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We had an exclusive interview with Ms Neha Thomas, marketing manager of  Xclusive Yachts in Dubai… Amazing company with a fabulous offer.

Neha,How many yachts do you have? How many staff you have?

We have a fleet of over 22 luxury yachts that can cater to any needs and can accommodate to up to 200 people. Our team comprises of over 180 employees.

You are the biggest yacht charter company in the UAE isn’t it?

Yes we are the biggest yacht charter company in the UAE to own its entire fleet of 20+ yachts.

If I want to charter a yacht, how long should I book for?

For ideal experience, it is best to charter yachts for 3 – 4 hours.  A 3 hour charter would let you go around the Palm and give ample time for swimming and other water activities.

I see a lot of extra services on your homepage, which ones are the most popular?

We as a company love to introduce new experiences to our clients. Dubai being a city that appreciates novelty, it is our duty to enhance the customer experience.

Our top excursions are :

This is a 90 min speed boat tour that goes around the Palm starting from Dubai Marina to proceed towards the Atlantis covering the outer Palm and gets up close to Burj Al Arab for those picture perfect moments. The Captain will brief the guests during the tour giving some valuable insights about each attraction.

Currently we run two cruises, one that operates from Dubai Marina and the other from Palm Jumeirah. Both being unique experiences of its own with their unique cruise routes, the tours promise nothing but an amazing 2 hours on board with jaw dropping backdrops of Dubai skyline leaving the guests with lasting impressions and picture perfect moments. Both cruises will be served with an international dinner buffet catered by the best restaurants in Dubai and also include live cooking stations and live entertainment on board.

There is good news for those wanting to experience a Luxury Yacht and explore the wonders of Dubai from Sea without having to carry the price tag or headache of getting guests together. This shared yacht tour is fully inclusive of a red carpet entrance, personal service from the qualified crew with fresh juices, soft drinks & water and a choice of Breakfast or a delicious BBQ cooked live on board.

This is the perfect afternoon getaway for group of friends and family. The luxury package includes a 90 minute cruise across the Marina and back, soft drinks, live music, and High-Tea Menu catered by The Address Hotel, Dubai Marina.

Every year Xclusive Yachts hosts a two day corporate hospitality event on board its 125ft luxury houseboat at the F1 Monaco and F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The hospitality package will include trackside race view, premium beverages, five star catering, live entertainment, DJs and celebrities performing live on board.

Xclusive Yachts brings in high profile celebrities on board to attend the two day hospitality event on the luxury yacht. Last year’s special guests included Alesha Dixon, Tinie Tempah, Amir Khan, Chris Snr & Jnr Eubank, Damon Hill, Martin Brundle, and Prince Harry attending in previous years.
Are there any new services coming soon?

We have launched our new services – Xclusive Sea School and Xclusive Marine in the first quarter of 2018.

The Xclusive Sea School allows one to gain an internationally recognised RYA certified boating licence in just 2 days. The floating classrooms, industry knowledge, support services and Instructors set us apart from other training centers in Dubai.

Our courses are internationally and locally approved by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) respectively.

Xclusive Marine provides a one stop solution for all the maintenance, valet and repair works pertaining to boats and yachts. The squad comprises of Marine Engineers, Electricians, Mechanics, Plumbers, A/C Mechanics, Welders, Surveyors, Fibreglass Specialists, Painters and Supervisors.

Also companies and corporations are chartering your exclusive yachts?

Yes, we have a 125ft luxury houseboat that can accommodate to up to 200 guests on board. This boat is frequently used for private parties, corporate events and business meetings. The clients will be allowed to do their own branding /decoration and boat set up.

I saw something about “Xclusive Proposal”…what is it?

We have a special proposal package for those looking to impress their loved ones with the best venue, backdrops, service and hospitality.

The team has made several proposals very unique by offering the best yachts and the most romantic venue to make their partner say “Yes”.

From pick-up to red carpet entry, flowers, cakes to decorations, our charter executives can assist the guests with their dream come true.

What is a “VIP 100 member” membership?

The ‘VIP 100 Club’ is introduced for the yacht lovers who wish to entertain their guests/ family/ friends/ corporate clients on a regular basis. This is a yearly membership plan where the member will have a total of 100 yacht hours spanning across 12 months.

The member can charter any of Xclusive Yachts’ luxury yachts from Sunday to Thursday for a maximum of 3 hours.

