World Luxury Hotel Awards Ceremony at the St Regis – Doha

St Regis hotel in Doha hosted the 10th anniversary gala of the World Luxury Hotel Awards ceremony.

The prestigious event saw hospitality professionals, media and valued guests gather together for a glamorous night

Awards were presented to luxury hotels and resorts in over 60 categories on a country, regional, continent and global basis.

Dining was to the perfection of Executive Chef Jean-Luc Morcellet; a chicly decadent 6-course meal was prepared to order and each course was elegantly plated. Guests savoured their meals while being entertained with live, toe-tapping jazz music, performed throughout the evening.

In celebration of the decade anniversary, the World Luxury Hotel Awards designed a limited edition trophy for its winners, plated in 24 karat gold and beautifully and meticulously crafted to symbolise elegance, grandeur, majesty and luxury. Winners held their trophy with pride as they were given an opportunity for one-on-one personalised video interviews to speak about their achievement with media.

The Best Luxury New Hotel Award was presented to the Tunisian hotel ‘La Badira’ which is a first and the establishment is also a member of The Leading Hotels of the World network.

Mouna Ben Halima, CEO of La Badira was quoted saying “I feel very happy and proud for this achievement, the first one of its kind for Tunisia. My whole team has been working very hard towards perfect service in a very challenging period for tourism in the country. I invite you all to visit Tunisia and to support democracy in the Arab world”

The evening was MC’d by the captivating businessman Khalifa Al Haroon, Arabian Business Magazine’s’ “Young Achiever of the Year 2014” and CEO and founder of Haroon United Group (HUG) which counts among its stable of companies,, a website portal that aims to bridge the gap between Qatar and its large expatriate population.

The Maya Mia Make-Up Masterclass in Doha

“Maya Mia”.

Haven’t heard of this name before? Here is your crash course!!


This gorgeous young lady is a renowned celebrity make-up artist/beauty blogger/youtuber/digital influencer from South-Africa with an insane 1,7 millions followers on Instagram and a successful YouTube Channel.

Maya Mia 1 Qatar

Her talent has been noticed by the trendy make-up brand Anastasia Beverly Hills who chose her to collaborate with them on a special palette. Amongst her clients, the TV-famous Kardashian-Jenner clan for instance and many more.


And now, she gives certified full workshop all over the world to share her techniques and tips for those who want to learn her art and gain professional certification

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From the confirmed make up artists who wants to up their skills to the passionate make-up lovers or the aspiring beauty blogger, the sold-out masterclasses have proven their worth and now it’s coming to Qatar for
the first time!!

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This unique and innovative event is brought by the up-and-coming events agency iQatar who is bringing in a full-on two days make-up course the 19th and 20th of February 2016 at the Sharq Hotel in Doha. If you need any more information, feel free to reach out to iQatar representatives Valeria or Kdeeja at this number: +974 6651 4488


From contouring & highlight to bridal make-up & smokey eyes, Maya Mia will cover all aspects and share her secrets for a professional and sleek result!!

Here is the program below.



Maya mia 3 Qatar.

Credits Images: Maya Mia Instagram

Dolce&Gabbana are launching their first abaya and hijab collection


Dolce & Gabbana are launching a new abaya and hijab line and it is a first amongst high-end luxury brands.

Some other big names such as DKNY or Net-a-Porter for instance have already included a Ramadan special collection, but this line is a trend-setter in traditional islamic garments for women by a luxury European maison.


The Italian duo have introduced their first presentation in what is
commonly called “modest fashion” or under the name of “modest clothing”, a foray into a un-tapped market until now.



This new trend first cater to
religious people, be it muslims, christians or jews, who are looking
for conservative clothes in a fashionable style.

But also to all women regardless of their beliefs who want to dress in a covered way i.e long skirts, or long-sleeved shirts for instance…




For this particular line, we can still find the signature of the
Italian brand such as daisies, lace and embroideries with a palette of
black greys and nude…


The target here is clearly Middle Eastern women who spends a lot in
abayas and accessories, as mentioned by the designers as quoted below
Stefano Gabbana:

“Our customers in the Middle-East are very important to us. We want to
offer them the very best, some of them even became close friends”


Indeed, this ever-expanding market is surely to be considered
seriously by other brands as analysts and trade economists are in sync
with the future growth of this new branch of fashion with a prediction
of 500 billions dollars worldwide in 2019.

The D&G collection will be available for sale in the UAE.
Here are some pictures courtesy Style Arabia.








