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Friday, July 19, 2024 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
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 Muhammad Asad Ullah
Muhammad Asad Ullah
Muhammad Asad Ullah is one of the brightest new crop of journalists on the Doha scene. With a penchant for showbiz stories and a rover's eye on fashion. He's the whiz kid of the team with experience of both print and digital media.
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The digital maestro of Qatar’s iconic landmark

From the sun-soaked streets of Thessaloniki to the gleaming towers of Doha, Michalis Kiotis's journey in the hospitality industry is nothing short of remarkable. Currently the Digital Marketing Manager at Raffles and Fairmont, one of Qatar’s most iconic landmarks, Kiotis's career path is a testament to his adaptability, passion, and strategic prowess.A Greek beginning:Originally from Greece, Michalis spent most of his life in Thessaloniki, the vibrant city often considered Greece’s cultural capital. With its rich history and dynamic atmosphere, Thessaloniki was the perfect backdrop for Michalis’s formative years. It was here that he developed his innate sense of hospitality, a trait that would become central to his professional identity.European adventures:In 2017, Michalis's quest for growth led him to Marbella, Spain, where he pursued his Masters. The experience in Spain was transformative, both professionally and personally. A year later, he moved to London to join Marriott International, a move that would further refine his skills. “Both Spain and the UK were great schools for me,” he reflects. “I grew both professionally and personally.”His time in London was marked by significant events: Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. Navigating these crises taught Michalis resilience and flexibility. The pandemic, in particular, prompted him to seek new opportunities, leading him to the Middle East.Embracing the Middle East:Michalis arrived in Doha, Qatar, in time for the 2022 World Cup, a decision influenced by Qatar's burgeoning market and vibrant dynamism. “Coming to Doha from London was a major change for me,” he admits. “Qatar is the fourth country I am living in, and even if it's a totally different lifestyle than my previous European ones, I found myself adapting very quickly as I loved the dynamism that it has.”At the helm of iconic landmarks:At Raffles and Fairmont, Michalis manages the digital marketing strategies for two of the most prestigious hotels in the world. “Raffles and Fairmont is definitely the biggest project I have worked on,” he says. The stunning architecture of these properties has not only redefined Qatar’s skyline but also set new standards in global hospitality. “Even from a personal experience, having visited some of the greatest hotels in the world like Burj Khalifa, Savoy London, The Plaza, etc., these two properties are by far the best I have ever been.”Passion for hospitality:When asked what keeps him motivated in the hospitality industry, Michalis’s answer is simple yet profound: “Hospitality is not only a working industry for me; it’s an ongoing passion. My personality was always hospitable, so for me, it was very natural to rise in this field.”Observing global and local hospitality:Drawing parallels between global hospitality and that in Qatar, Michalis notes the unique dynamism of the Qatari market. “It’s more dynamic, more on the rise, and more flexible compared to other markets around the world,” he observes.Digital marketing trends:As a digital marketing expert, Michalis is at the forefront of industry trends. He highlights the rapid digitalization within hospitality. “There is a huge digital gap in hospitality even between now and five years ago. Social media, online PR, meta campaigns, and e-commerce are starting to become the most important tools in any successful commercial team,” he explains.Proud accomplishments:Michalis and his team take immense pride in their digital presence, particularly their social media activity. Their efforts have not only amplified the visibility of Raffles and Fairmont but have also set a benchmark for digital marketing in the hospitality industry.A world citizen:Despite his diverse experiences and the various countries he has lived in, Michalis remains deeply connected to his roots while embracing a global perspective. “In the end of the day, I am Greek; however, I also consider myself a world citizen,” he asserts.Michalis Kiotis's journey from Thessaloniki to Doha, navigating through some of the world’s most challenging markets, showcases a blend of passion, adaptability, and strategic vision. His work at Raffles and Fairmont stands as a testament to his dedication to excellence in the ever-evolving world of hospitality.

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A Greek feast to remember: Brunch at Opa Doha

Celebrating a friend's birthday at Opa Doha, nestled within the luxurious St Regis Doha, was a sensory journey into the heart of Greek culture. From the moment we stepped inside, the vibe was nothing short of eclectic and joyous. The restaurant, an epitome of contemporary elegance, was alive with a pulsating DJ mix that set the tone for an unforgettable afternoon.Opa Doha's brunch experience is a testament to the vibrancy of Greek hospitality. The sharing set menu is thoughtfully curated, beginning with delightful dips. The Hummus with Crispy Lamb was a rich amalgamation of chickpeas, tahini, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, and fresh lemon juice, elevated by the addition of crispy lamb. The Tyrokafteri, a bold mix of feta cheese, harissa, and roasted red peppers, offered a spicy yet creamy contrast. These starters alone promised an indulgent culinary adventure.As we moved on to the next course, the Peinirli Cheese – a boat-shaped pastry filled with egg and three cheeses – was a decadent delight, its gooey centre a comfort in every bite. The Greek Salad was a refreshing medley of vine tomato, cucumber, red pepper, red onion, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, capers, and oregano vinaigrette, a perfect palate cleanser. However, it was the Grilled Cypriot Halloumi, paired with a sublime fig and grape dressing that stole my heart. Its smoky, salty flavour balanced exquisitely with the sweet dressing, making it a standout dish.The main course was a carnivore’s dream. The Josper Grilled Rib-eye, a succulent Wagyu rib-eye topped with a tangy feta dressing and dill, was the epitome of indulgence. It was beautifully complemented by crispy feta fries and a medley of perfectly grilled vegetables. The rib-eye, tender and flavorful, was a luxurious climax to an already impressive meal.Dessert at Opa Doha was an exquisite denouement to our hearty wholesome brunch. The Opa Baklava Sundae, with its crispy filo cup, pistachio cream, homemade pistachio caramel, and Greek yogurt ice cream, was a textural and flavourful delight. Equally enticing was the Bougatsa, a warm chocolate phyllo pie paired with Greek coffee ice cream, walnuts, and caramel sauce – a perfect moment of indulgence and joy, embracing the sweetness of life and friendship, no matter the years that pass.But what truly set the afternoon apart was the finale. As tradition dictates, the celebration reached its peak with the Greek custom of plate smashing. The rhythmic breaking of plates added an exhilarating and cathartic end to our feast, a symbolic act of joy and abandonment that had everyone in high spirits.Opa Doha isn’t just a dining experience; it’s an exuberant celebration of life, encapsulated in every dish, every beat of the DJ mix, and every shattered plate. For a brunch that promises not just exquisite food but an immersion into the heart of Greek festivity.

Gulf Times
Qatar
Alo Yoga debuts in Qatar

Luxury fashion and lifestyle brand Alo Yoga opened its newest flagship store in Qatar recently at the Doha Festival City, in partnership with Alshaya Group, one of the world’s leading international retail franchise operators. The opening also marked the launch of the online shopping platform https://www.aloyoga.com.qa in the country.Sprawling across 410 sqm, the in-store experience builds on Alo’s global mission to spread mindful movement, inspire wellness, and create community. The store’s expansive layout will bring the latest collections to full display, including high-performance activewear, and on-trend leisurewear.“Following the successful opening of Alo in Kuwait and more recently Dubai, our latest opening in Doha will give us an opportunity to connect with our customers in Qatar, through popular athleisure styles, fitness apparel and accessories. Our expansion model continues to focus on commitment and convenience, and we look forward to bringing the brand to Abu Dhabi in October and more locations across the GCC as we continue to expand Alo and its offerings.” said Rebecca Jobo, President of Wellness Division at Alshaya Group, at the opening.Founded in 2007 in Los Angeles by Danny Harris and Marco Degeorge, Alo is the fastest growing activewear brand globally. It has since become an international sensation loved by celebrities, yogis, and fashion-forward individuals. The Los Angeles-based brand aims to elevate luxury athleisure from the studio to the street, with high-quality, ethically made, and environmentally friendly active apparel and wellness products for both men and women.A journey of self discovery with Alo Yoga:Earlier, before the official opening of the store, Alo Yoga really went a notch higher in taking media and influencers for a journey away from the city to really understand the holistic approach of the brand. Embarking on a journey with Alo Yoga was like stepping into a dream where tranquility met luxury. As their sleek transport whisked us away to Our Habitas Ras Abrouq, a haven nestled on the fringes of the UNESCO-protected Al-Reem Biosphere Reserve, anticipation mingled with excitement.Just over an hour's drive from the vibrant city of Doha, we found ourselves amidst the serenity of nature, surrounded by the untouched beauty of the reserve. Our destination, Our Habitas Ras Abrouq, awaited us like a hidden gem, promising a retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Upon arrival, we were greeted with warm smiles and a sense of belonging, instantly enveloped in the peaceful ambiance of the resort. Our journey of bliss began with a revitalizing hot yoga session, guided by experienced instructor who guided us through each pose with grace and expertise. Following our yoga session, we were invited to partake in a guided ceremonial cacao meditation, a soul-nourishing experience that allowed us to delve deep within ourselves and connect with the present moment. As the rich aroma of cacao filled the air, we felt a sense of calm wash over us, grounding us in the beauty of the present moment.But the journey didn't end there. We were treated to an insightful exploration of different oils and their effects on our moods and muscles. From soothing lavender to invigorating sandalwood, each oil held its own unique power to uplift and rejuvenate. We learned how scent has the remarkable ability to evoke memories and emotions, drawing us in with its irresistible allure.As the day unfolded, we found ourselves immersed in a world of blissful indulgence, surrounded by the natural beauty of our surroundings and the gentle guidance of Alo Yoga. It was a journey of self-discovery, relaxation, and rejuvenation, leaving us feeling refreshed, inspired, and deeply grateful for the experience.

