gave strategic direction to Source Rite,participating actively in operations and building strong relationship withclient base and leading footwear and sports retailers in the region. Underhis leadership, the company has moved achieve greater success.Tel +971 4 8807995www.sourceriteinternationaldxb.com
216CorporateProfiles&EntrepreneursClose to your heartIn the words of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Father of the Nation, “They usedto say that agriculture has no future in the UAE, but with God’s blessing and ourdetermination, we have succeeded in transforming this desert into a green land.”With the same passion and vision for a sustainable community, Al Ain Dairy Farms forLivestock Production sowed the seeds of the dairy industry 30 years ago only to reapbenefits of healthy and happy UAE.Al Ain Dairy has overcome a surplus of challengesto establish itself as the leading producer of dairyproducts in the country. Being one of the few dairyfarms to wholly depend on its own herds, whilst aimingto increase milk production, it is moving forwardwith innovative ideas to garner accreditations andcertifications at a global level.Since its inception in 1981, the firm has witnessedexponential growth, from a humble start with 200milking cows in the early 80s to over 5000 cows and2,500 camels, producing a record breaking 30 millionlitres of milk annually. Having consistently investedin technology to guarantee safety standards andproduction security the brand continues to upholdvalues of excellence and innovation in the dairy andfruit juices industry.“With the brand philosophy of ‘Close to your heart,Close to you’, Al Ain Dairy has made consumer researchfundamental to its growth plan. To rapidly expand theirproduct portfolio, it is vital to be aware of what thepublic needs,” said Shashi Menon, COO, Al Ain Dairy, onits anniversary celebrations.Not only has the current range of products includingfresh cow and camel milk, long life milks, yoghurts, andboth fresh and long life juices met demands but havecreated new niche markets.In 2004, Al Ain Dairy became the first to present thenation with its own brand of camel milk – Camelait. Inaddition, it plans to add flavoured milk and a range ofexciting camel milk ice creams in 2012. After investingDh 600,000 in BactoScan machine for bacteria testing,it’s working closely with British technology partners,
217Tel +971 3 7832111www.alaindairy.comNEWS FLASH• Al Ain Dairy is a proud recipient of numerousISO awards in particular the 22000-2005for its achievement in food safety controlsensuring that the company is HACCP (HazardAnalysis Critical Control Points) compliant ininternational codex.• Al Ain Dairy exceeded its own expectationsby winning the prestigious Sheikh KhalifaExcellence award in 2005.• The company has been the esteemed EmiratesQuality Mark (EQM) by the Emirates Authorityfor Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA).• Al Ain Dairy was the winner of the prestigiousSIAL Innovation Award, for its cardamomflavoured vitamin A and D enriched milk, atthe SIAL Middle East 2011.• In 2012, Al Ain Dairy invested USD 2.8m ona new camel milking parlour, and further USD150m will be invested in the new cow farmand Dh 100 million will aid in expansion of theexisting plant and factory to double outputs inthe future.Fullwood Ltd, to further develop their camel milkproduction facilities.As a result of rising concerns about Arab healthdue to sedentary lifestyle characteristic to the UAE,the company has initiated a partnership with AlJazira Football Club to educate the Emirati youth onhealthy eating habits. Being socially responsible ithas partnered with institutions to impart knowledgeon health, nutrition, and food sustainability whileencouraging an active way of life.ProductsProducts are produced in full fat and low fat variety,including milk, laban, smoothies, solid and drinkingyoghurts, cholesterol reducing yoghurts and camelmilk. Juices from Al Ain Dairy are pasteurised anduse imported fruit pulp from the USA, India andThailand. In addition, an efficient and advanced supplyand distribution system ensure the product reachessupermarket shelves just in time.According to Abdullah Al Darmaki, CEO, Al AinDairy, “We are committed to strive for excellence in allaspects of its operations and believe that the peoplebehind the scene drive the success of the brand.”He also added that the conduct, professionalism andresponsible attitude of all employees as well as theinspiring leadership of the management are core to therecognition Al Ain Dairy revels in today.
