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    9 accounts to follow on Instagram this month for the ultimate winter escape


    by Sarah Joseph
    3 hours ago

    Instagram is one of the most-sought after platform for beauty, fashion and travel hacks.
    If you’re on the lookout for accounts to follow for inspiration, Emirates Woman has curated a list of all the must-follow accounts for all the winter hacks.
    Directional accessories for party season.
    Rolls-Royce Motor Cars@rollsroycecars

    Next level quality.
    Parisian dining at its best.
    Charlotte Tilbury@charlottetilburyarabia

    Flawless makeup for the perfect filtered look
    Nadine Merabi@nadinemerabi

    Statement ready-to-wear pieces for party season and beyond.
    Browns Fashion@brownsfashion

    A heritage brand with exceptional taste.
    Julie Lemke@julielemkeskin

    THE party season prep.

    Distinctive timepieces that make a smart investment.
    Gucci Beauty@guccibeauty
    Bold fragrances that make an entrance.
    December – The Winter Escape Issue with Rolls Royce  – Download Now
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Supplied More

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    Managing Director at Raffles The Palm on the ever-evolving hospitality industry in Dubai

    Nestled gracefully on the iconic Palm Jumeirah, Raffles The Palm Dubai emerges as a haven of luxury, seamlessly blending modern opulence with the timeless charm of Arabian hospitality.
    The resort’s architecture is a spectacle in itself, offering stunning views of both the Arabian Gulf and the dynamic Dubai skyline. Each meticulously designed room and suite is a testament to the fusion of contemporary aesthetics and traditional Arabian influences, providing guests with a truly immersive experience.
    In a deatiled conversation, Ayman Gharib, Managing Director at Raffles The Palm Dubai, Area General Manager at Raffles Seychelles and Raffles Bahrain, talks to Emirates Man about the luxury property’s rebranding in 2021, it’s position in the Dubai hospitality scene and what’s the plan for future when it comes to eco-friendly practices and responsible tourism.
    Can you share insights into your nearly three-decade journey in luxury hospitality, particularly your significant roles at Raffles?
    Throughout my career, I had the privilege of contributing to the dynamic and complex landscape of luxury hospitality in various prominent roles. I joined Raffles in 2009, initially leading Food & Beverage operations at Raffles Dubai. Here, I learned the intricacies of delivering memorable experiences to guests, allowing me to understand the essence of hospitality and setting the tone for my career growth. By 2011, I was given the chance to prove myself as Hotel Manager, a significant milestone in my career. As my career progressed, I took on roles of increasing responsibility, and the journey reached new heights with my appointment as General Manager at Raffles Dubai in 2014. Subsequently, in 2017, I undertook the challenge of the pre-opening phase of Sofitel Obelisk, earning the title of Managing Director. These experiences allowed me to navigate the complexity of the industry and enriched my expertise in delivering impeccable experiences to a discerning audience. I have been fortunate to witness the evolution of the hospitality industry, adapting to increasingly sophisticated and knowledgeable travellers and evolving global trends. Throughout my time at Raffles, I have endeavoured to embody leadership, adaptability, and a commitment to excellence, contributing to the success of every project I led. I aspire to create a legacy of excellence at Raffles and the luxury hospitality sector.
    How did your leadership style contribute to your rise from Food & Beverage operations to the position of Managing Director at Raffles The Palm Dubai?
    In the early stages of my career in Food and Beverage, I focused on cultivating collaboration, empowerment and commitment to excellence. A strong team is the backbone of a successful hospitality establishment, and leading with adaptability and a genuine focus on people, I attained positive outcomes during my tenure in Food and Beverage. As I transitioned into broader leadership roles, I maintained an inclusive and strategic leadership style, aligning departmental goals with business objectives. Upon becoming Managing Director at Raffles The Palm Dubai, my leadership style evolved to encompass a holistic view of hospitality operations. I implemented strategic initiatives to uphold the brand’s commitment to luxury and exceptional service. In this role, cultivating a collaborative and positive culture and making strategic financial decisions were key factors in contributing to the property’s success.

