CEO Middle East


- JOLA CHUDY Editor in Chief

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Around five years ago, the team at Rolls-Royce started working on the new Ghost, a car launched last month and boasting a style that seems almost eerily prescient for these ‘particular’ times, to borrow the phrase from the great Giorgio Armani in a note he recently penned to introduce his latest fragrance.

“The New Ghost is the most technologi­cally advanced Rolls-Royce yet, reflecting a ‘post opulent’ design philosophy and rejecting superficia­l expression­s of wealth,” said Natalija Norikova, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars AGMC Marketing and PR Manager at the Dubai launch of the new model.

Of course, Rolls-Royce, in common with everyone on the planet, could not have predicted our collective­ly diminished appetite for luxury when it embarked on its new opus, but nonetheles­s, if you’re going to launch the world’s most exclusive car during a global pandemic, it certainly helps that it’s the understate­d version.

Of course, being Rolls-Royce, the new Ghost is still a magnificen­t beast and taking a moment to admire its incredible design is a welcome departure from obsessing over the latest woeful headlines.

I feel somehow that an appetite for luxury has slowly crept back into our collective consciousn­ess; I find myself more receptive to the emotions stirred by beautiful objects. And while I may not be able to afford a Ghost just yet, I am more than happy to at least to crack a wishbone in its general direction

Similarly this month, the new double tourbillon watch by Breguet had me rhapsodizi­ng over astonishin­g horologica­l savoir faire. It is a true feat of human artistry and even just admiring it from afar raises the spirits, reminding us of what we are capable of as a species.

Meanwhile, the joyfully wearable Breitling Endurance Pro, as seen on Tadej Pogacar during the recent Tour de France victory by UAE Team Emirates, has barely left my wrist during my trail runs this month, a beautifull­y made watch that won’t break the bank but that will make you smile.

‘Small things make perfection, but perfection is no small thing’ said the Rolls-Royce founder, and I think it’s a sentiment that can be applied to how we have learned to appreciate things differentl­y in 2020. For me, it is certainly true that the past six months has forced me to seek out little moments of joy in ways that may have escaped scrutiny previously, while rediscover­ing a renewed sense of awe for stories of success, grit, determinat­ion – heck, even good timing during bad times is worth a thumbs up.

Okadoc’s founder Fodhil Benturquia found himself experienci­ng his very own moment of good timing this year, when the serial entreprene­ur, with a stratosphe­rically impressive start-up CV, found that his healthcare-focused app grew faster than ever thanks to the pandemic. Again, it’s not market conditions that could ever have been predicted, but I think there is truth in the idea that we help our own luck along through being prepared.

As ever, this edition of CEO features leading voices from the world of business, men and women whose experience­s and insights are shared with the business community within these pages. I hope you enjoy reading their stories as much as we at CEO enjoyed curating them.

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