Walk of Beauty 2012 wows crowds at Beautyworld Middle East

A bit of eye candy at last years show

2012 Walk of Beauty – A MADI show is always infused with entertainment

The awesome guys at Madi International and Wella Professionals wowed crowds at the Middle East Beautyworld making it a runaway success. The Beautyworld Show looks amazing and I’m sulking about it closing so early at 7pm….I only finish work at 5.30pm so getting to DWTC takes half an hour leaving not much time to see most of the show which this year is so brilliant.

But I’m glad Madi International, one of the Region’s leading distributors of internationally reputed professional beauty brands made Walk of Beauty 2012 a grand success by showcasing the latest trends in hair-styling from across the globe.

Organised in conjunction with Beautyworld Middle East and powered by Wella Professionals and P&G Salon Professionals, people have one more day to enjoy the show…I will be on a plane to Bahrain and wish I was actually in Dubai to check out the whole show but fate has other plans for me. I would be splitting a gut to get back to Dubai the same day to see my daughter perform on stage and making it to her show is looking pretty slim right now.

I saw a video clip of last year’s Walk of Beauty at Hard Rock Café (my new hangout) and was amazed…this years is even better. The iconic event demonstrates the 2012 hair-styling trends, presented live as part of an audio-visual show on a purpose-built catwalk stage by Wella and Kadus Regional Education Team and ambassadors. Besides this, talented and professional hair dressers from leading salons in the UAE and region also showcase their skills live.

Walk of Beauty 2012 is supported by Hard Rock Café, Dubai, the partner-sponsors along with In Dubai We Trust [IDWT] Foundation, a non-profit organization that started on December 2, 2009 and striving to unify the multi-cultural population of Dubai by celebrating the Emirate’s achievements. Hard Rock Café, which opened in London in June 1971, reopened its Dubai café at Festival City and is the largest in Middle East.

With a strong international profile, Beautyworld Middle East, organized by Messe Frankfurt, has played a major role in the last 15 years in contributing to the growth and development of the beauty and wellness industry in this region….I had fun at Hard Rock Café with a few old pals and got to meet IDWT (awesome team) and caught up again with Madi Team….it has been a couple of months since we last met when they opened their biggest showroom and I enjoy the company of Madi staff who have a vision to be on top of the game in their industry by cultivating a culture of success and warmth amongst their teams.

Unlike me, if you lucky lot are still in Dubai tomorrow, check out the Beautyworld Middle East as well as The Walk of Beauty. You won’t regret it.

Check the video out below sent to me by gorgeous Sarah at MADI:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pChnqy-JOGM

In Dubai We Trust

Ever since I got the Hard Rock Café worldwide loyalty card, I’ve become a huge fan of their merchandise and its now tradition for me and my babe to get some retail therapy everywhere we visit that has a Hard Rock cafe….the food and drinks are great but the retail is even better.

It is at Hard Rock Dubai where I met Salma and Khalid from ‘In Dubai We Trust’….a coincidence as I was there for something else and after a quick chat with them, I made up my mind that I will talk about their cool initiative….In Dubai We Trust.

As anyone will tell you, I am the biggest fan of the UAE and all the Emirates…. I constantly end up telling people who try to say anything bad about the country that they are welcome to go back home if they have issues with the UAE as there are plenty other people who appreciate the place and love to live and work here.

Although UAE and Dubai has nothing to prove to anyone as the place speaks for itself, it still is great for people who live here to talk about the best things that Dubai has to offer and show the many positive sides that people don’t usually pick up on because they are so involved in their own little worlds, they would rather stay on their sofas and complain instead of actually venturing out and enjoying the many amazing things one can do here.

‘In Dubai we trust’ is a non-profit organization striving to unify the multi-cultural population of Dubai by celebrating the emirate’s achievements. Their tag says…..’In Dubai we trust, with Dubai we bloom, in Dubai we see our future grow. Moving forth with strong will and determination, an economy with power & inspiration. With achievements across the borders untold, Dubai our land, where peace and love unfolds.’

The group since their inception has organised many events that show the different facets of the Emirates….they were also part of the Burj Khalifa opening, have organised events for mother’s day, brought women from different nationalities together in a spa environment and now they will also be part of the Walk of Beauty 2012 event. This is part of the amazingly popular exhibition Beautyworld Middle East 2012 starting on the 29th of May.

UAE and Dubai has become a second home to many….its about time we celebrated the many great opportunities the country has given us and make people aware of the many things they can do here that they would not be able to do elsewhere.