    As the Managing Director of Raffles The Palm Dubai, what strategies did you employ for the property’s rebranding and repositioning in 2021?
    As Managing Director at Raffles The Palm Dubai, I navigated this exciting journey focusing on enhancing guest experiences. We implemented strategies to elevate the property’s profile, ensuring alignment with evolving consumer trends. We expanded accommodations, introduced gourmet F&B outlets to elevate the culinary offering, enhanced the menu of our luxurious spa, and implemented a robust sales and marketing strategy to enhance visibility and drive business. The goal? To transform the property into an iconic destination, and trust me, the results speak for themselves.

    With added responsibilities in 2023, overseeing Raffles Seychelles and the upcoming Raffles Bahrain, how do you plan to leverage your experience for the growth of these properties?
    Drawing from my multi-property management experience, I plan to contribute to their success on an international scale, reflecting my passion for leading diverse teams to excellence. Throughout my career journey, I obtained invaluable insights into the luxury hospitality sector and a wealth of experience that I am eager to channel into the growth of the properties. I aim to streamline processes, fostering efficiency and collaboration. In tandem with operational refinement, my vision includes the implementation of strategic plans tailored to each property’s unique strengths and the demands of their respective markets.
    Can you highlight key achievements and unique features of Raffles The Palm Dubai under your leadership, including the growth in accommodations, F&B outlets, spa, and event spaces?
    Since the grand opening, Raffles The Palm Dubai has seen quite the success. We secured a top spot on Trip Advisor, witnessed substantial profit growth, and raised the stakes with 387 luxury accommodations, seven top-notch F&B spots, a Club Lounge, a luxurious spa, and vast event spaces. It’s all about upholding the utmost standards of quality and service, ensuring an experience that stands the test of time. The impeccable service provided at Raffles The Palm Dubai is widely recognized and appreciated by our discerning guests, and in 2023, we were voted as the 2nd Best Resort in the region according to Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.
    What challenges did you face during the various phases of your career, and how did you overcome them to achieve your current leadership position?
    In the early stages of my career, navigating the dynamic hospitality landscape was a significant challenge. As travellers increasingly seek unique experiences, ensuring our offerings meet elevated expectations becomes crucial. This involved innovating services and amenities, crafting even more personalised experiences that resonate with individual preferences and create lasting memories. Managing multi-property operations presented unique complexities where balancing the diverse demands of different locations while maintaining consistent standards across properties required a nuanced and strategic approach. Hospitality is an ever-changing industry, so adopting a people-focused approach through building resilient teams, fostering adaptability, and maintaining clear communication was essential. With that in mind, staying attuned to industry trends and data, enables us to anticipate demand but also provides an insightful understanding of the contemporary consumer’s preferences. It’s a commitment to not only keeping pace with change but also being at the forefront, setting the standard for what discerning guests expect from an ultra-luxury hospitality experience. I believe that each challenge served as an opportunity for growth, contributing significantly to my journey and culminating in my current leadership position.

