Explore Shakespeare’s Country

By Shereen Shabnam

A tour of the UK is not complete unless you spend a few days in Shakespeare country and nearby attractions. This Midlands area and its surroundings are a fascinating blend of history and myth, industry and culture.

Naturally I loved Stratford-upon-Avon, the historic market town and birthplace of the world’s greatest playwright, William Shakespeare. After doing some extensive tours of Shakespeare’s birthplace and indulging in plays both at the Royal Shakespeare theatre and outdoor performances in the park, I chose to stay for a few days at the Macdonald Ansty Hall.

Macdonald Ansty Hall is without doubt one of the finest 4-star hotels in Warwickshire. Set in the heart of Shakespeare Country offering the best of breathtaking scenery and facilities.

Close to Cadbury’s World, Warwick Castle and the beautiful town of Stratford-upon-Avon, the hotel is a popular choice for family holidays, business and weddings.

The hotel is a perfect venue for celebrations, events and conferences with superb hotel accommodation, stylish meeting and function rooms and breathtaking views over the eight acres of landscaped gardens.

Highly recommended is a visit to the AA Rosette awarded Shilton Restaurant, followed by a nightcap in The Warwick Bar and Lounge.

Car lovers should make a beeline for the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon, which is a 65 acres housing the largest collection of British-made cars in the world.

If you are into aviation like me, head to the Midland Air Museum at Coventry airport. It reflects the genius of local engineer Sir Frank Whittle, designer of the first jet engine.

Stratford Upon Avon and Warwickshire in general is a must see for visitors touring the UK and staying in hotels like the Ansty Hall makes it a memorable experience.

 

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New summer offers by Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah

Shereen Shabnam Kempinski-Palm-JumeirahIts hot and I just feel like staying in a luxurious room all day fasting, reading and chilling while fasting – so I started looking at local hotel offers not that my work schedule will allow even a day off but loved the pictures from Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah – They just unveiled new offers for the summer for guests from the UAE and other countries including lower prices on suites and villas and free breakfast.
The offers, which are valid until September 2015 , also involve large discounts on services at the SPA and other facilities as well as internet, children’s club and free transport to and from Emirates Mall.
The hotel is ready to receive families and other guests from the UAE and the remaining GCC countries to enjoy summer and spend quiet holidays in a luxurious atmosphere, according to the hotel’s general manager Mr Alessandro Redaeli.

Alessandro Redaelli (2)Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah, the fourth royal-style building on Jumeirah Palm, comprises 244 suites and pent houses, has an advanced SPA, a large number of restaurants and bars, other facilities, as well as a clean 500-metre beach strip. If I do decide on a staycation in the next 2 weeks, this place is definitely an option.

Kempinski Palm Shereen Shabnam

Dubai International Boat Show 2014 Opens Tomorrow

Dubai Boatshow 2014 Shereen Shabnam

Diva is excited – for two years in a row the Millionaire Group has supported the Dubai International Boat Show and the 22nd edition of the show opens tomorrow, providing a wide range of activities including exciting prize giveaways, live entertainment, and exclusive dining experiences, along with convenient parking and public transportation. The show will be held from 4-8 March 2014 at the Dubai International Marine Club – Mina Seyahi.

I met with the key organisers and sponsors last week at DIMC and they mentioned that more than 26,000 visitors from the 70 countries are set to attend the region’s largest marine leisure exhibition. Visitors can expect to be enthralled by the 430 boats on display, including 19 superyachts at the stunning outdoor Marina Display Area. The SYBAss Lounge, which falls under the umbrella of the prestigious Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss), has 10 members confirmed to participate at the event.

I can’t wait to take Tash to the show again as being half an islander, she shares my passion for the sun, sea and sand, Fiji style. Especially since two of the largest superyachts in the history of the Dubai International Boat Show will be showcased on outdoor Marina Display Area. The 88.5-metre-long superyacht Nirvana, built by Oceanco and exhibited by Edmiston, is one of the world’s top 50 longest superyachts and the exhibition’s largest-ever superyacht to date. The 88 metre Quattroelle superyacht, built by German shipyard Lürssen, will also be showcased this year. The luxury superyacht features elegant accommodation for up to 12 guests and provides plenty of exterior deck space for entertainment and relaxation.

