Category Archives: Lifestyle

Barbados welcomes digital nomads

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the number of remote workers worldwide was growing. A research from the consulting firm MBO Partners found that the number of independent workers in the United States, which includes consultants, freelancers and In More than 7.3 million working Americans described themselves in 2019 as “digital nomads”, in other words those who chose to embrace a location-independent lifestyle that allowed them to travel and work remotely.

David Cassar, MBO Partners’ chief operations officer, notes that the international leverage of freelancers is increasing considerably.

“We absolutely expect interest in becoming a digital nomad to spike among independent workers in the coming years. Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of widespread remote work, and independent workers will be among the first to take advantage of a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle,” he said.

Among incentives for some of the digital nomads lifestyles is a lower cost of living.

For conuntries, welcoming working travellers, long stay visa requires proof of health insurance and negative virus tests (either pre-arrival, upon arrival, or both), some require an application fee and proof of a monthly salary, complete with bank statements.

Barbados digital nomads one year visa requires need to fill out an online application form and submit photos, the proof of employment and an income declaration of at least $50,000 annually during the period that they are on the island. An application fee of $2,000 per person is only payable after he or she is approved; families pay a fee of $3,000, irrespective of the number of members in their household.

A substantial drop in these countries tourism numbers is a key reason for the new programs.

“Tourism is the lifeline of the country,” said Eusi Skeete, the U.S. director of tourism for Barbados. Tourism accounted for 14% of the country’s annual gross domestic product in 2019, according to data published by the Central Bank of Barbados, and had a record number of international arrivals of more than 712,000. But in 2020, the number of visitors during the months of April, May and June were near zero.

Barbados is a relatively stable Small Island Developing State. It is a high-income country with the private sector being the main economic engine and tourism playing an important role. Around 80% of the GDP is generated from services in trade, transport, government, and business, and other services such as banking; tourism accounts for around 12% of the GDP.

World tourism loss exceeds €1 trillion

The economic damage to the global tourism sector as a result of the coronavirus pandemic restricitons is likely to exceed $1 trillion in 2020, which would set the industry back two decades, according to a new report from the United Nations.

“Depending on when travel restrictions will be fully lifted, the World Tourism Organization expects international tourism receipts (i.e. spending by international tourists) to drop between $910 billion and $1.2 trillion this year, which would set the global tourism industry back by 20 years,” UNWTO said.

The report adds that the coronavirus-related restrictions brought international travel to a crashing halt in April and May, resulting in international tourist arrivals that trailed last year’s total by almost 60% through the first five months of 2020.

The UNWTO has underlined that the tourism sector employs one in every ten people on Earth and warns that up to 120 million direct tourism jobs are at risk.

Tourism came to a standstill in mid-March. 2020. International tourist arrivals decreased by 56% in the first months of the year, with numbers in May down by 98%. This translates into a loss of nearly $320 billion in exports – over three times what was lost during the whole of the 2009 global economic crisis.

Forward-looking scenarios point to possible declines in arrivals and receipts from international tourism of 58% to 78% for the whole year depending on the speed of con- tainment of the pandemic, the duration of travel restrictions and the gradual re-opening of borders that has now begun but remains uncertain.

Yakutia 236-carat colour diamond

Alrosa company miners found a 236-carat color rough diamond in North Yakutia. This is the largest color diamond ever extracted in Russia, the producer reports on August 7.

The diamond was extracted from the Ebelyakh mine in Yakutia, Russia. This is the largest natural color rough diamond ever found in Russia,” the company says.
The rough diamond is of intense yellow-brown color. Its sizes are 47x24x22 mm. According to a preliminary estimate, it is 120-230 million years old, Alrosa says.

Such a large natural color rough diamond is a unique discovery. Now, the stone is at Alrosa’s United Selling Organization being studied and evaluated by our specialists. After that, we will decide whether to give it to our manufacturers for cutting or sell it as a rough. Of course, cutters in any country will be interested in such a diamond, as it has the potential to give several high quality polished diamonds,” Pavel Vinikhin, the head of Diamonds of Alrosa cutting and polishing division, said in a comment.

