Into the deep
Businessman, sailor, freediver, dreamer Emirati Yousuf Al Hashimi has a full diary
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.