New wireless earbuds from soundcore

Features PureNoteTM Driver Technology Offers Accuracy and Clarity

Soundcore​, Anker Innovations’ premium audio brand, today introduces the next generation in its popular Liberty true-wireless earbud line, the ​Liberty Air 2 Pro, featuring​ ​advanced active noise-cancellation (ANC), transparency and PureNote driver technology.

DESIGNED BY ENGINEERS FOR EVERYDAY LIFE

The Liberty Air 2 Pro was designed to sound great, even with noise-canceling turned on. To do this, Soundcore engineers developed PureNote driver technology, that utilizes ten hardened nano layers to make up the 11mm driver in each earbud, offering accurate sound and clarity at all frequencies. Soundcore then worked to tune the earbuds, both with ANC turned on and off, to make sure that music always sounded like artists originally intended.

“In 2019, Soundcore launched the Liberty 2 Pro, the first in the company’s Pro line of earbuds,” said Faraz Mehdi, General Manager Sales – MEA for Anker Innovations “The focus then, was to bring premium sound to the true-wireless headphone space. Today, we launch our new Liberty Air 2 Pro earbuds and unveil a new noise cancelling experience that doesn’t compromise the sound in any environment. With an assortment of user customizable elements, from sound profiles to customizable ANC and transparency modes, the Liberty Air 2 Pro allows users to get the best sound for themselves.”

MULTI-MODE ANC FOR DAILY LIFE

The Liberty Air 2 Pro offers users the ability to change between three noise cancellation modes including Transport mode​, when needed to block out low frequency noises from airplanes, trains or city buses; Outdoor mode​, which use a less powerful ANC setting but wider bandwidth to block out street noise, and finally ​Indoor mode​, which primarily reduces mid-range frequencies to help block out voices that are commonly found in an office or at a café.

Additionally, the Liberty Air 2 Pro also features ​Transparency​ ​mode​ with two different settings. Mode 1 is for total transparency which helps enhance all ambient sounds. This is ideal for runners and bicyclists that need to safely hear noises around them on a city street. The second transparency mode focuses on vocals to enhance voices in the immediate vicinity while simultaneously reducing background noise. This mode is ideal for users who may be waiting for a flight or a bus but still need to hear announcements from a P.A. speaker or flight attendant.

CUSTOMIZED LISTENER EXPERIENCE

Using the updated Soundcore app, the Liberty Air 2 Pro, offers users HearID 2.0, the next generation in audio frequency customization. After performing a simple hearing test with the earbuds, the Liberty Air 2 Pro tunes the sound for the individual to ensure the best possible listening experience. New to version 2.0, users can make changes to these individualized audio settings, or can choose from one of the preset sound profiles.

KEY FEATURES

● PureNote Driver technology with 11mm drivers for accurate sound and clarity at all frequencies.

● Multi-mode ANC with Transport, Indoor and Outdoor settings for customizable usage levels

● Two transparency modes enhance the environment including voices without removing earbuds.

● 7-hour battery in earbuds with ANC off / 6-hour battery with ANC on

● Qi wireless charging case with 26-hour battery with ANC off / 21-hour battery with ANC on as well as USB-C charging.

● Anker Fast Charging technology – 10 minutes charging earbuds = 2 hours of playtime

● Premium call quality using 6-mic uplink noise reduction helps optimize voices and minimize background noise.

● Customizable user touch controls to set preferences for play/pause, track advance, volume, etc.

● Voice-assistant compatibility with Siri® ​at launch and other popular voice-assistants in the future.

● Nine sets of silicone ear tips, ranging from XXXS to XL and L+ in ensure a proper fit.

