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The Habano Festival Closes With A Glamorous Gala Evening!

Havana, CUBA – The largest international meeting for habanos lovers came to an end after a week full of activities.

The Gala Evening put the finishing touches to the 21st Habano Festival playing homage to the 50th anniversary of the Trinidad brand.

Musical acts such as Grammy winner singer Armando Manzanero, music composer Charles Fox and salsa performer Gilberto Santa Rosa mingled with glamour and celebrities in a special night that ended with the traditional Humidor Auction.

This annual meeting for fans of the world’s best tobacco reached a milestone in its history, as the 21st Habano Festival has gathered more than 2,000 participants from over 50 countries who have been able to get a first sight into the most significant habanos announcements.

The Gala Evening was the grand finale to the Festival and payed tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the Trinidad brand. The event concluded with the Hombre Habano Awards and the traditional Humidors Auction, with all proceeds going to the Cuban Public Health System.


00:00 Hoyo de Monterrey gala

01:13 Habanos factories

01:50 Master class on torcido (traditional technique for handmade cigars)

02:15 Habanos World Challenge

02:44 Gala night devoted to the Trinidad brand

07:00 Humidors auction

Other: The Habanos Festival, is the most prestigious event dedicated to Premium Cigars.

For more information visit



Laureus World Sports Awards 2019

  • Tennis World No. 1 Novak Djokovic wins fourth Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award, equalling athletics icon  Usain Bolt’s Laureus record
  • Gymnastics sensation Simone Biles is Sportswoman of the Year after historic world championship performance
  • Naomi Osaka wins Breakthrough Award, Japan’s historic first Laureus Award winner
  • Tiger Woods wins Comeback Award, 19 years after winning his first Laureus Award
  • FIFA world champions France make history with second Team of the Year accolade
  • The Laureus World Sports Awards honours the greatest and most inspirational sports triumphs of the past calendar year and showcases the work of Laureus Sport for Good

Story: MONACO, February 18, 2019 – World No. 1 tennis star Novak Djokovic, record-breaking gymnast Simone Biles, golfing legend Tiger Woods and the France Football Team were among the big winners at the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards.

In the company of HSH Prince Albert II in Monaco, Novak Djokovic fought off tough competition from the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Eliud Kipchoge and LeBron James to win the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award. Novak, who won Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 after returning from elbow surgery, is now a four-time Laureus World Sportsman of the Year.

Speaking after receiving his Award, Novak said: “A Laureus Award is what every athlete wants to win, and this one is a huge honour for me. Being among so many sporting greats here tonight, and hearing about the inspirational work Laureus is doing around the world, gives this Award a special meaning for me.

“Last year was an incredible season for me, returning from injury to win Wimbledon and the US Open is something I’ll remember forever. I am delighted and I would like to thank the Laureus Academy for their support.”

The Laureus World Sports Academy – made up of 68 global sporting legends – volunteered their time to vote for the winners in each shortlisted category which recognises sporting achievement in the 2018 calendar year. The Awards were hosted by actor James Marsden and featured entertainment from award-Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jorja Smith.

After her record-breaking performance at the gymnastics world championships, in which she won four gold, one silver and one bronze medal, Simone Biles was crowned Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year. Biles, who also won the Sportswoman Award in 2017, made history last year by becoming the first woman to win four all-around world championships. At just 21, she now has a record 14 career world titles.

FIFA World Cup winners France became the first national football team to win a second Laureus World Team of the Year Award, fighting off competition from the world-leading teams including Mercedes AMG Petronas F1, Golden State Warriors and Real Madrid. French coach Didier Deschamps was in Monaco to accept the Award on behalf of the team.

Japan’s first Grand Slam tennis star Naomi Osaka received the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award for her victory in the US Open, where she defeated five-time Laureus Award winner Serena Williams. Osaka, 21, who is now number one in the world, makes history as Japan’s first Laureus Award winner.

Golfing star and ten-time Laureus Nominee Tiger Woods won his third Laureus Award, after winning the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year accolade at the 2000 and 2001 Laureus Awards. The American received the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award for winning the Tour Championship, his first win in 1,876 days, returning to the game after spinal fusion surgery.