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Afternoon tea the luxe way at Waldorf Astoria Lusail Doha

Whenever luxury intertwines with New York's essence, the first thing that comes to my mind is the opulence and sophistication seamlessly merging into a show like Gossip Girl, or Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It might not be really a breakfast-breakfast, but the fine jewelry house David Webb New York, that has been synonymous with minimalistic yet extravagant designs, epitomizing understated luxury and timeless elegance, has partnered with Waldorf Astoria Lusail Doha for an exclusive showcase and afternoon tea experience.It’s not the first time that a hotel and a fine jewellery house would’ve shown its affection for auteur, and to be honest, semantics—or frankly, specifics—don’t matter. The collaboration has opened its doors for one month only, ongoing till May22, and at a place where it would have a maximum impact: the hotel’s bright and sophisticated Peacock Alley lounge, making it the de facto, high-octane experience where sweets, bites, and pastries draw inspiration from the intricate jewellery designs of David Webb, featuring signature elements such as textured gold, mesmerizing animal motifs, and elaborate enamel and rock crystal craftsmanship.Visual links between the menu of the afternoon tea and the opulent pieces that are a projection of David Webb’s debut in Doha early this year purposes sales in different ways. The American jeweler opened in Msheireb Downtown Doha earlier this year as the brand’s first standalone international presence and regional flagship. The operations of luxury hotels and designer outlets have little in common. But, that hasn’t stopped fashion brands from opening eateries and collaborating for exclusive experiences through which they can find new ways to woo customers. And well, seems like it has been a successful model where luxury meets fine dining experience.If you’re about ready to make a visit, prepare to make a reservation, well, well in advance. Because this afternoon tea experience is a houseful!

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It’s a ‘Me’ time with my fur baby at FS Doha

Nestled within the vibrant pulse of Doha's West Bay district rests The Four Seasons Doha, a lavish sanctuary where the gentle whispers of the sea mingle with the dreams painted by the towering skyline. Stepping into its opulent lobby, is always overwhelming. You’re instantly enveloped in a world of elegance and tranquility, a sanctuary from the chaos of city life. Although the hotel is very well located within the bustling city of Doha, but it’s far from the chaos. The sound of the sea waves across its beach is perhaps one of the reasons why it feels so relaxing. That's the vibe. There are two major reasons why I opted for FS Doha in a hoopla of other hospitality options in Doha, firstly because of its pet friendly policy and secondly because I had recently seen Bollywood superstar Kareena Kapoor Khan’s photoshoot happening there. It oozes luxury and also I wanted my feline Bonnie to experience the world as well, outside my two bedroom apartment which is pretty constant with its interior. At The Four Seasons Doha, their pet-friendly policy extends a warm welcome to all members of the family, creating an atmosphere of warmth and comfort that truly sets the hotel apart. From the moment I arrived with my beloved cat, Bonnie, I was greeted with open arms and genuine hospitality, ensuring that our stay was nothing short of extraordinary. The thoughtful amenities and personalised touches provided for my furry companion made me feel right at home, adding an extra layer of warmth and coziness to the experience. Whether it was the specially prepared meals or the plush bedding provided, (whoops! There was a scratching tower too), every detail was carefully curated to ensure that both of us felt valued and cherished. Where I had my own itinerary laid out, Bonnie had his own thing going on. Mornings at The Four Seasons Doha were a symphony of delight, with the tantalizing aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the promise of a new day awaiting. Breakfast at Elements was a culinary journey through flavours and textures, from fluffy pancakes to exotic fruit platters, each dish meticulously crafted to delight the senses. Since the weather is still bearable outside, to really get the last bit of wind before the blazing sun takes over Doha, I relaxed by the pool and beach and right before sunset went for a jet ski adventure. With the golden rays of the afternoon sun caressing my skin and the gentle rhythm of the waves lulling me into a state of relaxation, I surrendered to the beauty of the moment, grateful for the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It was the thrill of watersports that truly stole my heart at The Four Seasons Doha. Jet skiing against the backdrop of the Doha skyline during the sunset hour was a rush of adrenaline and excitement, a moment of freedom and exhilaration that left me breathless and invigorated. Dinner soirée was a celebration of Arabian flavors at Laya Cafe, where the Shawarma platter and mixed grill stole the show. With tender meat and bold spices, each bite was a tantalizing taste of the rich culinary heritage of the region, a feast fit for royalty. My staycation at The Four Seasons Doha was more than just a getaway—it was a journey of self-discovery and rejuvenation, a retreat into a world of luxury and indulgence. From the warmth of the staff to the beauty of the surroundings, every moment was a reminder of the joy that comes from embracing life's simple pleasures. As I bid farewell to this oasis by the sea, I carried with me a renewed sense of peace and gratitude, eager to return again soon. The Four Seasons Doha had captured my heart, and more than my mine: Bonnie’s! Thanks to their pet-friendly approach, our stay at The Four Seasons Doha was not just a vacation, but a truly unforgettable experience filled with love and companionship.

Gulf Times
Qatar
Generation, through generations

Generation, defining ethnic women's fashion in Pakistan, stands as a testament to 40 years of innovation, evolution, and unwavering commitment to values beyond mere aesthetics. Founded with a vision to redefine traditional wear, Generation has metamorphosed into a powerhouse that not only sets trends but also champions social causes close to its heart.The journey of Generation traces back to its humble beginnings four decades ago. What started as a modest venture blossomed into an empire, resonating with the cultural ethos of Pakistan while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of conventional fashion.Through the years, Generation has demonstrated an exceptional ability to adapt and reinvent itself, staying attuned to the pulse of the ever-changing fashion landscape. Many people complain after 40 years of Generation that they show nothing new. My point is that they doesn’t have to – we wouldn’t have them any other way. They stay true to their signature which is fabulous fabric, flattering cuts and the verve of minimalistic modernity. These are elegant and timeless pieces for women who do not like 100 rounds to get that perfectly stitched outfit from the tailor, neither do they have time for such shenanigans ¬¬– but love a nicely done three-piece joras and humongous paneled kurtas.The difference is a huge, glaring one when sees a collection of gorgeous outfits at any given fashion week or the online campaign released, and like a flash in the pan it’s gone. Sometimes in terms of enough stock or sometimes it’s a matter of what we see online is never translate well to the rack.The few wise retailers, like Generation immediately prepare their boutiques for the arrival of those collections where fashion lovers hurry off to.This Eid drop by Generation was cohesive, international and very modern in its outlook – it’s like team under Khadija’s realm thought “it’s spring, let’s make everything vibrant” and went ahead with it. It has become a fashion powerhouse, with its own prints, shoes, bags and a racy flamboyant ubersexy style that never crosses the line into tackorama. That’s what it’s about really – creating a brand that screams your signature.Generation's this Eid collection exemplifies its commitment to forming a statement, that is blingy yet minimalistic to its core. With a nod to minimalism and a touch of exquisite craftsmanship, the collection seamlessly blends tradition with contemporary flair. The intricate gota work, delicately adorning each garment, reflects Generation's meticulous attention to detail and unwavering dedication to quality. Generation Eid Al Fitr Collection 2024.As a ready-to-wear brand, Generation has struck the perfect balance between accessibility and sophistication, making high fashion attainable for women from all walks of life. Each ensemble is a tribute to the brand's unwavering pursuit of elegance and authenticity, ensuring that every wearer feels empowered and confident.However, Generation's impact transcends the realm of fashion. With a keen sense of responsibility towards society, the brand has actively engaged in campaigns and causes that resonate with its ethos. Body positivity, inclusivity, women empowerment, and global issues like Gaza have found a platform within Generation's ethos. Consistent embroideries of watermelon on its fabric and clothes, as a symbol of solidarity with Palestine, has been a huge element of it. By using its influence to amplify voices and advocate for change, Generation has become more than just a fashion label—it's a movement.Moreover, Generation has embraced sustainable fashion practices, recognising the urgent need for environmental stewardship. By employing repurposed fabrics and championing eco-friendly initiatives, the brand is leading by example in the quest for a more sustainable fashion industry.Generation is more than just a fashion brand; it's a symbol of resilience, progress, and social responsibility. With a rich history spanning four decades, Generation continues to inspire, empower, and redefine the narrative of Pakistani fashion, one stitch at a time. Eid 2024 – The Expat Way:In a colourful tapestry of cultures, Gulf Times, with Generation, brought forth a heartwarming narrative of expatriates finding solace in the celebration of Eid in Qatar. Infusing multicultural group of friends with the essence of festivities. With each stitch of Generation clothing adorning their frames, they become ambassadors of diversity, radiating the joy of shared traditions and the beauty of cultural exchange. This captivating story serves as a testament to the unifying power of fashion and festivity, as these expat friends in Doha embraced Eid with open arms, bridging continents and creating lasting memories amidst the bustling city of Doha.Amidst this celebration of diversity, features Lulwa Al Marri, a shining star of Qatar's athletic realm, in an exclusive fashion editorial. As a Qatar National Athlete, Lulwa embodies grace, strength, and resilience, qualities that seamlessly intertwine with Generation's ethos of empowerment and self-expression. Through this collaboration, Gulf Times highlights the convergence of sport and style, showcasing Lulwa's prowess both on and off the field. Her presence adds a touch of elegance and dynamism to the narrative, reinforcing the commitment to championing local talent and embracing inclusivity in every facet of Qatar's vibrant cultural landscape. Lulwa Al Marri, Qatar's athlete and first Iron Woman of Qatar in Generation.In this captivating story of expatriates finding joy and unity in Qatar, is also Grace Herto from Mexico, a dynamic spinning instructor whose energy and zest for life infuse every moment with excitement. Alongside her stands Shyam, hailing from Sri Lanka, whose serene presence and warm spirit add depth to the group's textile of friendship. Grace HertoShyam from Sri Lanka, left, Aisha from Kuwait, Centre.In the heart of this multicultural ensemble is Sana, a dedicated advocate for children with special needs from Pakistan, whose compassion and expertise enrich the lives of those around her. Sana SaeedCompleting this eclectic cast is Aisha, the corporate powerhouse from Kuwait, whose ambition and determination inspire her peers to reach for the stars. And bringing all of them together, is myself, the part of fashion team at Gulf Times. Together, they represent the mosaic of experiences and backgrounds that define the expatriate community in Qatar, united by their shared love for fashion, friendship, and the spirit of Eid. Through the fashion lens, their stories unfold as a celebration of resilience, empowerment, and the enduring bonds forged in the vibrant tapestry of Qatar's cultural landscape.Al Messila Resort:Al Messila Resort is a hidden gem that embodies the natural beauty and tranquility of Qatar. Amidst the hustle and bustle of urban life, this lush retreat serves as a gentle reminder of the captivating landscapes and rich biodiversity that grace the Qatari terrain. Messila Resort stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of modernity and nature, offering a picturesque setting for this editorial. In choosing this venue, we aim to showcase not only the cosmopolitan allure of Qatar but also its pristine landscapes and verdant surroundings. By highlighting the serene beauty of Al Messila Resort, we hope to inspire a deeper appreciation for the diverse tapestry of natural wonders that Qatar has to offer, inviting locals and visitors alike to discover the hidden treasures nestled within the heart of this dynamic city.Photos by: Rafid AloMakeup Artist: Ali RazaHair by: Maya KolosovaLocation: Al Messila ResortVideo Production: SADQ ProductionsClothing: Generation

