Moscow To rent: $5,250 a month To buy: from $60,000
New York To rent: $2,000 a month To buy: $840,000
Singapore To rent: $2,000 a month To buy: $900,000
Sydney Rent: US$1,900 a month Buy: US$551,000
Biggest scandal of 2010?
Amsterdam: When venue magnate Sjoerd Kooistra committed suicide following a dispute with a drinks label.
Bahrain: The fact that Nancy Ajram sang at the Al Areen Palace & Spa and we were told the day after it happened. Thanks guys!
Cyprus: Somebody stole the corpse of the former president of the republic, Tassos Papadopoulos. It was found after six months.
Dubai: The talk of banning BlackBerry services, partly for security reasons (which was then quietly repealed in October). Also, the 11-member European hit squad accused of stalking and killing a Hamas commander in a hotel in the city.
Delhi: The Commonwealth Games. Billions of dollars were spent on an event that did little for Delhi’s tourist economy, when the poor were forcibly bussed out of the city. The minimum estimate of the Games’s cost is equal to 20 times the total education budget of the Delhi state government next year (the maximum estimate is closer to 50 times).
Istanbul: The destruction of a historic theatre to build a shopping mall.
London: The city became the apex of nationwide anger against the new coalition government in an amazingly 21st century viral campaign, led through the youthful world of social media.
Moscow: Every speech made by Vladimir Putin is a scandal.
New York: The controversy surrounding the famed ‘Ground Zero mosque’.
Singapore: In June, an MRT (subway) train was tagged with graffiti. A Swiss man was accused and sentenced to three strokes of the cane and seven months in prison.
Sydney: The government’s treatment of asylum seekers.
Your coolest new boutique hotel
Amsterdam: The reopening of the 23-bedroom CanalHouse.
Bahrain: L’Hotel, Bahrain’s only boutique hotel, still holds its own in the kingdom.
Cyprus: Londa Boutique Hotel in Lemesos.
Dubai: Jumeirah Garden Guesthouse [pretty much the only boutique hotel there].
Delhi: The Trinity Art Hotel was opened by Sheetal Bawa Singh and her husband a few weeks ago as a hotel/gallery.
Istanbul: A’jia; it’s situated by Bosphorus, at the Asian side.
London: Town Hall Hotel and Apartments: an Edwardian East End haunt lovingly revamped.
Moscow: The cost is higher than the quality here.
New York: Andre Balazs’s latest is too big to be called ‘boutique’, but from the rooftop bar to the garden, it’s a scene.
Singapore: Wanderlust, the first snazzy boutique hotel to open in Little India. Each floor has rooms designed by the city’s top design agencies.
Sydney: Establishment in the CBD.
What did your city’s inhabitants complain about most in 2010?
Amsterdam: The continuing disruption caused by the construction of the north-south metro line, a project that’s comically over budget and subject to spiralling delays.
Bahrain: Traffic. Not helped by the fact that roadworks added extra blockage.
Cyprus: Eleftherias Square (designed by Zaha Hadid) and the delays of the construction.
Delhi: The level of graft required for the Commonwealth Games, and the way ‘city pride’ kept being bandied about to justify it.
Dubai: The new national ID cards. Everyone has to get one in order to use government services in future, but many became confused about the deadlines for applications.
Istanbul: Traffic jams, as usual. An inhabitant of Istanbul spends an average of three hours a day in traffic.
London: Weather; especially weather and travel. The London Tube network acts as an intensifier for any extreme weather conditions in the capital. If it’s too hot, you’ll faint from heat. If it’s snowing, you’ll not even get down the escalator before skidding on slush.
Moscow: The bad environmental conditions, high cost of living and (in winter) the mud.
New York: Public transportation: frequent repairs and service cutbacks to the city’s subway system.
Singapore: Casinos charging $100 for Singaporeans and permanent residents to enter, while foreigners get in free.
Sydney: The weather. It rains in Sydney far more than you’d expect. And Oprah’s visit.
Hottest trend of 2010?
Amsterdam: Post-crunch ‘pop-up’ ventures, such as coffee shops and boutiques, making the most of unoccupied commercial spaces.
Bahrain: Art appreciation. The Middle Eastern art scene is booming right now, and Bahrain often feels like the epicentre of creativity in this region.
Cyprus: A turn to the alternative in terms of music, art, life and style.
Delhi: Walking. Delhi has long been considered too unfriendly to walk in. Now many walks are led by scholars and enthusiasts.
Dubai: Beach bars. Finally the city has started to really make the most of its coastline.
Istanbul: Smirting (smoking and flirting outside a pub, bar or club) – the non-smoking law was introduced in July 2009.
London: Twitter: everyone’s tweeting. From David Dimbleby on Question Time to the Metropolitan Police disseminating advice by the second, Twitter has changed how people exchange information.
Moscow: More than 100 bars have opened.