EXCLUSIVE: Interview with French Pastry Chef, Pierre Hermé.

On the evening of November the 9th, the boutique was transformed into an exotic garden that brought the flavors of Pierre Hermé’s macaron and chocolates to life.

The most admired flavors of the evening were the macaron “Infiniment Citron Caviar”, macaron “Truffe Blanche et Noisette”, and macaron “Marron Glacé”, three of the Chef’s signature flavors from the end of year collection as well as some of the iconic flavors of Pierre Hermé like “Ispahan”, “Mogador”, and “Satine”.

The event was attended by a number of VIPs and media.

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At, we were very eager to meet the Picasso of Pastry, as quoted by Vogue, and get to know more about the man himself…Excerpts.

Pierre Hermé, welcome to Qatar and thank you for having us today. Could you give us your impressions on Qatar?

This is my second time in Doha, I was amazed by the architecture and the local hospitality, but speaking of pastry, it’s two distinctive worlds!! I really enjoy Middle-eastern sweets when they have just been baked, almost fresh off the oven. I think that it makes a huge difference in the taste and it’s delicious when it’s freshly made.

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Are you inspired by local flavors?

Always, whenever I travel I take time to taste local food or product but I don’t necessarily look out on working them. I loved the dates, the honey…but if I take a local flavor, I won’t use it everywhere.

For example, when I was in Hong Kong 3 years ago, I discovered a tea drink but there is no tea in it. It’s made of dried fruits and flowers and Japanese people drink it after meal. I was very impressed by its taste and then I tried to discover how to do it and we made a macaron out of it that we sale everywhere.

How is the market for high-end desserts here in Qatar?

I think people here like sweets, some of the Qataris are familiar with the brand, others just discovered it with this boutique. For example in Japan, most of our customers are Japanese so I hope Qataris get to enjoy the products as well…I also like the fact that French expats try to find a little bit of France abroad.

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Has your journey here exceeded your expectations?

Oh yes of course, because we started from scratch. When we go in a new country, we start from nothing it’s always a work in progress and we try to make it better day by day. We are now in 11 countries with 47 boutiques all around the world. Regarding the logistics, we make the macarons in France and ship them off to the Doha boutique so our clients are eating the exact same products everywhere.

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What sets your macarons and your sweets apart from the others?

I think it is the creation process, the desserts, the cakes, the chocolates…
Macaron is the most important part of what we sell, so I work a lot on macaron. I started with macaron as my main product, and I have been working on it for a while now. Next year, I will complete 40 years in this job as a pastry Chef, I started in 1976.

And now we are curious to know more about this specific creation process…

It always starts by an idea triggered by a product, a flavor, a reading or even an image…The inspiration can come from many different places and after that it can take 30 seconds, or weeks and sometimes even months! For instance, I discovered the pepper of blackcurrant bush which is basically some blackcurrant bud milled but as of now I couldn’t figure out a smart way to use its flavor so I put it aside but I am confident that one day I will find some use for it, one way or another, in one of my creations.

In another case, it comes naturally like for the white truffle and nuts macaron as a case in point.

TheInsiderPost-Pierre Hermé-Macaron truffe Noisette

Afterwards, I write down the recipe, sketch the product and with my team we discuss techniques, ingredients, balance…we work on it until we get the final product that we let live a few days so that e can see how it evolves with time. I taste it and then I decide.

The sketching is very important as it helps me set up the size and the proportion of ingredients composing the macaron.

MACARON ROSE GIROFLE-Pierre hermé croquis TIP (1)

And at last, the name. Sometimes its organic and we all agree on it and other times, with my associate, we play it over a table tennis game, and the winner choses his favorites (laughing). But I have a committed stance regarding the name, it has to be in French as we are a French brand and straight-to-the-point.

Some of your creations have reached the status of masterpiece like L’Ispahan for instance…

Indeed, L’Ispahan (ed: with rose extract) is a product that has created a niche for itself in the culinary landscape. Nowadays, other chefs are doing it and it’s a good thing, I take it as a compliment because it lives on. Also, in department stores you can find other products such as rose flavored yoghurts or syrups and so on…

On a more personal note, what is your favorite pastry?

(Laughing). Well, I would say the quetsche tart that my father used to bake for me when I was a kid (ed: a variety of sweet plum from eastern France). It’s often said that we create from our childhood memories, which is not my case.