    In the ever-evolving hospitality industry, how do you stay updated on the latest trends and technologies to enhance guest satisfaction?
    Staying abreast of the latest trends and technologies is crucial for enhancing guest satisfaction. I prioritise continuous learning by actively reading industry publications, attending relevant business trips, and participating in city events. Additionally, I foster a culture of innovation within my teams, encouraging them to share insights and ideas. Collaborating with travel experts and staying connected with other industry leaders helps me remain informed about emerging trends and advancements. This proactive approach ensures that our properties at Raffles are equipped with the latest technologies and trends, ultimately enhancing the overall guest experience. Moreover, recognising the importance of guest feedback on platforms such as TripAdvisor, Google, and others is integral to understanding modern consumers’ preferences. Analysing and incorporating this feedback provides valuable insights into guest expectations, allowing us to tailor our offerings and services to align with contemporary preferences. We are proud to have a multicultural team, and knowing that it is the foundation of understanding consumer behaviours, adds depth to the beauty of hospitality. The diverse perspectives within our team contribute to a nuanced understanding of cultural preferences, enabling us to create a more inclusive and personalised experience for our guests. This cultural richness is not just a facet of our team; it’s a fundamental element that enhances the warmth and authenticity of hospitality.
    With sustainability gaining importance, how does your hotel implement eco-friendly practices and contribute to responsible tourism?
    Since the hotel’s opening, we have kept sustainability practices at the core of our operational decisions. We are proud to be the first ultra-luxury hotel in the UAE to receive the ISO 14001:2015 certification for our Environmental Management System in 2021. Our commitment extends to water conservation through efficient landscaping and recycling, along with the elimination of single-use plastics from guest room amenities and access cards. We have even launched an in-house water bottling project. In our food and beverage outlets, we prioritise sustainability by sourcing local, seasonal ingredients, and supporting the ecosystem and local businesses while minimising our carbon footprint. Partnering with Neutral Fuel LLC to recycle used cooking oil into biofuel further underscores our dedication to eco-friendly practices. To round off the efforts, we recently formed a Sustainability Committee comprising our most dedicated colleagues. This collaborative effort aims to identify and implement innovative ideas to ensure continuous improvement in our environmentally friendly practices. These practices solidify our position as leaders in sustainable hospitality and champions of responsible tourism.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Supplied by @rafflespalmdubai More

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    Long weekend: 8 of the best hotels to book for a much-needed escape


    by Sarah Joseph
    3 hours ago

    If you’re looking to take a break over the long weekend or even extend your holiday to make a trip out of it, we’re here to help.
    There is a myriad of sophisticated properties around the globe, that will ensure you switch-off and feel rejuvenate before we’re back again for the last month of the year.
    From tailor-made butler services to overwater bungalows, it’s never too late to book a quick escape this weekend for utmost relaxation.
    With the UAE declaring a three-day public holiday for both public and private sectors this weekend, it’s time to start booking.

    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Instagram & Feature Image: Instagram @rheaneelraheja More

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    Essential Gear For Any Active Vacay

    If your idea of a perfect getaway involves a bit more adrenaline and a lot less lounging, then join the club. Chamain van Zyl, our online editor and hiking enthusiast, knows the drill: “Spontaneous bushveld strolls and local trail scouting? Count me in!”

    Plus, a foray into nature reaps health benefits, too. In a 2020 study published in the Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, researchers discovered a significant correlation between outdoor mindfulness and two key components of human well-being: positivity and life satisfaction. The study underscores the impact of mindful experiences in natural settings on individuals’ emotional well-being and overall life contentment. So, if you’re still wondering why you should hit the trails and discover the great outdoors, these articles might help:

    Beyond the basics

    We’ve crafted a guide for your upcoming adventure—packed with action cameras, versatile gear and all the outdoor essentials you never knew you needed. Happy shopping!

    Hiking or Trail Running

    GoPro Hero 10 Black

    Capture the heart-pounding moments of your hiking, running, surfing, cycling and all the epic adventures with the GoPro Hero 10. Don’t miss a single second of the action!

    Garmin vívoactive® 5

    Keep a vigilant eye on your body battery this holiday season. Remember to prioritise much-needed rest and recovery after each exhilarating session. Your body’s your most valuable adventure tool!

    Salomon Active Skin 8 

    Whether it’s a quick run or a day-long hike, this hydration vest offers ultimate comfort with its soft, snug fit and breathability. Plus, enjoy modular storage and clever chest pockets for quick access to your flasks.

    USN Vooma Bar Almond & Honey Nougat

    Get hooked on these delectable USN nougat bars! Not only do they taste AMAZING, but they also give you the ‘vooma’ you need during your action-packed activities. It’s the perfect on-the-go fuel!

    PUMA X Liberty Women’s Crop Top

    It’s not just about hiking; it’s about hiking in both style and comfort. A sports bra ensures the utmost support for your adventure. After all, we need to look after the girls on any trip!