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Ramadan Rhapsody: Indulging in Layla's luxurious Suhoor at The Plaza Doha

When I hear The Plaza, the first thing that comes to my mind is New York, a hotel famous for its luxe and unparalleled hospitality on the Upper East Side. However, The Plaza Doha is not associated with its New York counterpart in any way, but, draws the same inspiration with spot-on hospitality. What really sets The Plaza Doha apart and takes it a step forward is its amalgamation of Arab generosity with contemporary warmth. And well, where that’s about the hotel, it’s Ramadan Tent this year is no less. It has gone above and beyond that blends luxury with tradition, exuding opulence and charm, and offering guests an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of Ramadan.Stepping into The Plaza Doha, guests are greeted by the grandeur of its magnificent lobby, adorned with exquisite details and architectural marvels – the magnificent chandelier taking the center stage .This Ramadan, The Plaza Doha is back with its ultimate luxury experience: Layla by Le Mariage, the season's most prestigious Ramadan tent. Created by leading architectural wedding designer, Layla promises an unparalleled dining experience that seamlessly blends Arabian architecture with contemporary sophistication. Extravagant Iftar and Suhoors are the order of the day at Layla, crafted to enchant and delight, offering guests a glimpse into the rich traditions of Ramadan amidst the enchanting backdrop of Doha.Starlit SuhoorAs I stepped into Layla at The Plaza, I was immediately enveloped in an atmosphere of Arabian grandeur and sophistication. The tent, adorned in shades of green and burgundy, exuded an aura of magic, with lights dancing and imagery projected on screens, creating an enchanting ambiance unlike any other.It felt as though I had been transported to the midst of a royal Arabic wedding, surrounded by opulent decor and exquisite floral arrangements that added a touch of regal elegance to the surroundings.The aroma of Bukhoor wafted through the air, tantalizing my senses and setting the stage for an indulgent culinary journey. As I settled into my fine-dining seating, assisted by a personal butler service, I couldn't help but marvel at the attention to detail in every aspect of Layla's design.The menu, boasting over 300 meticulously crafted dishes, promised a feast fit for royalty. I started my culinary adventure with the Shrimp Othmalieh, a delightful fusion of succulent shrimp encased in crispy pastry, followed by the Mini Chicken Mousakhan Rolls, which burst with flavorful spices and tender chicken. Each bite was a revelation, showcasing the skill and artistry of the chefs behind Layla's creations.For the main course, I savored the Vine Leaves Lamb Chops, perfectly grilled to tender perfection and infused with fragrant herbs and spices. The Stuffed Baby Marrow provided a delightful contrast, with its tender texture and savory filling. The Premium Meat Cuts melted in my mouth, while the Burrata Pizza offered a tantalizing blend of creamy cheese and fresh basil.But the true star of the evening was the Roasted Leg of Lamb, a masterpiece of flavor and tenderness that left me utterly speechless. Cooked to perfection and seasoned to perfection, it was a dish worthy of the most discerning palate.As the evening drew to a close, I indulged in the decadent chocolate fountain, its rich sweetness a perfect finale to an unforgettable dining experience. Paired with creamy ice creams and a selection of traditional desserts, it was a symphony of flavors that left me craving more.In every dish and every detail, Layla at The Plaza surpassed all expectations, offering a culinary journey that was as memorable as it was delicious. Truly, it was an evening fit for royalty, and one that I will cherish for months to come.

Gulf Times
International
Humility at its finest: Abbas receives Tamgha-e-Imtiaz

On December 18, 2023, Gulf Times got into an exclusive conversation with Zafar Abbas, an exemplary figure, synonymous with compassion and transformative impact in Pakistan, talking about his commitment to uplift the underprivileged, leading the charge at the JDC Foundation, spearheading a staggering 89 welfare projects spanning critical sectors such as rescue operations, healthcare, education, and general welfare in Sindh, Pakistan. Since then, Abbas has continued his upward trajectory, driving positive change and dignity for the less fortunate, with recently being honoured with the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz by Governor Sindh Kamran Khan Tessori on Pakistan Day, a recognition that places him among esteemed individuals celebrated for their remarkable contribuions. The Tamgha-e-Imtiaz represents a distinguished accolade bestowed by the state of Pakistan. This prestigious honor is reserved for exceptional civilians whose achievements have left an indelible mark on the nation. Recipients of the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz are recognized for their outstanding contributions across various fields, reflecting the diversity and richness of talent within Pakistan.From its modest beginnings in Aisha Manzil, Karachi, Pakistan, the JDC Charity Foundation has evolved into a comprehensive organization, responding swiftly to disaster situations and pioneering liberation and rescue management across the province.This prestigious award stands as a tribute to Abbas's exceptional endeavors in the realm of philanthropy, underscoring his profound impact both locally and internationally. Abbas's dedication and expertise in advancing humanitarian causes through the JDC Foundation have earned him widespread acclaim. His tireless efforts have not only uplifted countless lives but have also brought global attention to Pakistan's philanthropic endeavors.In a poignant display of humility and meritocracy, Zafar Abbas, adorned in the simplest of attire—a humble pair of chappals and a plain T-shirt—became the first Pakistani to be bestowed with this esteemed award. His unassuming appearance served as a powerful testament to his character, embodying the essence of humility amidst accolades.In the moment of gratitude, as Abbas accepted the prestigious honour, he dedicated it wholeheartedly to the unsung heroes behind the scenes—the flood relief workers and volunteers who had stood by his side in unwavering support of his noble cause. With tears glistening in his eyes, Abbas acknowledged their tireless efforts and selfless dedication, recognizing that it was their unwavering commitment that truly fueled the transformative impact of the JDC. In a world often blinded by individual accolades, Abbas's heartfelt tribute serves as a poignant reminder of the collective strength and spirit of solidarity that underpins every humanitarian endeavor.Through his visionary leadership Abbas has embarked on a journey of profound impact, touching countless lives in the realms of education and healthcare. His unwavering commitment to societal betterment resonates deeply, transcending the materialistic facade of success. In a world marred by suffering and disparity, Abbas's steadfast dedication to uplifting the underprivileged epitomizes the essence of compassion and empathy, illuminating a path towards a brighter, more equitable future for all.He has been instrumental in elevating the country's standing and amplifying its humanitarian voice on the world stage, effectively addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by the underprivileged in today's interconnected world.About JDC Foundation:JDC foundation has swiftly responded to disaster situations through free rescue and relief services during floods, providing food and shelter in Pakistan. Additionally, their teams had been actively involved in city fire incidents, offering immediate aid. During Covid-19 pandemic, Abbas and his team extended support by providing essential food supplies to those in need. During the floods in Pakistan, in 2022, JDC not only rescued people and provided temporary shelter, but also served meals for almost 2,400,000 victims in four months, answering the call for rescue and need by setting up makeshift tent cities and distributing over 80,000 tents to those affected.

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The old Hollywood charm of The Pierre NY

