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George F. Middleton
 
First Word

Dear Readers,

This is your FINAL warning.
Really, you lot, from February 7th onwards, Bahrain's Traffic Directorate is out to ensure that irresponsible driving antics on the roads of this island are a thing of the past. With what some see as the implementation of draconian punishment measures for those disregarding the new rules, the choice is simple. You can either civilise your driving approach and 'take the pedal off the metal', or you can pay dearly for the cost of your intransigence - which, positively framed, will make a worthwhile contribution to the country's national revenue; bearing in mind that the oil price is half of what it was this time last year.

February is also considered by many to be the month to celebrate love and affection. As Valentine's Day approaches, we've compiled an essential guide of places you can go to enjoy a romantic dinner as well as a run-down of ideal gift options for those you love and cherish.

It's not just love that's in bloom this month; the annual Bahrain International Garden Show returns with a focus on agricultural training in the Kingdom. This week-long event promises to be packed with educational opportunities...as well as beautiful flowers!

Sticking with the green theme, we sit down with third generation grower Grahame Dunling to discuss the importance of growing and buying local produce in Bahrain. Also this month, we talk with Michelin Star chef Oliver Glowig who is in the Kingdom to reveal his new menu at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel & Spa. He spills the beans (though not literally) on creating authentic Italian fare.

Check out snippets from our exclusive Backseat Chat interview with Khaleda Rajab, a head-turning fashionista and flag bearer for Middle Eastern fashion around the world. She chats about her accomplishments to date, as well as her ambitious plans for 2015.

For all you petrol-heads, we put the sleek and nimble JAC J5 under the spotlight and take it for a test drive around the island. Also, check out the latest offerings from Bahrain's premier car dealerships in our dedicated motoring section. This month sees the arrival of the sleek new S and C-Class Mercedes models and the Volkswagen Touareg.

Some people really believe love makes the world go round; if that's not actually the case, it certainly does make the ride seem more worthwhile. Our wish to all our readers is that we can all continue to live and love the way of life the Kingdom has to offer!