Exclusive yachts…means VIP’s on board..Can You give us some names of VIP’s you recently had on one of your yachts?

We hosts celebrities from all over the world and are happy to be their preferred yacht charter company. Few huge names are listed below:

Prince Harry

Alesha Dixon

Rihanna

Flo Rida

Craig David

Little Mix Stars

Tinie Tempah

James Arthur

Kareena Kapoor Khan

Amir Khan

Chris Gayle

Martin Brundle

Eubank

Jamie Vardy

Mika Singh

Rashed Belhasa

Adam Saleh

Huda Kattan

What’s the next big thing for Xclusive Yachts?

The next big thing in line for Xclusive Yachts is launching their ‘Xclusive Boat Club’.  This five star Boat Club due to be launched officially in September, ensures the members with unlimited usage of their brand new boats even on weekends. The Club offers the best alternative to boat ownership and offers a variety of boats including wakeboarding, bow riders, mini yachts and fishing boats. The annual membership plan will have a joining fee and a monthly membership fee for as low as AED 2000.

The first 50 members also receive an AED 50,000 worth joining rewards including free luxury yacht charters, F1 Abu Dhabi Yacht Party Invites, and tickets to all shared services. The member will also get an international RYA certified boating licence through its in-house Xclusive Sea School.

Thank you very much and it was real pleasure to be your guest !

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Did you know that Dubai has an excellent shoe repair service company ? We had an exclusive interview with Mr Sanjay Joshi from Acqua Star Shoes & Leather Trading !

Mr Joshi, when did you started the company?
We started  in May 2016.

What is the background?
We do not have background of cobbler neither leather specialist but out of our passion towards the footwear’s and people’s struggle on the particular segment analysis we have started this business.

How many people are working in the company?
We have a team of 6 people on permanent role and 3 on contractual mode working for the betterment currently.

Are you only working in Dubai?
Yes we are working in Dubai but apparently we are covering throughout UAE with logistic support.

Which kind of services are most requested?
The very common services are cleaning and sanitizing and color restoration along with shoe mending, we also cover the handbags repairment where most of luxury brands of handbags comes for scratch removals and polishing.

You also offer alteration services?
We do offer alteration services for footwears as well as the garments alteration too. Most of leather garments are purchased online where customers struggle to get accurate sizes , so we get requests for the resizing and stretching of materials .

Your team also offer customize shoes?
Well we have not done the customize shoes for any individuals but we do create character shoes for biggest theme parks of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Your clients are mostly corporates businesses?
We are serving many of corporates but we have very few programmed in corporate bulk pricing offers because this corporate have not started budgeting their funds towards employees recreation towards the footwear / shoes / luggage segment , so we do pricing with employee level but with very good discounting.

Are there are any services you’ll offer in the near future?
Very soon we will be starting the customized shoes with small budget to exotic leather line creation also we are coming out soon after the month of Ramadan our fabric alteration tailoring 24/7 services in the heart of Dubai.

How can potential clients contact you?
We have been providing all the support to people to get in touch with us through google , other social media and our hardcore brochure every week in different community . People can call us on our designated phone lines , 24/7 , mobile support (+971 55 9208726 / +971 4 2417100) and emails (aquastarians@gmail.com) and even we are on 2gis directories for location map.

If you could dream into 2025 what is your dream?

Great that you have asked this , we definitely see our self very steady by that time with if not more but at least with a spread over the entire UAE  and GCC together with 10 outlets with all facilities towards the cobbler and  alteration world .
The entire foot care, shoe care and all the theme parks in this regions will be supported by us. With all the wishes from our client and all mighty.

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Where does the idea came from to start “Furniture Shopping Tours”?

Our idea of helping people is born from the strong passion of mixing patterns, textures, colors and shapes. When it comes to furniture, all this elements are wrapped into one, forming an unique piece. You need a good amount of this unique pieces to compose a harmonious environment capsuling your personality. We all enjoy shopping furniture but when it comes to take decisions it might become a little stressful, specially nowadays, that there are so many beautiful things out there.

Clients are able to have more favorable prices with your knowledge ?

Salone del Mobile is indeed international, over 2000 exhibitors divided into Design, Lux and Classic only at Rho Fiera. In the city center the real magic is happening during FuoriSalone. Clients not only save their money by shopping with our designer discounts, they save their time, since we start working on their project before the show starts. When we get there we know exactly what we are looking for and not wasting time just wondering around.