My inspirations comes from adulthood experiences, however in our bakery we still do the seasonal quetsche tart so I guess the product stayed along with me…

What’s the next steps for the Pierre Hermé brand here in Qatar?

I have had a great feedback from the people here since I have been in Doha and hopefully we are looking into opening another boutique and also a café, or a salon de thé, in the next few years.

Finally as a tradition in all our interviews, could you give our readers any TIP on making the best macaron or cake?

My tip for the best macarons is to read the books!! (laughing)
On a more serious note, I would really recommend to follow every single step of the recipe, even the ones that seem most difficult, at least two or three times before taking any liberties from the initial recipe.

Beside the pastry techniques, the use of good-quality ingredients is strongly recommended as I have noticed it usually sets the difference between an average to successful result!!

Some pictures of the event at the Lagoona Mall – Pierre Hermé boutique

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TheInsiderPost-Pierre Hermé- event macaron setting

THE KAYYS AW15 Trunk Show at The Closet Qatar

The three sisters launched their AW15 collection exclusively at The Closet boutique located at The Pearl.

And the Qatari designers do have vision: the silhouettes are clean and pretty with a minimalist feel. And to embody this vision, The Kayys have chosen the gorgeous and selective Georgia May Jagger as their muse.

Whether in a hand-made black and white beaded cape; off-shoulders top or palazzo pants, the model daughter of rockstar Mick Jagger gives an edgy vibe and a global appeal to the brand.

Crisp White and black; Deep green, and shades of nude and grey mixed with wool, cotton and cashmere fabrics blend in together perfectly.

The hooded grey cape, with square designs, and the grey dress with an arabic writings caught our eye right away.

These are on top of or wish list. Something that we could easily wear wandering around in Paris, a great mix of street style with noble fabric.

The monochromatic offering is also well balanced with tops and skirtd sporting this recurring square pattern.

The showstoppers are the off-white cape with black embroideries and the nude dress with some delicate details as seen in the pictures below with some of our picks.

Do not hesitate to pass by the multi-brand boutique and tell us which one is your favorite !!

THE KAYYS AW15 - The closet qatar

THE KAYYS AW15 - The closet qatar

THE KAYYS AW15 - The closet qatar

THE KAYYS AW15 - The closet qatar

THE KAYYS AW15 - The closet qatar

The Kayys-AW15-cape

THE KAYYS AW15 - The closet qatar

THE KAYYS AW15 - The closet qatar

THE KAYYS AW15 - The closet qatar

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THE KAYYS AW15 - The closet qatar

THE KAYYS AW15 - The closet qatar

THE KAYYS AW15 - The closet qatar

THE KAYYS AW15 - The closet qatar

Iftar Review – The new kid on the block: Kempinski Marsa Malaz

Arriving on the Marsa Malaz Kempinski is an experience in itself.
The hotel is located on its own island and the view is royal! It reflects arabic hospitality at its best.

Kempinski iftar marsa malaz

The selection of food on the buffet is very fresh and tasty, offering a variety of appetizers, a full salad bar (arabic and continental) every thing you can think of, but then we would have loved some more creative salads though.

Rolls and sushis were fresh and tasty, live cooking stations (asian and pasta) and an array of arabic popular choices combined with continental specialties. The fish was a favorite at our table.

live station ramadan tent kempinski marsa malaz

They took it to the extra mile with the cheese tray and the chocolate fountain amidst the dessert area.
The Umm Ali was also very, very good, one of the best in town maybe with Sharq.
They should also consider some dessert à l’assiette as it is not something that we have seen around, it would have been the icing on the cake. The management was very attentive to details and feedback which is something to consider and appreciate when visiting a dining place.

dessert kempinski ramadan tent

Guests can relax and unwind with a great food and beverage selection and splendid settings. We totally loved the arabic band as live entertainment during Suhour, which makes it a great place to visit for a gathering with friends and family during this Ramadan.

Let’s talk about money now, 240 QR per person which is correct regarding the setting and the quality of food and in sync with all the hotels ramadan offering in town.

As this is their first Ramadan Tents, they did a pretty good job in a very competitive market all around Doha, and the place definitely deserves a visit until next year Ramadan Tent!!

kempinski marsa malaz ramadan tent

Interview with Kuwaiti influencer: Ascia AKF

Riva boutique; Ezdan Mall, 7pm and the venue is packed with people for Ascia’s unveiling of the Ramadan collection: Ascia loves Riva!

