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From the most luxe yachts in the world to a new aviation start up taking off in India; From Qatar’s National Museum opening its doors to the public, to the colour of the year, find out what’s making headlines all around the world this year

NATIONAL MUSEUM
OF QATAR OPENS ITS
DOORS TO THE WORLD

Inspired by the shape of the mineral desert rose—a flower-like crystal
formation found in the Gulf region, the 430,000 square feet structure
promises an immersive journey into the history of the nation

Defying the conventions of a traditional art museum, the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) is a cultural treasure. Located across from the Corniche waterfront in Doha, situated in front of a manmade lagoon with 114 fountains, it is one of the first notable structures you will see as you leave the Doha international airport.

It took French Pritzker prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel (who also designed Abu Dhabi’s Louvre), ten years to carefully conceptualise and build this  masterpiece before it opened its doors to the public on March 28, 2019. On first glance you will notice its stunning façade showcasing a fine balance of modern and classic, with giant sand-coloured interlocking  discs that look like supersized versions of delicate petals. Look closer and you will be astonished to know that the entire structure is made of 250,000 fibreglass structures which were artfully placed in 76,000 panels. Its centrepiece is Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani’s restored historic palace.

NMoQ has 11 permanent galleries offering a 360-degree immersive experience of sight, touch, sound and aromas into the natural, anthropological and paleontological history of Qatar, dating back almost 700 million years. It culminates in present-day scenarios and progress of a modern Qatar under the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Along the chronological journey you take, you will come across rare objects like the $5.5 million Pearl Carpet of Baroda which was embroidered with more than a million and a half fine Gulf pearls, and heftily adorned with emeralds, diamonds and sapphires. You will also see the oldest Koran discovered back in the 1800s.

It houses an auditorium, research centre, laboratories, cafes and a rooftop restaurant overlooking the bay. The mission of this museum: to provide lifelong learnings. Once you explore it, you will see how that mission has been so beautifully accomplished.

Imagine travelling from Mumbai to Pune in just 35-40 minutes. Or swapping traffic congestion for whizzing across clear blue skies aboard a copter. Sounds pretty brilliant, doesn’t it? Well it’s all soon possible with Blade India, a collaboration between USA’s Fly Blade Inc and India’s Hunch Ventures, flying in to solve your daily travel woes.

The service: Blade India, an aviation start up, will offer intercity and intracity helicopter services to you and me, and will operate via an app for ease of accessibility. All you have to do is download the Blade app on your smartphone and use it to book your ride. Who knew there would be a day when booking a copter would be as easy as booking an Uber or Ola.

BLADE TAKES OFF IN INDIA

Initial routes will connect two of the most congested cities in the world, replacing 4-8 hour drives with a 35 minute helicopter ride

The routes: Blade has already been operating its services in USA, with its lounges in major cities like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida and California. In India, to begin with, Blade will offer its services connecting places like Juhu and Mahalaxmi to Pune city or Shirdi.

The capacity, duration and timings: The rides will potentially seat 5-8 passengers at a time. And the company is aiming to provide rides within 20 minutes from the time you arrive at the lounge. For maxium safety, it will fly only between sunrise and sunset.

The pricing: In the beginning it will seem like an expensive undertaking, but then again, time is money. Over time, Blade India hopes to be able to make it more economical and reach out to the masses.

THE POWER OF PURPLE

Asian Paints’ colour of the year 2019 “Awakening” is meant to evoke creativity at its finest with striking shades of plum

Humble yet strong, pretty yet powerful—the colour of the year unveiled by Asian Paints at India Design ID is a beautiful mix of brown and purple. Touted as the most decisive voice on colour in the country, this year Asian Paints introduces a colour that is symbolic of strong resolve, noble intentions, confidence and dynamism of being woke. While the purple hue brings in a sense of authority, the brown tone in it makes it down-to-earth and approachable. And staying true to its name, it is a colour that intends to give everyone an ‘Awakening’, in one way or the other.

We love it for its warm, pulsating with life and active demeanour and at the same time it is interesting how the colour makes one reminiscent of the erstwhile kings’ and queens’ elegant and  elaborate attires. Now it’s time to become a merlot aficionado, and take this colour places with your interiors:
Texture is everything:
This year it’s all about less is more. Avoid the clutter of loud prints and big patterns. Instead add depth and dimension with weighted and sheer fabrics, a variety of weaves and textured elements, putting into focus the luxury of this new plum shade.
A play of papers: Give your walls an undeniably modern yet classic vibe by incorporating the colour to your space in the form of quality wallpapers. A single purple wall will arrest the attention of anyone who walks through the door.
Accents of Awakening: For those who prefer a more minimalist approach, update your space with one or two accents that provide a striking contrast. Make purple the protagonist through soft furnishing, like a chair cover, a bed headboard, or a rug that exudes a sense of royalty.

YACHTS OF ENVY

These are the yachts making BIG waves

The dream: to ride the waves and float around the world in extravagance, aboard one of these drool-worthy beauties. Hey, dreams can come true.

SUPERPOWER OF THE OCEAN
One glance at the Aeroboat S6 and you will fall in love. With a Rolls Royce engine promising top speeds of 48 knots, you can expect an extraordinary and uncompromising experience out in the open waters. Designed by British-based Claydon Reeves design studio and BMT Nigel Gee, the 65 feet carbon and aluminium cruiser promises generosity of space, both above and below the deck. On the upper deck you will notice an elegant al fresco dining with adjustable seating, a perfect spot to indulge in lavish spreads whilst enjoying endless ocean views. Its expansive windows all around endow you with no less, while the wooden flooring perfectly complements its metallic exterior. The interior cabins feature an equipped kitchen, shower area, entertainment unit, a garage that can hold up to two jet skis, and a recluse away from the rest, but
not from the majestic views. The yacht unfurls with many more cool features: it’s got transformable stairways, pop-up railings, movable decks, hidden television screens which stow away when not in use and so much more, allowing you to comfortably and luxuriously spend hours or even days at sea.

A WINNER IN THE WATER
She won the World Superyacht Award 2018, and she was aworthy winner indeed. Ribelle, Vitters custom sailing yacht is a true maritime marvel, and yet is designed to make you feel like you’re right at home. Credit for the modern and slick naval architecture and exterior design goes to Malcolm McKeon Yacht Design while Rémi Tessier was responsible for the bright and modern interior décor. This 32.64metre superstructure is made of carbon fibre and titanium—a feat that required immense design thinking. Reaching speeds of more than 20 knots in moderate conditions, she also has a super sleek anchor arm, making her a lightweight wonder. But it’s the futuristic glass canopy beautifully curved and finished with high-gloss framing filling the yacht with light, that tips the scales. Inside, you will notice a combination of bleached teak, white leather and high-gloss copper accents, exuding a fine balance between vintage style and contemporary luxury. The lower deck houses three cabins, big enough for up to six guests to stay, and there are additional quarters for a crew of five. The master suite has a walkaround bed and there’s also a kitchen fully amped with three ovens, a large induction cooktop, a chiller and a two-metre working island. Intended for highperformance racing as much as relaxed cruising, Ribelle is indeed a true winner.

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