17-year-old American snowboarding sensation Chloe Kim, who became the youngest woman to win a Winter Olympics snowboarding gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, won the Action Sportsperson of the Year Award.  Slovak alpine skier Henrieta Farkašová and her guide Natalia Subrtova won the Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award after becoming the most decorated Winter Paralympian in Pyeongchang with four gold medals in vision-impaired Downhill, Giant Slalom, Super Combined and Super-G, plus silver in Slalom.

Attended by sports stars, celebrities and business leaders from around the world, the Awards also shone a light on the transformational work of Laureus Sport for Good. In 2018, nearly 300,000 young people all over the world directly benefited from more than 160 Laureus Sport for Good-supported programmes in 40 countries, working to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage by using sport as the tool for change.

Yuwa, a sport for development organisation that works in the rural region of Jharkhand in northern India, received the Laureus Sport for Good Award for their life-changing work in using football to improve the lives of young girls from disadvantaged communities. Through football, the girls overcome violence, build self-confidence and start to change perceptions of what a girl from a rural village in India is capable of achieving. One of Laureus Sport for Good’s key focus areas is promoting equality, empowerment and safety for young women and girls. Of the 296,300 children and young people Laureus Sport for Good programmes reached worldwide in 2018, 49% were young women and girls.

The Laureus World Sports Academy recognised marathon world record breaker Eliud Kipchoge with the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award. Kipchoge, who ran the fastest time ever in a marathon in Berlin with a time of 2 hours 1 min 39 seconds, broke the previous record by a massive 1 min 18 seconds.

Legendary football manager Arsène Wenger received the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to football during his 22 years as manager of Arsenal. During his time there, he famously led ‘The Invincibles’ to an entire season unbeaten, and made a significant contribution to English football through his approach to scouting, training and diets, and his emphasis on an attacking mentality.

Arsène received a guard of honour at the Ceremony from legendary Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas and football legends Alessandro Del Piero, Luis Figo, Fabio Capello, Didier Deschamps, Cafu and Alex Scott. Arsène’s Award was presented by Cesc Fabregas.

Skiing great Lindsey Vonn’s incredible career was recognised by the Laureus Academy with the Laureus Spirit of Sport Award. The Spirit of Sport Award is given at the discretion of the Academy, to recognise an athlete or team who have achieved remarkable success and displayed a relentless dedication to their sport. The greatest female skier of all time, Vonn recently announced her retirement from the sport. Vonn is one of only two female skiers to win four Overall World Cups and has won a record eight World Cup Downhill titles.

Inspirational Chinese climber Xia Boyu received the most votes in the global Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year public vote. Xia was recognised for his efforts in becoming only the second double-amputee to scale Everest, and the first to reach the summit from the Nepalese side. Joining Xia in the top three Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year Nominees at the Awards in Monaco were; South Africa’s first black Test captain Siya Kolisi and Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir, who is fighting motor neuron disease.


GVs – Monaco

Laureus Statuette

Awards –

Red Carpet Highlights

Host Welcome / Show Opening

Laureus World Team of the Year – France Men’s Football

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year – Chloe Kim (not attending)

Laureus Spirit of Sport Award – Lindsey Vonn

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year – Naomi Osaka (not attending)

Laureus Exceptional Achievement Award – Eluid Kipchoge

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability – Henrieta Farkasova (& Guide – Natalia Subrtova)

Laureus Sporting Moment Award – Xia Boyu (China) (Disabled Climber) – Public Vote

Laureus Sport for Good Award – YUWA (India)

Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award – Arsene Wenger

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year – Simone Biles (not attending)

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year – Novak Djokovic.

Other: To stay up to date with the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards, visit and follow @LaureusSport and #Laureus19 on social.

Opening Of The 21st Habanos Festival

      • Havana, which celebrates its 500th anniversary, hosts the XXI Habano Festival. 
      • Two undisputed stars: the Trinidad brand and the San Cristóbal de La Habana brand.
      • Hoyo de Monterrey presents its first Gran Reserva Cosecha 2013 with its iconic Double Coronas Vitola.