The show will host 42 global and regional launches including regional launches of the 13.5-meter Cranchi, an 11-meter boat from Christ Craft, the 12-meter Everglade by Gulf Yachts, the 8.9 meter Qs855 Activ from Delma Marine, amphibious quad skis from Gibbs Sports, and the first-ever amphibious ribs from ASIS Boats. My favourite people from the Al Shaali families will be there in full force. Watch out for Gulf Craft and As Marine – they are super nice people and Erwin Bamps from Gulf Craft is always the person in the know about what the local boat makers have in store for the boating enthusiasts. 

Of the show’s 750 exhibiting companies and brands from 50 countries around the world, many are putting an increased emphasis on small to medium sized boats, speed boats, and jet skis for visitors looking to pursue leisure marine activities. Thrill-seekers can explore jet skis and diving equipment, along with countries promoting their destinations for boating, jet skiing, snorkelling and diving.

The event will be open to trade visitors and the general public from 3 pm – 9:30 pm daily, with admission of AED 60….see you there.

Culinary diversity at The Galleria on Al Maryah Island

Al Maryah Island - promenade shereen

 Just when I mentally told myself I will be on diet for the next 3 months, it gets thwarted  by news of amazing new dining options – all I can say is I’m glad its in Abu Dhabi so to some extent, the calories will be burnt in travel should I stumble towards Al Maryah Island in the next few weeks.

 Set to open in the coming weeks, The Galleria on Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi’s new luxury retail and dining destination, will not only feature an unrivalled collection of designer labels and luxury brands but also the finest cuisines and some of the world’s most acclaimed dining concepts. Thirteen gourmet outlets that will bring the culinary diversity in Abu Dhabi to a new level are set to impress even the most sophisticated palates.

The Galleria is establishing a reputation as Abu Dhabi’s most alluring urban hub, with 8 new dining concepts, adding to previously announced venues including Zuma, set to complement Emporio Armani Caffe, Almaz by Momo, Caffé Nero and Magnolia Bakery.

Any craving will be catered for by a mixture of licensed and unlicensed venues that will adorn The Galleria’s stunning setting, offering a range of international cuisines by Bentley Bistro & Bar, Café Bateel, Biryani Pot, Nolu’s Downtown, Lemongrass, Carluccio’s,  Burger Fuel and Taqado.

Developed by Gulf Related and Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure (MREI), The Galleria on Al Maryah Island is a 33,000 square meter (355,000sq. ft) GLA luxury shopping and dining development with a stunning waterfront promenade….. looks like we have to keep an eye on the waistline with all the delights coming our way this year.

Culinary diversity at The Galleria on Al Maryah Island

Al Maryah Island - promenade shereen

 Just when I mentally told myself I will be on diet for the next 3 months, it gets thwarted  by news of amazing new dining options – all I can say is I’m glad its in Abu Dhabi so to some extent, the calories will be burnt in travel should I stumble towards Al Maryah Island in the next few weeks.

 Set to open in the coming weeks, The Galleria on Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi’s new luxury retail and dining destination, will not only feature an unrivalled collection of designer labels and luxury brands but also the finest cuisines and some of the world’s most acclaimed dining concepts. Thirteen gourmet outlets that will bring the culinary diversity in Abu Dhabi to a new level are set to impress even the most sophisticated palates.

The Galleria is establishing a reputation as Abu Dhabi’s most alluring urban hub, with 8 new dining concepts, adding to previously announced venues including Zuma, set to complement Emporio Armani Caffe, Almaz by Momo, Caffé Nero and Magnolia Bakery.