Image: illustration

EU vacation with compagnon animal

An EU national can freely travel with his cat, dog or ferret if it has a European pet passport. This passport is available from any authorised veterinarian and must contain details of a valid anti-rabies vaccination.

Owners of a dog, cat or ferret which is less than 3 months old (and not vaccinated against rabies), should check the national rules before the departure.

The EU pet passport is established only for dogs, cats and ferrets. Owners of the other pets, such as rabbits or canaries, you should check relevant national rules on taking animals in/out of the country.

Ownr of compagnion animals indening to travel to Finland, Ireland, Malta or the United Kingdom, it must be treated against the tapeworm Echinococcus as follows:

The treatment shall be administered by a veterinarian within a period of not more than 120 hours and not less than 24 hours before the time of scheduled entry into Finland, Ireland, Malta or the United Kingdom;
the treatment shall be certified by the administering veterinarian in the relevant section of the passport.
Identification

The animal-traveller will require an electronic microchip or a readable tattoo that has been applied before 3 July 2011 with the same code as the one documented in the passport.

Enjoy summer with Ruinart champagne

Have you ever tasted Ruinart champagnes?
Ruinart Champagne Cellar Master, Frédéric Panaoitis, created for you e-tasting videos.
Discover the perfect combination of freshness and exotic notes, Ruinart Rosé.
Ruinart rosé is the first rosé champagne to make its appearance over 250 years ago, its excellent quality remains the essential feature of the production of this delicate wine to this day.

The House of Ruinart was officially founded in 1729, as it was only on the 25th May 1728 that a royal decree authorized the transport of champagne wine in baskets containing 50 or 100 bottles. Prior to that date wines could only be transported in casks. Therefore the right to transport bottles opened up the market throughout France and even further afield for the wine merchants in Reims.

After a glorious past and a number of vicissitudes, RUINART has joined the LVMH luxury group and has since become one of the most appreciated and respected champagne brands in France.

Ruinart is currently managed by Frédéric Dufour and its Cellar Master is Frédéric Panaïotis. The House sells an estimated 3 million bottles per year.

Ruinart champagnes are characterized by an unusually high percentage of Chardonnay in the blends, resulting in a fine freshness and elegance, with a certain power.

Rembrandt self-portrait sold $18.7М at Sotheby’s

A self-portrait by Rembrandt has been sold for 14.5 million pounds ($18.7 million) at a Sotheby’s virtual auction Tuesday, July 28 – a record price for this genre of painting by the Dutch genius, the auctioneer’s said.

“Self portrait wearing a ruff and black hat,” from 1632 when the painter was aged 26, was sought by six bidders, the Auction House said. Prior to the sales it was evaluated between 12 to 16 million pounds. The last self-portrait by Rembrandt to appear at auction was sold for 6.9 million pounds in 2003, Sotheby’s added.

The sold masterpiece was one of only three self-portraits by the painter to remain in private hands, and “the only one ever likely to come to auction.” It measures about 22 by 16 centimeters, or about 8 by 6 inches.

The sale was part of a live-streamed global auction featuring 70 pieces of artwork spanning five centuries of art history, from Rembrandt to Picasso, and from Joan Miró to Banksy. The event saw staff from the auction house’s New York, London and Hong Kong offices energetically communicting and whispering into phones as bidders attempted to outdo each other.

Skopje suffers pollution

Capital city of North Macedionia – Skopje – regularly registered the most polluted cities in Europe, and sometimes in the world.

In 2018, levels of PM10 – tiny pollutant particles 10 nanometres in size that are harmful to human health – exceeded he European Union limits for a total of 202 days.

While North Macedonia is not part of the EU, it has entered accession negotiations and has some way to go to meet EU ecological air quality standards.

At present, the World Health Organization (WTO) has estimated that around 4,000 premature deaths a year in North Macedonia may be due to air pollution, and the economic cost to Skopje is thought to be between €570 and €1,470 million.

Amsterdam Red Light district reopens

Amsterdam’s Red Light district has reopened after coronavirus pandemic shutdown, with sex professionals and clients having to observe new sanitary rules to prevent contamination.

