Hublot now in Abu Dhabi

 

With Hublot Chairman

With Hublot Chairman

While attending the Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, I did a quick detour to the Marina Mall to meet with Jean-Claude Biver, Chairman of Hublot in Abu Dhabi. My gal pals had been raving about the boutique opening so I sacrificed a morning of coffee sessions with the race track dudes at F1 in favour of a coastal drive, a short tryst at Hublot and coffee at the Emirates Palace.

Hublot is the Official Watch of Formula 1™ and Abu Dhabi’s second Hublot boutique was opened to mark the Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Grand Prix. In true diva fashion, I arrived late because having a touch of mascara was a bit more important but it was worth it as we listened to a very passionate Jean-Claude Biver giving us a low down on the expertise of the Swiss watchmaking art, expressed through their watch collections.

I loved the boutique-lounge set that is designed with the fusion of materials such as natural buckskin and ebony which create a warm yet hushed atmosphere. Amongst the notable features is an extremely elegant floor with leather tiles, created by a master craftsman and artist, which is now one of the signatures of the Hublot boutiques, with the ensemble completed by a wall of screens which immediately immerse the visitor in the brand’s world, with films on events, the latest new products and the ambassadors.

I thought that was indeed a nice touch….different and yet elegant. Check it out!

With gal pals at HUBLOT Abu Dhabi

With gal pals at HUBLOT Abu Dhabi

When Monaliza Smiled – DIFF impresses diva

Loved 'When Monaliza Smiled'

Loved ‘When Monaliza Smiled’

One of the nicest movies I have seen this month is in fact part of DIFF 2012 in Arabic, ‘When Monaliza Smiled’. This Arabic movie (with subtitles of course) is a  love story between Monaliza, a young Jordanian woman, and Hamdi, an Egyptian office boy with the cutest smile J. The story is touching as its shown in parallel with other related stories that reveal some very real human feelings, situations, realities often similar to what people endure in many other countries except that this is in Jordan.

I met the director at Mall of the Emirates, Fadi G.Haddad who mentioned the movie was filmed entirely in Jordan. I recognized elements of the views from my visit to Amman and how much character some of the areas in the city had. He has done an amazing job.

The actress who plays Monaliza is gorgeous even though initially she rarely smiles. She works in a government office, where she meets Hamdi and together they dream of a life straight out of the romantic movies of the past as we see scenes within the film with Omar Sharif and Faten Hamama… Their fantasy is challenged as they’re surrounded by inquistive individuals, who impose restrictions typical of Amman’s society which to be honest is similar in many Muslim communities as I have been told and witnessed in Fiji  and Malaysia.

I loved the fun-loving nature of Hamdi in contrast to Monaliza and it was nice to see their relationship blossom as Hamdi shows her a life from a new perspective that is about trying new things, visiting new places etc. I guess we meet many Hamdi’s in our day-to-day life – young men who live away from their home to support their families, the challenges they face and their love for life where they take joy in the simplest of things that we ignore because of the rat race. It was also beautiful to see the story of Monaliza’s neighbor who lost her husband who was never found but every day she washes his clothes, prepares dinner and makes herself beautiful in the event that he will turn up at her door one day, unexpected.

I loved the movie for the purity of the romance, the way the characters enjoyed the ordinary things in life, the family obligations we often get caught up in, the love we wait for despite knowing that it may be in vain and so much more that it is hard to do justice in a few paragraphs.

If you do see ‘When Monaliza Smiled’ during DIFF, let me know your thoughts on the movie.

Crazy for Folli Follie

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Always saw Folli Follie, the fashion brand renowned for its trendy jewellery, watches and accessories around but didn’t pay much attention to it until  the latest Autumn Winter 2012/13 collection in partnership with Damas, which is my favourite store for jewellery and watches.

In the new collection, luxury and versatility are epitomized in the grouping of jewellery, timepieces, and accessories. The pieces easily transition from pretty or edgy daytime looks into opulent evening style. This abundance of fashionable options is meant to empower girls to mix and match, creating beautiful signature styles for any moment or occasion.

I’m certainly loving Folli Follie’s high-quality fashionable luxury since it’s at an affordable and accessible price. Folli Follie’s new collection is available at Folli Follie boutiques, located at the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Marina Mall, Dubai Mall, Dubai Festival City, Abu Dhabi Al Wahda Mall and Al Ain Mall.  For more information, visit www.follifollie.com.