Ladies Track Day with Lexus

Nestled in Al Wusail, is the Lusail International Circuit, a world class motorsports track and is the only circuit in the region to be awarded the highest rating by FIA (International Automobile Federation) and the FIM (International Motorcycling Federation).

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The circuit is 5,380m long with 16 turns; 6 left and 10 right, a width of 12m and a clock-wise direction. Furthermore, floodlighting can be utilized to provide daylight conditions at night

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At the invitation of Grazia Magazine & Lexus, I attended one of their Female Track Days, an initiative by the Lusail International Circuit.

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No stranger to this venue, I immediately accepted the invitation, as it was an opportunity to be on the track instead of the usual, watching the MotoGP riders racing on this very track.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by friendly familiar faces.

“Our aim today is to provide our female guests a unique and amazing driving experience where they will push our vehicles to their limits.” Said Firas Mufti – Senior Marketing Manager Lexus

 

Picture1In the welcome area, the Lexus ES350 Hybrid was on display. a sport sedan, that doesn’t abandon luxury: The interior is fairly roomy  and the seats are comfy, offering a smooth ride and a cabin that is generally quiet and well-ventilated.

Once all the formalities were completed, we were presented with four models for testing on the track including the RC-F, GS-F, LC Hybrid and IS-F Sport. A co-driver was assigned to each car to guide and assist the driver on the safety measures of the track and the technological attributes of the vehicle.

My first test vehicle was a Lexus IS-F Sport, a fine and sporty sedan that looks good and offers a heap of driving enjoyment. It dives into corners willingly and exits them in a composed manner;  the interior of the IS, is a comfy place to be while sporting snazzy touches.

My second test drive was the Lexus RC-F. Designed for optimum high-speed stability to support outstanding performance, I definitely felt a better connection with the steering wheel, and a lot more confident when maneuvering my way through the circuit. With its superb styling, design and unprecedented power and handling capabilities,                    the RC-F opens up a new era for women on wheels.

Unfortunately due to prior engagements, I was unable to stay longer and test drive the other vehicles.

Thank you to the team of Lusail International Circuit, Grazia Magazine and Lexus for a pleasant Saturday afternoon driving experience.

 

For more information follow :

@losailcircuit

@graziaqatar

@lexusqatar

What are your thoughts on Ladies Track Day?

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Escaping from it all

A spur of the moment decision, it was just around mid-day when I decided to pursue the long overdue visit to Banana Island. With a few simple phone calls, all was confirmed. Driving to the terminal with nothing else but the clothes on my body, I called my best friend, my confidant, my partner to collect a few belongings and head over to Banana Island and meet me, for a much-needed reconnecting staycation on the island.

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As I sat at the terminal’s VIP lounge thinking when was the last time I had acted so impulsively, I suddenly felt the excitement – at the prospect of spending quality time, enjoying nature, long walks on the beach, the catchups, late breakfast – and, it all became so real.

On arrival at the island, I was greeted by the traditional sound of the drums; I stood for a few minutes taking in the sight and sounds.

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At the welcome desk, Abdul welcomed me. Check-in was seamless and soon enough, I was on my way to our room. Abdul assured me that he would facilitate my husband’s arrival.

Soon after settling in, I was taken on a tour of the island to familiarize with the awesome facilities available in the island.

No sooner, I was taken to the spa, for our first ever “couple’s massage”.

Husband: At this time of the year, it was just perfect timing to board the boat from Doha at 5 pm.  The 30 minutes boat ride meant that as I reached the island, the sun was just about to set.  And what a sight to behold!  The spectrum of the colours of the sunset reminded me of the colours of the rainbow. And, like the proverbial “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”, our stay on the island, was simply, fabulous, to say the least.