● Bluetooth version – 5.0

● Waterproof rating – IPX4

● Available in Four Colors: Onyx Black, Titanium White, Sapphire Blue, and Crystal Pink

● Earbud size // Case size – 1.47” x 0.87” x 0.91” // 2.44” x 2.35” x 1.18”

● Earbud weight / Case weight – 0.37 oz // 1.78 oz


The Liberty Air 2 Pro will be available today in four colors including Onyx Black, Titanium White, Sapphire Blue, and Crystal Pink with an RRP of AED 529 which is available at Sharaf DG, Jumbo, Virgin, Emax, Carrefour & other electronics stores and online on Amazon.ae and Noon.com

Artissima Art Agency and Sakoo Art School exhibit at Archiade Atelier in d3

Fourteen artists showcase their work through creative mediums at Archiade Atelier

Artissima Art Agency, in collaboration with Sakoo Art School in Tehran are displaying the remarkable and magnificent artworks of 14 Iranian and two Emirati artists at the Archiade Atelier at Dubai Design District until the 28th of March, 2021.

The opening reception was inaugurated by Dr. Agrippa Damba, Executive Governor at African Finance Regulatory Authority (AFRA) and President of the African Central Bank (ACB) along with other distinguished guests.

Artissima and Sakoo have successfully collaborated in the past for the UAQ Art Festival 2020 and the Italia in Arte Tour, where the Iranian artists won during the art tour.

Narges Soleimanzadeh, President of Sakoo Art School said, “Every Year we hold an International group exhibition of artists, ensuring their work can be seen on a bigger platform Internationally and being in the hub of the art and design scene in Dubai’s d3 is perfect for the visibility of our artists talents.”

Aurela Cuku, Curator of the exhibition and Founder of Artissima Art Agency said, “Narges is one of the artists participating in the exhibition and understands the necessity of the artists to be promoted Internationally. She will exhibit along with the other talented Iranian artists. It is always a pleasure to collaborate and curate such outstanding and brilliant artists.”

Among the artist’s participating are Fahad Al Thani, Abdulrauf Khalfan, Yeganeh Khosravimanesh, Sahar Alizadeh, Farahnaz Oliyaei, Golnar Ghasimi, Mahin Monfared, Mahjoob Zohourian Pourdel, Parisa Khodaparast, Sepideh Naziri, Shabnam Aria, Shahrzad Taheri, Shirin Moayya, Shohreh Damestani and Zahra Parkah.

The exhibition will be held in Archiade Atelier, one of the most prestigious Italian design venues at the Dubai Design District and will run until 28th March 2021.

#Art #ArtGallery #ArtExhibition #ArchiadeAtelier #ArtissimaArtAgency

An Aura of Elegance: Hotel du Palais

By Shereen Shabnam

I fell in love with Biarritz the minute I got off the train. Facing the Ocean Atlantic and on the beach “La Grande Plage de Biarritz” near the city center of Biarritz, the prestigious sea side deluxe Hotel du Palais of Biarritz was breathtaking at first sight.

Walking into the reception area, I had images of the past filled with memories of Gala evenings and stately affairs of the past era. During one of my visits to France over the last few years, I go back in time when I experienced the best of all that a luxury resort can offer at Hotel du Palais.

During meals where I was never left alone, I found that luxury travellers come from all over the world, all year long to enjoy this fabulous setting, warm welcome, elite service, charm and comfort. It is indeed a living souvenir of the history of Biarritz, France and Europe. The “Villa Eugénie”, now the Hotel du Palais, was constructed in 1855 by Napoléon III for his wife Eugénie de Montijo.

No matter how many times I go back to France, the memory of this visit is as fresh and alive in my mind. The clear blue sea at my doorstep reminded me of my home country, Fiji Islands. I still visualise the elegance is deco in every corner from the entrance to my breakfast table where I enjoyed writing while gazing at the blue waters overlooking the hotel.

The main hall, the private salons, the dining room and the grounds have all maintained their Second Empire style. A style that defines Biarritz and assures its reputation as an amazing sea resort, it is this charm, touched with elegance, deluxe and personal that makes this hotel one of a kind.

Biarritz is a little city that has it all. Lively with its casinos, its greens (the region has ten 18 holes golf courses and an International training center, unique in Europe), its boutiques, and the rich green hillsides and its gentle year-round climate.