In the heartbeat of New York, where the city's pulse meets the elegance of Upper East Side, The Pierre NY by Taj reigns supreme—a living fantasy for those who've yearned for a Gossip Girl escapade amidst the glamour of the city that never sleeps. Nestled on 61st Street and 5th Avenue, adjacent to the iconic Central Park, this distinguished establishment stands tall with its 714 rooms and forty-two stories, evoking a regal charm that captivates from the moment you arrive.“Nothing beats a New Years Eve like one in New York, and it’s always nice to have an old friend from the neighbourhood along. Luxury stores and Ai Fiori. I locked down the Fifth Avenue and became a muse to all. Meanwhile, my friend ruled the other side. Storming the coffee shops and consuming the classics at The Met. Sampling sugary snacks was part of the equation too. But to put it out there, both of our stories sizzled and fizzled. It was our rude-awakening that Upper East Side monarchs aren’t born at the top. They have to secure a residence up-there. So, we shopped at Saint Laurent, and checked in at The Pierre New York. We knew there’s no concept of a coup d’ etat from a foreign land in New York.As I stepped into the gilded, black-and-white marble-floored entrance, the air of grandeur was palpable. This was not a minimalist haven; it was a realm of old-world splendor where the porters adorned tails and top hats, and the suites, amongst the city's most spacious, exuded a timeless elegance. My personal haven was a spacious suite with ample closet space and large windows framing a breathtaking view of Central Park.The hotel, a haven of refinement, extended its commitment to excellence to its breakfast offerings. Tasteful and diverse, the breakfast menu featured a range of American classics. However, for those desiring a touch of familiarity, an array of Indian breakfast options adorned the menu. It was a delightful fusion of flavors, echoing the hotel's commitment to catering to the diverse tastes of its guests. As I sipped my coffee and indulged in a breakfast that seamlessly blended the essence of America and India, The Pierre NY by Taj continued to elevate my stay into a symphony of luxury, comfort, and personalization.“Spotted: A and Y. Chic and cheerful up on 5th Avenue. They dallied at department stores and stayed awhile at Tiffany and Co. Down a little, they courted couture at Balmain. And found the perfect outfits to Dior the competition. Then they headed to the Pulitzer Fountain. Carrying the luxury goods, the opiate of choice.”The Pierre has not merely been a witness to history; it has been a part of it. Featured in Hollywood movies, including the illustrious Ocean 13 with Anne Hathaway, the hotel exudes a cinematic charm that seamlessly blends with the picturesque backdrop of New York City. The grand ballroom, a frescoed rotunda, and a stunning rooftop with a copper crown-like roof elevate the hotel to the echelons of iconic Fifth Avenue gems.The iconic Rotunda, with its trompe l’oeil-painted charm, became my rendezvous point as the evening unfolded. A drink in hand, surrounded by the opulence of the space, it was a moment suspended in time—a prelude to the grandeur awaiting outside. As the clock ticked towards midnight, the rooftop offered a panoramic view of the city's fireworks, a spectacle that painted the night sky in hues of celebration.Beyond the grandeur, The Pierre unveiled its commitment to personalization. The attentive staff, guided by the spirit of old-world hospitality, ensured that every need was met with grace. The seamless blend of historic charm and modern comfort became a defining feature of my stay, transforming it into a curated experience that resonated with the very essence of New York City.During my two-day stay, which coincided with the most happening New Year's Eve, The Pierre proved to be a strategic haven for a citywide celebration. Its location on the Upper East Side, renowned for upscale shopping, added an allure to the stay. The proximity of luxury boutiques and iconic flagship stores turned my shopping spree into a Serena and Blair moment, with my best friend ofcourse, with everything conveniently within reach.As my stay at The Pierre NY by Taj drew to a close, it became more than a luxurious sojourn; it was a narrative woven into the fabric of New York City's illustrious history. The Pierre is not just a hotel; it's a living testament to the city's grandeur, offering a timeless elegance that resonates with every visitor.

Kareena Kapoor Khan with HE Saad bin Ali bin Saad Al Kharji, Chairman of Qatar Tourism, at DJWE 2024 (supplied picture).
Qatar
Doha a phenomenal city: Kareena Kapoor Khan

In the media lounge at Doha Watches and Jewellery Exhibition, “She’s 15 minutes out,” says her manager, popping her head around the door, as a phalanx of assistants move silently about a fabulous, temporary, shimmering grotto of couture. It’s the tiffany powder blue jacket I see, which seems to be freshly delivered from a couture house and steamed press to perfection. Naturally, 10 minutes comes and goes, but eventually, at an indeterminate point in superstar time, the door finally opens and through it emerges a 5ft 4in figure dressed in a powder blue couture piece, statement diamond necklace and impossibly high matching Louboutins. It is a curious experience to encounter a pop culture legend giving you her most quintessential vibe, and Kareena has not disappointed. Already photographs taken moments ago of her short walk from her car into the building are pinging on social media. “Let’s talk!” she says by way of hello.There is an art to being Kareena Kapoor Khan which is to say that rising to Bollywood’s one of the most sought-after actors is not a status achieved by just bungling your exit from a limo. Everybody loves Kareena Kapoor Khan. This is a fact. Nobody in the history of the world, especially from South Asia, has ever had another take. However, the truth remains you do feel intimidated by her presence, it’s the energy!But while the initial energy is remote and flighty, it takes absolutely no time at all to become riveted by her. Astonishingly famous since her early teens, hers is a fate perhaps only understood by a handful of people during mass media’s relatively short history. One’s reductive first instinct is to interpret her thrilling lack of chill as toxic-media-induced, post- stardom neurosis. But she is having none of that. She is grounded and now after about two decades of being in Bollywood, she’s someone who’s poised. In truth, she is sage, witty and unpredictable, prone to find the whole machinery of fame ridiculous and damaging – especially for women. Growing up as the daughter of veteran Bollywood actor Randhir Kapoor and Babita, and sister Karisma Kapoor, Kareena had a vantage point on fame and cinema that few do. She knows that as she walks out the cameras will accost her however it doesn’t really bother her as she starts to chat animatedly about her visit to Qatar, being a part of DJWE and what jewellery appeals to her.“I think Doha is amazing. I had a brief visit about a decade ago, but so much has changed and it’s absolutely amazing to be here today at the 20th Edition of Doha Watches and Jewellery Exhibition,” Kareena adds, “Doha is a phenomenal city. People are obviously coming here whether to enjoy the different cultural parts of it, business, work or for Qatar’s kindness and hospitality which I’ve experienced today here at the exhibit. I think that is why everyone wants to be here. My son is a football fan, so I’m hoping to catch some football here.”There are very few actors who are able to make a name for themselves as an independent actor away from the shadow of their equally successful parents and siblings. However, that didn’t stop her from serving the characters that are deemed to be iconic. She played Poo in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (K3G) in 2001, which was her second film, but was the moment of an upward projection for her career. Since then, she has only gone from strength-to-strength for every character she has played. Poo had a duality in her that not many female characters in Hindi cinema possessed at the time – she was vain and self-indulgent, but also self-sufficient and comfortable in her skin. In today’s time if we draw a parallel, and when we watch Gossip Girl, one of the iconic TV Shows, we’re instantly reminded of Kareena in K3G although there’s quite a difference in timeline of when K3G was released and when Gossip Girl aired.Does she think that her role was way ahead of its time that really defined pop culture for South Asians? She responds, “I completely believe it was the most iconic, female led character because of the fact that you had never seen somebody be so outlandish and confident but lovable at the same time. The female characters were always about the saree clad, typical wives that were playing the part and dancing to the songs, but Poo was a character that actually stood against everything to be herself and that is the reason why you say it’s truly iconic. And we’re talking about it after about 24 years.”Kareena adds, “Nobody really thought that it will become such a craze. It was funny and fun but obviously when you look back and say Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, the first thing you say is Poo. I don’t think I can go back and do it all over again at this point. There is something of Poo in everyone and every little girl.”Over her two decade-long career, she has not only proven herself to be a fearless master of reinvention, but has also bridged the world’s of art cinema and storytelling. In 2017, many people fell in love with Geet in Jab We Met. But does it inspire Kareena as an actor to surpass her previous performance every time she’s part of a new project, she says, “I think no two characters should ever be compared because every year films change, writers change, people write different roles and actors come along ... every decade you’d have a different bunch of beautiful actresses and actors doing different roles. Few parts, in your career, if you have two or three great roles that you can look back at after 30 years and say this was it — it will still have something about me which I’ve tried to push myself. I know Geet will always be looked back upon as the best but I will obviously still try and better that. But it was a different time, and now is a different time.”DJWE has an extensive display of classic and contemporary luxury collections by internationally recognised brands and designers as well as local designers, with diamonds and emeralds taking the centre stage. Diamonds, they say, are a girl's best friend. Asked what sort of jewellery appeals to the actor, she says: “I like more statement pieces and love diamonds and emeralds.”People in South Asia consider jewellery as heirloom pieces. Coming from royalty is there a specific piece that has been passed on to the actor over the generation? Kareena Kapoor responds, “Saif has given me his great grandmother’s emerald cut piece, which we’ve made into a long neck piece. That stone has come down to four generations is close to me.”

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Anatomy of a friendship breakup