If you are a big fan of Dubai, you can join In Dubai We Trust’ on the following:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/188737619862/

Follow them on Twitter- http://twitter.com/indubaiwetrust

Youtube Videos:
(UAE 3-D Show @ Dubai Mall -Jan 2010 )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23lnTiH3sHE

( IDWT Interview)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we88TCCSqRU

Lovin my Bags now at Palm Strip

After dreading about having to trot all over town to Lancel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and mending a zip at Burberry, I was hoping for an easy way out to tackle my annual chores with bags when I opened my email and found out I can take all my bags to one place and get it sorted…how deja vu is that!

The news I received was that Lovin My Bags, the world’s first system of handbag and leather restoration has entered the Middle East region with its first boutique launch in Dubai. The new boutique was inaugurated by ‘Aiisha Ramadan’, a leading Arab fashion designer and hosted by ‘Shereen Mitwalli’; TV presenter, & international events moderator.

Most high-end bag owners already know that Lovin My Bags specializes in the very first system of handbag cleaning, restoration and leather care products developed to prolong the life and beauty of luxury designer handbags with professional care….except that they didn’t exist here before and they always ended up having to lug stuff back to the brands themselves.

Naturally, finding a professional service to refurbish bags in this part of the world has been challenging. With the launch of Lovin My Bags, luxury buyers have the safest and quickest option to restore their belongings. Due to such extreme climates, there is a big issue of dye transfer from Abayas, Jeans & other materials and Lovin My Bags has engineered products & services specifically to address such issues.

Dhiraj Munjwani, Partner & Director of Lovin My Bags Middle East showed  me some of the products they will be using as a way of assuring me that my bags were in good hands.  He explains how leather needs protection, cleansing, moisturizing, conditioning and miracle products to keep it looking its best and his team treat handbags as ‘Souls’ that require constant rejuvenation, pampering and love.

I recall last year on my way to London, we got diverted to Vienna because of a threat and all our suitcases got checked…my Lancel got damaged in the process and it took the Airline 5 weeks to find someone who could sort it out. In the end they gave up and paid me the original cost of a Lancel suitcase. With Lovin my Bags, the running around is not necessary anymore.

These guys specialize in cleaning and restorations services for all designer brands including Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Balenciaga, Dior, Cartier, Chloe, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, amongst all others….check them out!

Cupping – my latest alternative therapy adventure

In true diva style I decided to venture out and try yet another alternative therapy for my stiff neck – I blame it on all the people in my life whose game plan is to make my life as difficult and stressful and possible to test my limits :).

Anyway….after a fantastic Turkish hammam experience, I went into the therapist’s room adorned with images of cupping as she explained that I would have circle marks on my back for a week. I joked that if she placed the cups strategically, perhaps the circles could appear sexily symmetrically on my back so I could do henna tattoos around it – she looked at me as though I was the biggest sceptic in the world so I shut my humourous side out for the next hour and left my back in her expert hands.

Cupping therapy is an ancient medical treatment that relies on creating a local suction which mobilises the blood flow to promote healing. Ancient Chinese medicine doctors prescribe this when blood and lymph stagnation needs treatment.

You can do cupping in Dubai and I have also done it in Bahrain….both cities have good spas for this. Cupping can affect the body up to 4 inches of the tissues, causing them to release toxins, activate the lymph system, clear colon blockages, activate veins, artilleries and capillaries. I’m also told it can help improve stretch marks and varicose veins.

My therapist (Maryanne) at Joz salon in Bahrain is awesome and she also mentioned that one can benefit from cupping for a broad range of ailments to help with physical and psychological well-being. I did it and loved it as my neck is less stiff than before and had sexy circles on my back to boot. It looked like I had sunned it with a top with holes in them.

If you want to give it a try, get recommendations of spas and salons… It may not be the best alternative therapy for everyone but it certainly made me feel chilled out without my neck pain.

Its time for Dim Sum

Little Diva NJD is ready for dim sum in Seoul Korea

Taking mandarin lessons is tough….the language is tough as it is but for some reason, most syllabus use food a lot in the lessons – I guess because everyone knows Chinese food so our dear teachers think it’s the easiest way to teach us the language.

Tonight my lesson was on Shaomai (shāo mài) which  is a traditional Chinese dumpling served in dianxin/dim sum. The first time I had this was on a roadside stall in Malaysia on my way from KL to Penang. My companion spoke mainly Cantonese and was a huge fan of dim sum. All I knew was that I loved the little bamboo steamers it came in and enjoyed each delicate piece with a dollop of spicy chilli sauce.