This picturesque seaside town became a favourite with European royalty in the 19th Century, who fell in love with its pretty beaches, warm climate and relaxed atmosphere. The Hotel du Palais has played host to stars of screen and other luminaries since the 1950s and 60s and offers a timeless glamour and luxury rarely found in today’s resorts.

Biarritz has a lot of beautiful buildings to offer today amongst which, the Hotel du Palais stand out. It’s a vibrant cosmopolitan town with magnificent beaches, golf courses and numerous sporting facilities, not forgetting the surf. Surfing started in France here in Biarritz and surfers come from all over the world to ride the waves.

The Hotel du Palais has practiced and perfected the art of receiving people. In the public areas and guest rooms the original Second Empire style has been retained, with period furniture, original works of art and high decorated ceilings. This is the place to stay for the ultimate Biarritz experience. Guests can lounge by the pool with a cocktail, or head to the nearby beach for some sunbathing, surfing or people-watching.

I enjoyed the world of the Spa Imperial with Guerlain dedicated to well-being, relaxation and fitness. It is the most transforming and customized Spa experience, where cutting edge innovation unites with luxury, emotion and sensuality. It comes with an indoor swimming pool, sauna, stream rooms, fitness center and a beauty parlour with a Hair Care Institute.

Food in France is always a talking point and the great dining experience at the hotel’s restaurants and lounges provide guests with an unforgettable culinary experience. Among the facilities available at the hotel is a foreign exchange service, safe deposit boxes, telex, photocopy, fax and secretariat services. Other Business centre facilities at the hotel include computers for guest use and in room facilities include voice mail, fax machine on request, work desk and modem point.

Executive rooms in addition boast butler service and express check out. L’Hotel du Palais also boasts a selection of reception rooms which can host from 14 to 500 people in various settings – ideal for meetings, seminars or launch parties

All reservations for tickets, sightseeing tours, shows etc are available from the Concierge. For guest convenience, there is also a babysitting as well as medical assistance.  The hotel also has a boutique, hairdresser, heated sea-water swimming-pool with direct access to the beach, solarium, sauna and a golf pitching green. For the active guests, there is the option of playing tennis, golf and horse riding.

There are a number of interesting museums in the area, including the Biarritz Marine Museum with its underwater viewing area, and the rather indulgent Chocolate Museum, which offers tasting sessions. The Historical Museum of Biarritz is situated in a former church and tells the story of the town’s transformation from tiny fishing village to high-society resort.

Hotel du Palais is obviously an address of undeniable prestige and one of the last great palaces around where guests can enjoy being treated like royalty. I felt regal throughout my stay and it has become one of my top destinations in Europe.

#GlobalTrendMonitor #HotelDuPalais #Hotel #Staycation #Vacation #trendingbusiness #magazineUAE #magazine #mediaUAE #UAEmedia #UAEbusiness #myDubai

Top five places to visit in the UAE

By Shereen Shabnam

As a Lifestyle, Travel and Motoring journalist, I spend a substantial amount of time on the road and recently, I decided to do my test drives with a purpose and with the aim of getting to a new or attraction around the different Emirates. Below are some of my favourite places in the different Emirates.

Al Khor Kayak – Al Rafisah Dam

During a recent test drive with the Nissan Xterra, I stopped at the Al Rafisah Dam in Khor Fakkan with my daughter and enjoyed kayaking amidst stunning hilly landscapes complete with a mini waterfall followed by spending time watching kids enjoying the playground and parents enjoying a cup of coffee at the cafe.

The Al Khor Kayak is near Khor Fakkan and it costs only AED30/- for a double kayak rental. There are also restrooms and a terrace with gorgeous views across the water and surrounding mountains.

IMG Resorts

Situated along Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road, IMG Worlds of Adventure, the largest temperature controlled indoor themed entertainment destination in the world is another favourite spot for us to visit as it offers four epic adventure zones in one location.