The Netherlands ordered all brothels closed in mid-March and had originally planned to keep them shut until September, but recently changed the date forward as Covid-19 cases dropped.

The workder of the district are glad to be back to work, Dutch media reports. Many of sex-services faced financial problems during long periond of forced lockdown.

Dutch deputy Prime minister Hugo de Jonge said that a “new phase in the approach to coronavirus begins” but urged people to remain vigilant, and respect strict sanitary norms.

The Netherlands legalised prostitution in 2000 and sex workers have to register with the local chamber of commerce and pay income tax. Around 7,000 now work in Amsterdam, manily in the historic Red Light district according to official statistics.

Art traffic arrests in Paris

French police special unit have arrested five art experts this week as part of an investigation into trafficking of looted antiquities from the Middle East. According to Art Newspaper legal source, those arrested include a retired curator from the Musée du Louvre in Paris and an employee of the prominent Pierre Bergé & Associés auction house. The same source says the case concerns “the sale of hundreds of pieces for tens of millions of euros”, which were allegedly looted from Egypt, and conflict zones of Syria, Yemen and Libya. The initial criminal investigation into gang fraud, concealment of stolen goods, and money laundering was launched in 2018. (Image: illustration)

Without charges, the police can only hold the suspects in custody until Friday morning. Their names cannot be disclosed for legal reasons.
Pierre Bergé & Associés declined to comment on this week’s arrests and the Louvre says it does not have any reliable information on the arrest of the former head of its Near Eastern antiquities department.

The Art Newspaper can also reveal that the French criminal investigation may be related to inquiries over the past eight years in New York, Belgium and Switzerland, which led to a raid last year at Brussels-based Phoenix Ancient Art.

Hundreds of pieces were seized from storage in Brussels and thousands were frozen in Geneva to be checked for provenance; they have now partly been released to the gallery owners.

Hicham Aboutaam, the co-founder of Phoenix Ancient Art, says his gallery has consigned some objects to Pierre Bergé in the past, but “all were fully documented before the troubles erupted in the Middle East”. He adds: “It is a disgrace for the historically active Parisian market and I hope it will be an opportunity to establish clear legal guidelines, with a global database and a repatriation mechanism, which would allow us to have a more transparent licit antiquities market.”

Extraordinary vintage Dom Ruinart 2007

2007 is an extraordinary vintage, and one of the very few in Champagne when the harvest began in August. After a sunny and very warm spring, the months of June, July and August brought rather gloomy weather and heavy rainfall. The blend is 100% Chardonnay exclusively from Grand Cru vineyards.

The blend is 100% Chardonnay exclusively from Grand Cru vineyards: 75% from the Côte des Blancs (Chouilly, Le Mesnil, Oger and Avize) and 25% from the northern slopes of Montagne de Reims (predominantly Sillery and Verzenay).

The attack is a hit of chalk, then flint and oyster shell notes mingle with the smoky aromas of blond tobacco. The nose continues into springtime notes, underscored with light aromas of sap, linden, acacia, extremely fresh yellow and green citrus fruit (lime, yuzu) and green fruit (plum). The subtle notes of fig leaf, liquorice and fine Chinese tea enhance the complexity of its aromatic bouquet.
The palate, which begins smoothly, quickly reveals a thrilling, stony liveliness and a deep intensity structured by notes of green citrus and grapefruit. The sap-infused and chalky finish is framed with an elegant bitter flavour. Dom Ruinart 2007 is a dynamic, sculpted wine that expresses the full purity of fine Chardonnay.

For a starter, Dom Ruinart is a wonderful match for a carpaccio of scallops millefeuille and black radish with a marinade of first press organic olive oil and green citrus fruit. Its elegance and texture partners perfectly with steamed cod in champagne, Zhegiang powder tea and a seawater consommé.
Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 2007 has to be kept in a cool place, away from any light. Serving this vintage at a temperature between 10 and 12°C in large tasting glasses will accentuate the sublime nature of its aromatic complexity.

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