Rami Al Ali makes an impact with his 2012 collection

One of Rami's new designs

Once again on my way heading home from work last week I stopped for coffee at Rami Al Ali’s Atelier to see his new outfits as well as the Bridal Collection 2012. No…I’m not getting married but this hot mama likes to look at clothes and Rami’s designs are so timeless that one gets inspired by his unique touches to every dress he makes even if it happens to be the bridal collection. I reckon there were numerous elements in every bridal piece that would look awesome in an evening dress while totally rocking the fashion scene as a wedding ensemble that is so very Ramilicious.

Of course apart from the clothes, it is a delight to chat with Rami who I find is one of the most insightful designers of all times – no matter what topic you come up with, Rami contributes the most profound thoughts on each of them. I guess it’s also his worldly insights or sixth sense that makes him create the best dresses for his clients – its as if he can sense their character, ethos and what they are all about and what would go with their body, personality and what have you that makes each woman a uniquely beautiful individual.

Elegance is the key to this year’s line by Rami, with each and every dress created as a portrait of modern beauty – sophisticated and breathtaking. Flowing lengths of A-line cuts give a romantic appeal to the collection, whilst voluminous puffed skirts create a whimsical allure, for the bride who wants to make an impact. Architectural structure is ever-present throughout the line, giving each piece a strong character, whilst a daring array of exposed necklines and bare shoulders are contrasted against more modest designs of full-length lace sleeves.

Full attention is granted to the bride with a refreshing palette of off-white, and light and pearly variations of beige, to ensure all skin tones are complimented and flattered. The line is kept rich and luxurious with a strong presence of satin and tafta fabrics, with embellishments tactically placed to create new shapes and forms within each style. Every dress within the collection is uniquely crafted using innovative methods of fabric manipulation, creating new and inspiring textures and depths.

If I didn’t have to dash to Valleydez that evening to hang out with fashion experts Dipesh & Ayman, I reckon I would have just sat and taken in Rami’s creations all evening….they were pure eye candy and once again I left his Atelier half heartedly. If you ever are on Al Wasl Road and have some fashion sense, Rami Al Ali’s designs are worth stopping for to get a dose of some creative style injection.

Oh Tiffany!

Me loving Tiffany 1837 Interlocking circles necklace in Rubedo metal and silver

My daughter and I always share jewellery pieces but after Tiffany launched world-renowned designer Paloma Picasso’s collection of Paloma’s Venezia, we find ourselves fighting over our favourite pieces and being drawn to Tiffany shops every time we are in a mall. Currently I wear a piece from Tiffany’s Rubedo collection and as much as Tash loves the piece I have from Paloma’s collection, she constantly wants to exchange and wear both Paloma & Rubedo – partly because Rubedo is so much fun to play with during those deep thoughtful moments. (I have a lot of these moments being an intense Pisces)

When it comes to Paloma, I’m always fascinated by people and particularly artists  so naturally I delved further into what inspires the youngest daughter of the famous artist of all times and if Pablo Picasso’s talent is reflected in Paloma’s creativity – I’m just so thrilled to own one of her pieces after seeing her work.

A lifelong traveller, Paloma has incorporated the art and culture of many exotic places in her work. Having visited Venice from the time she was a teenager, she developed a particular fascination for the city’s canals and bridges, palazzos and great public squares. With her unerring eye for design, she interprets the city’s beauty and historical legacy in jewellery of four distinct themes and a piece I have of hers as a result is absolutely beautiful.

Although Paloma’s Venezia was launched last year, it’s still available in Tiffany & Co.’s  in Dubai – I guess it’s because her designs are timeless. Having said that, Tiffany’s new collection, Rubedo, launched in honour of the company’s 175th anniversary is equally awesome.

I’m told that in the medieval philosophy of alchemy, Rubedo was the title of the very highest achievement, when matter and spirit fused to create something of rare beauty. I love my Rubedo pendant as it marries the richness of gold, the brilliance of silver and the warmth of copper – I reckon that’s why little diva keeps wanting to take it off my neck every time to wear it.

Among the luminous creations of Rubedo is an elongated cuff that crisply incorporates the hallmark at the cuff’s edge. A similarly contoured ring carries the Tiffany legacy with equal grace. Tiffany designers also contrast the warmth of Rubedo with sterling silver in a pendant and necklace of interlocking circles of great movement and dimension. (How cool does that look around my neck)

Tiffany 1837 Rubedo jewellery designs inscribed with the signature of founder Charles Lewis Tiffany are available exclusively during 2012, in celebration of Tiffany’s anniversary year. I’m so excited to have one of the Rubedo pieces – little diva (NJD) keeps asking me if she’s inheriting my collection of Tiffany’s awesome pieces but I’ll let her sweat a bit before I part with my awesome Rubedo.