Story: Havana, the Cuban capital that is celebrating its 500th Anniversary, is getting ready to host once again the XXI Habanos Festival.The biggest international event of the world’s best tobacco, the Habano, will be held from 18 to 22 February. Enthusiasts of this unique product from all corners of the world will participate in a Festival that will see the San Cristóbal de La Habana, Hoyo de Monterrey and Trinidad brands taking centre stage.

Attendees from more than 60 countries are expected will enjoy a comprehensive programme full of activities designed to explore some aspects of the Habanos culture: tours of plantations in Vuelta Abajo*, in the Pinar del Río* region, as well as visits to the factories responsible for producing this year’s biggest launches. 

Other highlights include three evenings of the best live music from renowned international artists, the finest gastronomy in Cuba, Habanos tastings and a wide range of beverages from different corners of the world.

The Trade Fair and the Welcome Evening, will mark the start of the Habanos Festival. The Trade Fair is the meeting and interchange point for professionals in the tobacco industry and the Welcome Evening, held in the Antiguo Almacén de la Madera y el Tabaco at the Havana port, will pay tribute to San Cristobal de La Habana brand for its 20 years.

The programme will feature master classes and keynote speeches, led by recognised experts in the world of Habanos at the International Seminar.

The XXI edition of the Habanos Festival will organise, for the second year in a row, the Habanos World Challenge.

The evening dedicated to Hoyo de Monterrey Gran Reserva Double Coronas Cosecha 2013 will be held at the El Laguito Reception Hall on Wednesday February 20, with a cocktail dinner.

The Gala Evening, held on February 22, will be the grand finale to the Festival and will pay tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the Trinidad brand. The event will conclude with the Hombre Habano Awards and the traditional Humidors Auction, with all proceeds going to the Cuban Public Health System.



Luis Sánchez-Harguindey, Co-chairman of Habanos, SA. (in Spanish)

00:00 2018 ha sido un año fantástico para Habanos. En 2017 había sido ya muy bueno en donde alcanzamos la cifra de 500 millones de dólares y el año pasado alcanzamos la cifra record de 537 millones de dólares que representa un 7% de incremento frente al año anterior.

Luis Sánchez-Harguindey, Co-chairman of Habanos, S.A. (in English)

00:15 2018 has been a fantastic year for Habanos. In 2017 we already grew to 500 million dollars our revenues and in 2018 we reached the record figure of 537 million, which represents a 7% increase.

00:30 Well, Habanos had a fantastic year last year. In 2017 we already reached 500 million dollars and this year we reached 537 million, which is a great figure outperforming the luxury sector.

José María López Inchaurbe, Vicepresident of Development of Habanos, S.A. (in English)

00:45 The main region for Habanos continued to be Europe, which is our traditional market. And in this year it had an impressive growth of 13% in value sales, which for traditional and mature markets is a significant figure. Then we have Asia-Pacific, with a growth of 9% in terms of value. Africa and Middle East grew 5% during last year and Latin America grew 2% in 2018. So all our regions have experienced growth during last year.

In terms of markets, Spain continued to be the first market for Habanos and had an impressive 22% growth in value during last year and China has become our second market overpassing France with an incredible growth of 55% versus last year. Of course is an emerging market and the habanos culture is arriving to China in a very rapid rate so we are also encouraging a lot our investments in China. And the third market is France, the fourth market is Germany and the fifth market continued to be Cuba.

Inocente Núñez, Co-chairman of Habanos, S.A. (in Spanish)

01:57 Después de 20 ediciones del Festival del Habano que indudablemente han sido todo un éxito continuamos teniendo unas expectativas tremendísimas por parte de los aficionados de los puros habanos precisamente porque hay dos grandes protagonistas. Primeramente el propio habano y en segundo lugar todas las personas que lo aman, que lo apasionan y que están muy a tono con lo que estamos haciendo y por supuesto nuestros equipos que están constantemente diseñando, elaborando y novedando cosas para atraer la atención de nuestros clientes y aficionados.

02:35 Vamos a presentar varias novedades en San Cristóbal de La Habana y en Trinidad porque son dos marcas que cumplen aniversario. Además vamos también a tener novedades en la marca Hoyo de Monterrey que vamos a sacar la gran reserva 2013 con hojas añejadas de 5 años.