I have always been a Gossip Girl fan, which accredits to my love for pop culture, fashion and the city of New York. And in the show was a beautiful portrayal of friendship of Serena Vander Woodsen and Blair Waldorf, played by Blake Lively and Leighton Meester respectively. It was ride-or-die friendship. They embodied preppy-chic style, ambition, bravery, and — of course — loyalty. Sure, there were times when S and B were putting the “enemies” in frenemies, but at the end of the day (and series) they were always there for each other. Similarly, they were the awesome foursome. And Just Like That...Then there were three. In the recent Sex and the City spinoff, a prominent and cherished character was conspicuously missing, mirroring a real-life situation. Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker, along with their TV alter egos Samantha Jones and Carrie Bradshaw, gained fame for their off-screen feud, reflecting a relatable adult friendship breakup. In the words of Carrie's narrator voice: "I couldn't help but ponder—how do you mend your heart when the one you lean on has shattered it? Are falling-outs with best friends more agonizing than romantic splits?"In another example would friends be the same if it wasn't for the friendship between Joey and Chandler? It was too iconic how they both were so different but actually used to come together in support of each other, in any way possible.Where lies the expiry date for a friendship far overdue? Is it etched along the lower edge—where snapshots were captured with unironic peace signs? Does it hide beneath the lid—where shared laughter lingered long after bedtime? These recollections don't materialise within the plastic molecules containing familiar late-night snacks, the kind you indulge in while seated cross-legged in front of your refrigerator. But what really does hit you at some point are the little habits you had picked up from each other. Say a drink that you never used to like, now you order just because it was of their taste palate, just as a remembrance to their existence, that they did exist.There are still moments where I catch myself reflecting on the friendships I’ve had, and lost—on the beloved ‘D’ I tacked onto the end of ‘Best Friend’ to signify ‘Forever’; promises we made to this thing we shared, that neither of us could keep. Obviously, I am terrified to get hurt again. I still hold this terribly cliché but salient belief that I’ll never be friends with someone like this again. I still hold on to the delusional hope that one day he will realize he got it all wrong.It's a strange and somewhat cruel mix of emotions. What gets to me the most is the petulance—the clinging sense of unjust discomfort. It's akin to the memories of being a child, throwing tantrums as a way to punish others by punishing oneself. Perhaps you can recall the scenario: "Fine!" says the kid. "I'll never come out of my room again!"Heartache reduces us to these basic and childlike reactions. It's a normal part of the process.However, inevitably, the kid does emerge from their room at some point. Initially reluctant, arms still crossed, lower lip set in a pout. Yet, life persists, and the cycle begins anew—joy, pain, love, and loss. The inner child isn't entirely misguided. There is indeed an inherent unfairness to the whole ordeal.The initial experience of losing a friend hit you at your core. For many, it occurs during high school, a time of adolescence filled with novel encounters. But also when it’s an adult friendship, it gets even more difficult to navigate through. Sometimes, it commences subtly and then inflates—perhaps a drifting, unprovoked remark that stings more than expected, or a significant event they couldn't attend, leaving you questioning the balance of support in your friendship. On occasion, it's a sudden and bitter disagreement that catches you off guard. In the aftermath of such intensity, you find yourself asking, "Should I reach out, or is this the conclusion?"Let’s be honest adult friendship breakups make you think about Ms Swift's Anti Hero ‘I have this thing where I get older but just never wiser?’ Is that really so? You question. Wiser in chosing people and friends you confide in.It's intriguing how we often engage in discussions about romantic break-ups far more than we do about parting ways with friends—connections that, arguably, are more widespread among the population and constitute a more substantial part of our daily lives than romantic partners. While breaking up with a romantic partner, challenging as it may be, typically comes with an abundance of advice and solace, the dissolution of a friendship tends to provide less of the same. We tend to keep our emotional pain close, protecting the hurt because, in some way, it doesn't seem as noteworthy. Such is the distinct impact of a friendship break-up—it's a silent form of devastation.Learning to heal after a friendship break-up, therefore, is something that all of us should embrace with greater seriousness. How do we deal with any initial confusion and anger we might feel? How do we move on healthily, in a way that doesn’t trivialise our experiences, and also—if circumstances permit—leaves the door open for reconciliation? Here, Hadley Wen, Psychologist and Relationship Expert, shares her advice on how to prevent break-ups, seek support if one happens, as well as offer it to another.Confront the issue head-on. While nobody enjoys awkward confrontations, it's crucial to communicate with your friend about why you're distancing yourself. If he/she remains unaware of the reasons behind your actions, they won't have the chance to address the issues or learn from any mistakes. Put yourself in their shoes—imagine being left wondering why your closest friend suddenly stopped communicating.Allow yourself time to process the loss. Losing a friend is undeniably tough, regardless of whether it was your decision or not. It's natural to feel sadness, and this time, there may not be a companion with ice cream to console you. It's okay to express your emotions, whether through tears or anger. Consider writing a heartfelt letter to your friend, articulating everything you wished to convey but couldn't. Seal the letter in an envelope and either keep it in a safe place or symbolically tear it up—it's a therapeutic step towards healing.Embrace new connections. Acknowledge your capability to form and nurture close friendships—you've done it before, and you'll continue to do so in your lifetime. Despite the potential intimidation, put yourself out there and be receptive to new people. The experiences from your past friendship have likely clarified what's essential in a new friend, such as mutual respect and shared values. You'll encounter new connections soon, and perhaps they'll even introduce you to a delightful ice cream flavor you never knew you'd love. Embrace the beauty of change—you never know what awaits around the corner.

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Hope in Action: Zafar Abbas and the transformative journey of JDC Charity Foundation

Zafar Abbas, the compassionate force behind the JDC Foundation, emerges as a luminary in the philanthropic landscape of Pakistan, spearheading 89 welfare projects that span across crucial domains such as rescue operations, healthcare, education, and general welfare. With an unyielding commitment to uplifting the underprivileged, he initiated the JDC Charity Foundation to provide free healthcare, education, and sustenance, envisioning a future marked by positive change and dignity for the less fortunate. From its humble inception in Aisha Manzil, Karachi, Pakistan, JDC has evolved into a comprehensive organization, addressing urgent calls in disaster situations and pioneering liberation and rescue management across the province.In an exclusive conversation with Gulf Times, Abbas unveils the intricate tapestry of JDC's journey, shedding light on the organization's impactful initiatives, including the establishment of free medical camps and a groundbreaking Free Diagnostic Lab offering vital blood tests. “At JDC Free Lab, our dedicated team of staff and doctors is tirelessly perfecting our systems and services. Soon, our expanded facility will be accessible to all, ensuring top-quality care for a larger community,” says Abbas as he shared about the foundation’s aspirations to expand its impact, introducing new initiatives to address emerging needs and fostering transformative change in the communities they serve.Israel’s widening air and ground offensive in southern Gaza has displaced tens of thousands more Palestinians and worsened the territory’s already dire humanitarian conditions, with the fighting preventing the distribution of food, water and medicine outside a sliver of southern Gaza. Beyond borders, Abbas reflects on the role of charitable organizations in global crises, sharing insights on how entities like JDC can contribute to the relief of affected communities, such as those in Gaza. According to Abbas “Collaborative initiatives can maximize impact, alleviate suffering, and work towards rebuilding the affected communities, fostering hope and resilience.”JDC also recently formed an influential collaboration with renowned artist Atif Aslam to create an awareness and enhance healthcare accessibility with the power of celebrity involvement in magnifying the positive impact on the community. Can you share the inspiration behind founding JDC Charity Foundation in Pakistan and the initial motivations for its establishments.JDC Charity Foundation in Pakistan was inspired by a deep compassion for those in need. Our initial motivation was to provide free healthcare, education, and food, aiming to make a meaningful impact on the lives of the underprivileged with dignity. Our foundation is committed to fostering positive change and creating a better future for communities in Pakistan.How has JDC Foundation evolved from its early days in Aisa Manzil, Karachi, to becoming a comprehensive organization involve in liberation and rescue management across the province?Our non-profit organization has begun its journey by catering to flood disaster victims at Aish Manzil, Karachi, on 2010. Our JDC Foundation has grown to provide welfare and rehabilitation services to individuals and communities in need, with a particular focus on Sindh Province with expanding it all over the Pakistan. Our commitment to inclusivity and non-discrimination fosters unity, respect ad equal opportunities for all. In the floods of 2022, JDC, with their experience in dealing with floods, led the way by establishing temporary tent cities and safe shelters for victims.Could you elaborate on specific initiatives and projects that JDC has undertaken to address urgent calls and provide immediate aid in various disaster situations?JDC foundation has swiftly responded to disaster situations through free rescue and relief services during floods, providing food and shelter. Additionally, our teams have been actively involved in city fire incidents, offering immediate aid. In the COVID-19 pandemic, we've extended support by providing essential food supplies to those in need.During the floods in Pakistan, last year, we not only rescued people and provided temporary shelter, but also served meals for almost 2,400,000 victims in four months. JDC answered the call, setting up makeshift tent cities and distributed over 80,000 tents to those affected. We provided over 35,000 First Aid Kits to those affected, providing essential medical supplies. Cash distribution was also crucial during the flood as it allowed over 11,000 affected families to purchase essential supplies like medicine, clothing and shelter materials.In what ways has JDC Charity contributed to healthcare in the region through the establishment of free medical camps, and what impact has it had on the local community?Ans. JDC foundation has significantly contributed to healthcare in the region through the establishment of free emergency dispensaries, dialysis centers, and diagnostic labs. Our free medical camps have had a profound impact on the local community, providing accessible healthcare services, early diagnosis, and vital treatments, ultimately improving the overall health and well-being of individuals in need.Can you highlight some of the key challenges JDC has faced in its journey and how has the foundation overcome these obstacles to continue its philanthropic work?Ans. Thank you for highlighting our impactful initiatives. Initially, JDC Charity commenced its projects in a limited capacity, primarily focusing on addressing urgent needs during flood disasters. With the unwavering support of our dedicated supporters, we expanded our efforts to establish free emergency dispensaries, dialysis centers, diagnostic labs, and conduct medical camps. This collaborative approach has allowed us to make a more profound and lasting impact on the overall health and well-being of the local community.Tell us about international Free Lab. Can you provide details on how the free blood tests initiative will be implement, including the target details on how the free blood tests initiative will be implemented, including the target demographic, geographic reach, and the specific types test that will be offered?Among our various healthcare initiatives JDC Foundation takes immense pride in unveiling its state-of-the-art Diagnostic Lab, and what sets these exceptional facilities apart is their resounding promise of being entirely free of charge. Our free diagnostic lab is committed to serving humanity on a daily basis. The implementation of the free blood tests initiative involves targeting diverse demographics, reaching various geographic areas, and offering a wide range of specific tests. We aim to ensure accessibility to vital diagnostic services, promoting early detection, and contributing to the overall health and well-being of individuals across different communities. At JDC Free Lab, our dedicated team of staff and doctors is tirelessly perfecting our systems and services. Soon, our expanded facility will be accessible to all, ensuring top-quality care for a larger community. To ensure unparalleled precision and reliability, we've imported cutting-edge machinery from overseas. We understand the crippling burden that medical expenses can impose on individuals and families. At JDC, we firmly believe that access to quality healthcare is a fundamental right, not an exclusive privilege. By providing these critical services without any financial burden, we aspire to make a significant impact in the lives of those who need it most.There’s humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, Palestine, how do you think organisations worldwide like JDC can contribute at large for the cause and relief of affected Palestinians?In the face of the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and other war-torn countries, organizations worldwide, including JDC as we first taken initiative in Pakistan, and other welfare organizations, can make significant contributions by coordinating efforts to provide essential medical aid, food, shelter, and psychological support. Collaborative initiatives can maximize impact, alleviate suffering, and work towards rebuilding the affected communities, fostering hope and resilience. In particular, focusing on vulnerable groups such as children, women, and the elderly is crucial. Ensuring access to education, healthcare, and safe spaces for children, supporting women's health and empowerment, and providing special care for the elderly are pivotal aspects. Emphasizing the provision of nutritional support, especially through initiatives like supplying tin-packed food, becomes a lifeline, aiming not only to address immediate hunger but also to nourish and sustain the health of those most in need. Together, these efforts strive to bring solace and restore a sense of normalcy to the lives of those affected by the ongoing crises.In what ways do you think Atif Aslam envisions the new initiative contributing to healthcare accessibility and public well-being and are there plans for collaboration with existing healthcare institutions or organizations to maximize impact?Atif Aslam and his wife, Sara Atif, have illuminated the path of generosity with their remarkable donation to our foundation. Their benevolence stands as a beacon, setting a commendable example for philanthropy in the realm of celebrities. Their gracious support marks a momentous milestone, making them the first celebrity donors to our noble cause. We are immensely grateful for the generous contribution of Rs.2,00,00,000/= from Atif Aslam and his wife Sara Atif towards our Free Diagnostic Lab initiative. Their vision aligns with our commitment to enhancing healthcare accessibility and public well-being. With this remarkable support, we aim to collaborate with existing healthcare institutions and organizations, fostering synergies to maximize the impact of our shared goal. Their philanthropy serves as a beacon of inspiration, reflecting a deep commitment to the welfare of our community and the transformative power of collective efforts in the realm of healthcare.How do you think celebrities and people of importance taking part and affiliating themselves with such charitable organization help to reach out more people and do more positive at large for the community?The involvement of celebrities and influential individuals in charitable organizations plays a pivotal role in amplifying the reach and impact of initiatives. Their association not only brings attention to critical causes but also inspires a wider audience to contribute towards positive change. By leveraging their influence, these figures become powerful advocates, creating a ripple effect that extends the outreach of charitable efforts. Their commitment transcends philanthropy, fostering a sense of shared responsibility and unity, ultimately empowering communities and catalyzing transformative change.What future goals and aspirations does JDC Charity have in terms of expanding its impact or introducing new initiative to address emerging needs in the community?In envisioning the future, JDC Foundation aspires to continue expanding its impact by reaching more underserved communities through innovative initiatives. Our goal is to introduce new programs that address emerging needs in healthcare, education, and social welfare. By forging partnerships, leveraging technology, and staying responsive to evolving challenges, we aim to create a sustainable and far-reaching impact, transforming lives and fostering positive change in the communities we serve.

