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Winning the right to host the Expo 2020, Dubai has proved that the UAE
is coming out of the recession with aplomb. Residents were thrilled to
witness the last few pulsating moments as Dubai inched its way to clear
the finals. More than 277,000 jobs are forecast to be created between 2013 and 2021,
with around 40 per cent of them in the travel and tourism sector.
Thus, we start on a positive note in the coming New Year.
One of the most important news in the luxury section is that global watchmaker
Swatch has taken control of Dubai’s Rivoli retail chain by buying a further 18 per cent
of Rivoli investments from Dubai International Capital. The Swatch Group raised its
stake to 58 per cent of the Dubai-based luxury lifestyle retailer.
We were delighted to meet and interact with the lady, who is the cynosure of
all eyes. Dr. h.c. Nayla Hayek, Chair of the Swatch Group Board of Directors, at
the inauguration of the exquisite R Lounge at H Hotel in the presence of Ramesh
Prabhakar, Adil Zarouni and Abraham Koshy.
Another important event was the unveiling of the ‘Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de
Genève’ (GPHG), the only globally recognised independent international awards for
excellence in watchmaking. Carlo Lamprecht, President of GPHG Foundation, and
Abdul Hamied Seddiqi, Vice-Chairman of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and jury member at
the 2011 GPHG awards, met with the media and discussed details of this international
award ceremony.
With the launch of the new Cadillac Escalade at the Dubai Motor Show, we get to
meet the dynamic Ed Welburn, Vice President, Global Design of General Motors, who
not only tells us more about the new car, but also about his designer-days in GM.
When Isadore Sharp opened his first Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, all he
wanted to do was make some money from a real estate deal before moving on to the
next project. Fifty years later, he has built one of the most recognised brands in the
world. We get the opportunity to meet with Chairman Isadore Sharp at the launch of
the Four Seasons in St.Petersburg, where a 19th century Russian royal palace, called
‘House with Lions,’ is transformed into a luxurious hotel.
We also explore the artistic world of horses and landscapes by leading artists like
Ali Al Mimar, a good Iraqi friend based in Canada, and Gleb Goloubetski, a Russian
As you enjoy reading these, we at Gulf Connoisseur wish you a very Happy
Christmas and New Year!

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