03:03 21st Habanos Festival opening

04:32 Press conference

05:20 Havana footage

05:36 Tobacco crops

06:34 Habanos cigar factories

Other: The Habanos Festival, is the most prestigious event dedicated to Premium Cigars.

For more information visit



Bocelli Captivates Hearts with His Majestic Voice in Winter at Tantora Festival

  • Stunning Festival of Night-Time Hot Air Ballooning 
  • Bocelli Captivates Hearts with His Majestic Voice in Winter at Tantora Festival
  • Blakeridge Indigo Wins $4M USD 120 km Endurance Horse Race

Story 1: Hot Air Balloon Festival 

Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia – February 1st-9th, 2019: A Stunning Festival of Night-time Hot Air Ballooning – sixty hot air balloons took to the sky in the region’s first Hot Air Balloon Festival offering rides to festival goers and locals alike.

Each night the balloons light up the night skies with a daily ‘glow show’.

Story 2: Andrea Bocelli’s Desert Canyon Performance

Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia – February 2, 2019:On Friday, world-renowned opera singer Andrea Bocelli presented a grand artistic performance at Maraya Concert Hall as part of Winter at Tantora Festival, which was recently launched by the Royal Commission for Al-Ula. The Festival features a variety of heritage, cultural and artistic events inspired by the heritage of Al-Ula, which dates back thousands of years. It attracted a wide audience from different regions of the Kingdom and beyond.

In the inspiring concert, Bocelli sang some of his most famous songs, including “Overture”, “La donna è mobile”, “Di quella pira, Waltz” and “Donna non vidi mai”

As one of the most famous operatic vocalists of all time, Andrea Bocelli is an opera singer, songwriter and international Italian musician, credited with restoring classical music to the throne of world music lists. Born on September 22, 1958 in Lajatico, Italy, Bocelli showed great interest in music at an early age and began learning piano at the age of six. Later, he learned to play the flute and the saxophone.

“This is my first time to perform in Saudi Arabia and I am very pleased with the great reception and hospitality I received from the organizers and the wonderful audience here,” said Bocelli. “AlUla is a great surprise, it is a beautiful natural destination and it has been an honor to sing in such majestic surrounds.”

Described as having the most beautiful voice in the world, Bocelli presented a concert that reflected the splendor of his majestic voice, which inspired millions around the world. Soon after his birth, Bocelli was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma, which made him partially blind. He then lost his vision completely at the age 12, after he was hit on the head during a game of football. He participated in several musical competitions and recorded his first album in 1994 in Italy. He made great success in Europe shortly after his album “Bocelli” was released. In addition, he participated in collective and cooperative works with a number of international artists and musicians, and released many albums. Bocelli was awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. He received Grammy nominations for Best New Artist in 1999, for Best Sound Performance for Sogno in 2000, and for best vocal collaboration for The Prayer.

The Maraya Concert Hall:

Maraya – mirror in Arabic – is a purpose-built concert hall and an extension of the environment around it in design and beauty. It includes a comprehensive stage equipped with the latest audio and lighting technology, as well as animated rear blinds that present to the audience the beauty of the mountains of Al-Ula. The latest digital projection technology has been used to describe a historical and visual story on the same stage.

Maraya can accommodate up to 500 guests. It includes a private VIP area, a gallery for world-class artists, such as Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh, a reception area and artists rooms. Architect Massimo Fogliati, and the Italian designer Florian Buji of Geo Forma Studio designed the building that takes the shape of a huge cube covered with mirrors from its four sides to reflect the beauty of surrounding nature and the curiosity of man throughout history to explore the dazzling landscapes. Maraya will not rival the beauty of Al-Ula, but rather will reflect and highlight it while offering a unique experience for guests to unite with the pristine environment around them.

On weekends, Maraya Concert Hall will host concerts by world-renowned artists who made their mark in the field of Arab and international art. The first night of the Festival will feature a concert by the Arab artist Mohamed Abdo. The following concerts will include the Arab artist Majida El Roumi, the Arab artist Um Kulthum via hologram, the musician Omar Khairat, the Italian singer Andrea Bocelli, the Greek composer Yanni, the French violinist Renauld Capuçon and the Chinese pianist Lang Lang. They will dazzle the audience with their impressive performance and artistic sense.

