Everyone makes resolutions, but few people keep them. What are yours?
Time Out Bahrain staff
Yusuf Ahmed Kanoo Yusuf Ahmed Kanoo is one of Bahrain’s richest residents, and sits at the head of Kanoo Group, one of the oldest companies in the Gulf. With a fortune estimated by Arabian Business magazine at $6.1 billion, he is listed with the rest of his family at number nine on the magazine’s list of World’s Richest Arabs. Needless to say, we’d all like to be him.
If you are looking to accumulate wealth, then there are few better places to do so than in the Arabian Gulf where a glut of oil has created many of the world’s most dynamic economies. Bahrain was the first in the region to discover oil, and word is there’s not all that much more money left to be made. However, if you have a head for numbers, Bahrain is the place to be. The Financial Times rated Manama as the Middle Eastern City of the Future, the Washington Post claimed the country has the freest economy in the Arab world and the City of London Global Financial Centres Index rates Bahrain as the world’s fastest growing financial centre, which comes as no great surprise seeing as there are more investment banks in the country than you can shake a stick at.
The Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (www.bibf.com.bh) offers a shed load of courses for those looking to swat up on their studies, while University College of Bahrain (www.ucb.edu.bh) does an MBA. If you’re looking a job with lots of lucre, click on www.jobinbahrain.com, while those looking for ready cash without any hard work will be relieved to note that Bahrain is one of the easiest places in the world to get credit.
If you’re the type who likes to find the secrets of financial success in a read, buy Felix Dennis’ How To Get Rich or Sheilah Graham’s How To Marry Super Rich.
Akbar Bokhari vice president, Addax Bank, Bahrain
What is the best way to make money in 2010? ‘In my opinion, the best way to make money in 2010 is through purchasing distressed real estate in the US and through buying government backed bonds in stable markets across the world.’
Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid It is fair to say that being born in Mogadishu puts you at a bit of a disadvantage should you want to break into the cut throat world of fashion. But when you look like Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid, being expelled from your home country and growing up in poverty and obscurity are hardly obstacles to becoming one of the most famous supermodels in the world. ‘Discovered’ while attending Nairobi University, she has graced the covers of the best magazines, modelled for every designer worth modelling for, acted in a slew of movies and now has her own product range. To top it off, she’s married to everybody’s favourite British rock star, David Bowie.
Some people are born beautiful (and we hate them for it). Few of us have beauty thrust upon us (shame). Fortunately, we can all achieve beauty (thanks to the advent of cosmetic surgery). And we can do so without leaving Bahrain. While a good diet, plenty of exercise and gallons of water each day are the general prescription for anyone wanting to look their best, it has been proven that smokers, chocolate scoffers and the utterly inactive can also look like they have just wondered off the catwalk if you have the cash to splash and the time to spare.
Spas are a good place to start. But while they might make you feel good, they alone are not going to make you look fantastic. For that you’ll need to head down to Bahrain Specialist Hospital (17 812 222) to see Dr Dean Chuna-Gomes, Bahrain’s sole cosmetic surgeon. Wonky jaw? He’ll whack it into place. Massive conch? He’ll chisel it. And he can also suck out the fat of those 500 Mars Bars you ate when you were feeling down, making him Bahrain’s beauty baron.
Sarah Bremermann assistant spa manager, Diplomat Spa
What’s the single most important principle in the quest for beauty in 2010? ‘Be consistent with your fitness and beauty routines. We are introducing a fitness programme which incorporates personal training, massage and body treatments. Combining health and beauty treats the body as a whole and helps you to achieve better results.’
Halim Solmaz How do you define good health? In the Time Out Bahrain offices we all think Megan Fox looks the very picture of health, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to outlive us. And living it out is the definition of good health, after all. Which makes Halim Solmaz, the Turkish woman who, alive at the time of writing and reputedly a gravity-defying 125-years-old (though this hasn’t been officially verified), the healthiest person on the planet. Born in 1884 in Agri, Turkey, she lived for decades before the Ottoman Empire was dissolved and served a yoghurt drink to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, when he visited her village.
Living in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, millions of people are trying to work out what she’s been eating to keep her alive for so long. If you want to live to see the 22nd century, most people will tell you to stop smoking, run for miles every day and eat only salad. Which is precisely what Jim Fixx, the man credited with starting a fitness revolution in the United States, did, and he was dead from a heart attack at the age of 52. On the other hand, Jeanne Calment, the French lady with the longest confirmed lifespan ever, smoked until she was 120, ate a whole trough-load of cheese and drank a bottle of red a day, and still managed to make it to 122. Making the path to good health even murkier.