After a leisurely drive in the new Ford Explorer, it seemed like a perfect place to stop for a dose of adventure with Cartoon Network, MARVEL, IMG Boulevard and the Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure zones.

Here you can enjoy adrenaline-pumping roller coasters, thrill rides, attractions based on Cartoon Network characters, iconic MARVEL Super Heroes and dinosaurs. We loved the variety of themed retail stores, the various dining venues and the 12-screen state-of-the-art cinema.

Yas Island

We ventured to Yas Waterworld while I tested the Honda Odyssey as it is a car for the family but you can fit in two small families for family fun at a venue that comes complete with three award-winning theme parks and a mall.

We were able to have some splashing excitement at Yas Waterworld that comes with an adventure playground and did a photoshoot with the kids. Then we moved on to speed and thrills at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi trying to fit in the many rides and attractions.

This left us with not much time to meet the live characters at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi but thankfully we had another full day to do it all over again with a bit of retail therapy at the mall and exhilarating rides, live shows and sampling different cuisine in the restaurants on the Island.

Shees Park

We stopped at Shees Park on the way back to Dubai from Fujairah for a bit of desert nature and a coffee at the Gerard Cafe after a Nissan SUV experience.

The recreational park is near the village of Shis in Khor Fakkan and features a 25-meter-high artificial waterfall as well as 506 meters of walkways across three mountain terraces connected by stone stairs leading to the main viewing platform.

The viewing area on the top elevates is about 30 meters above the main park level.It includes a children’s play area, 32 shaded seating areas for families, an outdoor theater and a barbecue area. We spent some time on the swings before heading back to Dubai.

Al Ain Zoo

This is an old favourite. I headed to Al Ain in the new BMW 4 series which was a comfortable ride from Dubai to the Garden City.  While I love driving up to Jebel Hafeet, the Al Ain Zoo is also a great family destination.

Set within in a natural outdoor environment, the Al Ain Zoo has a large animal collection of over 4000 animals. Here you can see endangered species as well as the successful breeding of desert antelopes, gazelles and Arabian Oryx. You need to give yourself at least half a day to do justice to this venue.

#GlobalTrendMonitor #Travel #UAE #Destination #AbuDhabi #Dubai #Sharjah #Fujairah #RasAlKaimah #UmmAlQuawin #trendingbusiness #magazineUAE #magazine #mediaUAE #UAEmedia #UAEbusiness #myDubai

Incredible India: A sanctuary for wellness retreats

By Shereen Shabnam

India has always been an interesting destination with fascinating diversity but now it is on the top of the list for tour operators and others in the industry for short breaks and wellness retreats. Regional residents always look at India for medical tourism and wellness sector. It is a multi-faceted tourist destination for Luxury, Wildlife and Wellness.

India is also poised to become the hub for medical tourism because of several factors. World class hospitals with latest technology, highly skilled Indian physicians and surgeons, low cost of treatment, excellent quality of care, nursing and Indian hospitality, comparatively less waiting time for availing the medical services, India’s traditional healthcare therapies like Ayurveda & Yoga combined with allopathic treatment providing a holistic wellness are key reasons for tourists heading to India for healing purposes.

Almost all thestates of India are developing new products to capitalize on India’s potential from its traditional systems of wellness and medicines, such as Ayurveda, Siddha and Yoga, to present the country as a unique destination for spiritual healing. As the rain clouds start rumbling in the horizon, health resorts and clinics come up with comprehensive Ayurveda packages to pamper and rejuvenate tourists.

Monsoon is considered the best season for Ayurveda rejuvenation programmes as the atmosphere remains dust-free and moist, which in turn opens up the body pores making them more receptive to herbal oils and massages. India has one of the most lucrative health and wellness tourism markets in the world.

Medical Tourism has been growing rapidly and the whole world has taken a note of the massive transformation that has taken place in the Indian Healthcare sector particularly in the Secondary Super Specialty Care in the last two decades.