Paloma in Venice - How gorgeous is she....as beautiful as her awesome designs

Love this heaps

After Paloma’s magical pieces and the playful and fun Rubedo pieces, I certainly can’t wait to see what Tiffany launches next – I’m sure it will be just as awesome.

Way to go Spectronix

Instant Tightening Serum...one of the many superb products from Spectronix

I met recently with an incredible young entrepreneur in the B2B beauty business and he left me inspired on how he expanded his business and is now bringing in some super new products into Dubai.

Owner of Spectronix, S.L. Paul runs an outfit that is dedicated to bringing the latest medical technologies to the Middle East from some of the best companies in Europe, the United States and S. Korea to deliver superior services in the beauty industry. I’ve used some of the machines he supplies to my regular spa so I have him to thank for my porcelain looking soft hair free skin.

Spectronix makes its mark in the UAE by introducing a latest and innovative beauty related technology almost very month. One treatment which Spectronix has brought to this region is called “secret”. Secret reveals The secret to get rid of Pigmentation, Acne scars, wrinkles & Scars while experiencing Skin tightening, Rejuvenation, pore reduction, stretch marks improvement. I have not tried this yet but can’t wait and am looking to find a clinic that features this treatment.

What I have tried before is a painless, less downtime laser treatment call Depilight. Unwanted hair has been a pain for me – diva does not like time-consuming Waxing, threading, electrolysis stuff with long repeated sessions. Depilight hair reduction technology has been awesome for me and I have forward thinking entrepreneurs like Paul to thank for bringing it to Dubai

Spectronix also introduces now the “Complete Skin Repair Renewal Rejuvenation Kit” commonly called as SR3 using stem cell, nano technologies for the first time in Cosmetic Aesthetics. If you are suffering from acne scars, dull skin, pigmentation, wrinkles, stretch marks etc… SR3 is the thing you need to ask for, next time you walk in to your Dermatologist’s office.

And Although I find bald men incredibly sexy, most people I meet want hair on their heads or like to go for treatments that help their hair grow. SPECTRONIX has also introduced walk-in, walk-out hair transplant with its latest device S.A.F.E.R Hair Transplant robot, automating the hair transplant procedure. Paul was gushing about this treatment so I’m assuming he has had amazing feedback from clients. S.A.F.E.R.  I am told is a machine-enhanced, minimally-invasive (no-scalpel/no-stitch) hair transplant surgery that benefits patients with better results, lower cost, less discomfort, faster recovery and no linear scars.

Paul, who is a qualified engineer as well naturally gets hands on with all the products he gets and talked about many other new innovations in the industry like medical make up, skin rejuvenation, skin tightening serums, bionix, mesotherapy etc. My favourite I know is going to be the machine that stimulates abdominal muscles equal to 300 crunches – diva likes this.

I hope I meet Paul again as he is like a walking encyclopedia on what’s hot and what’s not in the beauty industry and if I am to keep my exotic island look vibrant and healthy, Paul is the guy to hang out with more.

Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore opens Sultans of Science

Opening of Sultans of Science

Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Minister for Manpower, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam opened the ‘Sultans of Science’ exhibition at the Science Centre Singapore yesterday (16th April 2012). Featuring contributions of Muslim Scholars in science and technology, the global traveling exhibition makes its Asian premier in Singapore.

‘Sultans of Science’ Asian tour debuts in Singapore

Children interacting and being hands on with exhibits in Sultans of Science

Asia to discover scientific achievements of Muslim Civilization

The Asian tour of ‘Sultans of Science’, which is MTE Studios, global traveling exhibition will debut in Singapore mid April. Currently ending the first leg of the North American tour, the UAE travelling exhibition will visit Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia beginning in the second quarter of 2012.

Following successful residencies in New Jersey, South Africa, Toronto, Edmonton and San Jose, Science Centre Singapore will be the first Asian venue to host the iconic exhibition also known as ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’. It will go on to visit National Science Museum in Thailand; Petrosains, The Discovery Centre in Malaysia and other venues across the continent.