I arrived late, having had to go for an appointment that I could not afford to miss, thereafter rushing home to collect some of our belongings as per my wife’s request. As I arrived at the Welcome Centre on the island, I was warmly greeted and quickly whizzed by Abdul, a South African who had been working on the island for the last 2 years, towards the Spa where we had booked a “Couple’s Massage”. “

We have both gone for massages before, but this was a completely different experience, having my significant other just next to me undergoing the same treatment. The room’s lighting and Zen music in the background, set the mood and the tone.  It was calming and soothing. And, before you know it, we were simply relaxing having our tensed muscles being relieved and the frenzied pace of the past weeks, slowly but surely going away with every smooth stroke being applied by the well-trained masseuse.  As in life, however, time passes by very quickly when you are enjoying something.  And so, what was supposed to be a 2-hour session seemed to be over in minutes.

While waiting for the golf buggy to take us back to our room, we were greeted by Jessica, the Spa Manager who had been on the island for just over 6 months.  She was explaining to us the variety of massages they offer (I guess, that is part of her job) and before you know it, I was signing up for the “Royal Moroccan Hammam” experience (one more off my bucket list). More of that later.

Back in our room, and what a pleasant surprise.  Obviously, the housekeeping team has been briefed of our arrival and went out of their way to decorate the room and displaying their creativity.

As for the room itself, it was very spacious; they even had the bathtub in the room for guests to soak themselves in while looking over the balcony and the sea.  The shower facilities with a rain shower was exceptional.  My only wish was that the water pressure was stronger, and it would have been perfect to get the real rain shower feeling.

After a bit of rest, we went for dinner at Al Nahham Restaurant.  The mezze platters were great especially the Muhammara and Khebez (Lebanese bread) were fresh and warm.  Suffice to say, I could just survive on the bread and mezze platters alone. In any case, we had ordered main courses and were certainly, not disappointed as well.

The staff were very attentive, ensuring our dining experience would be well remembered.

We made our way back to our room, a leisurely walk through the gardens after our indulgence during dinner.

Husband: The next morning, we woke up feeling calm and relaxed. We sat for a while on the balcony, catching up, taking in the view, the cool weather with a slight breeze provided the perfect elements to start our day.

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We then headed to Azraq Restaurant for breakfast.  They had a great selection and we were spoilt for choice.  After last night’s dinner, however, we could not do justice to the sumptuous offerings.


We opted for the outdoor seating, watching the birds helping themselves to whatever was available as guests left something behind for them.

After breakfast, we went on a Pontoon Boat ride and toured some parts of the island.  Unfortunately, the wind picked up speed, and we could not go around the whole island.  Regardless, it was an enjoyable tour with great company as little Sophie, shared more information about the island.

I headed back to the spa for my very first Royal Moroccan Hammam experience. Inspired by an ancient but integral part of Moroccan life, I was seated on a hot marble table, while the masseuse patiently explained to me about the processes involved and the products being used.

I was then shown to this beautifully created bath, where I soaked for a few minutes whilst beams of sunlight filtered through the glass ceiling.

After being doused with water, she covered my body with traditional black soap and scrubbed with a kesse mitt to sweep away dead skin cells, before I was gently cocooned in a ghassoul wrap infused with rose water, then whisked away to an overwater treatment room for a pampering back massage.

Techiques used:

  • Exfoliate:  Kessa glove scrub technique
  • Massage: Effleurage, Friction, Wringing
  • Benefits & Effect:

–        Deep cleansing the body
–        Renewal the cell regeneration
–        Release the muscle tension
–        Detoxification

It was a good hour and half well spent, being pampered from head to toe and worth every Riyal.

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Such a rejuvenating and unique experience.

And then, it was time for a light lunch at Q-Lounge, a nice pool-side restaurant just off the beach.

After a relatively short lunch, we decided to take a leisurely walk along the beach towards the jetty as it was time to go home.

How the time passes by so quickly when you are having fun, I really don’t know.  It just seemed like I was on a non-stop, whirlwind experiential trip, doing one thing after another. No regrets though, for a visit that left us both feeling relaxed and rejuvenated But, I know now that the next time I go to Banana Island, I would plan for more than just an overnight trip.  I did not manage any of the water sport activities or the golf putting course or even try my hand at scuba diving!