Any craving will be catered for by a mixture of licensed and unlicensed venues that will adorn The Galleria’s stunning setting, offering a range of international cuisines by Bentley Bistro & Bar, Café Bateel, Biryani Pot, Nolu’s Downtown, Lemongrass, Carluccio’s,  Burger Fuel and Taqado.

Developed by Gulf Related and Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure (MREI), The Galleria on Al Maryah Island is a 33,000 square meter (355,000sq. ft) GLA luxury shopping and dining development with a stunning waterfront promenade….. looks like we have to keep an eye on the waistline with all the delights coming our way this year.

Get stylish at home with Bentley

Awesome!

Awesome!

I’m in the process of looking for a swanky villa in Dubai to move into and can’t help but spend hours at home furnishing shops in the hope of making my new home fun and stylish. Now I must hold on to my gallivanting around town as Bentley have announced a partnership with Club House Italia for the development of its new Bentley Home Collection.

This exclusive collection of furniture and home-ware will combine the finest quality craftsmanship with exquisite modern design and the luxury finishes which underlie Bentley’s renowned global brand…. I can only imagine how cool and classic the collection will be.

The state-of-the-art collection will combine traditional elements in contemporary contexts to enhance today’s residential, commercial and executive office interiors….if you have been in a Bentley, you would know that they have the finest world-class interiors – now you can have this luxury feel in your home and office.

Club House Italia – which furnishes the finest homes, boardrooms, apartments, hotels, yachts and private jets – will reflect Bentley’s elegant, prestigious and recognisable style in the creation of a range of furniture that combines the highest attention to detail with the finest aesthetic sensibility.

The essence of Club House Italia is expressing the style of desire, giving a shape to luxury through a contemporary art made up of talent, sensitivity and expertise. Combined with Bentley’s legendary style and exquisite craftsmanship, the partnership will offer rare examples of elegance and fine finishes, using the world’s most beautiful materials to bring out unique elements of character and craftsmanship…..can’t wait to see it!

Swan Lake returns to Meydan IMAX

Last week, Little diva, NJD and I decided to be naughty stop-outs and went to see Swan Lake on a school night – I am a sucker for nice films in general while she absolutely lives for ballet so it made sense to both of us that the opportunity to see it on a super big screen was not to be missed…the show was amazing. We were enthralled and the great news is that it’s back to the IMAX screen again tomorrow.

Since then we have seen other ballet performances from Bolshoi and they were enchanting to say the least.

If you are into the performing arts culture, the show is highly recommended…happy viewing! It’s on tomorrow, Saturday 16th March, 12 noon at Meydan IMAX.

EMAILSHOT 16thMar

21st edition of Dubai International Boat Show makes a splash

dibs MMG Group Shereen

Its time for the region’s number one marine leisure exhibition – The Dubai Boat shoe that every year brings stunning superyacht displays, live entertainment and exciting prize giveaways. As always, almost all the members of the Millionaire Group are associated with the show in one way or another and this year, we have also added our quarterly magazine to the show to show our support and to ensure that DIBS helps put Dubai’s marine industry on the world map. Afterall, we are the hottest contenders for the World Expo 2020 J

The Dubai International Boat Show’s 21st edition is at the Dubai International Marine Club – Mina Seyahi. I was with our dear friend Saeed Hareb – the father of Dubai’s marine industry and he was gushing about how the show intends to make a splash with more than 430 boats on display, including an impressive 30 premiers with 11 global launches and 19 regional launches…I also keep hearing the awesome figures on the radio everyday which surely makes us proud to be part of Dubai and supporting the show.

The packed DIBS programme of leisure marine activities at the Dubai International Boat Show gets under way at 3pm until 9.30pm and features luxurious superyachts, live entertainment, prize giveaways, water sports and more.  With over 750 companies and brands from 49 countries selecting the Dubai International Boat Show as the platform to showcase their boats and marine industry products and services, this year’s event further demonstrates the importance of Dubai as a global platform to reach both regional and international buyers.