    READ MORE: 3 Things To Look For When Buying A Hiking Backpack (Plus, 8 Amazing Ones To Buy Right Now)

    Women’s UA RUSH™ Energy 2.0 Short Sleeve

    This top not only fits like a dream, but it helps you stay dry, stay energised and conquer every PB on your journey!

    Ladies X-Trail Waterproof Running Jacket

    Don’t let unpredictable weather keep you from the trails. Stay cool, dry and protected with the Ladies X-Trail lightweight jacket. It’s designed for the most demanding conditions and easily packs into your hydration pack. Be unstoppable, rain or shine!

    Kitchen Think Gadget Set

    Marshmallow on a stick is so last season. For the outdoor foodie, this self-stacking nesting gadget set is a game-changer. Enjoy brie and fig sarmies on your hike with a swivel peeler, mini grater, pizza cutter, bottle opener and grinder.

    adidas Terrex Speed Flow Trail Running Shoes

    Your adventure’s best friend. Designed for racing on any terrain and in all conditions, these shoes offer comfort and grip with a breathable mesh upper and a cushioned, lightweight midsole. Stay sure-footed on wet rocks and roots with the Continental™ Rubber outsole.

    Falke Silver Cushion Runner

    Never underestimate the importance of quality socks. Choose the right fit, just like the right shoes, for a blister-free experience.

    READ MORE: 24 Best Fitness Gifts For The Gym Lover In Your Life

    Thule AllTrail X 15L

    Whether you’re hauling snacks, jackets, or more, this versatile waxed canvas backpack can handle it all. It’s equally at home on the trail as it is in the city, ensuring you’re ready for any adventure that comes your way.

    Women’s UA Run Elite 2-in-1 Shorts

    What’s an adventure without comfy shorts? These have an expandable pocket to secure your phone without the bounce, making them perfect for runners who like to stay connected.

    Mountain Biking

    Specialized Women’s Camber Comp Carbon

    You cannot go wrong with Specialized! This bike is designed to give women the ultimate trail experience, offering speed, efficiency, and assured handling both uphill and downhill. Get ready to ride like never before!

    Assos® Uma GT Evo | Women’s Half Shorts

    “I prefer shorts over bib shorts, it’s just easier to get out of when nature calls. [chuckles]” says Chamain van Zyl, Digital Editor. Picking the right pair of cycling shorts is crucial to keep your comfort levels high and your bum happy on those long rides.

    Ciovita Nucleo Sport Fit Cycling Jersey

    Look as cool as your ride while tearing up the trails! The Nucleo Sport Fit Cycling Jersey offers a relaxed sport-fit style with slightly longer sleeves. It also packs an expandable pocket for extra storage, reflective trims for visibility and a secure elasticated back hem. Style and function in one!

    Fizik Ladies Terra Ergolace X2 Mountain Bike Shoe

    These gorgeous mountain bike shoes offer an anatomical fit for ultimate comfort. Plus, they feature an X2 outsole with Vibram grip for superior traction both on and off the bike.

    READ MORE: 10 Reasons Why You Should Take Up Cycling In 2023

    Giro Radix Cycle Helmet

    Safety is non-negotiable! Protect yourself with the Giro Radix Cycle Helmet, built to deliver toughness, protection, durability, and style. Your trusted companion for a thrilling ride through the trails.

    ILoveBoobies Tropical Socks

    Don’t forget to match your kit with cute socks! These tropical socks by I Love Boobies aren’t just adorable; they’re functional and for a fantastic cause. For every five pairs of socks sold, one breast cancer screening is paid for.

    Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. More

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    Online Schengen visa application may soon be available for UAE residents


    by Ruman Baig
    51 mins ago

    The European Union has approved groundbreaking changes to the Schengen Visa process, ushering in a new era of convenience for travellers.
    Soon, applicants will experience a seamless online application system, eliminating the need for consulate visits and the hassle of visa stickers on passports.
    Spain’s Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, emphasized the simplified process, highlighting that the digital shift aims to benefit both travelers and national administrations.
    The future EU visa application platform promises a user-friendly interface where applicants can effortlessly input details, upload digital documents, and complete fee payments.