Tourism sector in India is looking forward to further strengthening the spirit of Indo-Arab partnership for trade development and cultural exchanges between the two regions. India’s centuries old multi-faceted ties with the Arab world, its geographical proximity, long-standing cultural and trading ties between the two nations will help take this partnership to newer heights.

India is promoting the “high-tech healing” of its private healthcare sector as a tourist attraction. As a leading healthcare services hub in the region, more and more Arab patients are flying to India each year for low-cost but world-class medical treatment. Most estimates claim treatment costs in India start at around a tenth of the price of comparable treatment in America or Britain.

The country has established world-class expertise in practices such as cardiac care, cosmetic surgery, joint replacements and dentistry. Another major attraction is yoga and naturopathy that is fast gaining popularity across the globe.

Explore nature, wildlife and landscapes out of this world. Collect handicrafts, jewellery and fabrics like nowhere else. Discover heritage, monuments & sculptures you’ve never imagined or simply rejuvenate your body, mind and soul like never before.

India tourism is already taking steps to well equip the infrastructure facilities to welcome so many tourists. With the modernization of airports all across the country, adding hotel rooms especially at the tourist interest places and with clean India campaign launched, India is all set to welcome the additional number of foreign tourists.

With its natural beauty, vivid festivals, exotic beaches and architectural marvels, from Palace & Heritage hotels, to deserts, to skiing in the mountains, swimming or diving at beautiful beaches; boat houses in Kerala and Kashmir, luxurious camps in national parks, luxurious train journeys as well as the diverse range of accommodation from budget to the top 5-star properties and spa resorts, India has charmed and mesmerized its visitors from this region.

There are countless reasons to visit Incredible India!

#GlobalTrendMonitor #India #IncredibleIndia #Tourism #Destination #Travel #Wellness #trendingbusiness #magazineUAE #magazine #mediaUAE #UAEmedia #UAEbusiness #myDubai

Return to Budapest

By Shereen Shabnam

After a few delightful days in Prague, we took a train to Budapest to experience the city’s rich history, natural sites and their thermal springs.  I expected my second visit to Budapest to be an adventure going into areas not discovered in my first trip but I was drawn once again into doing everything I did before and more.

 The Danube cruise is magical and the view of the city from Gellert Hill is a breathtaking experience as always but Budapest has so much more to offer. My first task was to find a hotel conveniently located in the centre of the city and the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel, Budapest fit the bill perfectly. 

My daughter was adamant about going into the House of Terrors and I reserved this for the last day so she could walk there from the hotel while I could shop during her tour. The hotel allows guests to experience history without sacrificing modern amenities as all rooms provide individual climate control and Free high-speed, wireless Internet, while Olive’s Restaurant and Zsolnay Café serve freshly prepared meals and desserts.  

We took a private tour of the city, divided into 2 parts by the Danube. Buda, the hilly area, lies west, while Pest lies to the east of the river and both have historic sites so the tour ensured we cover both sides depending on our interests with an English-speaking guide.

The Castle Hill area is perfect as well to view the city and it houses several museums and galleries showcasing the history and culture of Hungary. It is a great place for taking pictures. Matthias Church, one of Budapest’s architectural masterpieces looks stunning and makes a perfect backdrop while the Fishermen’s Bastion, built on the site where the old fish market stood in the Middle Ages even attracted newly weds doing their wedding portraits on site. The Bastion’s walls, staircases and domed turrets offer picturesque views overlooking the Danube.

Our guide took us to Gellert Hill, a 140-metre dolomite cliff which I feel has the best views of the city. You can also see the statue of St. Gellert and we looked at large blown up images of the city in the past and how it looks today.

We passed the Chain Bridge and later saw it again in all its glory at night during the river cruise at night. Another elegant bridge over the Danube is the Elisabeth Bridge, named after King Franz Josef I’s wife, Elisabeth.

