Heba Elkayal

171 Articles

Latest by Heba Elkayal


Narrating Egypt's new story through design

Karim Mekhtigian is an Armenian-Egyptian who for 15 years practiced architecture and design in Paris. Ten years ago he came to Cairo to work on one project, which quickly led to other commissions, prompting him to consider moving back. Today, with two additional partners, his design firm Alchemy has a reputation amongst Egypt’s design cognoscenti …

Heba Elkayal

Ahmed Beltagy: Meet the man behind the country's biggest musical concerts

  It was an occasion that created a lot of buzz last September: Could Beyoncé Knowles, the multi-platinum selling American singer, really be coming to Egypt to perform, in Port Ghalib of all places?   To the amazement of many, the concert that took place last November went without a single glitch, and attendees spoke …

Heba Elkayal

Kempinski: A Hotel with Humor and Fashionable Flair

It was an unexpected and wholly original idea when the soon to open Kempinski Nile Hotel decided to host a small fashion show for a few select members of the press and Cairo’s socialites. The concept was simple: a fashion show based on the new uniforms that the Kempinski’s staff will soon be wearing when …

Heba Elkayal

Furniture and fashion descend on Old Cairo

In a groundbreaking new initiative by the Egyptian Furniture Export Council as well as the Ministries of Trade and Culture, a showcase of young Egyptian design talent has been set up in the historic alleyways of Old Cairo. Titled “+20 Egypt Design,” the exhibition is based on a similar initiative that takes place every year …

Heba Elkayal

Napa Grill spring menu sets new trend

Hats off to Chef Matthew Gilbert. Once again, he has delivered a superb meal — but this time around, he really has outdone himself. Always focusing on cooking using seasonal and fresh produce, his latest offering is a Springtime Wine Dinner at Napa Grill restaurant where he is head chef. The six-course meal, complemented with …

Heba Elkayal

Aussie brand Oscar the Third debuts in Cairo

If you follow fashion, you would know Australia is where it’s really happening now. Australian Fashion Week took place last week (their seasons are inverted to ours and so are their fashion seasons and the presentation of collections) and it has generated buzz once again in Europe and the US. Australia is setting trends. The …

Heba Elkayal

Lifestyle Highlight: Ghazl Banat: Cool brands with rock casual taste

A number of boutiques have mushroomed in Cairo recently, opening to much hype and promotional fare on Facebook. Of these shops (three within the last month on the small island of Zamalek), Ghazl Banat is the only one I found to have a sense of brand identity, selling interesting yet practical pieces at relatively reasonable …

Heba Elkayal

Dior Cruise collection stuns in Shanghai

While all eyes are now on Shanghai as it hosts an expo that has been a universal conversation topic, Dior made its own contribution by reopening their boutique. After extensive renovation work, the boutique opened as the Shanghai expo celebrations commenced and just in time for creative director John Galliano to debut the 2011 Cruise …

Heba Elkayal

Lebanon Special: When in Beirut, dine at Tawleh

To dine at Tawleh is an absolute pleasure. “Tawleh” means table, and is often referred to as “Tawlet Souk El-Tayeb,” loosely translated as “The Market’s Table.” Lunch at Tawleh on weekdays is prepared that day by one of the many producers who sell their goods at the market. What you eat for lunch depends on …

Heba Elkayal

Cannes red carpet dresses lack wow-factor

Whereas Cannes is regarded by die hard movie buffs as the film festival by which to gauge the next big movie or two of the year, for the fashion minded Cannes is just another excuse to see what evening wear trends for the summer might be. So what could be more sizzling than a balmy …

Heba Elkayal

Craving Chinese? Head to Chinatown Heliopolis

Being a resident of Heliopolis, I’m pleased to find that we finally have an outlet to satisfy cravings for Chinese food. The Fairmont Heliopolis’ Noble House, like its younger sister restaurants Lan Tania and Haiku, serves a delicious meal. The restaurant was quiet during lunchtime, and I am told it is busiest at night during …

Heba Elkayal

Clutch me

Totted on red carpets, bags designed by Sarah Beydoun have become in as little as 10 years rarified collectors’ items. Catherine Deneuve, Queen Rania of Jordan and architect Zaha Hadid are all fans and carry bags by the designer’s namesake brand Sarah’s Bags. Arab women from Kuwait to Cairo are diehard collectors. Today, the brand …

Heba Elkayal

Rosa Maria: Hammered heirlooms

Rosy Abourous is hard to define as a person, and hard to corner into one creative field. She is not merely a boutique owner, or the jewelry designer of her brand Rosa Maria. She designs for whom she proclaims to be ex-hippie children of the 70s: those who dismissed ideals of the bourgeoisie for more …

Heba Elkayal

The artful (fashion) dodger

Sometimes I’m reminded of the simple pleasure of dressing up while intending to dress down. Being put together in a casually modern style while borrowing a little class from yesteryear is practically elusive when considering some of today’s trends — and I think few designers grasp how women still seek that in their everyday wardrobes. …