218Creating exception valueDespite global vicissitudes in consumer spending, the UAE’s retail sector has seenremarkable growth in the past decade. The government’s economic diversificationefforts have played key role in allowing expansion and participation of private sector,manifesting an environment, which is most desirable for investment and revenuegeneration. The Landmark Group is a rare entity that has enthralled the nation with itsburgeoning retail ventures.Founded in 1973 in Bahrain, today the Landmark Grouphas a turnover in excess of USD 4.7 billion havinggrown into one of the largest and most successfulretail conglomerates in the Middle East and India. Withdiversified offerings ranging from retail, to hospitalityand food and beverage it remains the epitome ofentrepreneurial success, while to the consumerlandscape Landmark Group adds exceptional value formoney. With 1,200 outlets encompassing over 18 millionsquare feet across 17 countries, the Group impactsmillions of lives everyday.Retail sagaParticularly for Landmark Group, the surge in revenueis because of the value-driven experience approachthrough unique retail concepts like Centrepoint (adestination bringing together the Group’s core retailbrands), Babyshop (one-stop destination for kidsbetween 0-16 years); Shoe Mart (multi-brand footwearand accessories store); Splash (multi-brand fashionretailer); Lifestyle (home décor, fashion accessories,beauty products and gifts); Beautybay (beauty, healthand well-being store); Iconic (fashion, art, make up,CorporateProfiles&EntrepreneursThe Landmark Group was declared ‘Retail Company of the Year’ at the Arabian BusinessAwards in 2010. Earlier, the Group has received the ‘Business Excellence and BestPerformance Re-export category’ distinction at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al MaktoumBusiness Awards (2008 and 2010), ‘Retailer of the Year’ at the Retail City Awards (2008) andthe ‘Middle East Retailer of the Year’ at the Retail Middle East Awards (2007, 2008 and 2011).
219Corporate Social ResponsibilityCorporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of theLandmark Group. There are four strong pillars in theGroup’s CSR scope Health, Community, Environment andSustainability and Employees. Under the banner of health,the Group has taken up Diabetes awareness as its cause.In 2009, the Landmark Group adopted diabetes awarenessas part of its long term CSR initiative. An initiative thataims to increase awareness amongst people regarding thecondition, Beat Diabetes was kicked off in the UAE. Today‘Beat Diabetes’ has a presence seven countries over MiddleEast and India. In 2011, over 35,000 people walked withthe Group for the cause and free blood glucose tests wereconducted for over 40,000 people.On the community front they initiate and support severalprogrammes such as Babyshop’s Child Safety AwarenessInitiative, a fund-raising drive to support the underprivilegedthrough Dubai Cares and other activities that supportchildren and communities in need of assistance. On thesustainability front the Group has adopted various eco -friendly initiatives and green practices to conserve resources.The Landmark Group has also started several programmes toempower, engage and enable their employees.salon, café, and gadgets); Home Centre (a completehome experience); Q Home Décor, (premium homeware, furniture and home accessories store), Candelite(snacks and confectionery store) and Emax (large formatelectronics store).Landmark International and Shoe Mart InternationalFootwear Division are two divisions that hold prestigiousfranchise with some of the world’s best brands in fashionand footwear. The Group also includes value retailbrands such as Max and Shoexpress that have grown inpopularity to become the preferred choice of consumers.The company’s concept called Shukran is the biggestand most successful retail loyalty programmeme in theMiddle East. Applicable for discounts across 7 territories,over 1000 outlets, more than 2.7 million members areentitled to stupendous discounts and bargains and anefficient customer service.The Group also manages Oasis Centre, a communitymall located along Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road.Diversifying into leisure, food and hospitality divisionsseemed like the next best thing to do for a corporatebrand such as Landmark Group that strives to delivernothing but the finest. These avant-garde lifestylehotspots are namely Fun City, an indoor entertainmentpark for little ones, a salon called Spaces, Fitness First,a world class health club and gym facility, BalanceWellbeing 360, comprising a wellness club and caféand Foodmark, the restaurant division under the Groupwhich manages and operates prestigious F&B conceptsthrough franchise arrangements.Passion for excellenceLandmark Group’s passion for excellence is deeprooted in its core values. At the helm of the Group isChairman Micky Jagtiani whose visionary leadership andimpeccable business acumen along with strong ethicalcomponent has brought the company to global centrestage. As one of the region’s most successful retailers,Micky has mentored many and continues to drive growthat Landmark Group. He has been honoured with awardssuch as Retail Personality of the Year 2007 at the RetailME Awards and Entrepreneur of the Year at the MiddleEast Business Achievement Awards 2008 held in Dubai,UAE.Mickey Jagtiani, Chairman, Landmark GroupTel +971 4 8094000www.landmarkgroupme.com