In my lesson today, I learnt that I should be able to recognise a Shaomai as it has a fluffy and flowery shape on the top. Although shaomai originates from steamed stuffed bun (I’ve seen a lot of these a lot on the streets of Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore), these two similar kinds of food have two main differences. First, the outer covering of shaomai is made of a thin sheet of lye water dough; Secondly, shaomai differ from steamed buns in that their outer covering is not sealed but instead has a pomegranate shape….i prefer the shaomai any day.

Once well steamed in the pot, shaomai are prized for the thin skin and abundant fillings. Shaomai is in the shape of a cup, not only delicious but also beautiful. There are two regional varieties of shaomai: a Cantonese version and a version from the Jiangnan region…frankly I couldn’t tell the difference but I certainly love a good shaomai in my Friday brunch.

In KL, I loved the dim sum varieties at the Pan Pacific Sunday brunch, In Singapore its best to try it at Paradise Point and in Dubai, Shangri-La does it best! I didn’t have much time in Korea and Macau to try good recommended Dim Sum but the best has to be in Hong Kong – I wanted to go to Maxim’s on the way to Fiji but the stopover was too short so I tried random restaurants and they were all awesome for dim sum.

Once again, I have diverted to food… I blame my Mandarin instructor. Each lesson this week was related to food and brought back heaps of memories from Asia.

Diva is in love….again… with ‘V’

Talking perfumery with Victoria Christian

After a 12 year tryst with YSL’s Champagne and then Dior’s Poison and recently Midnight Rose by Lancome, it looks like my heart has turned to another…my olfactory nerves crave a new smell in form of ‘V’ Perfumes, the second release from Clive Christian’s Private Collection.

As Victoria (daughter of Clive Christian) tells me, the new release bears the same concentration and complexity for which the House has become synonymous. Clive named ‘V’ Perfumes after her… Victoria is his eldest daughter.

‘V’ for women is a White Floral Chypre where Orange Blossom, traditionally associated with joy and betrothal and is embraced by Rose and Jasmine. Entwined with soothing Chamomile and sensual Lavender, the spirit of this romantic Perfume brims with utter femininity.

Belonging to the Private Collection, ‘V’ for Women is presented in the customary deep amber bottle which pays tribute to the original apothecary bottles from the perfumery uniquely crowned by Queen Victoria in 1872.

Check out the specs on this baby – loving the base notes heaps:

Top Notes: Peach, Neroli, Bergamot
Heart Notes: Jasmine, Carnation, Ylang, Rose, Gardenia, Orange Blossom, Pink Pepper, Black Pepper, Chamomile, Lavender, Liatris, Helitrope, Coriander Seed, Cistus
Base Notes: Honey, Sandalwood, Ambrette Seed, Bensoin, Amber, Cistus, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Leather, Frankincense, Labdanum, Musk

I can’t wait for August when this will be sold to the general public through Paris Gallery…I’m just so glad I was the privileged few to get the private preview of this before it hits the Arabian shores. Highly recommended because the woman’s version is WOW! I could still smell the base notes more than 12 hours later.

Excellence Awards at Burj Al Arab

My first event in Dubai was in this ballroom at Burj Al Arab when we launched e-vision….fond memories whenever I go there for the excellence awards

I wanted to drive around Dubai the last 2 days to get the full experience of the Inifiniti QX56 so it was natural to take it to somewhere like the Burj Al Arab to see if the car got as much attention as it’s enormous size….it did and I was surprised to see it parked right at the entrance amongst the Ferrari’s and a pretty cool Aston Martin. 

My visit there was mainly to once again check out excellence awards as always by my friends at Datamatix…..this time it was the 17th Middle East eGovernment and eServices Excellence awards. I am a regular at the Al Falak ballroom for these awards ceremonies in different fields and love it to bits as I get to listen to inspirational talks by the movers and shakers of the region in an intimate setting and learn so much about leadership, the winners’ journies towards excellence and what they will do to maintain on top of the game.

The high-profile awards ceremony honored some of the most outstanding achievements of innovators, developers and experts who are revolutionizing the eGovernment systems in the region. The ceremony and gala dinner was graced by the presence of chief guest H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, United Arab Emirates and prominent figures, VIPs, CIOs and decision makers from government, business and international institutions.

