The New Fairmont Ajman
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts announced this past week of the opening of Fairmont Ajman in the United Arab Emirates. This beachfront resort is nestled in the smallest of the seven Emirates and is flanked by beachfront with unobstructed views of the Arabian Gulf.
Fairmont Ajman stands on a 200 meter stretch of sand with 14 floors that have 252 guest rooms and two-story penthouses, each offering panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf. The color palettes are of soft pearl silvers and neutral toned textiles, allowing the resort design to evoke a serenity while paying homage the destination’s rich Arabian heritage and culture.
A large infinity pool, children’s activity facility, and spa and fitness center are part of the resort’s leisure offerings. Another key feature is its dining portfolio — seven restaurants and lounges, including, Spectrum, an international restaurant with interactive live cooking stations, based on the former award-winning Spectrum on One at the Fairmont Dubai. Other dining areas include an outdoor lounge set against a Gulf backdrop, an Arabian-themed nightclub and a signature Turkish restaurant that will debut later in the year.
Fairmont Ajman joins a collection in the United Arab Emirates that includes Fairmont Dubai, Fairmont The Palm and Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in Abu Dhabi.
The New Face of the Whitney Museum Of American Art in New York
Renzo Piano’s new structure for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York is said to like American industrial architecture. The term “factory” has been suggested to describe the museum’s new $422 million home. The novel geometry, its expansive steel, concrete, and glass surfaces all are said to be reminiscent of turn-of-the-century factory buildings.
But the Whitney is a cultural statement as well as a great museum, both playing with Piano’s simple utilitarian design.
At the museum’s press preview last week, Piano cited another structure in discussing the Whitney’s architecture: the Centre Pompidou, which he designed with Richard Rogers in 1976. That project brought the aesthetics of modern technology to the heart of historic Paris, and elevated Piano’s reputation as both a memorable designer and a rebel. “We were bad boys with Richard Rogers,” Piano reflected, then said, “We are still bad boys.”
Not sure about that, but his Whitney design seems an homage to an earlier era as he redefines a new one that is both evolutionary and revolutionary. He seems like more of a bad good boy, in reality.
Hermes And Their Perfect Skins Outperforms The Luxury Rivals
The French luxury house Hermès International SCA showed exceptionally robust growth in the first quarter. First quarter sales rose by 19 per cent to €1.1 billion,( $1.2USD) in the first three months of the year, compared with €944 million ($10.5M USD) in the same period last year,
In Asia, the maker of the famous Birkin and Kelly handbags recorded a 9.6 per cent rise in sales, at constant currencies, helped by the opening of a new flagship store in Shanghai in September and double-digit sales growth in Japan.
The luxury house reported that sales in Europe and the Americas increased 4.6 per cent and 9.6 per cent respectively.
Heading into the second part of 2015, Hermès predicts sales to grow by 8 per cent, after rising 11 per cent last year.
Luxury Defined: A New Study From Christie’s
‘Trophy’ has become the new buzzword in luxury real estate. No, no, not a trophy wife, but a trophy HOME. And US $100 million is now firmly established as the billionaire benchmark for ultra-prime property.
According to a just-released study by Christie’s International Real Estate— the world’s leading luxury residential network and the real estate arm of Christie’s art house — more properties than ever before were both sold and listed for sale at US $100 million or higher in 2014.
The study is entitled Luxury Defined, and is the third annual edition of the research paper. It not only examines the world’s top 10 cities for prime property, but also analyzes an additional 70 key regional markets, exploring the dynamics and drivers shaping the globe’s high-end real estate market. Key findings from the white paper revealed that second home resort markets were exceptionally popular in 2014, leading the growth in luxury property sales.
Here are a few of their findings:
- Toronto ranked as the world’s ‘hottest’ luxury market, and was the only location to see a faster year-on-year pace with a 37 percent increase in luxury home sales.
- Second home markets led the growth of high-value sales in 2014, with ‘jet set destinations’ recording on average a 28 percent year on year increase.
- International second home buyers are driving market growth, particularly in Marrakech and Turks & Caicos where 100 percent of top end purchasers are from overseas.
- Dubai ranks as the most popular city for second home purchases amongst global HNWIs, who accounted for 75 percent of sales. Meanwhile, 44 percent of the sales in London and 40 percent in Miami were international second home purchases.
- The highest price-per-square-foot achieved in 2014 for a luxury home was recorded in Cote d’Azur at US$22,577 per-square-foot.
- The average starting price for a ‘luxury home’ worldwide is US$2 million. London and Beverly Hills have the highest price entry points at US$6 million and US$8 million, respectively.
Christie’s International Real Estate is wholly owned by Christie’s. The Luxury Defined study can be accessed at www.christiesrealestate.com/luxury-defined
Odd Bedfellows: Necker Island And Bitcoin
The month, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson is set to hold a conference on Necker Island, his 74-acre private island in the British Virgin Islands, to discuss the future of Bitcoin, Blockchain and digital currency.
Branson is sharing hosting duties with Valery Vavilov, the CEO of Bitfury, a company that develops servers for “Blockchain transaction processing,”
The discussions will be moderated by The Wall Street Journal senior columnist Michael J. Casey, The Economist’s Globalization Editor Matthew Bishop and Hernando de Soto, president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy.
Branson explained his rationale for investing in the cryptocurrency, explaining “There’s a real desire for greater levels of control, freedom and scrutiny over what happens with our money, Bitcoin addresses these concerns and that is why so many people believe it represents the future.”