    Notably, the era of in-person consulate visits will fade away, with exceptions limited to first-time applicants, individuals with outdated biometric data, and those holding new travel documents.
    Furthermore, the traditional visa stickers will be replaced by a secure digital format using a 2D barcode with cryptographic signatures, a move aimed at minimizing security risks associated with counterfeit and stolen stickers.
    While the effective date awaits publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, these transformative changes signify a significant leap forward in streamlining the Schengen Visa process.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Feature Image: Instagram @sarashakeel More

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    Sheikh Hamdan turns 41: 10 times the Crown Prince has given us wanderlust inspiration


    by Sarah Joseph
    3 hours ago

    November 14, 2023 marks His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s 41st birthday.
    To commemorate this day, we’ve paid a tribute to his interest in travel by highlighting all his adventurous escapades.
    From mountainous regions to adrenaline-fueled spots, Fazza’s travels around the world exude his passion for exploration and adventure.
    After digging through the archives, Emirates Woman has curated a list of all the potential places to add to your bucket list from Sheikh Hamdan’s feed.
    United Kingdom

    Sheikh Hamdan has been seen in London quite a few times over the years and even recently made a visit with his twins, Rashid and Shaika, to the Godolphin stables. Having previously studied at Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Fazza has a strong connection to the UK and is often seen taking a trip to one of his favourite destinations.

    Exploring both nature and immersing himself in the culture, Sheikh Hamdan’s picture-perfect safari trip to Tanzania looked beyond idyllic. While being surrounded by wildlife, the thrill-seeker shared a series of clips while jumping over a large pool of water and exploring the dense forests. The trip was indeed an adventurous one with all the outdoor activities the royal was seen trying out.

    In 2019, Sheikh Hamdan made a visit east to Japan. Regarded as a highly-trained fitness enthusiast, the Dubai royal was seen posing with bronze sculptures of rugby player Michael Leitch and sumo wrestler Tochinoshin Tsuyoshi. He was also captured taking some classes and trying some delicious food, he’s undoubtedly ticked off a host of must-visit venues on his trip to Japan. From grazing through the enchanted streets or travelling by the high-speed bullet train to Tokyo, make a note of all the must-dos on your next trip.
    South Korea

    Nearly three years ago, in 2019, Sheikh Hamdan paid a visit to Seoul in South Korea. He posted a photo of himself in front of Gyeongbokgung Palace, one of the country’s must-visit attractions. Along with his Uncle Saeed, they visited historic spots in the city, as well as enjoyed matcha milkshakes, a very popular drink of choice in East Asia.

    In 2018, Sheikh Hamdan took his riding skills international, participating in a 160km endurance race in Estonia. During his travels in the Eastern European country, he also shared a series of photos of him cycling in Estonia along with his friend Saeed Jabber Al Harbi.

    There’s no doubt, that Sheikh Hamdan is always seen posing in the great outdoors. His recent trip to Uzbekistan in November 2021 consisted of all the engaging activities such as camping, falconry, exploring nature and also visiting some of the local residents in the country.

    Back in 2018, Dubai’s Crown Prince travelled to the USA visiting popular cities like Chicago and New York City.

    Spotted on this self-governing archipelago, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Faroe Islands is known for its picturesque coastal cliffs and gorgeous open skies. Seen taking a selfie with nature, this popular photo was all over social media.

    Exploring the peaks of British Columbia, the royal was seen enjoying this snow-filled holiday on Canada’s ski slopes back in 2019. This stunning wintry escape is everything one looks for in the cooler months. Snowboarding, snow-cover buildings and spruce trees were some of the elements which truly made this holiday complete.