You work worldwide ? Or only Dubai and Milano?

Our studio is based at Dubai and also Milano, GDCLUXURY is open to receive clients worldwide, even tho, our strongest spots are in Dubai, London, Paris and Milan since the most important trade shows are happening in this cities throughout the year. Clients can have these tours during 1 or more days? We have 3 options, Single Day, Two Day and Three Days Tours from which our clients can choose depending on the size of the project. Single Day is recommended for clients they just need to hone their style, basics. Two Days is better than a Single Day, specially when you are starting a renovation project. Three Days Tour is mainly for customers with a higher scale project. We provide our clients a tour guide english and italian speaker in our three options.

There are pre-arranged meetings during the tours ?

We start with a social friendly meeting with our client to brief the project. One of the benefits of the tour is that, we organize a personalized agenda for each client with the top exhibitors in the trade show related to our project type. We pre-set appointments with professional agents at each exhibitor booth. Before the tour starts we email the client their own personalized agenda and the initial styling mood boards. During the trade show it easier, we shop with the client, and provide them our designer discounts.

You work for all budgets ?

Restrictions are applied for Salone del Mobile, since all the furniture companies are presenting their latest collections (and also previous), therefor we discover together with the client the collection, in general for each type of tour we already have starting fixed budgets, and we don’t go lower it.

Interested buyers can find more information about these services on the internet?

Reservations are open since March 1st, we did granted a 15% discount for the early-birds that booked their spots during the last week of February. The information is in our website and you can book directly online.


Which trade fairs are you planning later this year ?

For this year between the most important trade fairs remaining that’s confirmed we’ll be visiting are Maison&Objet at Paris, from 7th-11th of September and Salone del Mobile.Shanghai, November 22nd-24th. Reservations will be open one month prior to each fair.

What does GDC LUXURY offer next to these “furniture shopping tours” ?

We grant our clients more than a package of services, we gift them a full design experience. Including fine dining, designer cocktails and city walks in the design district areas. Milano itself offers the enchanting charm for a design and art lover spirit.

Are there any new services you’ll develop in the near future?

Besides new services we are concentrated now in developing and manufacturing our prime furniture brand, unveiling our first capsule collection next year on April at FuoriSalone 2019. This is going to be bold. You need to keep tuned!

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 YouTube announced on Sunday the opening of the Middle East and North Africa’s first YouTube Space at Dubai Studio City, a facility dedicated to supporting the growing creator community in the Middle East and North Africa region by giving them access to a state of the art production space.
The Space, 10th in the world, is dedicated to YouTube content creators who will have free access to high end audio, visual and editing equipment in addition to training programs, workshops and courses. More than 440,000 creators have visited nine YouTube Spaces around the world since the Spaces program first launched in 2012.
“Creators are the heartbeat of YouTube and supporting them has long been one of our most important priorities. We’re proud of the meteoric rise of Arabic content on YouTube, which has been spearheaded by a diverse and growing community of creators from different parts of the Arab world. We want the YouTube Space in Dubai to be a hub where creators don’t just continue to make the videos millions of people have grown to love but to also experiment with new formats and ideas made possible by the Space’s production facilities. As a platform, YouTube provides a blank canvas for creative expression and the Space will be one of the tools creators use to tell their own stories,” said David Ripert, Head of YouTube Spaces in Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
“We are very pleased to be selected as a hub for the region’s first YouTube space. In today’s world, content creation is very valuable and depicts meaningful content to the public. With the launch of the YouTube space, Dubai Studio City aims to cultivate a collaborative environment where like-minded people can create innovative content, which can cross borders and impact a wide and diverse audience. It is significant to empower individuals to create and develop content, and in return work towards the growth of the industry. We are delighted with this new venture and look forward to the new opportunities that YouTube will bring to our community and the entire region.” said Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Studio City.
“Over the years, we’ve witnessed a number of brave and creative people in the region build massive followings by turning the camera on themselves and sharing their voice with the world. In fact, five years ago when I visited, you could count the number of creators with a million subscribers on one hand. Today, the region has over 200 channels with over a million subscribers!” said Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer of YouTube.
The Spaces program is designed to support creators of all levels. Channels with 1,000 subscribers or more will have access to the workshops and events held at the Space. While creators with more than 10,000 subscribers will be able to access the production facilities which include two sound-proof studios, editing equipment, state of the art cameras and microphones, as well as a control room. Workshops will be geared to the different needs of creators with themes and topics ranging from creative development and production, to business development and how to engage with advertisers. All creators will be required to sit through day-long workshop before accessing any of the Space’s services.
The Space comes at an important time for YouTube in MENA as the Arab world experiences an increase in the number of channels uploading from MENA countries by 160% in the past three years. Today, there are more than 200 channels with over 1m subscribers in MENA, and over 30k channels with more than 10K subscribers.
Production slots will be limited in the first two months after the launch until after Ramadan when eligible creators will be able to book their production sessions through the online booking form.
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On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Bhima Jewellers wows women by launching an exclusive range of jewellery specially designed for the modern and independent woman of today. WOW – “Women Office Wear” collection targets women with a range of lightweight and trendy jewellery in both 18k and 22 kt that can be used as daily wear, office wear, evening wear & to make a fashion statement.

