Monthly Archives: May 2014

Singapore Top Expat Choice for Work, Quality of Life

If you’re thinking about moving abroad but are risk averse, the results of a new survey suggest putting Singapore at the top of your destinations shortlist.

For the second year in a row, Singapore has been named the best destination for expats in HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey. The survey aims to shed light on the countries that offer the best career opportunities and quality of life for foreigners looking to move abroad.

The city-state is particularly promising for professionals looking to advance their career and add more income to their pocketbooks, as 62 percent of expats living in Singapore agreed it is a good place to climb the corporate ladder.

The same proportion – about three in five – said they saw their earnings rise after moving to Singapore.

While the average income among expats globally is $97,000, expats in Singapore average $139,000.

What’s more, nearly a quarter (23 percent) earn more than $200,000.

Likewise, expats living in Singapore are particularly happy with the quality of education as three-quarters deemed it better than the education system back home – the highest proportion in the world.

And 66 percent said that their quality of life improved after moving to Singapore compared with their lives at home, compared to the global average of 52 percent.

Rounding out the top five spots on the list are New Zealand, Canada, Czech Republic and Switzerland.

Overall, the top 10 list is dominated by countries in Europe. The US is ranked 30th. While Singapore took the overall title, other countries were singled out for topping specific categories.

In the category of ‘experience,’ for instance, New Zealand topped the charts. Expats praised the country’s environment for its air and water quality, and agreed that integration in the country is largely a smooth process.

When it comes to family life consider Sweden, where three-quarters of respondents rated their children’s quality of life and education better than their lives back home. Respondents also praised the country’s childcare system.

Meanwhile, other reports published this year have ranked the best countries for expats looking for love (Ecuador), retirement (Panama), and quality of living (Vienna).

Here are the best countries for expats in the ninth edition of the HSBC Expat Explorer survey:

1. Singapore 2. New Zealand 3. Canada 4. Czech Republic 5. Switzerland 6. Norway 7. Austria 8. Sweden 9. Bahrain 10. Germany

Cartier Magicien: Spellbinding High Jewelry

Let’s face it, us muggles are fascinated by the world of magic and Cartier knows this all too well, which could explain why they created a collection called Cartier Magicien. Made up of three different sections, the high jewelry collection showcases the expertise of Cartier’s master craftsmen. Made up of 20 pieces, the collections called Magic of Design, Magic of Light and Magic of Nature feature one-of-a-kind creations that are sure to captivate and entice.

Cartier Magicien Incantation NecklaceCartier Magicien collection Incantation Necklace

We explore the collection by looking at key pieces in each series, starting with the Magic of Design. Highlighting the power of design, Cartier introduces the Incantation. Set in platinum, the necklace boasts repeated geometric designs paved with diamonds in various cuts. With nearly 18 carats of diamonds, the necklace is a versatile creation that can be worn in two ways. The first is as a choker-style necklace, while the second can be created with a single touch. Inverting the curves, the interlaced designs of the necklace fan out. If the diamonds weren’t enough, the necklace also comes with a 22.84-carat cushion-shaped Ceylon sapphire that can be worn as a ring when not attached to the necklace.

Cartier Magicien collection Oracle necklaceCartier Magicien collection Oracle necklace

If you thought that we would only be able to choose one piece to talk about, then you would be mistaken. The Magic of Design series provides us with another necklace, this one dubbed the Oracle. Boasting diamonds and Colombian emeralds, the necklace is a platinum creation that is reminiscent of Cartier’s necklaces and tiaras from the late 1930s. Again, the design is the focal point, with the steps of diamonds that surround the multiple emeralds at the heart of the necklace. With nearly 17 carats of Colombian emeralds, 40 carats of diamonds and 4 carats of onyx, this is a necklace for those who love the age of Art Deco.

Cartier Magicien Paillettes Solaires necklaceCartier Magicien Paillettes Solaires necklace

The Magic of Light, is under the spotlight next with a diamond studded necklace called Paillettes Solaires. With a mix of platinum, white gold, yellow gold and diamonds of various cuts, this necklace is a statement piece that can be worn on its own. The mix of white and yellow diamonds along with cut diamonds and diamond beads ensure that the necklace shines from any and every angle (who needs Lumos, the wand lighting charm, when you have this?). The centre of attraction, happens to be the large sphere that is studded nearly 36 carats of rose-cut diamonds.

Cartier Magicien collection Questzal necklaceCartier Magicien collection Questzal necklace

The final series to complete the magic of Cartier’s new High Jewelry collection, is the Magic of Nature. Cartier is no stranger from using animals, creatures and flora as inspiration in its designs so it comes as no surprise that the feathered serpent of Aztec legend and the Mandragore flower are under the spotlight here. The white and gold Mandragore flower comes to life with diamonds and tsavorites while the creature of Aztec folklore is imagined with the help of black lacquer and diamonds. In place of the mythical serpents head, is an exquisite rubellite cabochon that weighs in at an impressive 68.82 carats. To call the collection “captivating” is certainly an understatement.

To find out more about the magic that is the Cartier Magicien collection, visit Cartier.

Isaac Burrough: 35-Meter Catamaran Design Concept

Isaac Burrough is all set to present his new 35-meter superyacht concept to the world and we get a sneak peek. You may ask what exactly makes this catamaran design any different from other catamarans. Made almost entirely of glass, this is a concept that may just set the standard for others to follow.ib_35mcat_03-top

Rather than leaving matters to batteries and regular fuel, the superyacht is fitted with 40 solar panels that are integrated into the glass roof. The result is an impressive graphic feature that reflects a honeycomb pattern. With natural light passing through the gaps between the panels, the feature also provides privacy for those on board. As you move towards the aft, the panels make way to invite more natural light, which then leads to an open space on the sundeck.

These solar panels help to provide enough energy for lighting, communications, climate control and entertainment. By cutting the emissions from fuel consumption, the design creates a positive bond between the superyacht and nature. With five cabins, each with its own ensuite, the catamaran can host up to 10 guests. While the owner’s cabin takes up the space of the main deck, the other four cabins can be found on the lower deck.ib_35mcat_04-sundeck

The owner’s cabin provides panoramic views thanks to its open layout, complete with a large ensuite and private office space. Sharing the same level as the owner’s cabin are three distinct zones in the aft area that feature two lounges and a dining space. Not forgetting a pace for entertaining guests, the design also incorporates a bar that means everyone is well taken care of. On the outlook over the bridge sits an elliptical Jacuzzi that allows guests to stargaze once the sun sets.