With the general rules of thumb being that if you are fat, lazy and bored then you are probably likely to die young, check into Alia Almoayed Nutritional Clinic (www.aliaalmoayed.com) to figure out your body mass index. Then join the Bahrain Roadrunners (www.bahrainroadrunner.com) to pound off some of the those pounds, book in for some motivational life coaching at JeMeUno Coaching with Kecia Braggs (39 301 946), before reading Time Out Bahrain cover to cover to keep your brain ticking over.
Guilbert Macalanda general manager, Bahrain Wellness Resort
What is the one thing that Time Out readers can do in 2010 to make themselves healthier? ‘Eat only healthy foods like vegetables, fish and other non-cholesterol filled foods, and stick to a strict diet to maintain a good figure.’
Be more intelligent
Ahmed Zewail Bahrain might not have a produced a Nobel Prize winner yet (well, it’s a Western prize set up to celebrate Westerns, right?), but Egypt has a fair few, among them Ahmed Zewail. The Arab world’s only Nobel Prize winner in science, he won it for his research in femtochemistry, which is apparently the study of very fast chemical reactions (well, someone’s got to do it).
Bahrain has one of the largest libraries in the whole of the Gulf, though this hasn’t exactly transformed the country into a nation of readers. That said, should you want to borrow a book, then the Bahrain National Library adjacent to the Al Fateh Mosque has by far the greatest selection. The Alliance Francaise (www.afbahrain.com) can teach you French, while Discover Islam (www.discoverislam.net) has a range of Arabic courses. For those looking to add letters after their name, head to the University of Bahrain (www.uob.edu.bh).
Dr. Haifa Ali Al-Maskati dean, College of Science, University of Bahrain
What is the most important thing people can do in 2010 to educate themselves? ‘Reading is very important. These days we don’t read a lot because of the information available on the Internet which gives us just a glance at what is happening.These days we have superficial wider knowledge but the depth has become shallower. Reading books, communication and the increased use of our libraries are all important.’
Ibn Battuta Went on a gap year and thought you covered the word? Think again. Ibn Battuta, one of the planet’s greatest travellers, spent 30 years exploring the known world in the fourteenth century which, with no transport other than donkey carts and horseback, was no mean feat. The Islamic Marco Polo, Battuta travelled more extensively than most previous explorers put together, going as far as China to the East and Spain to the west, meaning he practically invented the word intrepid.
Thanks, in part, to Gulf Air, getting out of Bahrain is a doddle. Add to that Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways and the entire world is pretty much on your doorstep. While European package-style holidays are thankfully a thing of the past, most people still don’t make full use of their holiday time, booking hotels for weeks on end and being stuck in one place for the duration. Thanks to open jaw flights (fly to one destination, fly back from another), you can use your trip to cover whole continents. Travel with a purpose is the latest catch phrase in the travel industry, which means going to save some tigers, build an orphanage or replant a rainforest. Travel itself has become a focus, with thousands of people booking the Trans Siberian Railway. Bahrain’s best travel agent is Kanoo Travel: www.kanootravel.com
Tuan Burah marketing manager GCC, Kanoo Travel
Where is the one place that Time Out Bahrain readers should be travelling to in 2010, and why? ‘The Far East, definitely. Having had a relatively silent 2009 due to the H1N1 scare and recession, my thoughts are that popular Far East Asian destinations such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand will pick up ‘summer vacation’ traffic once again in 2010. The Far East has a lot to offer at an affordable price, I doubt holidaymakers could stay away from these amazing destinations for too long. And make sure to hop around at least two or three destinations in the tropics before you take that long flight back to the Gulf.’
Roqaya Al-Gassra One of Bahrain’s best known and most inspiring athletes, Roqaya Al-Gassra has put Bahrain athletics on the world stage. With most of the country’s athletics team originally hailing from Kenya, Al-Gassra is something of an anomaly having been born and bred on the island. In the 2006 Asian Games she won gold in the 200 metres, the first Bahrain-born athlete to ever do so in an event that extended beyond the Arab world. Which makes her both the fittest and the fastest person on the island.
Everyone plans to get fit in the new year, but unfortunately merely joining the gym and paying the membership fee every month (though admittedly a struggle these days with the hugely expensive gym prices) is not going to put you in the running to be next year’s Men’s Fitness cover star. If you don’t have a gym in your building, your best bet is Fitness First (call Umar for membership enquiries: 36 690 299) located in the Bahrain World Trade Centre. If you find you’re suffering from the loneliness of the long distance runner, why not join a club and get motivated en masse.
Paul Hamblin fitness manager, Fitness First Bahrain
What are your top tips for getting fit in the new year? ‘Set a realistic goal, seek professional qualified help, and stick with it.’