As a leading Science Centre promoting science and technology in the region, Science Centre Singapore will reveal scientific achievements of the Muslim Civilisation to students and the community with the opening of ‘Sultans of Science’ exhibition in mid April 2012 for a three-month run. The exhibition explores scientific breakthroughs of a remarkable era, which was one of the greatest in the world.

History text books refer to events when Europe slumbered in a period which is commonly known as the Dark Ages, but few people are aware of the tremendous contributions Muslim scholars made in science and technology during the Golden Age of the Islam (7th – 17th Centuries) which helped pave the way for the European Renaissance.

This civilization thrived on seeking knowledge and led to inventions, innovations, discoveries and prosperity. Its mathematicians invented algebra and algorithms that enabled the development of computers. Its doctors discovered the pulmonary heart circulation, undertook operations with surgical instruments very similar to modern surgical instruments and established efficient public hospitals. Its astronomers observed the heavens, developed astronomical tools to calculate their position on earth and paved the way for satellites and travel in space. Its engineers such as Al-Jazari and Banu Musa brothers laid the foundation of modern engineering and developed ingenious devices such as the first robot.

“This interactive exhibition invites visitors to explore the main fields of Muslim achievements, from mathematics to navigation, astronomy, medicine, instrument making, fine utilitarian technology, engineering, optics, architecture and flight. It will engage people of all ages and backgrounds in experiences that educate, inform, provoke thought, inspire action and understanding across cultures,” said CEO, Ludo Verheyen from MTE Studios.

The Asian venues are excited to showcase this significant exhibition, which has received record number of visitors since its launch and believe in a successful Asian tour allowing visitors to discover and understand how a great civilization created prosperity across large areas from Spain to China. The host venues are delighted and believe that visitors will be fascinated to see numerous inventions brought to life through a diverse range of over 50 interactive, sensory and static exhibits and giant functional replicas that use cutting-edge technology to recreate the ingenuity of a golden age.

Cute BlackBerry Mini Keyboard for the BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry Mini Keyboard - Liking it

Over coffee today, I got introduced to the new BlackBerry Mini Keyboard, a new accessory for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet….being a gadget chick who collects gadgets but often have no time to explore them I was cynical. After all I have the top of the range Apple ipod, ipad 1 for work and ipad 2 for personal use, iphone 4S and I use MacBook Air for work plus another funky Apple for home. I’m now on my 3rd BlackBerry so for me to say I’m sold on the BlackBerry PlayBook is something. And the fact that it comes now with a funky keyboard is awesome.

The keyboard is ultra portable and comes complete with a stylish convertible case that doubles as a stand for the tablet.  In addition to a full QWERTY keyboard, it offers an integrated touchpad that allows users to navigate and control the BlackBerry PlayBook as easily as using the touch screen on the tablet itself…another cool feature.

You can also integrate all your emails and documents on the play Playbook, which is also super easy to work on with the keyboard.  The keyboard makes it easy to surf the web or use other apps – such as Twitter, Facebook, WordPress and BBM, along with heaps of other funky apps which can be downloaded through BlackBerry App World.

The Playbook can also connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to other BlackBerry gadgets, for example, you can bridge your Blackberry smartphone with the playbook, which can then double as a mouse for the Playbook using the track-pad which I think is awesome! Being technologically challenged despite owning the latest of whatever gets launched in UAE, I am now motivated to find out more and get all my gadgets synchronised.

The BlackBerry Mini Keyboard comes equipped with a touchpad that supports BlackBerry PlayBook gestures. The touchpad also offers additional gestures similar to the standard mouse and touchpad controls on a laptop, including a single tap to simulate a mouse click, a two finger tap to right-click, and a two-finger up or down swipe to scroll vertically. Its ultra-portable and lightweight, measuring less than 6mm thick and connects to BlackBerry PlayBook tablet via Bluetooth® with128-bit encryption to keep the data passed between keyboard and tablet secure.

Whats also cool is that the keyboard conveniently uses the micro-USB charger that comes with the BlackBerry PlayBook (one less charger to carry), and the keyboard battery lasts up to 30 days on a full charge. I’m sold!

All-New 2012 Ford Focus


NJD enjoys the sun roof while waiting in the Focus - it was the first car in the line-up at DWTC as we wait to kick-start the Dubai Peace Drive

The last time I drove a Ford was during University and it was a perfect car to go to classes in especially during weekends when the better half was off work but I had classes. The first time I ventured on my own, I landed the Ford in a drain….i was traumatised – the Ford came out unscratched so I was sold on the robustness of the brand. So when Tareq gave me the latest All New Focus for a week promising a new experience with its new good-looking design (the man knows diva has discerning taste), refined driving dynamics and with ample technology to keep me gadget happy, I jumped at the opportunity.