Story 3: Blakeridge Indigo Wins $4M USD 120 km Endurance Horse Race

AlUla, Saudi Arabia – 27 Jumada AlAwal 1440 AH, corresponding to 2 February 2019: Held under the patronage of his Royal Highness Prince Muhammad Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Chairman of the Royal Commission for AlUla, His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor of Medinah AlMunawarah Province, awarded the winners of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup, which concluded today in Fursan village in AlUla with the presence of His Highness Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, the governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla.

The race was also attended by the Chairman of the Saudi Equestrian Federation, his Royal Highness Prince Abdallah bin Fahd bin Abdallah and Engineer Amr AlMadani, CEO of the Royal Commission for AlUla, as part of the Commission’s ongoing efforts to strengthen AlUla’s position as an exceptional tourist destination boasting a unique heritage rich in arts, culture and sports.

At the end of the race, his Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor of Madinah AlMunawarah Province presented the cup to the owner of Blakeridge Indigo who completed the race in 4 hours 25 minutes 43 seconds, in the presence of His Highness Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, the Governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla and His Highness Prince Abdallah bin Fahd bin Abdallah, Chairman of the Saudi Equestrian Federation. His Royal Highness Prince Faisal lauded the efforts of the Royal Commission for AlUla and the Saudi Equestrian Federation teams as well as the Emirates Equestrian Federation for the organization of the event and the great support they provided to the participants.

His Highness Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, the Governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla, said: “The history of AlUla bears a lot of inscriptions that highlight the population’s interest in Arabian horses, which makes AlUla the perfect location for the launch of the prestigious Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup, the biggest prize of its kind in the world, with the full support and close supervision from His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Royal Commission for AlUla. We are happy to see the huge efforts of the residents of AlUla as we seek to provide more job opportunities to its youth through the organization of different events and activities.” The Governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla congratulated the competitors and Salem Hamad AlKutbi from M7 Endurance stables on his win.

The race was part of the Winter at Tantora festival in AlUla held in partnership with the Saudi Equestrian Federation and the Emirati Equestrian Federation to highlight the heritage of AlUla that goes back thousands of years.

The FEI sanctioned, two-star classification race covered 120 km over four loops through the magnificent mountains of AlUla, a technical course between desert and mountains. The race saw the participation of 234 riders from 12 countries around the world including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Spain, Italy, France and Uruguay.

The riders competed for a prize pot of 15 million SAR (4m USD).

Horse Wameed from M7 Endurance stables came in 2nd place who completed the race in 4 hours 25 minutes 43 seconds, and horse Razorback Mechano from MRM stables came in the 3rd place who completed the race in 4 hours 25 minutes 44 seconds.

Through Winter at Tantora, The Royal Commission for AlUla aims to promote the position and archaeological history of the city as an international tourist destination, and to eventually attract more investments and provide job opportunities to the young generation in AlUla.


00:10 – Pre-dawn 60 hot air balloons are being filled and readied on the first day of the AlUla Hot Air Balloon Festival

00:18 – Aerial shot of the balloons surrounded by the beautiful natural landscape of AlUla as they start to take flight

00:31 – Sweeping shot of the balloons, some in flight some taking off

00:36 – Firing the balloons

00:41 – Wide shot of the balloons over AlUla in the early morning light

01:18 – Night shots as the balloons are readied for the nightly ‘glow show’

01:28 – The glow show

01:39 – Andrea Bocelli in “Al Maraya” concert hall, he wore a traditional Saudi headdress – a ‘shemagh’ for the final encore

01:50 – Sweeping shots of the 200 person choir and orchestra

02:30 – Close up of Andrea Bocelli, a smile across his face

03:20 – Andrea Bocelli second song

04:35 – Andrea waltzes on stage

04:53 – The start line at the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance race, 7AM

04:57 – A rider cooling off his horse as he enters the first vet check

05:12 – Arabian horses are the horse of choice for Endurance racing due to their stamina and speed

05:22 – Rider leaves the vet gate for Loop 2 of the race

05:47 – One of the race vets checking the heart rate of the horse as vet check. Part of the skill of endurance racing is the balance between the horse’s condition and speed

06:12 – Horse galloping through the AlUla valley

06:20 – The three trophies and medals. The prize money for the race stood at $4m USD

06:27 – Slow motion of horses galloping through the desert landscape

06:43 – His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bun Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor of Madinah walking with Prince Badr Bin Farhan Al Saud, Governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla

06:48 – Prize giving, Shiekh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai accepts the first-place award. His son, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai accepted the second-place award.

