Into the deep

Busi­ness­man, sailor, free­d­iver, dreamer Emi­rati Yousuf Al Hashimi has a full di­ary

Emirates Man - - ADVERTORIAL - Pho­tog­ra­pher: Greg Adamski Stylist: Gemma Jones Hair and Make- up Artist: Melanie Meyer Stylist As­sis­tant: Nafisa Drabu Model: Yousuf Al Hashimi Lo­ca­tion: Light House Stu­dio

I don’t follow fash­ion blogs, but I think I have a rea­son­ably good sense of style. I know what works on me and what doesn’t. As long as it fits well, looks good and is well- priced, that’s all I want. My big­gest is­sues are with blaz­ers and shirts. I have re­ally long arms so the shirts are never long enough. That’s why I al­ways roll my sleeves up.

I try to keep my style sub­tle. I don’t want a big brand name on my chest. Your style adapts as you get older. I like neu­tral colours: brown, beige, khaki, olive green, tan. I mean, I do have a few yel­low and pink T- shirts, and I’m wear­ing red Nike shoes to­day, so a bit of colour is OK.

I started Ahdaaf Sports Club in Al Quoz, Dubai, in 2009 with two fields. We’re open­ing new fa­cil­i­ties in Al Qu­sais, Garhoud, Aj­man, Ras Al Khaimah, and Shar­jah soon. The UAE’s at­ti­tude to health and fit­ness is chang­ing dra­mat­i­cally. The num­ber of gyms and healthy eat­ing restau­rants pop­ping up in Dubai is crazy. The gov­ern­ment is spend­ing mil­lions on run­ning and cy­cling tracks. This is ex­tremely im­por­tant for the fu­ture of the UAE. Healthy peo­ple means we cut health­care costs and in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity in the work­place.

Sail­ing is a pas­sion I be­gan long ago, just for fun. But re­cently I started rac­ing. When you’re rac­ing, you have to fo­cus 100 per cent. Ev­ery move counts and there is no room for er­ror.

It was a life­long dream of mine to be in the wa­ter with a blue whale. In April 2014 I signed up for a ten­day ex­pe­di­tion on a small boat chas­ing pygmy blue whales in Sri Lanka. They’re 30 me­tres long, they weigh 300 tonnes – the heart is the size of a Volk­swa­gen Bee­tle – and their veins are so big you could swim through them. We tracked the whales and one day I slipped into the wa­ter wear­ing just a mask and long fins, noth­ing else. Sud­denly, out of the blue, I saw a whale com­ing to­wards me. I froze. But I didn’t feel fear. I felt pure awe. I’ve never been so close to any­thing so huge and so beau­ti­ful in my life. It was… in­cred­i­ble. I once had a mas­sive, clunky watch, but it was so big it kept bump­ing into things – it wasn’t con­ve­nient. I needed a thin, durable div­ing watch that looked good. I wear this Cal­i­bre de Cartier Diver watch ev­ery day ( right). It’s light, it looks good, it’s mas­cu­line. I use it as a dress watch; you can wear it with a T- shirt, a tuxedo, a kan­doura, what­ever you like. I’ve knocked it against walls many times – and there’s not a scratch on it.

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