The All-new Ford Focus comes in three body styles: sporty 5-door hatchback, sleek 4-door sedan and stylish 5-door wagon. As I am a spoilt Island chick, the advanced technologies includes Active Park Assist and Torque Vectoring Control. The new Focus has a modern, cockpit-style interior, with the stylish centre console wrapped around the driver and providing outstanding access to the vehicle’s major controls….even little diva NJD was able to reach from the back and change stations while waiting for me to load the car with my shoe rack and portable wardrobe. Which brings me to the boot space.

Anyone who knows me and the drama queen of a Fortuna that I drive knows that my preferred car needs to accommodate all my latest magazines, at least 30-40 pairs of shoes, 2 gym bags, I beach bag, 1 bag for boots and one emergency vanity case for the on the way home Moroccan baths. Well….Tareq is my witness because he watched me incredulously as I packed the boot of the Focus and transferred all my girly stuff from the boot of the Fortuna to the Focus and vice versa.

Then I checked out Ford’s latest generation Human Machine Interface (HMI) system, used within the cockpit, with twin five-way toggle switches on the steering wheel controlling the two main vehicle displays…not bad.  I agree the interior does combine outstanding functionality with outstanding craftsmanship. The cabin’s bold and contemporary graphics, the sculptured shape of the soft-touch instrument panel and the choice of superior trim materials all help to give occupants the feeling that they are travelling in a premium-class car.

I do like the Active Park Assist….no comments here about me needing it – at least I park with panache which is more than you lot can boast about!!!! And its nothing to do with the new Electric Power Assist Steering system….its my style that makes a statement (I wonder if I can patent my parking style – the front wheels are always turned an angle which is my trademark)

The new Ford Focus’ powertrain range delivers spirited performance and offers outstanding fuel economy and CO2 emissions… I like that. Plus the fuel economy is enhanced by the availability of a new six-speed dual dry-clutch PowerShift automatic transmission, providing the responsive performance of a traditional manual transmission with the convenience of a user-friendly automatic. Low-friction dry clutches are employed, combined with six well-spaced gears to provide drivers with responsive acceleration from rest, smooth transitions between gears and optimized fuel economy when cruising….NJD loved the sunroof option as well…awesome.

The All New Focus is certainly an exciting new chapter in the Focus success story…check it out and let me know what you think!

Interior view of the All New Focus

Aston Martin Zagato V12


NJD with a red Zagato V12

Since I’ve been enticed by fellow car enthusiasts to start blogging about the new cars I normally drive around the city, my debut piece will be on none other than the Aston Martin V12.

I know most of you would expect me to open this chapter of my writing life with Rolls Royce as that will always remain my favourite, not only because of the brand or my fascination with the Spirit of Ecstasy, but because the people at AGMC are super awesome – I adore the movers and shakers behind Rolls Royce, BMW and MINI. I digress….but today I write about the Zagato V12 simply because I saw one yesterday while I was driving the All New Focus on cruise control and had a good look at the car at my level…normally I’m stuck in a four-wheel drive zooming and don’t take time to actually see the finer details on a car while on SZR. The Zagato V12 was sexy…..and that’s not an understatement. There was something futuristic about its look and feel.

I first checked out the Zagato V12 at the Armani Hotel with my daughter (NJD) at a private preview and then later at the Motor Show. She is my alter ego most of the time so I feed off her and value her opinion which is not coloured by brands or preconceived ideas about a car. She was fascinated by the hood and thought the design made it look like something that would look pretty menacing on the tracks….she right when you look at the tech specs of the car.

The V12 Zagato is powered by a 6.0 litre V12 engine producing 510bph and 570Nm of Torque. The interior is stunning with the look doing justice to what we expect in terms of design that has an Italian touch.

According to Clement who had invited us to the exclusive  preview last November, the V12 Zagato was meant go into strictly limited production of up to 150 cars in summer 2012. The red V12 Zagato on display in Dubai was sexy and to diva’s liking.

And although the V12 pays homage to the previous models, there is something about it that wants you to package it and take it home….I’m personally imagining being in it on a countryside drive right now somewhere in Tuscany.