A long queue, young women mostly, a few of them sporting the ‘signature’ turban of the Kuwaiti based blogger. She exudes warmth and simplicity, hugging and having a nice word for every single one person during this meet and greet.

She comes to me and asks if I can wait a few minutes while she snaps selfies like a pro with her younger fans. How could I say no to that, really?

Meanwhile I take a tour in the Riva boutique to discover this Ramadan Collection. And it’s a good one actually. Two collections though: one more casual for ramadan with light fabrics and hues of blues an white mainly. Stripes, dots and mesh are dominant. Our personal favorite is the striped culotte. On point for this summer trend. The signature turban is also available in navy blue and white.


The other collection is more elegant, designed with Eid celebration in mind. Noble materials like satin, printed silk and glitters have been used.

She takes a break from all the hugging and chatting with her fans to sit down with us and answer a few questions…

Hi Ascia, could you introduce yourself to our readers?

Absolutely, my name is Ascia, I am 25, I come from Kuwait and I have been blogging for about 4 years now. We have a blog called the Hybrids. It is me and my husband and now we have a little baby so sometimes we include some lifestyle tricks. We are very privileged in the GCC, most of our followers are here, but we do have them also everywhere in the world. Now I have done a collection called Ascia loves Riva, and that’s why we are here for in Qatar today!


How do you choose your collaborations?

I am very careful about what brands I like to work with. I didn’t used to be. When you first start out, you kind of take everything, you are so excited but not anymore. Now I am very selective now and we have a good team that works with us so that helps a lot. I am also trying to do different things, from bags to sneakers.

How do you handle your massive fan following in the GCC?

It is a very interesting question. I am very lucky to have it, it’s really great and it’s a lot of work to make sure that I can keep a good conversation flowing with everybody, which is very difficult sometimes. It’s good but I still get nervous, I have been doing this for such a long time now but like right before this event I was feeling nauseous and stressed. I was like oh my god there’s going to be so many people, butterflies in my stomach. Which is good, I think the longer you have the butterflies, the better you work as well. I truly believe the nerve helps.

What differences do you see between Kuwait and Qatar in fashion style?

Here in Qatar, a lot of nationals wear abayas, so difference would be they express there fashionable side through their abaya as well as their handbags and shoes. They are a big thing here, which is amazing, they probably have this amazing collection of handbags and shoes here.

In Kuwait we express ourselves through the entire outfit, we have room to go crazy with that, so it’s nice. Abayas are not that big of the thing in Kuwait compared to UAE, Saudi or Qatar. A less portion of the nationals wear abayas in Kuwait.


What are your fashion inspiration

I really appreciate models off-duty, like street style. The one that are coming right out of the catwalks from fashion shows, I want to see what they are wearing. It’s casual but at the same time, they are very into the industry, the fashions they keep pieces with the trends sometimes even before we do. Those are really the people that I look up to the most, models off duty street style.


What are your next projects?

Right now, I am working on a line of slings for babies, which i am very passionate about because I really feel that we use strollers so much nowadays. We used to carry our baby so much in old days, I feel we have this things in society now, all this stuff to make sure we don’t touch our baby, rockers, strollers, car-seats all these things that you are putting your bay down. I am hoping that this is something that I can introduce to the Middle-East, so that’s my focus right now.

Finally, could you give our readers some TIP about how to get your casual-yet-stylish look right?

I like casual choices more so than anything else, because I feel that whenever I want to spend money on something, I want to use it a lot. I don’t wanna spend a fortune on something very elegant or crystals something that I cannot wear on an daily basis, that’s why I prefer the everyday stuff.

Also I always like to start with my shoes. I know that a weird place to start but I like to start with my shoes because they are all about your mood. Right now I am in sneakers so I want to be kinda casual so I keep everything down you know. On days where I want to wear heels, which is not that often, then my outfit kinda goes with the heel. I feel like I draw inspiration from shoes, so maybe that would be a good tip, try your shoes first !

Thank you Ascia for this interview exclusively on!

TIP: Ascia will be coming to France this upcoming September for Pret à Porter fashion week with multiple brands so if you are in the capital at this time, keep an eye open, you might get to see her wandering around in Paris!


EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Stephane Rolland in Qatar, the most ‘khaleeji’ of French designers.

Stéphane Rolland feels at home in Qatar. He welcomed us, wearing the traditional Qatari dress, and his popularity keeps on growing amongst middle easterns. Proof to his success, the french designer opened his first luxury boutique at the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi.