‘This Women’s Day we wanted to gift the women around us something in return. From our customer’s feedback, we noticed that women do not prefer gold or diamond jewellery as daily wear considering the design limitations in this range. This has resulted in the WOW collection’, said Mr. Balachandra Kiran.

The WOW collections in gold & diamond, offers fashion at an affordable price. With WOW gold, intricate pendants matched with attractive bangles come in rose, white and yellow gold, with the products weighing up to 16 grams. The WOW diamond collections, like WOW gold, is suitable to wear to office, daily use or a day out. WOW wows women from price ranging from AED 400 to AED 4000.

Bhima Jewellers also announced ‘Bhima Superwoman’, a first of its kind activity that will honour one ‘mother-child’ duo in UAE with an opportunity to be featured in one of their advertisement campaigns.

‘Like Brand Bhima we are looking at identifying a confident, contemporary and independent woman with a positive outlook who has a child, to be a model for one of our campaigns. In the process, we also intend to groom the 15 finalists to elevate their outlook on life in a contemporary fashion’, said Mr. Balachandra Kiran.

Mr. Kiran also remarked that they intend to give a platform to every talented woman and child across the UAE to showcase their vibrant personality and diverse talents which is seldom identified and appreciated.

With more than 40 stores across India, the first outlet of Bhima Jewellers opened in Karama Centre in 2015, followed by the Sharjah stores in Nesto Hypermarket in Butina & Muweilah and in Nesto Hypermarket, Ajman . More stores are scheduled to open this year, as part of the expansion plans the brand has for UAE.