Banana Island, we will be back!
For more information on Banana Island Resort,
please click https://www.anantara.com/en/banana-island-doha 
For all their offers https://www.anantara.com/en/banana-island-doha/offers
Follow @bananaislandresort

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Local Designers at the Jewellery & Watch Exhibition

Wow…

The last 8 months have definitely been a rollercoaster ride. I shall not bore you with too many details, suffice to say, work amongst other activities (will be sharing them with you briefly) have kept me away from my blog.

Let’s Talk Jewellery… 

Last month, we saw the 16th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition 

 With more than 27,000 visits over the six days, an Indian Pavillions (as part of the Qatar-India Year of culture – 2019) and a charity auction (with proceeds to Education Above All Foundation) , the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) 2019, concluded on a high note, making this year’s exhibition the largest in terms of participation, with more than 500 brands from over 10 countries covering an areas of 29,000 square metres.

The 16th edition saw the participation of the Young Qatari Designers (YQD) initiative for the third year in a row, where a special pavilion was dedicated to the 12 young Qatari designers, under the patronage of Prime Minister of Qatar and Minister of Interior H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Here are some of the designers, whom I had the privilege of meeting.

Leila Issam Abuissa

“Anything Art” A motto Leila Issam has held dear to her heart at a very young age. During a time when children exhibit signs of whether they will grow into appreciators of Art or its architects, Leila clearly had the qualities of the latter.

With a Baccalaureate in French Literature and Philosophy; a combination she felt necessary in order to better understand the discipline that continues today in her thinking process of creating luxury products. She then moved to Paris to study art and design where she experimented with different fine art techniques, as well as design in all its forms be it conceptual or interior.

it was only after she moved to Florence did the Jewellery world strike her from every angle, thus began a quest for an Art form she would take on as her own.

Hissa & Jawaher Al Mannai.

It all started out as our past time when the two sisters repurposed their mother’s unwanted accessories and recreated new designs from it. Using their creativity, they went on to create fashionable necklaces and bracelets made of crystals, marbles, ropes, elastic and ribbons. They began their private collection and sometimes adding other accessories and vintage pieces, with this a dream was born, to create their own masterpieces, Their fascination and passion for jewellery saw them travelling extensively, this was necessary for them to establish Ghand – derived from the sugar crystals and how they look exactly like diamonds

“Our philosophy is to be imaginative and creative in our designs; our signature pieces are versatile”. Their personalities are so evident in their creation, a combination of Hissa’s taste for the bold and Jawaher’s preference for simplicity.

Fajr Al Attiya,

For Fajr, it all began with designing bags, however her love for beautiful aesthetics took her one step further into the world of precious metals and gems. Inspired by nature’s most beautiful creations, Fajr set out to cast the beautiful sites into eternal jewelry pieces that will be treasured. This led to the birth of Trifoglio in 2015 and the launch of her first collection in early 2016 followed by her first range of luxury leather good.

 

The popular The DJWE Forum, returned for the second year, with the participation of Qatari and international experts, designers and professors of history and arts in the jewellery and watches industry. The most prominent of these were Mr. Alex Popov, President of the Moscow Diamond Exchange, Geoffroy Ader of Artcurial, and Melvyn Kirtley, senior gemmologist at Tiffany & Co.

The sessions included discussions on Qatar’s rich heritage and the history of jewellery and pearls in Qatar. Among the distinguished academic speakers at the forum were Dr. Najla Ismail and Dr. Jochen Sokoly,

The prestigious French watchmakers Objectif Horlogerie presented free “Discover Watchmaking” workshops for all, and renowned expert Geoffroy Ader presented daily high-level educational talks, with the Qatar Watch Club in cooperation with the Turkish Watches Club. Jewellery workshops were held, dealing with precious stones, and providing advice on the evaluation of diamonds.

This was definitely an opportunity to feat your eyes on exquisite pieces of jewellery and watches.

For more information on the designers:

Follow Leila Issam Abuissa @leilaabuissa

Follow: Hissa & Jawaher @ghand_jewellery

Follow: Fajr  @trifoglio_qatar

 

What did you enjoy most about the DJWE2019?

 

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