220A paradigm of excellenceFounded in 1940, Bahman Enterprises is the largest trading company to successfullyleverage the consumer market in the GCC, growing its brand with a varied andextensive clientele. Comprising of seven sub-business units proficient in the field ofretail, marketing, wholesale and hospitality, the company’s customers are endowedwith reliable brand anthology ensuring optimum product visibility in the market,accompanied by strong after sales and service support.Bahman Enterprises solely focus on providing their consumers with only a selective set of more than 25 internationally popular and dedicatedbrands, exceeding the ultimate standards of quality.CorporateProfiles&Entrepreneurs
221members of staff evaluate, repair or replace items andverify the accessibility, replacement and sales of spareparts. Alternatively, while you wait you are open toshop with their mini margin free retail store conceptsupplying quality products at discounted prices.As one of the premier brands in the Gulf, BahmanEnterprises solely focus on providing their consumerswith only a selective set of more than 25 internationallypopular and dedicated brands, exceeding the ultimatestandards of quality. Operating through its head officein Dubai, the company ensures extensive availability ofits products, with over 350 venues aiming to enhancetheir client profile through a variety of valuableproducts found at any location at any period of time.With products including domestic appliances,white goods, green electrical consumer goods, luxurytabletop products and decor, the company’s enviablereputation for handling a broad range of merchandisehas been ensured by its adept team members andsuperior market intelligence.Bahman Enterprises caters to distribution of variousrenowned brands, such as Culin’Or, Babyliss, Gaggia,Fabergé and Carl Mertens, to name a few. They alsoboast a personal warehousing and delivery system thatcovers the whole of UAE.Bahman Enterprises confirms that every brandencloses its own entity and vitality, guaranteeing A-to-Zmanagement of each entity. The firm leads with themotive to enhance consumer lives by swiftly deliveringcustomer value and maintaining relationships, moreeffectively than their competitors. The company’s visionis sustained on two key principles – organisationalexcellence and core values, which are the bases for allactions performed.The organisation’s functions include an in-housemarketing agency, called Six Thinking Hats, whichgrants essential marketing support to plan and executemiscellaneous strategic activities. Some of the expertservices that this agency offers involve planning,concept promotion, research; ATL and BTL activities,e-marketing, POS design, exhibitions, product launches,in store and merchandising activities.To provide the best in service and support, BEincludes a professionally skilled after-sales servicecentre situated in the Al Quoz area, an accessiblecentral location in Dubai. Their qualified and attentiveTel +971 4 2712376www.bahmanenterprises.comThe company’s in-house marketing team incessantly forms latest and innovative promotion ideas to assure brand equity, identity andawareness, market penetration and ultimately brand success resulting in constant development in sales.With their broad market research and knowledge conducted over theyears, Bahman Enterprises has set up its infrastructure and assetsto manage small domestic appliances, kitchenware and electricalconsumer goods to fill the gap deprived by market demands for thegeographical location of UAE and GCC as part of its new projects.
222Sweet successStarting a new business in a downturn isn’t always the recommended way to go, butwhen you bring cumulative expertise that spans more than three decades, a strongwork ethic, and a conviction that things can be done better; then perhaps you have arecipe for success.Since establishing Custard Communications in January2010, founders Nicola Holmes and Lesley Fair have seentheir business grow exponentially, from representing afew key clients through to some of the most respectedand influential brands in the world.It was a proud moment when in 2010 Campaignmagazine named Custard Communications one of the“top 10 new kids on the block” in terms of agencies inthe Middle East.Their expertise has covered sports events for theOffice of the Brand of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi SportsCouncil, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Hilton, art andcultural events for Tourism Development & InvestmentCorporation of Abu Dhabi, global product launches forProcter & Gamble, team building and staff engagementfor companies like Pfizer and Boston Consulting Group,corporate galas for the likes of Merck Serono and DeBrauw and financial forums on behalf of DIFC.Kraft team celebrates Oreo’s 100th birthdayCorporateProfiles&Entrepreneurs
223Tel +971 4 3618850www.welikecustard.comThe business grew to such anextent that within two years theduo was able to deliver on along term personal ambition, todevelop an initiative that wouldprovide support to corporationsand charities in helping themachieve transparency and cost-effectiveness in their corporatesocial responsibility (CSR) campaigns, heralding thearrival of Custard Cares.Co-founder Nicola Holmes said, “We are two sociallyminded individuals that have always wanted to domore for our communities. When we started Custard,it was always our aim to balance the profitability of thebusiness with giving back. We have been fortunate towork with some great brands on innovative events andactivations, which in turn has grown our reputationand now affords us the luxury of being able to put ourenergies towards a bit of philanthropy.”Custard found that they had been involved witha number of charities and NGOs, and increasinglyclients were looking for events that had philanthropicelements. Lesley Fair, Custard’s other