Patron of the Arts

Performers at a recent exhibition from Uzbekistan supported by Dubai Culture - I loved it

Thanks to Yasser & his team, my daughter loved the performance by a Chechen Dance troupe recently organised by Dubai Culture

The last few weeks has been awesome for Dubai Culture – I’ve always known the team there to be super dynamic (I seriously want to know where people like Yasser and Bilal get their energy) but I reckon recently they have surpassed themselves after hosting one amazing cultural performance/exhibition/celebration after another.

So when the equally amazing team of Asda who know I lap up anything that’s remotely associated with Art & Culture and would support the boys there anytime contacted me about the The Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Awards,I jumped up and headed towards Jumeirah Zabeel – its not just the superb hammam there that pulls me towards this amazing hotel.

This key initiative was announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and honoured 47 organisations and individuals for their contributions towards the city’s cultural scene …which I may add grows twofold every time I get my fabulous self to set some time aside after work to check my social calendar.

Organised by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts, and heritage, the awards were aimed at encouraging patrons of the arts to further strengthen the evolution of the city’s cultural landscape through patronage.

Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority was there and he looked so different than when I first worked with him during DSF 2000 – he has managed to get increased support from Government departments and organisations, in addition to a vast pool of new patrons for culture and the arts.

It was awesome to see some of my favourite organisations and the representatives from Emirates Airlines, Jumeirah Group, Dubai Duty Free and AGMC – BMW being honoured – these guys do great stuff for art & culture and the people behind these brands are the nicest you will find in Dubai.

I’m hoping more things like Art Week, Art Dubai, Design Days, Dubai International Film Festival, Gulf Film Festival, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre add to the culture and arts scene of the city….we definitely need to give more recognition as well to the performing arts which has struggled heaps over the last 10 years. The tides are changing thanks to the amazing work of Dubai Culture and this diva is pleased to be in a city that brings so much of the worlds static and performing arts to us on a silver platter. Smiling heaps!

Bahrain to host the Second Expo Sciences Asia 2012

Bahrain Science Centre collaborates with MILSET to promote science culture in Expo

 The Kingdom of Bahrain is hosting the Second Expo Sciences Asia until 12 April 2012 at Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre (BIECC). Organized by Bahrain’s Ministry of Human Rights and Social Development and MILSET Asia, the international event will have a variety of activities including cultural and scientific visits; leisure activities; exhibition of projects and workshops.

Held every two years, Expo Sciences Asia aims to promote scientific projects created by children and young people around the Asian region through an exhibition in a multi-cultural environment, also allowing the participation of institutions that want to assist young people in their projects. The First Expo Sciences Asia was held in Kuwait in April 2010.

Contributing to scientific culture, non-formal science education and awareness programmes in the region, Bahrain Science Centre which falls under the Ministry of Human Rights and Social Development plays a leading role in bringing this event to Bahrain. Assistant Undersecretary of Community Development Mr. Khalid Ishaq from Bahrain’s Ministry of Human Rights and Social Development is the member of MILSET Asia board.

Commenting on the event Mr. Ishaq said, “MILSET gives a platform for young people to exchange ideas and make most of their creations; discuss with researchers, youth leaders and industrialists. Bahrain Ministry of Human Rights and Social Development’s collaboration with MILSET is another initiative in the development of scientific and technical education in the Kingdom.”

Promoting awareness of the importance of science and technology, a group of young scientists headed by Mrs. Amal Albuflasa, from the new state-of-the-art Bahrain Science Centre (BSC) will showcase their project at the exhibition. Focusing on hands-on learning using interactive displays and people-centred programmes, such as science shows, Bahrain Science Centre strongly encourages creativity and innovation as well as cross-generational learning. The science centre also endeavours to create an awareness of Bahrain’s contributions to science and technology.

Commenting of their participation Mrs. Albuflasa said, “Children can learn science and should have the opportunity to become scientifically literate. In order for this learning to happen, the effort to introduce children to the essential experiences of science inquiry and explorations must begin at an early age.” “Our participation at Second Expo Sciences Asia 2012 gives this platform to children where they learn the process of finding out and a system for organizing and reporting discoveries and a way of thinking and trying to understand the world”, added Albuflasa.

Bahrain Science Centre is an interactive educational facility that targets children, youth and families of Bahrain. It is located in a three-storey building at 697 Riyadh Avenue, Isa Town, near the Manama/Salmabad intersection. The science centre has six interactive exhibition galleries, an auditorium, four laboratories and a café/shop. The role of the Bahrain Science Centre is to promote awareness of the importance of science and technology, complement the school curriculum, stimulate curiosity and innovation, and create a forum for public debate on science and technology issues.