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Leave the beau at home, its Ladies’ Night at The Highmore

Every Wednesday, leave the beau at home. If you’re single, then perhaps the idea of beau at home as well. There is nothing better than a little pre-weekend, before the actual weekend and that too rolling deep with your best girl pack. Time to vibe, and its time to hang with your gal pals — all with a swipe of red lipstick and high dosage of estrogen. Roaring table with positive energy and laughter for days for everyone to hear. Wouldn’t you agree, the coolest groups have women in them, whether that means Spice Girls, Gossip Girl (Serena and Blair!), cast of Bridesmaids or Ms Swift’s endless squad goals with Blake Lively. And whilst you’re at it — dress for the occasion with some Instagram worthy looks.There are plenty of sartorial option that come with Ladies’ night in Doha, all mostly happening on Wednesday — but one new offering that we recently went for and couldn’t but swoon over was Ladies Night at The Highmore at The Waldorf Astoria Lusail. Where I do understand that the group energy has a lot to do with the kind of night you’re going to have — but this place is really something! Taking liberty to say that it was one of the best night outs I’ve had in Doha, actually we’ve had, would be an understatement. The food, the drinks, the weather and the service. Carpe diem!Where toast to “living, laughing and learning” and “having it all” was the order of the night, if you think about The Highmore restless indoor setting — you’re missing out on the balcony set-up they’ve just had.The atmosphere was hypnotic, illuminated by a flurry of flashing lights and pulsating beats that filled the sky. As the night transitioned into the darkest hours, the only thing that truly mattered was the fact that we were dancing the night away together, no one else in mind.In terms of food: Indulging in a culinary delight, our dining experience was a symphony of flavoirs and textures. To kick off the night, we savoured the explosive taste of Dynamite Shrimps, a spicy sensation that left our taste buds tingling with delight. The Jalapeno Poppers, oozing with melted cheese, provided a perfect balance of heat and creaminess. The Garlic Bread, astonishingly soft and reminiscent of a delicate pao bun, melted in our mouths with each bite, leaving a lingering satisfaction. As the crescendo to our meal, we succumbed to the allure of the Death by Chocolate dessert—a decadent concoction featuring gianduja, cocoa sponge, and salted caramel, offering a harmonious blend of rich and sweet and the finale, a Banoffee Pie, showcased layers of caramel, banana, and topped with velvety vanilla bean ice cream, creating a sublime conclusion to our culinary journey. Each dish unfolded a gastronomic story, leaving us satiated and with memories of a remarkable dining experience.There were no smashing hot dates or long-term partners—just the intoxicating thrill of burning beverages, the lush swatches of drinks that mixologist was preparing for us, and the collective surge of estrogen fueling the euphoria within our squad. It was an experience that had seemed almost impossible in the past five years, the time I’ve been in Doha for, but we made sure to make this night out count by pulling out all the stops—no holding back.For those seeking assistance in ensuring their evening plans are foolproof, The Highmore team always have your backs. They curate a selection of drinks, offerings that keep you feeling spritzed up throughout the night. With everything set in place, all that was left for us and our girl friends was to bust out our best moves until the thought of work the next day broke the news.No matter what you wear, once your whirlwind night is over, you’ll never feel better heading home with your best female friends on your arm—and a stellar outfit to match.

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Flavourful Alchemy in London: Revelations from Frog by Adam Handling