07:00 – Ends.


Winter at Tantora Festival is held in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia from December 20, 2018 to February 23, 2019. It includes heritage, cultural and artistic activities inspired by the heritage of Al-Ula, the home of important heritage sites in the north of the Arabian Peninsula and is the meeting point of many civilizations throughout the ages. Every weekend, the Festival will host artistic events and concerts by world-renowned artists who made their mark in the field of Arab and international art.

For more information, and to ensure attendance at concerts and participation in various events, please book your tickets today at

Star Of India – Sir Don McCullin Hails New Female Photographic Prodigy

Veteran war photojournalist Sir Don McCullin has described a woman from a small town in India as a rising star.

Ranita Roy, from Andul, a small agricultural town near Kalkota, borrowed a high-quality camera to take the photos that have won her a prestigious international competition because she can’t afford to buy her own.

24-year-old Miss Roy won a scholarship to train with one of the world’s leading travel photographers, Timothy Allen, and now dreams of being a world-famous photographer.

Sir Don, best known for his war photography and images of working class life, met Miss Roy at Xposure, an international photography exhibition in Sharjah, UAE, and tipped her for the top.

Miss Roy borrowed her cousin’s camera four years ago to overcome depression and now describes photography as her ‘meditation’.

Miss Roy’s traditional upbringing meant she had been expected to marry and have children after leaving school but she explained that wasn’t her destiny.

Once she had convinced her father that photography was a hobby she would stick at, he bought her a basic, beginner’s digital camera using a payment plan.

A family friend and fellow lover of photography became her mentor and now lends her his high-quality camera to take her award-winning photographs. But it caused a stir when she entered the competition as the owner’s name was still registered on the image’s metadata.

One phone call cleared it up and Miss Roy has wowed the judges with her other photos.

This week she attended Xposure, an international photography exhibition in Sharjah, UAE to collect her award. It was the first time she had left India, where she is an environmental studies student and yoga instructor.

She described herself as “a small town girl with a big dream”.

The Timothy Allen Photography Scholarship Award is run at the annual Xposure exhibition in Sharjah, which is attended by many of the world’s most prominent exponents.

Shows: Three stills taken by Ranita Roy and entered in the TAPSA scholarship

GVs of Sir Don McCullin, Timothy Allen and Ranita Roy in front of Miss Roy’s winning photograph

GVs of panel of Timothy Allen Photography Scholarship Award winners

IV with Timothy Allen, photographer and bursary sponsor

IV with Sir Don McCullin, photographer

GVs Ranita Roy, winner of the Timothy Allen Photography Scholarship Award, at the Sharjah Souq (marketplace)

IV with Ranita Roy *

GVs of Xposure visitors viewing Miss Roy’s photograph

IV with His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council

*INTV with Ranita also available in her native Bengali on the following RedRobot MediaGrab Portal-


Other: Don McCullin

Sir Don McCullin (born 9 October 1935), is a British photojournalist, particularly recognized for his war photography and images of urban strife. His career, which began in 1959, has specialised in examining the underside of society, and his photographs have depicted the unemployed, downtrodden and the impoverished.

McCullin is one of history’s great war photographers. His interest in photography was sparked during his national service (1953-1955), when he served as a photographic assistant in aerial reconnaissance in the Royal Air Force. His photojournalistic career took off when his photo of a local London gang was published in the national daily newspaper The Observer. In 1964, The Observer offered him his first war assignment in Cyprus where he covered the conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. 

After working as a freelance photojournalist for The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph, and magazines such as Paris Match, Stern and Life, Don McCullin became a staff photographer at The Sunday Times in 1966. During his 18 years at the The Sunday Times he covered numerous international conflicts to great appraise. His reportages include the famine in Biafra (1967), the Vietnam War (1968-1972), the Troubles in Northern-Ireland (1971), the fall of Phnom Penh (1975) and the civil war in Lebanon (1975-1982). 