New York: Social media, such as Twitter.
Singapore: Rooftop bars. Despite the heat, people are keen to see the skyline from above. Altitude claims to be the world’s highest al-fresco rooftop bar. Sydney: Tweeting.
Your coolest new restaurant
Amsterdam: Proef, a food design destination in the Westergasfabriek, where you’re quite likely to be served a potato in a teacup.
Bahrain: Muju at the Dragon Resort Hotel, Amwaj Islands. Finally a decent restaurant with a great lounge that overlooks the water.
Cyprus: Pantopoleion ‘H Kali Orexi’.
Dubai: STAY at One&Only Palm Jumeirah. Fantastic food in a simply glorious setting.
Delhi: Gunpowder, an unassuming little Indian eatery with a view, has become the new hotspot in Hauz Khas Village.
Istanbul: Open since 2006, Lucca is still on trend. It’s situated in Bebek (a hip neighbourhood by the Bosphorus).
London: Inamo, offering virtual menus and touch-table technology, coupled with gorgeous Asian fusion food.
Moscow: Ragout: a mix of French and British cuisine.
New York: ABC Kitchen. Jean Georges Vongerichten’s Greenmarket cooking is fresh and exuberant.
Singapore: Not necessarily the coolest, but Marina Bay Sands, one of the new casino resorts, has brought the first group of celebrity chefs to Singapore’s shores. Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud, Guy Savoy, Santi Santamaria and Wolfgang Puck have all opened restaurants this year.
Sydney: Porteno, a modern Argentinian restaurant that became an instant hotspot.
What is the most anticipated event this year in your city?
Amsterdam: The delayed reopening of the Stedelijk Museum of modern art.
Bahrain: As ever, the Bahrain Grand Prix tops the list this year, and every year, as the most anticipated event in the kingdom.
Cyprus: The collection of works by French artist Edgar Degas at the Evagoras and Kathleen Lanitis Cultural Centre.
Dubai: At the moment, the upcoming appearance of Amy Winehouse at Gulf Bike Week in February. Will she get past customs?
Delhi: 2011 is the centenary of New Delhi. There will be a deluge of events looking back at the past 100 years, and hopefully the arriving 100.
Istanbul: The 12th international Istanbul Biennal.
London: The upcoming marriage of Kate Middleton and Prince William is going to dominate the media for the next four months.
Moscow: The presidential elections in 2012.
New York: Too many to choose just one: the opening of the second part of the High Line (the raised public park built on a former elevated train track); the 9/11 Memorial; the opening of the $65 million Spider-Man: The Musical.
Singapore: Art Stage Singapore will attract big-name artists, as well as displaying the works produced by local artists.
Sydney: Justin Bieber’s concert. Sadly.
What was the most popular TV show in your country?
Amsterdam: The Voice Of Holland, a TV talent contest where the judges can’t see the contestants and have to make their appraisals on talent alone.
Bahrain: American series found massive audiences in the country, Dexter in particular making a bit of a splash.
Cyprus: To Nissi (The Island), based on the book by Victoria Hisslop.
Dubai: The UK’s Come Dine With Me.
Delhi: The Big Boss, a reality TV show based on the US’s Big Brother, which had the country in a tizzy because of Pamela Anderson’s appearance in the house.
Istanbul: As¸k-ı Memnu, based on a novel by 20th-century Turkish writer Halit Ziya Us¸aklıgil, about a love affair between a young man and his uncle’s young wife.
London: Everyone had an opinion on The X Factor, from feigned indifference to uncomfortable obsession. Also, drama Red Riding was brave and challenging.
Moscow: Wow! We don’t watch TV!
New York: From a ratings standpoint, American Idol. But from a cultural standpoint, Glee.
Singapore: All the regular imports (Heroes and Glee are big).
Sydney: MasterChef, a reality show about amateur cooks.
Which cultural piece released last year excited your Time Out team the most?
Amsterdam: Brilliant family drama The Kids Are All Right.
Bahrain: The Fighter. Superlative acting from Christian Bale and Melissa Leo, a brilliant script and a fast paced film that navigates the frequently cliched genre expertly.
Cyprus: George Christodoulides’ variety show The Miracle Man.
Dubai: Prince’s show at the F1 in Abu Dhabi – and his absolutely phenomenal secret gig.
Delhi: Anish Kapur’s first exhibition in the subcontinent, across Bombay and Delhi.
Istanbul: U2’s gig at 360 Club. We’ve waited for them for so long.
London: Florence And The Machine’s ‘You Got The Love’ (The XX Remix).
Moscow: Megapolis produced an album, the first about life according to those over 40.
New York: It’s probably a tie between The Social Network and Broadway musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.
Singapore: A series of productions by Wild Rice, a local theatre company.
Sydney: LCD Soundsystem album This is Happening; the Animal Kingdom movie; and theatrical play August: Osage County.