On the other side of the river, Pest has wonderful palaces, churches, monuments and squares, as well as being the commercial hub of the city. St. Stephen’s Basilica has many beautiful mosaics, paintings and sculptures, including one of St. Stephen wearing a halo.

The Parliament Buildings looked stunning in the day and even more majestic at night. It is Budapest’s most famous building with the most beautiful exteriors and interiors. We loved the performance by the Palace guards that attracted bus loads of visitors to the Palace.

Our next stop was the Heroes Monument area, a vast, paved square featuring a 36-metre column with a statue of Archangel Gabriel on top. At the base, there are several statues of Magyar chieftains and behind the column and on either side of it, there are two semi-circular colonnades, with groups of horsemen on top and statues of past Hungarian rulers within the square.

The Margaret Island in the centre of the Danube is a recreational hub that has numerous recreational activities like biking, swimming or visiting a bathing complex, with thermal pools. If you prefer nature, then head to the City Park that has a large lake, which, in winter, is used for ice skating, a fairytale castle, the Transport Museum, the Szechenyi Baths with hot springs, an amusement park and Budapest Zoo.

On our return to the Radisson Blu Beke, we relaxed in the hotel Café that boasts the best pastries. The hotel also offers an indoor pool, a business centre with secretarial services and eight flexible meeting rooms. I loved the one with paintings all over the wall.

Budapest indeed caters to all tastes; there is a thriving theatre culture, classical concerts, jazz, outdoor activities, opera, much to my daughter’s delight and great food options. I need to get back there with more time to soak in the mineral water that comes from various thermal springs surrounding the city.

#GlobalTrendMonitor #Travel #Budapest #Destination #Holiday #trendingbusiness #magazineUAE #magazine #mediaUAE #UAEmedia #UAEbusiness #myDubai 

Fragrant Notes

Nishrat Nazeen, Founder and Curator of Aromas Fiji

The pandemic has inspired people all around the world to focus more on being clean, hygienic and healthy and this vision has led many around the world to invest in inspiring projects and products that focus on keeping everyone around cleaner and safer. Aromas Fiji was initiated by Nishrat Nazeen, a PR Professional based in Nadi, Fiji Islands during the pandemic to encourage people to use more soap and relax with fragrant candles and ultimately embrace a lifestyle that focuses on wellbeing.

In a candid interview, Nishrat tells us more about her new venture and the debut collection of soaps and candles from Aromas Fiji.

Tell us a bit about Aromas Fiji?

Aromas Fiji is a homegrown organic halal certified soaps and soy candle brand. Our aim is to bring colour and fragrance into your home with our collection of handcrafted natural and organic soaps and candles made with high quality plant and botanical oils.

What inspired you to take on this project?

Our industry depends on marketing and PR budgets, both affected by the pandemic as these are the first budgets to be slashed by companies. The down time prompted me to look into other sources of income.

Aromas Fiji was hence conceptualized based on my love for fragrant smells that elevate the stay at home experience, especially during the pandemic when I was mainly staying at home and working remotely. Realizing that there was a gap in the market for halal certified skin care and home deco products, I ventured into learning about aromas, their calming effect on the body, mind and soul and with the encouragement of family members, Aromas Fiji was born.

Are the soaps and candles made in Fiji and

Our products are all made naturally in Fiji and our soaps are hand mixed, hand poured, hand cut, and packaged individually.  Our carefully curated product line includes luxury scented candles and soaps that are natural, environmentally friendly and made to elevate the spirits of users as well as enrich the homes they inhabit. The products are thoughtfully planned from the brand and product design to colours and scents and packaged exquisitely for home use or for gifting. 

Apart from soaps, you also make candles. What do you use to make these?

Aromas Fiji candles are made of long-lasting soya wax and comes with high quality cotton wicks ensuring you have the best quality natural product made without comprising on the environment. We use essential oils and aromas in the candles that help to wind down and boost your well-being especially in the evenings when a peaceful sleep routine is welcomed by all members of the family.

And how are the soaps made?