As usual, the ceremony began with the welcome message by a forever dynamic  Ali Al Kamali, Managing Director, Middle East Excellence Awards Institute. He  expressed how eGovernments have become the focus of public sector reforms – an instrument to increase efficiency, strengthen competitiveness and enhance modernization transforming regional governance and ushering in innovation in the back office.

The winners of the 2012, 17th Middle East eGovernment and eServices Excellence Awards are:

Best Project Award – e-ambassador system, Ministry of Higher Education – KSA, Award received by H.E Dr.Abdulkader Al-Fantoukh, Deputy Minister of Higher Education

Women’s IT Skills Development Excellence Award – Princess Noura Bint Abdul Rahman University, award received by H.E Dr. Nasser Bin Abdulkarim Al Moajel, General Manager information Technology Department

Information and Knowledge Portal Excellence Award – Al Jazeera.net, award received by Dr. Mustapha Souag, GM AL Jazeera Channel

eCitizen and eParticipation Excellence Awards – Ministry of Foreign Affairs – UAE, award received by Dr.Saeed K. Al Dhaheri Advisor to the Minister, Information Systems UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

e-Initiative Excellence Award – Human Right’s Commission – KSA, award received by Dr. Bandar bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, President of the Human Rights Commission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

eBusiness Portal Excellence Award – Saudi Post, Award Received by H.E Eng. Mudayan Bin Abdulrahman Al Mudayan, Vice President for Information Technology and Technical Affairs

e-Portal Excellence Award – Public Pension Agency – KSA, award received by Mr. Sami Abdullah Al Jammaz  Information Centre Director, Public Pension Agency KSA

Best Use of ICT Excellence Award – Dubai Courts, award received by H.E Dr. Ahmed Bin Hazeem, GM Dubai Courts

Mobile Application Development Excellence Award – Al Ain City Municipality – Municipal Services Sector, award received by H.E Dr. Matar Mohammed Saif Al Nuaimi the General Manager Al Ain Municipality

eSolutions Provider Excellence Award – Sejel Technology Company – KSA, award received by H.E. Eng. Ahmed Bin Alawi Ghamri, CEO, Sejel Technology Company Ltd. – Jeddah – K.S.A.

mGovernment Excellence Award – Department of e-Transactions and Communications – King Saudi University, award received by Dr. Esam A. Alwagait,  Dean, e-Transactions and Communications King Saud University

e-Health strategy Excellence Award – Ministry of Health – KSA, Award received by Dr. Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Yemeni, Deputy Minister for Planning and Health Economics Ministry of Health – KSA

Special thanks were offered to Al Riyadh Newspaper which was received by Mr. Ali Al Kowhais, Director of Al Riyadh Newspaper, South African Parliamentary delegation and Libyan delegation.

The Middle East Excellence Awards Institute, for the past several years, has persevered to recognize, honor and promote the achievements of the region’s leaders and organizations and to commend their outstanding performance and commitment to excellence…. I love the fact that I get to meet so many interesting people at these awards ceremonies who are leaders in their respective fields and one can’t help but be inspired by their energy and dedication.

Mudo City sure looks good

With Jean Renaud-Durbin of The Content Factory at Mudo City

One evening this week, I ventured to Dubai Mall in a bid to save my favourite Michael Kors shoe and one not so lovable Jimmy Choo which was a total waste of space but it is a Choo and fashion dictated it was worth saving :(. Anyway, the visit was coupled with checking out the debut of Mudo City one of the most famous Turkish brands to come to the UAE.

The store focuses on various retail sectors such as fashion, furniture and home décor, food and beverage, and entertainment at Dubai Mall. Established in 1964 by Mustafa Taviloğlu and Doğan Gürün, Mudo City began by selling gifts, records and hand-painted t-shirts. The small shop was the foundation of today’s Turkish retail giant.

I loved the Mudo Collection which features high-end fashion, Mudo Concept which includes home décor and furniture and Mudo Accessories. Asadel partnered with Mudo because of the rising demand for stylish, trendy and affordable products according to Ayman Jamil of Asadel. A pioneer in the Turkish fashion industry, Mudo Collection entered the ready to wear market offering quality and the latest fashion in both men’s and women’s wear.

The Mudo Concept works with solution partners around the world and also includes Turkish designed and produced items…..diva likes!

Hidden health secrets from Kiwifruit

How gorgeous and tempting is this Kiwi Artwork

One of the beauties of coming from an exotic island tropical paradise is that you grow up eating wholesome organic fruits in abundance….and what we don’t have in sunny Fiji Islands, we get from our neighbours Australia & New Zealand. Without doubt, one of the most healthiest fruits from NZ is kiwifruit and the best ones to get is from ZESPRI which is now on the supermarket shelves of the UAE….delightful!