Nestled in the beating heart of London's West End, Frog Covent Garden stands proudly as the pièce de résistance of Adam Handling's culinary empire—an establishment that had long held a coveted spot on my must-visit list. For the uninitiated, Adam Handling, a distinguished chef and restaurateur in the UK, made his mark as a finalist on Masterchef: The Professionals. In his own words, "frogs live in water, so they are either going to sink or swim. Frog is what I will call my restaurant, as this is my test." The verdict? The frog not only swam but soared to the pinnacle of acclaim, clinching its first Michelin Star in the illustrious year of 2022!My rendezvous with Frog by Adam Handling unfolded unexpectedly, turning what was meant for a special occasion into an impromptu soirée with a dear friend. It was a day of bonding and catching up, spilling the tea, quite literally, on my recent engagement in London. Serendipity favoured us as we secured a table on a nondescript weekday afternoon, thanks to the team at Frog for how they accommodated knowing it’s a short trip for me to London and I might not be able to try my ‘on top of list’ restaurant for the next few months until I visit again. The restaurant's exterior, adorned with beautiful flowers, and its brassy interiors cast an immediate spell. Despite the high echelons it occupies, Frog exudes an unexpectedly laid-back ambiance. Each table, strategically arranged to face the luminous expanse of the open kitchen, invites patrons to revel in the culinary spectacle unfolding before their eyes. It is the meticulous attention to detail that elevates the experience, from the warm towels graciously offered upon arrival to the thoughtful provision of a petite chair for my friend’s bag—an embodiment of the establishment's commitment to unparalleled hospitality. The staff, in their gracious demeanor, further elevated the entire affair, ensuring that every nuance of the dining experience was nothing short of exceptional.Set against pristine white walls and illuminated by vintage filament globes, the restaurant's design seamlessly incorporates reclaimed timber flooring, sleek dark marble tables and an ensemble of delicate glassware adorning the tabletops. Accompanied by luxuriously padded dining chairs, the ambiance at Frog by Adam Handling exudes an inviting comfort.A delightful detail catches my eye: the wines are nestled within two expansive copper coolers. This imparts an atmosphere of inviting warmth, a snug and convivial camaraderie.Frog's menu draws inspiration from the vibrant tapestry of London, weaving a narrative of theatrical delight to craft an innovative contemporary British culinary experience. In this vast and diverse city, just like Doha, where myriad influences converge, each dish on the menu is a canvas painted with emotional resonance.Moreover, the restaurant takes pride in its commitment to a zero-waste ethos—an ethos that transcends mere proclamation and is seamlessly interwoven into every dish served throughout the afternoon. In a meticulous dance of culinary craftsmanship, every ingredient is utilised to its fullest potential, from trims to off-cuts, leaving no room for the customary discarding of parts.Snacking our way:The moment you’re seated, whilst you’re just sipping on the premium beverage, settling in, watching the head chef do his magic right infront of you in the kitchen, comes little charm bombs in the form of pretty little snacks. Starting with pumpkin caviar tart, which despite its pumpkin essence, really was light on my palette. I was pleased with this tartlet, and a testimony to the amazing food that awaits us till the end of the afternoon.We were then tantalized by the Crispy Black Cod Skin Cracker, a visually stunning creation adorned with meticulously placed marigold flowers. Crafted with dried cod skin and a whipped cod’s roe emulsion, each bite delivered a savory seafood essence, reminiscent of seaweed crackers but elevated with a touch of finesse. Following this visual and flavorful delight, the Kimchi Beef Tartare took center stage as the pinnacle of our starter experience. Utilizing aged Highland Wagyu beef, the tartare was impeccably dressed with pickles, capers, chives, and chili, all wrapped in a delicate Feuille de brick tube and crowned with a kimchi emulsion. This dish proved to be a personal favourite, especially for someone who is very particular about the kind of meat I usually consumer. This Kimchi Tartare offered a burst of umami that awakened the taste buds. The exquisite layering of textures, from the outer crunch to the buttery richness within, culminated in a truly sensational culinary experience. Served back-to-back, these starters showcased the chef's artistry in crafting dishes that not only delighted the palate but also told a story with each bite.The next up:Introducing the next course, we were presented with the signature Chicken Butter & Bread. Delving into this offering, two large sourdough loaves were generously shared among the two of us, accompanied by a chicken stock-infused butter adorned with crispy chicken skin. The butter also featured a delightful combination of chicken liver parfait and chicken wings stuffed with a flavorful chicken and tarragon mousse.Commencing with the sourdough, its freshly baked perfection manifested in a beautiful crust and an airy texture. However, the chicken butter, though richly savory and undeniably unique, fell just short of the anticipated "oomph." But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t pleasant for the palette. It was! It was just that every course had really upped our expectations for the flavours bursting in our mouth.Completing the course were chicken wings stuffed with chicken and tarragon mousse, presenting tender meat lightly seasoned with fresh herbs. In contrast to the bold flavors of the chicken butter and liver parfait, this offering leaned towards subtlety. While delightful, it made an indelible impression on the palate, standing out as a truly memorable highlight of the menu.The dancing flavours:Presenting the next indulgence, The Sturgeon graced our senses—an artfully crafted heart-shaped waffle adorned with caviar, sturgeon emulsion, and a drizzle of maple syrup upon its grand entrance. This dish paid homage to the entirety of the sturgeon fish, ingeniously utilising every facet. Following the delicate extraction of caviar, the residual fish meat underwent a meticulous process of curing and hot smoking, eventually intertwining with fermented cream. In a delightful dance of flavours, the creation proved to be a playful and intriguing symphony, weaving together the salty, fishy, and sweet notes. The essence of the fishy undertones primarily emanated from the fermented cream, while the caviar introduced a luscious buttery richness. A masterstroke was the inclusion of maple syrup, skillfully employed to harmonize and counterbalance the potential overwhelming nature of the fishy flavors, adding a touch of sweetness to the culinary ensemble.How tangy:Frog by Adam Handling effortlessly achieves perfection in the art of preparing lobster tails, and the Roasted Lemon, Lobster & Chilli is a testament to that mastery. The lobster tail, cooked to perfection, boasts a tender al dente texture, remaining delicately opaque at its centre. Its flavours were a symphony of lightness and mildness, adorned with a subtle natural sweetness that harmonised seamlessly with the airy lobster foam crowning it. This culinary creation was a testament to impeccable harmony, where each element of the dish contributed to a flawless and delectable flavour combination.Gastronomic artistry:The perfectly cooked pigeon was a demonstration of culinary finesse, with a succulent texture and a rich, gamey flavour that captivated the palate. The hen of the woods mushrooms added an earthy dimension, complementing the pigeon's robust taste. The black garlic introduced a subtle sweetness, creating a symphony of flavours that danced on the taste buds. Each element was thoughtfully curated, resulting in a dish that transcended expectations. Frog by Adam Handling excels in elevating ingredients, and this dish is a true embodiment of gastronomic artistry.The main performance:Now the main for me: Indulging in the Wagyu beef with black truffle and bone marrow was an extraordinary journey into gastronomic excellence. The Wagyu, cooked to perfection, boasted a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness that was a testament to culinary mastery. Each bite unveiled layers of flavour, with the richness of the beef harmonising seamlessly with the earthy, aromatic notes of black truffle. The inclusion of bone marrow added a decadent dimension, enhancing the dish's lusciousness. This culinary ensemble was not merely a meal; it was an opulent experience, where each element contributed to a symphony of indulgence. Adam wasn’t in the kitchen for us, but he really was!The sweet notes:Embarking on the yoghurt, lemon thyme, and citrus was a refreshing divergence into the realms of culinary innovation. The yoghurt base brought a velvety, tangy note, serving as a perfect canvas for the delicate infusion of lemon thyme. The herbal essence wove elegantly through each spoonful, elevating the dessert with a harmonious blend of citrusy brightness and earthy undertones. The citrus elements, thoughtfully incorporated, provided a burst of zesty freshness that enlivens the palate. Moments before settling the bill, a delightful touch awaited us: a selection of petit fours gracefully concluded our afternoon. Arriving in an elegant box, the assortment featured enchanting chocolate frogs, dainty choux pastries, and delectable chocolate bonbons, alongside a yuzu and rhubarb jelly. Each petite indulgence showcased a refined interplay of flavors, adding a sweet note of sophistication to the conclusion of our dining experience.Frog by Adam Handling: where the plates are as impeccably styled as the Londoners, and the flavours whisper secrets only the privileged palate can decode. You know you love it. Frog is a confident, beautiful triumph. And I couldn’t be happier I could try this master-stroke of a restaurant! Here’s to the next time, hoping to dine with Adam himself! Xx

Red Bull's Max Verstappen and McLaren's Lando Norris in action during the sprint race. (Reuters)
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F1: The adrenaline rush, up-close and personal

In the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, where the golden dunes meet the glistening Persian Gulf, I found myself in the midst of history, standing at the threshold of my very first Formula 1 race. The Qatar Grand Prix of 2023 was more than a sporting event; it was a symphony of speed, a ballet of technology, and an experience that set my heart racing faster than any engine on the grid. If I look back, to my early childhood or perhaps when I was in college, I would not even fathom standing at the Paddock, witnessing a moment of history making.As I made my way through the gates of the Lusail International Circuit, the anticipation hung in the air like a crescendo before a musical masterpiece. The atmosphere was electric, buzzing with the excitement of thousands of spectators who, like me, were about to witness the pinnacle of motorsport. The desert winds carried with them the unmistakable scent of burning rubber and high-octane fuel, a sensory prelude to the exhilaration that awaited us all.The moment the engines roared to life, it was as if the world itself had joined the chorus of excitement. The visceral growl of the Formula 1 cars echoed through the grandstands, vibrating through every bone in my body. The deafening roar was not just a sound; it was an adrenaline rush, a sonic wave that encapsulated the very essence of speed. In that instant, I knew I was in for an unforgettable experience.As the lights dimmed and the race began, I was spellbound by the spectacle unfolding before me. The cars, with their vibrant liveries and sleek designs, shot down the straight like bullets fired from a starting gun. Each corner was a ballet of precision, as drivers navigated their machines with the grace of dancers, all while pushing their limits at breakneck speeds.But it was the moment when the cars jostled for position, fighting wheel-to-wheel for that crucial overtake, that truly left me breathless. The scene of cars taking over each other with a lightning-fast maneuver, inches away from catastrophe, was a testament to the skill and audacity of these modern-day gladiators. The adrenaline surged through me as I watched, my heart pounding in rhythm with the roaring engines.As a journalist, I've always strived to maintain impartiality and ethical standards in my coverage for any sport or event, refraining from openly supporting any specific team or driver. However, as I stood there, amidst the sea of racing fans, I couldn't help but rot for a certain scarlet-clad driver, Charles Leclerc. I was all eyes on his every move on the track, every daring overtake and strategic pit stop. Deep down, there was a part of me silently cheering for the Ferrari driver, appreciating his finesse and determination.Yet, amidst my admiration for Leclerc, I couldn't deny the sheer brilliance of Max Verstappen's victory. It was nothing short of iconic, a testament to his tenacity and skill. Verstappen's triumph on that historic day would be etched into the annals of Formula 1 history, a moment that showcased the relentless spirit of a true racing champion. While my journalistic ethics demanded neutrality, I couldn't help but appreciate the thrill and unpredictability that Verstappen brought to the sport, reminding me once again why Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport.The Qatar Grand Prix 2023 was not just about the thrill of the race; it was also an ode to luxury and opulence. Nestled in the heart of the Lusail International Circuit, the hospitality premiere section by W Doha offered an oasis of indulgence amidst the high-octane action. As I stepped into this exclusive enclave, I was greeted by a world of sophistication and glamour.The catering by W Doha was a culinary symphony, a fusion of international flavors and local delicacies that tantalized the taste buds. From the succulent baby chicken to the delicate saffron-infused desserts, every dish was a work of art.In the midst of all the glamour and excitement, it was impossible not to be swept away by the sheer speed of the Formula 1 cars. They tore through the asphalt like shooting stars, leaving behind a trail of sound and fury. The wind whipped through my hair, and I could feel the vibrations of the engines resonating in my chest as they zoomed past.As the race entered its final laps, the tension in the air was palpable. Every pit stop, every overtaking maneuver, held the potential to alter the course of history.Attending the Qatar Grand Prix 2023 was an experience that transcended mere sport. It was a rendezvous with adrenaline, a sensory symphony of speed, and a glimpse into a world where technology and human skill converged in a breathtaking display of excellence. As I left the Lusail International Circuit, I carried with me not just memories of a race, but a profound appreciation for the artistry of Formula 1 and the unbridled thrill it brings to those lucky enough to witness it.

