In the Heart of Nature – Crans-Montana

By Natasha Dury

The Swiss Alps have so much more to offer than just winter sports and snowy mountains. The destination has visitors all year round and is just as popular in the summer, when walking outside is easier with views of breathtaking nature and for outdoor sports.

This summer we headed out to Crans-Montana in the district of Sierre in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. It is a ski resort that was created through the fusion of the two centers of Crans and Montana and is now a sought after destination for celebrities.

Other than hosting spectacular World Ski Championships, guests also come from far to Crans-Montana to enjoy the pop rock festival, bicycle racing and the Omega European Masters golf tournament.

Crans-Montana offers an impressive view of mountain peaks from the Matterhorn to Mont Blanc and offers visitors luxury holiday retreats with expansive natural landscapes and panoramic views of the Valais Alps.

We were able to enjoy shopping in the quaint village shops, get high end luxury brands, walked near aromatic mountain forests, and along a lake, learnt first hand how to make cheese with a local farmer and tried our hand at golf with a talented golf trainer.

For panoramic views, visitors can take the gondolas from Crans-Montana to the top and enjoy places like the Plaine Morte Glacier, experience mountain rides such as the “Petit Bonvin”, the “Cry d’Err” or “Les Violettes, or just hike at their own pace.

Crans-Montana is perfect for family holidays as local parks and summer camps offer numerous activities like sledge runs, tobogganing, swings, drawing competitions, golf clinics at the “highest golf course in the world”, a fun Forest Adventure Park, lake walks, water sports, hike excursions, music festivals and amusement parks.

We visited the Beach Club, which had beach volleyball, banana boating on the lake and cable wakeboarding. We had coffee on the deckchairs watching the locals swim, enjoying meals with families and relax with board games.

Art enthusiasts can visit various museums and art galleries in Crans-Montana which has galleries dedicated to art fans and collectors having access to the works of internationally renowned artists as well as new talent.

Food in Crans-Montana was a delight. With mouth-watering sushi at our hotel’s Japanese restaurant, MiZUKI by Kakinuma’, raclette and fondue during the evenings.

Highlight was the gastronomic meal in the mountains at Chetzeron Hotel which was memorable at 2112 m. The menu included an “Alpine refined” flavoured cuisine from traditional Valais-based specialities to contemporary inspirations. We had great seafood at La Plage and even had Lebanese food for dinner, similar to what we would find in Dubai.

We stayed at the Guarda Golf Hotel & Residences located in the heart of the picturesque Crans-Montana. It was an intimate and elegant home for us with personalised service and it is clearly one of the finest luxury hotels in Switzerland being a member of Swiss Deluxe Hotels as well as of The Leading Hotels of the World. Our room had spectacular panoramic views of the Swiss Alps.

To get to Crans-Montana, we flew SWISS from Dubai, which was a comfortable and enjoyable arriving in Zurich in time to start our travel adventure in different parts of Switzerland using the Swiss Pass that allowed us to see many parts of beautiful Switzerland.

 

Silicon Central is set to be the retail destination of choice for neighbouring communities

The shopping mall and management division of Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group International, Line Investments & Property LLC (LIP) boasts an impressive portfolio of malls through the Gulf and India. Moreover, with a strategic vision for future growth and development across the GCC, LIP reiterates its position as a renowned industry leader in offering the right kind of support to make any brand a sure-fire winner as it introduces its retail project in Silicon Oasis.

LIP’s latest development is Silicon Central in Dubai, a three-level retail and leisure destination that will provide an enhanced shopping experience to its neighbouring communities.

With a total of 220 stores in 81,500m2, Silicon Central will include a 9,000m2 hypermarket and a 7,800m2 department store, alongside a 35,500m2 array of retail shops and services that will offer a broad mix of brands tailored to ensure shoppers’ complete satisfaction.

Adding to the unique shopping experience, a diverse range of dining options will comprise of 24 casual restaurants and cafes as well as 21 food court units, making it the perfect place to catch up with friends and families in an enjoyable atmosphere or to enjoy a quick snack on the run.

A wide range of entertainment options are also on offer, including a 12-screen cinema, a 6,800m2 Family Entertainment Centre, incorporating a 2,000m2 New Generation Entertainment Centre for both kids and grownups to stay active, plus a 2,500m2 gym to keep the community in shape. It’s all about convenience and accessibility, with nothing forgotten, including 3,500 car parking spaces.

With such a broad range of options, Silicon Central is set to be the destination of choice for families and entertainment seekers throughout its immediate catchment area, which takes in a population of 500,000 people, and further afield.

LIP’s success and commitment to excellence have not gone unnoticed either, with the organisation picking up five awards at the Retail Congress MENA Awards 2019.

Held in the Ritz Carlton, DIFC, the Awards Ceremony honoured the most outstanding achievers in the shopping mall industry in the MENA region. LIP took part in the event together with entries from Mall of Um Al Quwain, Al Wahda Mall, Mushrif Mall, and Khalidiyah Mall, winning one gold and four silver awards in the following categories:

Design & Development

Mall of Um Al Quwain (Gold)

Net Operating Income (NOI) Enhancement

Al Wahda for Celebrity Visit (Silver)

Traditional Marketing:  Cause-Related Marketing

Al Wahda Mall for Operation Smile (Silver)

Traditional Marketing: Digital/Social Media

Khalidiyah Mall for Enhanced Website (Silver)

Traditional Marketing: Sales Promotion

Mushrif Mall for Talentology 2019 (Silver)

The winners of the Retail Congress MENA Awards 2019 were selected by a jury of regional and international industry experts in retail.

Mr. Salim MA, Director Lulu Group International  said, “Our vision is to enhance the retail experience for our customers and partners and receiving awards for all the malls that took part is a testimony that the Line Investments & Property team is committed to excellence in the new age initiatives and community events they bring to the malls.”

With unparalleled expertise stretching across every conceivable specialist field of endeavour, including location-sourcing, design, development, management and marketing, LIP is fully committed to being the preferred investment and property management company in the retail and real estate sector of the regions it operates in. It currently offers 360-degree retail solutions in 23 malls in six countries, with several further properties planned for the future in new cities and markets.