    Seen posing in the popular frame shot with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Sheikh Hamdan visited Italy in 2017, as the snap was captured with perfect precision. From relishing some delicious pasta to walking on the cobbled steps, this beautiful destination is one to add to your list too.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Feature image: Instagram @faz3 More

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    The Berkeley: Elevate your stay in London by residing in this modern-classic property


    by Amy Sessions
    2 hours ago

    The Berkeley hotel in London delivers top tier service with a modern cool. If you want location combined with a cool factor, this is it.
    The Stay

    Situated right in the beating heart of the city yet with the kind of peace that feels a world away from the fast pace of London’s inner city – The Berkeley is the ultimate if you’re looking for refined stay that delivers old school service with a modern eye for detail. With a selection of rooms and suites, The Berkeley flexes around your needs whether you’re on a swift business trip alone or booking in for the festive period with extended family. Cosy fireplaces make for the perfect detail to enjoy during winter andwith views of Hyde Park and Knightsbridgeyou’ll feel like this is your second home just a stone’s throw away from the best shopping in town and a five-minute walk from Harrods.
    The Dining

    The Collins Room is airy and feels cosy yet spacious making it the ideal location to dine whether you’re travelling alone of meeting friends. The chic interiors are designedby by Robert Angell and create the perfect backdrop for the super popular Prêtà- Portea. Also, not to be missed is Cédric Grolet at The Berkeley — With a string of accolades citing him as the best pastry chef in the world, Cédric Grolet – known for his trompe-l’oeil artistry, fruits and flowers – has opened the doors to his first patisserie outside of France, Cédric Grolet at The Berkeley in London. This is popular from morning until late afternoon – so schedule yourself an hour to indulge.
    The Wellness

    The Bamford Wellness Spa at The Berkeley delivers a sense of the Cotswolds within the confines of the city. You’ll feel a different pace of life wash over you as you indulge in a choice of refined, holistic treatments within the luxurious, ample sized rooms. The perfect predinner treats to have you feeling your best.
    November – The Refinement Issue with Jimmy Choo  – Download Now
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Supplied More

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    Travelling to Japan this year? Here’s why you need to book this property ASAP


    by Amy Sessions
    4 hours ago

    The newly opened Bulgari Tokyo fearlessly combines style from both east and west for a truly unique stay.
    Bulgari Tokyo is the eighth addition to the Bulgari Hotels & Resorts collection, bringing Bulgari’s contemporary Italian style and glamour to the capital of Japan. Occupying the 40th to 45th floors of the Tokyo Midtown Yaesu, a ultra-skyscraper in the Yaesu 2-Chome North District, the hotel is located withing walking distance of the vibrant shopping areas of both Nihombashi and Ginza and boasts panoramic views of Tokyo including the Imperial Palace.
    The Stay

    Distinctive details make the difference. From the symbol of the Hotel, based on a 1970 Bulgari brooch featuring Mount Fuji, to the iconic sanpietrino paving stones that line the street in front of the Hotel and the eight-point star that graces the vestibule of the 40th floor entrance, elements of Bulgari heritage are interwoven with Japanese tradition. Eastern influence can be seen in the Japanese calligraphy art gracing the Suites, the hinoki wood bar at Sushi Hōseki – Kenji Gyoten and the zen garden on its terrace. This truly feels like home and a sanctuary, even in the heart of such a metropolis. The beds are next level – so post. Long-haul flight, you will feel well rested and ready to explore.
    The Dining

    Located on the 40th floor of the Hotel, Il Ristorante – Niko Romito combines both. Interior and exterior dining for those who prefer Al Fresco. The space incorporates Japanese design elements such as exquisite silk furnishings and a curved wood ceiling, however the menu is classic Niko Romito with its contemporary expression of authentic Italian cuisine. After dinner head to the rooftop bar for unbeatable views.
    The Wellness
    An 800-square-metre area on the 40th floor of the Hotel, the Spa features 9 treatment rooms, including a spa suite and a double treatment room. The 25-metre indoor pool is ensconced in floor to ceiling glass windows, giving guests a breath-taking view of the skyline. Innovative treatments, grooming, and the latest wellbeing therapies ensure an extraordinary experience for both men and women. If you’ve over-indulged, Workshop Gymnasium will get you in shape with a bespoke, results-driven program during your stay.
    October – The Fearlessness Issue with Chaumet  – Download Now
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Supplied More