Today seems a good day to repost this as I sit at Vicenzaoro in Vicenza, listening to sustainable business strategies in the jewellery industry.
It’s not often I’d advocate putting plastic in the ocean, but when it comes to swimwear, Naïla Collection is reworking all the rules. The New York based brand founded by Naïla Chbib in 2008 launched its latest beach and swimwear line this evening with a poolside fashion show at the newly opened Urban Lounge at InterContinental Dubai Marina.
Why visit …. because there are few things in life better than staycationing in your home town or adopted city. Suddenly, everything slows and you can appreciate the beauty of your home at a leisurely pace. I was staying at the newly opened InterContinental Dubai Marina, which although just a short distance from my apartment, was a world away – a home-from-home in the heart of Dubai Marina.
Stay in …the perfectly appointed residences and suites offering sweeping views over the pool and marina. With a daytime backdrop of yachts reflected in the water and a breathtaking evening perspective of Dubai Marina’s bright lights – day or night you get a real sense of place of being in the heart of this vibrant, exciting city. With unexpected touches such as red Emperor Penguins guarding the pool and a ‘Mae West lips’ style sofa by the lift, the property is not your usual InterContinental.
Most of my friends know I’m not an early riser, but the invitation to get up close and personal with Abu Dhabi’s local residents was an offer I couldn’t resist.
Rolling sand dunes cover more than 85 per cent of the emirate, but today my sunrise expedition is not into the desert. Today there are no thoroughbreds, camels or desert foxes. No journey into the shifting sands of the Rub Al Khali – the Empty Quarter. I am about to discover that Abu Dhabi is not just comprised of the grainy stuff.
Abu Dhabi boasts a beautiful coastline with a rich eco-system, home to a wide variety of species ranging from humpback dolphins, to hawksbill turtles to the Arabian Gulf dugong, whilst a hidden network of mangrove forests and shifting sandbanks provide a safe haven for hundreds of bird species including egrets, heron, white collared kingfisher and flamingo. Continue reading
It’s cold. It’s dark. Here are five excuses to hole up and drink
cocktails especially if it involves the chance to escape to far flung shores.
My personal favourites include ….
The happiness-helping Vitality Boost by Amba Valayten of One&Only Le Saint Géran, Mauritius, who’s mixed up a storm for royalty.
The disease-defeating Saffron Sunset by Kritsana K of rooftop bar Vertigo, Banyan Tree Hotel, Bangkok.
Yesterday was Eid al-Adha and my lovely colleague Christina and I went for tea and cake at The Galleria on Maryah Island. The resident master calligrapher was personalising gifts for shoppers and kindly agreed to write peace for Christina and love for myself in his beautiful, cursive Arabic script. Hopefully we shall receive these gifts soon!
As a Saadiyat local, marine enthusiast and general beach babe, it took very little persuasion for me to be lured to a lecture on the beach!
Sustainability Week Abu Dhabi (20 – 22 January 2014) saw a packed schedule of lectures, screenings and talks take place at key locations across Abu Dhabi. My favourite were the ‘feet in the sand’ lectures at my local Blue flag beach – Saadiyat – managed by Bake, where local experts and marine biologists shared their knowledge about the aquatic life found in Arabian waters.
If you are visiting Singapore, I recommend a trip to the breathtakingly gorgeous Gardens by the Bay. Consisting of 101 hectares of cultivated greenery on reclaimed land in downtown Marina Bay, the project is a true ‘Garden in a City’ and provides a tranquil and sustainable refuge from the humidity of the city.
Travel trends and predictions for 2014
Read my contribution to TTG Luxury MENA Winter 2013 about the top trends in luxury travel for 2014. Below are my predictions in full for 2014. What an exciting year it is set to be!
1. Bespoke travel
Reports from our clients and from the market intelligence available suggest that luxury travel will continue to thrive and attract high-net-worth individuals in search of bespoke experiences. In 2014 expect to see an increase in hotel groups and tour operators catering to ultra-luxury travellers with personalised itineraries, private guides bespoke tours and concierge services.
Billed as the ‘Happiest 5k on the Planet’, the inaugural Color Run UAE rolled into the Dubai Autodrome on 14 December 2013. I took part, along with 8,500 people in what might possibly the world’s happiest and most colourful 5km fun run. With no winners or official times, and a focus on wellness, individuality, and giving back to the community, the event has exploded in popularity since its launch in 2012, with more than one million entries registered for over 100 international Color Run events in 2013. I proudly donned my white Color Run t-shirt and tennis skirt and lined up with 8,500 other runners ready to hit the course. At each kilometre a different colour of powder was thrown in the air ensuring all the runners became constantly evolving artwork. The morning was topped off by the Finish Festival with coloured powder bursts and a DJ creating a party atmosphere. $1 from every registration was donated to local and international charities through Just Giving, the world’s largest fundraising platform. I am pleased to say that I ended the day feeling tired and happy? So was the inaugural race a success? Well, I can only say the organisers passed with flying colours.