Aromas Fiji soaps are made of all-natural products that are long-lasting, paraben-free, sustainably made and environmentally friendly.  Suitable for the whole family, the soap lather offers a luxurious cleansing experience that hydrates and nourishes the body, leaving the skin clean, soft, moisturized and fresh.

What is your favourite in the debut collection of Aromas Fiji?

From the debut range I love the traditionally crafted soaps with massaging nodules as I find it makes the at-home cleansing ritual worthy of a spa. Made with aromatic essential oil, the massage nodules pamper the body and elevates the senses with specially formulated ingredients known for nourishing properties.

Which ingredients do you love working with?

My favourite ingredients for the soaps and candles are Moringa, Goats Milk, Aloe Vera, Oranges, Charcoal, Sandalwood, Frangipani, Lemon Grass, Marygold, Citronella, Japanese Honeysuckle, Amber, Musk and Vanilla.

Women’s World Car of The Year Reveals 2021 Category Winners

Shereen Shabnam

After a year of testing cars, the jury of the Women’s World Car of the Year are pleased to announce the winners in each of nine categories. These vehicles represent excellence in their segments based on safety, comfort, technology, and value for the money.

As a Motoring Jury based in the UAE, I was able to test the nominated cars easily as we were less affected with lockdowns during the year. This is the eleventh year for WWCOTY, a team of fifty motoring journalists from 38 countries spanning five continents. It is the only jury in the automotive world composed exclusively of women.

This year’s new voting methodology started with choosing the three best models in each category before narrowing those picks down to the individual winners. Eligible vehicles were launched between January and December 2020. As in previous years, votes were certified by the independent auditor Grant Thornton New Zealand.

This year, voting was more complicated due to the pandemic, which limited each juror’s ability to drive. Despite the challenges, jurors made an extra effort to get behind the wheel of these vehicles to evaluate them in time for voting.

One more round of voting remains. Jurors will now choose the Best Car of the Year from among the nine category winners. The results will be announced on March 8, International Women’s Day.

 2021 Women’s World Car of the Year Category Winners

BEST URBAN CARBEST FAMILY CARBEST LUXURY CAR
Peugeot 208Skoda OctaviaLexus LC500 Cabrio
BEST SPORT CARBEST URBAN SUVBEST MEDIUM SUV
Ferrari F8 SpiderPeugeot 2008Land Rover Defender
BEST LARGE SUVBEST 4X4 & PICK UPBEST EV
Kia SorentoFord F-150Honda e

Women’s World Car of the Year is the only car awards group in the world composed exclusively of women motoring journalists. It was created by New Zealand motoring journalist, Sandy Myhre, in 2009. She is currently Honorary President while Marta García serves as Executive President.

The objective of the awards is to choose the best cars of the year. These are not ‘women’s cars’ because there is no such thing. Instead, cars are chosen based on the principles that guide all consumers including safety, quality, price, design, driving dynamics, and environmental impact.

Sandbank Picnics to Sunset Escapades

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa

By Shereen Shabnam

After a period of not travelling for nearly a year, heading to Maldives was indeed a treat and a few days at the award-winning Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa brought so many memorable moments.

The resort is home to an exquisite collection of accommodation options from elegant deluxe rooms to charming cottages and indulging water bungalows and villas. We stayed in a chalet right on the beach with an open-air bathroom that in itself was exquisite.

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has five dining venues and two bars, offering a diverse selection of cuisines that range from authentic Thai or Indian, savory Chinese and Caribbean-inspired meals, to favored Mediterranean picks.  

The Resort also features Sea Salt, a seaside open-air seafood restaurant, where we had an amazing meal during sunset. The sandbank picnic, sunset dinner and the lunch in the sea while our feet stayed submerged in the water were all memorable experiences we will not forget for years.

On our last night, we went for a Maldivian buffet right on the beach with entertainment from the hotel staff that left us mesmerised and while the more adventurous diners had a great night dancing under the stars while enjoying the freshly grilled seafood from the dinner.