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Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts and heritage, has today inaugurated the eighth edition of SIKKA Art Fair, which  will run from 17th to 26th March 2018 at Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood as a flagship event of Dubai Art Season 2018, strengthening the culture, heritage, arts and literature sectors with a rich series of new initiatives and partnerships.
Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum commented: “In support of the Year of Zayed, the eighth edition of SIKKA Art Fair celebrates the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. As a platform for the arts, SIKKA exemplifies Sheikh Zayed’s commitment to tolerance, dialogue and diversity, with a series of initiatives that promote cross-cultural understanding as well as showcasing emerging artists from the UAE and the region.
SIKKA—Dubai Art Season’s flagship initiative—is the largest contemporary artist-led fair in the region to commission new works from UAE based and GCC talents. Growing every year in size and perception, the fair is a pivotal moment in our efforts to nurture future generations of creative professionals, inspiring them to look at alternative career paths within the arts and culture industries, while building our creative economy. Such moments are crucial in feeding into the realisation of Vision 2021 set by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. I look forward to what Dubai’s most unique celebration of art will bring to its audiences this year.”
SIKKA Art Fair 2018 will serve as a platform to showcase the importance of Islamic Art and Culture in establishing Dubai as the capital of the Islamic Economy, with the House of Islamic Arts featuring an Islamic Art and Culture exhibition, live painting sessions, an Islamic lifestyle start-up corner, and hands-on Islamic Art and Culture workshops. The Saudi House by Culture-Focused Tamashee will also draw attention to the region’s rich culture by hosting a variety of exhibitions and activities under one roof, including a collaborative initiative for emerging artists and an exhibition of the work of more than 20 Saudi artists.
Encompassing all artistic mediums, SIKKA Art Fair 2018 will also feature various installations created in The Poetryhood by Dubai Poetics, a movement that publishes, performs, discusses, enhances and revives poetry in the region, and LOCO’MOTION Dubai, a cinema initiative that will present a full line-up of shorts, documentaries and feature films in several languages including English and Arabic, and also screen shorts by independent UAE filmmakers and university students on some days. At the Icon Booth by Marta Lamovsek, visitors can embark on a fun D.I.Y. experience where the artist chooses a unique style for them, from a mix of handpicked MENA accessories and props, Lamovsek crafts ‘characters’ inspired by the personality of each individual she meets.
To invite the public to immerse themselves in the joy of art, SIKKA Art Fair 2018 will also include several community initiatives that encourage proactive participation among visitors. Sandscapes, by Mawaheb from Beautiful People, a confluence of art and music led by community participation, will call on the public to help create an all-inclusive environment for artists with special needs.
At the ‘The Samsung Frame & Creatopia Art Gallery’, visitors can view Creatopia digital art displayed on ‘The Frame’ TV screens, which were designed by Samsung to seamlessly bringing art into people’s everyday lives by ingeniously doubling as digital displays for photographs and works of art. Creatopia is an exclusive Dubai Culture-created platform that pioneers a new perspective for art and tech, and also provides online accessibility to expert curation for inspiring talents across the globe. Through its partnership with Samsung, Creatopia is encouraging and engaging global talents at SIKKA 2018. SIKKA Art Fair visitors will also be offered the opportunity to win ‘The Frame’ by entering a social media photo competition.
To enrich the ten-day SIKKA Art Fair programme, Dubai Culture has established a number of new partnerships with leading organisations including the Dubai Police, the Emirate’s Youth Council, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), and Meraas, as well as with local macro and micro influencers.
In cooperation with Dubai Police, SIKKA 2018 will feature an exhibition entitled ‘Through our Lens: From the private archive of Dubai Police’, which depicts different points in history and illustrates Dubai Police’s ongoing commitment to safety, security and togetherness.
In partnership with the Emirate’s Youth Council, SIKKA Art Fair will feature a Youth Circle for the first time in SIKKA, aiming to educate and empower youth to become the main drivers of the creative economy, and encourage them to develop new policies for the arts and culture sectors. In addition, Youth Hub Workshop will take place as part of the official SIKKA programme and will be led by Mohammed Kazim, Co-Founder of Culture-Focused Tamashee, focusing on ‘The Contemporary Definition of Design Identity in the Region – The Youth as Pioneers’, on 18th March at the Youth Hub on Emirates Towers.
Dubai Culture will also be engaging youth at SIKKA Art Fair in cooperation with the KHDA, which will showcase the creative works of finalists from the organisation ‘The Saturday Club’. The initiative will empower students by giving them a new platform for sharing their work.
SIKKA Art Fair 2018 will also be supported by Meraas, at the newly opened ‘Al Seef’ next door to Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, via a creative activation that will feature a day of live painting paying tribute to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and celebrating the ‘Year Of Zayed’. The painting will incorporate images of the Founding Father mixed with elements mostly derived from Arabic patterns to represent the local atmosphere and surroundings. It will also render the ‘Year of Zayed’ campaign values in stylised Arabic and English writing aiming to promote wisdom, respect, sustainability and human development throughout the year. Meanwhile, Social @SIKKA will enlist the help of macro and micro influencers to create even further buzz around the fair and raise awareness among the public.
This year, Dubai Culture has made it easier than ever before for the public to reach SIKKA Art Fair, reflecting the Authority’s commitment to involving all segments of society in the fair. Visitors can reach SIKKA via metro, car, bus shuttle, Careem, the S’hail app or even by abra for as little as AED 1 per trip. Dubai Culture is providing complimentary shuttle buses from the Al Seef by Meraas multi-storey car park to SIKKA, and has also worked with Careem to provide visitors with a special 15% discount on two rides when they book a taxi using the code SIKKA2018. The code is valid from 17th to 26th March 2018 for ‘now’ and ‘later’ bookings across all car types excluding GO, UNCHR and BOX, with a maximum discount of AED 20 per ride. Valet parking will also be provided at the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood on a first-come, first-served basis.
SIKKA Art Fair complements the city-wide activation of cultural events that will take place during the fifth edition of Dubai Art Season, which will run throughout March and April 2018 and feature events such as the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Art Dubai, DIFC Art Nights and the Middle East Film & Comic Con, among hundreds of other initiatives.
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