After leaving The Sunday Times in 1984, he began to explore different kinds of photography, notably landscape photography. In recent years, he has focused primarily on the African content. Since 1995, he has been associated with Contact Press Images. Don McCullin has been awarded numerous awards including the Word Press Photo of the Year 1964, and in 2006 the Cornell Capa Award by the International Center for Photography in New York for his lifetime contribution to photography. In 1992, he became the only photojournalist to be made Commander of the British Empire (CBE).


We are passionate about photography and, we are dedicated to supporting the visual language in all its splendid genres.

Photography is not about our tools or capabilities, it’s about our eye, and this is life.

Evolution, variety, effort, joy, memories, pain, and hope all subjects of the single international language and behind every picture there is a story. We are keen to recognise and promote regional and international emerging photographers and film-makers, and we offer free to enter competitions; providing a platform for photographers and film-makers to show their work and open the door to new opportunities.


To establish Sharjah, already regarded as the cultural heart of the United Arab Emirates, as a global platform for the visual language of photography by gathering photographers of varying skill sets, from around the world, to engage, share knowledge and exhibit their work in a custom designed and dedicated indoor area along with several outdoor regional  locations.


To be a leading International Photography Festival, implementing high standards of production and captivating content with an emphasising on education. Hosting dozens of photography exhibitions from world-class acclaimed professionals and, simultaneously supporting emerging talents, while hosting the largest photography trade show in the Middle-East


TAPSA stands for Timothy Allen Photography Scholarship Award. The award will be offered to a total of 5 photographers who have entered a portfolio of images that represent the best of their work shot within the last 3 years.  This portfolio can comprise one or more stories or just a selection of single images.Entries will be judged individually and as a portfolio.  Timothy Allen will be looking for those photographers showing the most ingenuity and originality as well as photographic excellence in both image making and storytelling.

The Photography Scholarship Award winners received a 10-day package to Sharjah, UAE and will participate in a 5-day photography workshop with Timothy Allen, that includes assignments, a portfolio review, one-to-one coaching, location photography training and the opportunity to present their work and story to a live audience in the main auditorium.

Scholarship winners will also benefit from opportunities to meet some of the great names in photography and receive an additional portfolio review from a leading Director of Photography or Photo Editor and further experience seminars, additional workshops.

Nov, 26, 2018



Assurant Appoints New Chief Financial Officer for Europe

LONDON, UK, 19 NOVEMBER 2018Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ), a global provider of risk management solutions, has appointed Claude Sarfo as its new chief financial officer, Europe. 

As part of the Enterprise Finance team, Claude will have responsibility for planning implementing, managing and controlling all financial activities including forecasting, strategic planning, deal analysis, capital management and M&A support. He will also be appointed as a Statutory Director of Assurant’s core European legal entities (subject to receipt of regulatory approval). 

Claude joins from Lloyds Banking Group where he spent almost twelve years in a range of senior finance roles. He has extensive experience in financial management, corporate development, strategy and M&A activity across multiple industry sectors, including financial services, technology and automotive. 

Andy Morris, CEO and president, Assurant Europe, said, “We’re pleased to welcome Claude to the team. With our acquisition of The Warranty Group in May, we broadened our global footprint and continued our growth strategy of helping consumers protect their appliances, mobile devices and electronics, and vehicles. Claude’s depth of experience will be invaluable as we continue to protect what matters most to our customers.”

Claude Sarfo said, “It’s an exciting time to join Assurant and I’m looking forward to working across the European markets as the business continues to focus on providing excellent service and innovative products to its customers.”

Claude is a Chartered accountant, FCA, a Chartered Banker, FCIB, a BA Banking and Finance graduate and holds an MBA from Warwick Business School. 


Other: About Assurant
Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ) is a global provider of risk management solutions, protecting where consumers live and the goods they buy. A Fortune 500 company, Assurant focuses on the housing and lifestyle markets, and is among the market leaders in mobile device protection and related services; extended service contracts; vehicle protection products; pre-funded funeral insurance; renters insurance; and lender-placed homeowners insurance. Assurant has a market presence in 21 countries, while its Assurant Foundation works to support and improve communities. 

Learn more at or on Twitter @AssurantNews 

Nov, 19, 2018



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