Heba Elkayal

Practical Patricia

The Italian brand of Moroso this year debuted a significant number of new designs at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, all housed in a stand designed by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola. “The space features a woodland of thousands of white columns made of high density polystyrene foam with curved shapes cut into two sides,” says …

Heba Elkayal

EXCLUSIVE: Marcel Wanders talks to DNE at Milan Fair

Italian brand Poliform is synonymous with presenting consumers a very particular philosophy: stylistically compatible component parts with a touch of Italian suaveness. The lifestyle it offers is simple and refined, yet aesthetically there is never a compromise. Whether it is accessories, sleek kitchen counters, a bed or shelving, the versatility of their modular systems and …

Heba Elkayal

The art of architects

Carlo Giorgetti has a lot to be pleased about this year. He is in his mid seventies, and has watched his family’s furniture company Giorgetti evolve over the years to become a company of contemporary furniture with a talented team of select designers, a family of their own, creating pieces that are elegant, timeless, and …

Heba Elkayal

Furniture fair delights and surprises attendees and designers

The Salone Internaztionale del Mobile held once a year during April in the Italian design capital of Milan is a must see. It is there that Italian furniture companies present their latest designs and products, each brand vying for attention by demonstrating it creativity, design innovation and advancements in design technology of that year. Stands …

Heba Elkayal

EXCLUSIVE: Philippe Starck Speaks to DNE

In person, Philippe Starck is an absolute reflection of the furniture he designs: simple in appearance, well intentioned and with a touch of cheerful flamboyance. His name carries a thousand connotations on its own: innovator; Louis Ghost chair; design-extraordinaire; plastic. He has designed everything from hotels interiors to toothbrushes and windmills — for homeowners who …

Heba Elkayal

Missonisms in Milan

To meet Rosita Missoni in Cairo due to fortuitous chance is a case of serendipity. To meet her a second time in Milan during the busiest time of year in her own showroom is both a treat and an eye-opener into the world of Missoni. We met last June during the opening of the Art …

Heba Elkayal

Singapore Surprises

It’s a 12-hour flight to Singapore, an island city state just off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Singapore might suggest glitz and money with its architecturally dazzling skyline punctuated by tall skyscrapers, or the plethora of designer brand stores that litter its various shopping districts and malls. But I was pleasantly surprised to …

Heba Elkayal

(Respectable) Acts of Voyeurism

The victimization of Lebanon in art has become both boring and redundant to the Lebanese; their experiences have has left indelible marks on the memories of the children of the civil war, now grown up and weary about politics. Joe Kesrouani is one such artist. “My life as a voyeur began with peeping through keyholes. …

Heba Elkayal

Part History, Part Sass: Bokja Furniture Charms

One of the most delightful stores to visit whilst in Beirut is Bokja, a local furniture brand. Set up by two women, Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri, Bokja’s appeal lies in its entrancing whimsicality of assorted bokja fabrics arranged in a patchwork of sorts, upholstered on antique and contemporary furniture. Baroudi’s and Hibri’s colorful personalities …

Heba Elkayal

Lebanon Special: 961 Beer: A Beirut Microbrewery Does it Best

  961 beer is a beer for just about everyone it seems, or at least that is what its founder and producer Mazen Hajjar is aiming to achieve. "I’m trying to convert people, they usually say they’re not beer drinkers but that’s because they’re not drinking good beer. A beer aficionado, he started brewing beer …

Heba Elkayal

961 Beer: A Beirut Microbrewery Does it Best

961 beer is a beer for just about everyone it seems, or at least that is what its founder and producer Mazen Hajjar is aiming to achieve. “I’m trying to convert people, they usually say they’re not beer drinkers but that’s because they’re not drinking good beer. A beer aficionado, he started brewing beer in …

Heba Elkayal

Cairo 360: An honest view of the city's offerings

Although a plethora of print publications exist that carry reviews and announcements of restaurants and events in Egypt, rarely do the reviews feel conclusive enough. One can even argue that media coverage is sometimes at risk of being skewed by sponsored invites or advertising. Cairo 360 is a new website that aims to offer more …

Heba Elkayal

Back to (horticultural) roots

On the drive in the direction of Sakkara to Makar Farms, you leave the city behind to be greeted by bucolic scenes of the Egyptian countryside. Near Makar Farms, currently owned and run by Mounir Makar, history and present day collide; peasants lead buffalos while Makar’s farm workers continue the construction of a new green …

Heba Elkayal

Tazkarty online booking site: Novelty and necessity

In Cairo, it’s often impossible to get into a trendy club or make reservations on a crowded night, unless one has the private number of a club’s owner or has a habit of heavily tipping bouncers at the door. “It’s ridiculous that I have to beg places and restaurants to take my money, points out …

Heba Elkayal

Bobby Chinn dishes out humor and cooking tips

Although his name wouldn’t suggest it, Bobby Chinn is a (partially) considered local talent. Chinese-Egyptian Chinn is not only an internationally recognized chef with an acclaimed TV culinary show, he’s now added food writer to his repertoire. Chinn’s book, recently released and now available at Diwan bookstore is an entertaining read. Titled “Wild Wild East: …

Heba Elkayal