One of my favourite girls in town, the ever glamorous Trixie Loh, Senior Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre (organiser of the event) always has something exciting up her sleeve for every boat show. This year she says visitors can look forward to live entertainment, prize giveaways, luxury car displays, demonstrations and much more, on top of the many other industry related talks, displays and events.

Gulf Craft, who remain my favourite people to meet are there in full force…who can resist the charm and knowledge of Mohammed Al Shaali and the energy and hands on dynamism of Erwin Bamps? Every year, they do something special which is amazing and makes people feel at ease at a show. I also hope to see Sultan Al Shaali…another young Emirati who is full of surprises and is another friendly face we all love.

Visitors to this year’s show will be able to engage with members of the ‘Superyacht Experience’ from the elite Superyacht Builders Association, and  also view over 19 of the world’s luxurious superyachts being showcased at this year’s Dubai International Boat Show.

The popular Retail Village and Heritage Village return this year with spectacular live entertainment to be enjoyed throughout the show. Other exciting highlights include visitor prize draws with the chance to win amazing prizes throughout the show, including a Yamaha WaveRunner, opening passes and accommodation to the Cannes Film Festival, Champions League passes, a Yas Marina F1 race package and much more.

Little diva, Natasha and I naturally will veer towards the exciting Supercar Promenade which returns to the show for the third year and brings with it a range of limited edition models and the finest examples of engineering prowess available on four wheels. Bentley, Brabus, McLaren and Rolls Royce are some of the luxury motoring brands that will showcase their latest models.

With even easier access to this year’s Dubai International Boat Show, free Water Taxis are provided by the RTA from Skydive Dubai and Dubai Marina Mall and shuttle buses will provide transportation from Gateway Towers at the entrance of Palm Jumeirah.  With these services, visitors can spend ample time enjoying the vast selection of yachts, boats, and the full range of marine equipment available at show.

The Dubai International Boat Show is open to trade visitors and the general public from 3pm to 9:30pm daily from tomorrow and runs from 5 – 9 March, 2013. General admission is AED60 per person for all attendees, while children under 12 will be admitted free of charge (they must be accompanied by an adult at all times). Access to the Marina Display Area may be restricted at certain times.

 

MINI fit for the race track

MINI Shereen Shabnam

The speed junkie side of Fijian diva is emerging as MINI John Cooper Works GP, the sportiest and fastest production model ever built under the brand arrives in the UAE. With its 1.6-litre turbo engine, bespoke suspension and race car looks, this nifty world first is limited to just 2,000 units worldwide.

Extensively equipped with MINI John Cooper Works motor sport technology, this two-seater MINI boasts outstanding performance to match its sporty looks.  Powered by an extensively modified four-cylinder turbo engine capable of developing 218 hp, with adjustable coilover suspension and an extra-powerful sports brake system, this model is set to impress. And to top it all off the MINI John Cooper Works GP is one of the lightest sports cars in its class.

Boasting large front and rear aprons, striking side skirts and a bespoke roof spoiler, which is complemented by a newly developed rear diffuser, this model can only impress.

The ‘GP’ in the model’s title stands for Grand Prix, and with a record-breaking acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 6.3 seconds, the new MINI John Cooper Works GP certainly lives up to its name.  Its responsive power and excellent revving ability with its 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine are reflected by dazzling racetrack performance figures.

The exciting race car feel of the MINI John Cooper Works GP is enhanced by the interior ambience of the model which (partly due to the absence of a rear seats) is focused entirely on the needs of the driver and his passenger, who can savour the performance of the MINI John Cooper Works GP thanks to its Recaro sports seats with GP stitching. Meanwhile, the MINI John Cooper Works thick-rimmed leather steering wheel and the gearshift knob with a chrome ring and red shift diagram help give the driver get connected with the car.

A limited number of MINI John Cooper Works GP models are available at Abu Dhabi Motors and AGMC now. The MINI John Cooper Works engine with optional automatic transmission is now available on all MINI models including the MINI Hatch, MINI Cabrio, MINI Clubman, MINI Countryman, MINI Coupé and MINI Roadster.