During our stay, we tried the award-winning Shine Spa for Sheraton, located on its very own island and offers a generous treatment menu to restore balance to body and mind. I selected a massage that restored my energy and had we ready for more island adventures on offer at the resort.

The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa also invites guests to participate in the coral-fragment plantation activity in an effort to promote reef habitats and generate new coral. The resort has teamed up with Reefscapers, a coral propagation organization appointed by the Maldivian Government as custodians of the coral colonies in the Gulhi Falhu lagoon which was slated to be destroyed as part of a reclamation project.

The activity is led by experts and offers a hands-on experience to participants while also providing an alternative business to the 250 inhabitants whose sole previous source of employment was fishing.

Another activity we enjoyed was the weaving workshops where we learnt to weave gorgeous headbands, hats and bracelets from palm tree leaves. The activity is a favourite amongst guests of all ages but in particular kids who prefer making cute leaf animals they can play with.

My favourite was getting up for yoga by the beach early morning to start the day, just before indulging in breakfast. The boat ride to watch dolphins was memorable as we watched dolphins playfully chasing each other in the sea. Sailing back to the resort during sunset was definitely a value add to the boat ride.

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is definitely a resort I would go back to in a heartbeat for a relaxing and chilled out holiday.

Tranquility with Sun, Sea and Sand: Grand Park Kodhipparu

By Shereen Shabnam

As one of the few countries currently open to tourists, Maldives has become the best place to be for GCC travellers with no quarantine, well-coordinated safety measures and in-resort PCR testing. We travelled to two different Islands to and find that Maldives as a travel destination is doing all it can keep the tourism industry alive safely during this pandemic.

After a four-hour flight with Emirates taking all precautions, we arrived at the Grand Park Kodhipparu taking a 20-minute speedboat ride from the airport. The first view of the island left us breathless with pristine beaches and stunning scenery while the welcome music and drinks put us into holiday mode right away.

Grand Park Kodhipparu is located in North Male Atoll famous for its dive sites, abundant marine life and enthralling underwater experiences. It is a one-island-one-resort destination and an oasis of tranquility.  

I stayed in one of the water villas that has a spacious and modern interior and a warm, rustic exterior. Highlights were direct lagoon access, a private plunge pool and an over water net for lounging. We had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of turtles, stingrays and hundreds of colourful fish species directly from our water villa. 

A fully equipped Dive & Water Sports Centre includes a team of PADI certified professionals to introduce some of the best diving spots in the Maldives, suitable both for beginner and advanced divers, and a wide array of water sports activities, such as catamaran sailing, jet skiing parasailing, banana boat riding, kayaking, windsurfing and more.

The resort is also family-friendly with a wide array of children’s facilities including a kids club with dedicated staff offering engaging children’s activities. Babysitting service is available upon request.

For recreation, there is a gymnasium, yoga deck, games lounge, sauna rooms and of course a great meeting point is the 45m long infinity pool located at the Breeze Poolside Dining & Bar. Here we enjoyed welcome drinks, sundowners as well as post dinner drinks that came with live music.

Ocean front dining is a must for visitors to the resort at the pool bar, on the beach where couples can organize a candlelight dinner under the stars or head out for fine dining at Fire Door with a view of sharks and other marine life swimming while the chefs prepare a delectable meal in an open kitchen. Every meal at Grand Park Kodhipparu was a culinary delight.

Highlight of my trips abroad is always the spa experience. The warm ambience of treatment rooms at the Grand Park Kodhipparu were ideal for our massage with friendly therapists who helped us select the right oils for relaxation.

We were indeed sad to leave the Resort as we felt safe and at ease throughout our stay with social distancing in public areas, QR code menus and regular sanitisation all around the island. For tourists looking for a safe haven to rest and relax, Grand Park Kodhipparu offers an island sanctuary with pristine natural beauty, waves crashing against the shore, palm trees swaying, seclusion away from the crowds and a laid-back island life.

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