Gulf Times
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Spice Market at W Doha: Southeast Asian flavours in contemporary elegance

At the heart of the W Doha, Spice Market unfurls as an exotic tapestry, weaving together the vibrant flavours of Southeast Asia with the chic and contemporary elegance that W Hotels are renowned for. My recent visit to this culinary haven, where every dish is a passport to the spices and aromas of the East, was an adventure that delighted the senses and elevated my palate.As I entered the enchanting world of Spice Market, the restaurant's interior transported me to the bustling bazaars of Southeast Asia. The décor, a harmonious blend of warm hues and intricate textures, set the stage for a dining experience that promised to be nothing short of extraordinary.For our voyage through the Spice Market, we opted for the set Lunch Menu, a remarkable value at QR98. Our culinary journey began with a tantalizing trio of starters. The Chicken Coconut Soup, a fragrant coconut broth punctuated with spring onions, was a warm embrace for the palate. With each spoonful, I was transported to a tropical paradise, where the coconut's sweetness danced in harmony with the savory notes. The Market Salad, a vibrant ensemble of cherry tomatoes, radish, and sesame vinaigrette, was a refreshing interlude. The colours and textures were a celebration of freshness, and the sesame vinaigrette added an aromatic and nutty undertone that elevated the dish.The Chicken Skewer, served with a decadent peanut dipping sauce, was a succulent delight. The tender chicken, infused with the smoky flavors of the grill, harmonized perfectly with the rich and creamy peanut sauce. Each bite was a tantalizing combination of savory and nutty, a dance of flavors on the palate.For the main course, we had the Baked Miso Salmon, a true masterpiece. The salmon, baked to perfection, was adorned with wok-charred mushrooms and asparagus. The miso glaze added a sweet and umami-rich dimension to the dish, and each bite of salmon was a silky, flavorful revelation. The Chicken Pad Thai, a classic of Thai cuisine, was another triumph. The tender chicken, tangled amidst rice noodles, tofu, and a tamarind-infused sauce, was a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and savory. It was a dish that captured the essence of Thai street food, an explosion of flavors in every bite.To conclude our culinary voyage, we savoured the Japanese Cheese Cake, a velvety and delicate creation that melted in the mouth. It was a perfect balance of sweetness and lightness, a dessert that left us craving for more. The Cold Selection of ice cream sorbet, flavoured with zesty lemon, provided a refreshing and citrusy finish to our afternoon.Apart from the set Lunch Menu, we also indulged in the Sushi Bento Express, a feast of Japanese delights that elevated our culinary adventure. The Miso Soup, a traditional starter, set the tone with its comforting warmth. The Tuna Taki with sushi rice and ponzu was a symphony of textures and flavors, with the tuna's freshness shining through.The Salmon Katsu, a crispy and succulent creation, was a testament to the art of Japanese frying. The California Sushi Rolls and Spicy Tuna Rolls were bite-sized delights that showcased the precision and creativity of the sushi chefs.Spice Market at W Doha is not just a restaurant; it is a culinary voyage that transports diners to the vibrant and aromatic landscapes of Southeast Asia and Japan. Every dish is a testament to the dedication to authenticity and the mastery of flavors. It was an afternoon where each course unveiled a new facet of culinary excellence, leaving an indelible mark on my palate. Spice Market is a destination for those who seek an exploration of the senses through food, an unforgettable odyssey through the Spice Routes.

Gulf Times
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Chateau Denmark London: Where rock meets revelry in the heart of the city

In a city where the extraordinary is the ordinary, Chateau Denmark located at the Denmark Street, a street that has been associated with British popular music, first via publishers and later by recording studios and music shops since 1950’s, emerges as a defiant emblem of London's unparalleled spirit. My recent escapade within this rock-inspired sanctuary transcended the conventional notion of a hotel stay, inviting me to explore a world where every corner resonated with the vivacity of London's nightlife. The street at which the hotel is located is so iconic to the music industry itself. The Rolling Stones recorded at Regent Sound Studio at No. 4 and popular musicians, including David Bowie and the Small Faces, often socialised in the Gioconda café at No. 9. Elton John and Bernie Taupin wrote songs at offices on the street in the 1960s, while the Sex Pistols lived above No. 6, and recorded their first demos there.Stepping through the doors of Chateau Denmark, one is immediately struck by its audacious and avant-garde aesthetics. This is not just a hotel; it's a haven for the bold and adventurous, a deliberate departure from the mundane. Instead of the customary subdued hues, Chateau Denmark dares to embrace daring patterns and audacious design elements. It's a bold declaration of intent—a promise of an experience that mirrors the very essence of London.My room, called Hello Stranger, a haven of rock-star extravagance, was an experience that lingered long after my stay. It was as if the design had drawn inspiration from the frenetic energy of a backstage area before a rock concert. The sleek wardrobe, crowned with a cross reminiscent of a confession booth, added an unexpected touch of irreverence. The wallpaper, adorned with edgy skull patterns, whispered tales of rebellion and liberation.Yet, the pièce de résistance awaited just beyond the entrance—a colossal marble bathtub, dipped in a daring shade of blood red. It stood as a statement piece, an homage to the hotel's audacious character. Beside it, a compact but fully stocked bar, offering premium beverages and the promise of an on-demand butler and bartender, available 24/7. This was not just a room; it was an invitation to revel, to throw heavy-duty parties with friends, or to indulge in solitary rock-star fantasies.The Chateau Denmark experience extended far beyond the confines of my room. The concept of a townhouse hotel made me feel like a privileged resident of London—a temporary member of the city's elite. The personalised service was a testament to the hotel's commitment to ensuring that every whim was met with the utmost discretion. It was a nod to London's storied legacy of exclusivity.For those in search of a gastronomic adventure unlike any other, the hotel's bar, aptly named Thirteen, stood as a bastion of eclectic cuisine. Its specialisation in sushi and Japanese food was an unexpected twist that added to the hotel's enigmatic allure. The enormous chain murals that adorned its windows acted as a visual testament to the rebellious spirit that defined the essence of Chateau Denmark.The hotel's soundproof rooms, equipped with speakers that could rival those found in a nightclub, allowed me to partake in London's vibrant nightlife without ever leaving the sanctuary of my room. It was a fusion of convenience and indulgence, a testament to the hotel's dedication to ensuring that every guest's stay was both memorable and personal.In essence, Chateau Denmark London is not merely a hotel; it's an odyssey into the very heart of London's rebellious soul. It extends an invitation to embrace the vivacious spirit of the city, to explore its hidden enclaves, and to revel in the heartbeat of its nightlife. From the bold interiors that defy convention to the audacious room design that blurs the line between luxury and rebellion, every element of the hotel exudes London's undeniable charisma.As I reluctantly left Chateau Denmark, I carried with me not just the memories of an exceptional stay, but also a profound appreciation for a hotel that recognizes the essence of modern luxury lies in personalized experiences. My sojourn in this rock-inspired haven had resonated with my inner rock star, offering a journey into the heart of London's vibrant spirit. Chateau Denmark, thank you for an experience that was as unforgettable as the city itself.There are those who got burned by the heat. They just want to forget and start over. While there are others who want each moment to last forever. But everyone can agree on one thing: tans fade, highlights go dark and we all get sick of sand in our shoes. But the end of summer is the beginning of a new season: Autumn and Fall. So we find ourselves looking to the future. This place is just the right one to keep you warm. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Bisou Bisou.Visit chateaudenmark.com for bookings and more information.

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Beyond expectations: Turkish Airlines Business Class reimagined

In a world where luxury has become synonymous with ostentation, Turkish Airlines offers a refreshing perspective on opulent travel. My recent journey in their business class cabin was more than just an air travel; but a lavish experience that elevated the very notion of flying. From the impeccable service to the sophisticated amenities, Turkish Airlines presents a paragon of high-altitude indulgence.The journey commenced as I stepped aboard the Turkish Airlines business class cabin, a realm where understated elegance reigns supreme. The interior design was all about luxe and comfort, exuding a sense of sophistication that was both welcoming and enchanting. The seats, swathed in sumptuous grey leather, cradled passengers in plush comfort—a cocoon of reprieve amidst the clouds. Get that blanket from the crew and you'd be sleeping in a minute, quite literally.One cannot help but admire Turkish Airlines' commitment to detail—a hallmark of their exceptional service. The cabin crew embodied a level of professionalism that is as reassuring as it is unobtrusive. Having cabin crew friends in Doha, it was heartening to see how much effort the crew possess. Standing on feet for hours whilst anticipating passengers' needs, a testament to the airline's dedication to providing a tailored experience for each traveller.But what truly sets Turkish Airlines apart is their gastronomic prowess. It was a culinary odyssey, a fusion of tradition and innovation. From delectable Turkish mezes to gourmet dishes, every offering was a revelation for the palate. Even if you don't have a stop-over in Turkey and have never tasted Turkish food, this is your cue. And if you've tasted their menu on board you'd be inclined to have that stop-over, quite lioterally just for the food experience that Turkey as a whole has to offer: an artful dining.However, the opulence didn't stop at the dining table. Turkish Airlines partnered with Salvatore Ferragamo to provide amenities that exuded luxe. It was a tactile experience that elevated the overnight journey to one of sensory indulgence. The amenities, replete with Salvatore Ferragamo products, left a lingering scent of sophistication and elegance. Confession: the amenities left are now resting at my dressing table, because I couldn't just over the scent of its Ferragamo moisturiser.Turkish Airlines understands the importance of connectivity in today's world. Their state-of-the-art entertainment system is a treasure trove of options, offering a diverse range of entertainment for every taste. The airline's commitment to keeping passengers connected extends to in-flight Wi-Fi, a boon for those who wish to remain plugged in even at 35,000 feet. And for music aficionados like myself, Turkish Airlines offers the delightful opportunity to access Taylor Swift's album—a melodic companion to the journey.As the flight neared its conclusion, I couldn't help but reflect on the journey. The luxurious experience aboard Turkish Airlines business class was a testament to the airline's ethos—a commitment to crafting moments that transcend the ordinary. Their dedication to passenger comfort, impeccable service, and gastronomic excellence had left an indelible mark.Turkish Airlines business class is not just a mode of transportation; it's an elevated experience that transcends the boundaries of traditional luxury travel. It's a reminder that opulence can be understated, that service can be both impeccable and unobtrusive. As I disembarked from my Turkish Airlines flight at Manchester Airport, I carried with me not only the memories of a lavish journey but also a profound appreciation for an airline that goes the extra mile to make every moment in the air extraordinary. Turkish Airlines, thank you for a journey that was as remarkable as the destination itself.To the twist in my travel tale: Originally planned to return from Manchester, my journey took an unexpected turn due to a train strike in the UK. Unable to take the train from London to Manchester, I found myself in a predicament. It was then that the Turkish Airlines team displayed an exceptional level of customer service, helping me swiftly change my flight to Heathrow Airport. It was a seamless transition that exemplified their commitment to ensuring passengers' convenience—a gesture that spoke volumes about the airline's dedication to their travellers.