slice of the tart,continued, “We wanted to bring something differentto the table, to provide not only our CSR acumen, butalso to bridge our partners and suppliers with CustardCares, that way we can ensure quality support, costeffectiveness and that the projects were carried outwith transparency and due diligence.”Custard Cares allows the team to provide theirevent, public relations and marketing skills to causesthat need these areas of expertise, but don’t necessarilyhave the financial resources to support executiveexpenses normally associated with these activities. “Asan integrated communications company with a strongevents, PR and marketing pedigree, we bring a level ofmarket knowledge, and business partnerships that canreally benefit organisations looking to grow the scope oftheir CSR activities,” Holmes continued.As more companies adopt a corporate conscienceapproach to business ensuring that money invested inprogrammemes and events is spent wisely becomesparamount. Fair explained: “Spending budgets onfundraising evenings or activities, with no mechanismsin place to know where the money is going, or if youare getting best value for that money, goes against theCSR principles. To that end, we created Custard Caresto ensure businesses aren’t wasting resources, and thatthey are able to tap in to our network of trusted partnerswho are wholly committed to this initiative.Organisations involved in Custard Cares range fromcreative, design and production suppliers, to lighting,sound, and video providers, along with human resourceand manpower providers, as well as ancillary services,such as photography, flowers, furniture, PRO services,branding, printing and entertainment suppliers.Holmes concluded, “Our objectives are to provideconsultancy and support in the development of sustainableinitiatives, both for public and private entities, as wellas supporting them through event, PR and marketingservices. We are able to do this with our consortium ofpartners, which allows us and them to strengthen theirties with client and also with the community through asocial responsibility platform, allowing us collectively tobe a force for good in the community. We are grateful tothose partners who have the foresight to recognise that byworking together, we make a stronger contribution to thecommunity as a whole.”Celebrating the founding of Custard Cares, Lesley Fair (left) andNicola Holmes (right) founders of Custard CommunicationsPhiladelphia’s ‘Spread Some Inspiration’ campaign for 2012 recognisesthe selfless acts of women in the region
224Gearing up sportsmanshipAlready a leader in the golf industry; and host of 270,000 rounds played annuallyonly in Dubai; the UAE is an emerging sports destination on the world map. From F1races to hiring world-renowned coaches to train local teams, sports enthusiasm inthe country has skyrocketed. Providing international sports gear brands in golf, rugbyand cricket, Prosports International is the leading distributor in the region. Founded in1995 and headquartered in Dubai, the company has expanded its reach to golf clubsin GCC and Egypt.After consistent efforts, Prosports International has secured a sponsorship with GILBERT for the UAE Rugby National Team as the official kit and ball supplier.CorporateProfiles&Entrepreneurs
225Prosports has enormously contributed to thedevelopment of Golf and Rugby in the UAE. It supportsseveral Golf and Rugby clubs along with providingcomplimentary equipment and kit on a regular basisto national and club players to boost performance andgrowth. One of its many remarkable attributes is theonsite embroidery facility for various goods from poloshirts to golf bags, which enables a quick and reasonableapproach to any corporate or club logo requirements.Recently, Prosports have secured a sponsorship withthe UAE Rugby Association for GILBERT to be theofficial kit and ball supplier to the UAE Rugby NationalTeam. The company continues to strive to successfullyrepresent global sports brands in their outreach in theregion.As the leader of an expert team at Prosports, CEO AraNaknikian has left no stone unturned in providing onlythe best sports equipment and boosting market sharesince its launch. It boasts an extensive collection ofapparel, equipment and sports gear as well as opticalaccessories from reputed international brands includingTITLEIST, FOOTJOY, PING, GREG NORMAN, ANTIGUA,GLENMUIR, GILBERT, GRAY-NICOLLS, BOLLE andBUSHNELL.Prosports is considered to be a local powerhousein its area of business and has been the sole officialmerchandiser for the Emirates Airline Dubai RugbySevens since 2000. Over the years, Prosports hasattained iconic status in the world of sports in theMiddle East by supporting prestigious events like theDubai World Championship Golf Tournament where itretailed lifestyle apparel from their famous Greg NormanCollection at the official merchandise store. Also worthyof mention are its exclusive associations with eventssuch as the International Rugby Board World CupSevens in Dubai, FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi,Dubai World Cup Horse Racing and the Commercial BankQatar Masters’ Golf Tournament.Tel +971 4 3477737www.prosports.aewww.rugbyshopdirect.comwww.cambridgeclassics.comThe vision of CEO Ara Naknikian and the efficiency of his expert teamhave made the presence of global sports superbrands possible in theMiddle East under the umbrella of Prosports International.As UAE occupies a prominent role in the global Golf scenario, Prosportshas enormously contributed to this development. Thanks to eminentbrands such as Titleist and Greg Norman, golf experience in the regionmatches up to world-class standards.