Since I am always on the lookout for the next best thing with health benefits, ZESPRI’s  “superfruit” status caught my eye. Citing the high levels of Vitamins C and E, low glycemic index (GI) and high fibre content of kiwifruit, New Zealand growers stress that it is particularly well suited to the UAE due to the help it provides in the management of diabetes, which is so prevalent here.

Supporting ZESPRI’s campaign is Hala Barghout, a leading nutritionist and licensed clinical dietician in Dubai. She stresses that everyone knows that citrus fruit contains vitamin C, but a kiwifruit actually contains twice as much vitamin C as an orange of the same size – and three times as much as a lemon. “Vitamin C helps strengthen the body’s defences and promotes healthy bones, teeth and blood vessels. Kiwifruit is high in fibre and is also a good source of the antioxidant Vitamin E. It provides twice the level of Vitamin E as an apple and is five times more nutritious.”

I met Warren Young and Ben Hughes from ZESPRI International who were explaining the difference between traditional green kiwifruit now on sale in the UAE and the newer gold variety which will be here later – it provides faster Vitamin C absorption in the body than an artificial vitamin supplement. I am the only one at home who eats Kiwifruit so I was delighted to hear what Hala and Ben had to say and may use this to convince NJD to start eating kiwifruit.

The kiwifruit actually originated in China and was known initially as the Chinese gooseberry when seeds were first transported to New Zealand. However, New Zealand growers became the world’s largest source for the fruit, which became known globally as the kiwifruit after New Zealand’s national symbol…..in fact in Fiji, when we say ‘are you a Kiwi?’, we mean are you a New Zealander. Since 20% of my family members are now Kiwi’s, perhaps its about time to hang out with them in Kiwi Land and try ZESPRI straight off the fields.

A. Lange & Söhne – New models seen in Dubai

How gorgoeus are these novelty pieces from A. Lange Sohne

Most people know that I am not a morning person…. I don’t get up before 6am for love or for money but once in a while I do make an exception…..specially if its something as nice as having breakfast at Emirates Towers with like-minded people who love A. Lange & Sohne watches while enjoying an amazing view of Dubai from the top floor.

I was amongst a small group of about 15 people together with collectors discussing the love affair we have with our watches…. I never leave home without a watch and have one for every occasion…being a fashion rebel, I sometimes break the norm and come to work adorning my Roberto Cavalli snake watch in mother of pearl or go to an evening event wearing a Montblanc business watch with traditional black straps or a simple Salvador Dali that looks like it goes with anything….whose to say what works and sometimes being a rebel makes you stand out.

Anyway, following a successful launch at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) beginning of the year, A. Lange & Söhne’s new models have been on a tour across the Saxon luxury watch brand’s global boutiques. We were the first in the region to experience the latest highlights of Lange’s watchmaking artistry and I have to say it was super impressive.

The 2012 collection, an ideal expression of A. Lange & Söhne’s constant quest for perfection, was received with great enthusiasm during the Middle East premiere. Technical expertise combined with contemporary originality and an unmatched level of craftsmanship defines A. Lange & Söhne’s ever-lasting commitment: to build “the world’s finest watches”.

The central theme this year is the LANGE 1 watch family, headed by the Lange 1 Tourbillon PERPETUAL CALENDAR. With two large complications and a new type of instantaneously jumping month ring, it demonstrates once again the innovative potential of the manufactory. With a newly developed movement, the reworked GRAND LANGE 1 exhibits elegant proportions.

My favourite was a luminous LANGE 1 TIME ZONE in white gold which commends itself as the perfect travelling companion. The DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN illustrates that a timepiece widely considered perfect can still be improved. It has grown to 41 millimetres and incorporates an extended power reserve and a power-reserve indicator. Finally, the SAXONIA THIN, introduced last year, and with a height of just 5.9 millimetres the thinnest Lange watch, is now also available in white gold.

I must be one of very few women who shuns expensive yellow gold….and possibly the only one in my family who does not own any of the over designed yellow gold jewellery. I like white gold, diamonds and simplicity when it comes to my watches & jewellery so the new A. Lange & Sohne collection totally hits the spot. If you are big into watches, their new collection is awesome and a definite must see for enthusiasts and collectors.

You know a watch is precious when even the brand manager has to wear a white glove to try it out 🙂