For his Haute Couture line, he draws his inspiration from architecture, contrast and balance. We met with the designer to get to know more about him and what drives him. Excerpts.


What is your association with VCU Qatar?

There is no association with VCU Qatar. I came on my own after being asked by VCU Qatar through Aisha Al Suwaidi (ndlr: a graduated student of VCU).
And there is nothing professional in it beside the fact that I love this country a lot as much as I love the Middle East.
Seeing these youngsters expressing themselves, it really warms my heart.

I love seeing new generations succeed and if I can help, I would do it with pleasure.
I really feel like we need to give. That’s how life is and that is how we need to do it.


How do you see fashion in the Middle East?

A majority of the countries in the Middle East has the advantage of being a little bit saved from the crisis comparing to Europe and other countries.
They take advantage of it by expressing themselves more freely and they are right as we Europeans need them as well.
It’s evolving enormously.
We know the Middle Eastern fashion ultimately from the Lebanese designers.
Today there is a new generation of oriental designers who come forward with a new way of expression more real and authentic. What I am trying to say is: less glitter more modernity.
I like it a lot and I think it is a good sign.

What is the process when you dress a crowned head or an artist for example?

It is the same method for all my clients.

My role is to listen to women in all circumstances, to understand who they are so I can respond to their needs. It is the same thing I do all the time. I sit, talk so I can get to know her better, and then I design in front of her. That’s how you get the best result, by understanding who you have in front of you.
The occasion needs to be taken into consideration, if the actor or the singer is going to perform or not.
We need to realize that the responsibilities are important. We need to help them show their best image possible.

What are the projects of La Maison Stephane Rolland?

They are a lot. First, the development of the ready-to-wear fashion and of the Haute-Couture is going very well. But we need to open new departments. We are in the process of designing a perfume. New stores are also going to be launched, a lot of things to organize and to set up.

Finally, what TIP or advice could you give to our readers when choosing an evening dress?

The choice of an evening dress is always important according to the occasion. If you are going to be the center of attention or not, there are responsibilities to take into consideration. Always choose a good quality material.
You know, the most important is to know yourself and to be honest with yourself. It allows you to better put your best upfront.

Thank you Stéphane Rolland! Exclusively for




The unveiling of Manish Arora’s lush collection in Doha !!

All of Doha’s fashionistas seemed to have gathered at The Closet Boutique for the unveiling of Manish Arora’s “yummy” collection…

Beforehand there was a funky photo booth and we could see people having fun with all kind of accessories…

As we went in, the boutique was crowded, we had to wait a few minutes before even being able to get in and around to check out the clothes…Nothing says success as a packed house!

A shinny and opulent candy bar kept the guests coming back for more…Cupcakes, lollipops, chocolate, sweets…you name it and there it is! Indulgence gua-ran-teed!

We were in for a treat as the two models, prepped by The BlueBrush Team, wore the colorful designs and went on mingling with the crowd and gracefully clicking selfies with people all around the evening…

We loved the quirkiness of the design and also the fact that you can pair them with almost anything and it will work! You are sure to stand out wherever you go. If you fancy something more subtle, I would suggest accessories! There was some amazing phone/iPad cases. Personal favorite is a statement clutch as seen in the pictures below.

At last, we were cordially thanked by a sleek, black gift bag with some sweet goodies in it to self-indulge in the privacy of our home…
















ZUHAIR MURAD Haute Couture presentation at Paris Fashion Week – Fall / Winter ’14

Paris Fashion Week has just resumed and was invited at the unveiling of Zuhair Murad‘s latest Haute Couture collection.

We were blown away by the previous Haute Couture Spring\Summer ’14 collection and our expectations were very high. Some pictures, as a reminder.




The Lebanese designer mixed futuristic pattern, one-shouldered or plunge front hemlines with electric tones. Also we could notice a more traditional feeling such as beaded kaftans or more classical draped strapless gowns.

Zuhair Murad dazzled its audience with delicate beading and precise cuts wich included jumpsuits, short dresses, gown and embellished jackets, all in an eclectic color palette.

A definite proposal and an extremely successful collection! You can see the complete pictures gallery here

As a bonus, had an access to the backstage of the show.

Needless to say, that it was really a deep dive into the hard work and secrecy behind fashion show.
All these ‘petites mains’ such as make-up artists, models, assistants, stylists, tailors converging toward the same goal, the final approval of the designer: perfection.

Here are some exclusive pictures by Wafaa El Yazid for

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