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gulf elite

Magazine The leading Magazine for the Gulf youth

By the youth, For the youth!

IN NEED OF MOTIVATION? Work, Entrepreneurship, Life, Entertainment



5 reasons why you should work in

Wa l l S t r e e t

5 reasons why you should launch your startup before graduation 5 things you need to keep in mind to make a first good impression


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YOU ARE WHAT YOU WEAR The clothing items you should pick carefully if you want to be taken seriously


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This is a textbook…

Welcome to the Gulf Elite, and goodbye to the old fashioned, boring and outdated editorial lines you have been accustomed to so far! This is not your usual piece of news, and certainly nothing closer to your daily newspaper.

They will tell you in class that all you need to learn about life is inside your manuals, that your way to success is a clean academic record and a set of A’s that can secure for you a job and a happy life. They will tell you that conformity is the answer to all your problems, that a life behind a desk is not that bad after all. Well, believe it or not, school won’t teach you how to live happy, and manuals won’t show you how to survive in the ever complex, and ever competitive world that is today!

Gulf Elite has a vision, and that’s to give you the missing pieces in your education. The knowledge that can make you or break you out there in the real life: How to dress, how to speak, what to learn from the entrepreneurs and stars and how to implement it in your daily life, what made successful people stand out and what are the techniques that can turn you into an unstoppable success machine. But accomplishment is nothing but a concept if you cannot see what it is, that’s why we bring you success stories, images and articles about what achievements translate into in terms of money, cars, houses, networks and lifestyles. Once you see it and have a taste of it, only then do you have the urge, the burn to go avidly after it because at least now you have a clear vision on the what and how that makes success what it is! Brace yourselves, your education 2.0 starts now!

Life is not about working in a job you hate to turn in money you need and spend it on things you don’t like so that people you despise end up approving of your lifestyle. Life is about knowing how to satisfy yourself, how to be proud of who you are and succeed in completing tasks that show your true potential. How to get a step closer to the life you always thought and dreamt of? By envisioning and visualizing it! There is nothing stronger than the power of sight, of looking at what you want to be and feel what it is like. The law of attraction my friend is not a myth, it is a tool that can turn your life upside down, and we want you to try it out! MOHAMED AMINE BELARBI - EDITOR gulf elite magazine

simply the best


issue 1 PERSONAL BRANDING: THE CEO OF YOU PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING I’M CEO, B**CH! ONCE YOU MADE IT, DON’T STOP! WALL STREET CAREER ELITE PROFILE: SAANA AZZAM PROPER PREPARATION PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE YOU ARE WHAT YOU WEAR FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT THE 5 WEBSITES YOU SHOULD BOOKMARK StudInov Marketing Strategies offers Gulf Elite readers an exclusive 25% OFF coupon to benefit from our Business cards design and print service. Simply send us an email at with the subject line GULFELITE coupon and we will offer you instantly a 25% reduction. Along with providing Business cards, we provide multiple marketing solutions such as websites, logos, brochures, magazine designs, intercative pitch presentations, content generation, SEO, promotional videos as well as exclusive access to relevant networks. Are you a student launching a new venture, an NGO or an initiative? Then benefit from our CHANGEMAKERS discounts for up to 50% accross our services!

gulf elite magazine

the voice of generation y

Ppersonal branding THE CEO OF YOU

The Why and How of Personal Branding


very one you meet around the corner thinks he or she is a one of a kind, a unique being with an exceptional story. Every job seeker shouts that he or she is an industry leader, the right man for the spot and someone with the single most valuable asset that can take the company to the next level. Well, in a world where 7 Billion people go around trying to get a living, and in an online society with millions of interactions and connections shaping everything from the employment market to the dating world, it is virtually impossible to come along and claim that you can stand out, make your voice heard and get the attention of the right people. This is where Personal Branding comes in handy, because in the company of YOU, there is plenty of Marketing that can be enacted in order to turn the once unknown guy into a reference and a center of attention!

Know thy self and you’ll know how to upgrade it The generation Y is sure as hell about what they want to be, what they want to have, where they want to get and sometimes how, but what they tend to forget is that if you don’t know who you are first, then the rest can’t flow seamlessly. Knowing yourself is like dressing an assessment plan for a company before reshaping it. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, your skills and what you are known for, your personality and how it strikes others. You need to understand that being honest with yourself and objectively facing it is an imperative, so man up and get down to it even if it makes you look up the not so good stuff that you’ve always pretended never existed! Why knowing yourself?: because personal branding, unlike corporate Marketing, needs to be based on true assets and qualifications. If corporate marketing is about making up stuff to manipulate the client base, personal branding is about marketing what you truly have, so a good way to start is to know what your entourage thinks of you and what you think of yourself. gulf elite magazine

Maybe in the past people could be mathematicians, scientists, architects, philosophers and priests at the same time, but today, you have to focus on one thing and work on improving and fostering it. You are good at coding, put all your energy in it. You are a bullshiter, sharpen it up so that it gets you what you want. You are a geek, don’t be ashamed of it and make it your lifestyle choice so long as you can excel in it!

Work smart, not hard! You’ve understood what your strengths are and your friends told you what you are good at? Now starts the important part of personal branding, and that is to focus on how to improve your skills and in what direction. You might be a good speaker, but if you’re planning on becoming an entrepreneur, don’t use your tongue to come up as a pimp sweet-talking ladies all around! Use your speaking abilities at getting yourself into entrepreneurs settings, be it dinners and get-togethers, or by learning how to give convincing talks and presentations to eat investors and VC’s brains. Skills can be applicable to various fields, but always narrow down your interest to one single sector and shape your qualifications to match it. It is all about getting the word around that you are the best at what you’re doing, so that when people think about the key terms “Entrepreneur”, “Artist” or “Marketer”, the first name to pop in mind is yours!

Social media you said? This is not news, everyone understands and speaks all the time about the importance of social media, so I cannot stress enough about the fact that you should use it extensively to promote the image you want people to have of you. Be sure to share content that links back to the industry you want to

by mohamed amine belarbi be associated with, but don’t make the mistake of turning into a zombie whose job is to share every article he finds about entrepreneurship or technology; try to be at the source of content, not at its end! If you like to be remembered as a reference in your industry, write about it! Start a blog, launch Facebook groups or pages and make videos. You will be able to establish a brand for yourself only if just by looking at your Facebook page or just by reading your blog, one can easily say “Damn this guy knows his shit!”. On another note, don’t use social media as a springboard only, but also as a tool to track your brand image and the industry change. Like pages that fit in your interest on Facebook and you will always be updated on what’s the latest going on. Why? It is all about the famous quote “Adapt. React. Re-Adapt. Act” by Michael Scott. If you can’t understand what are the latest developments, about what are the new needs and gaps in your industry of interest, you’ll soon die alone because you couldn’t catch with the fast developing world we live in. An example would be: if you’re into finance and you want everyone to know you as the Wall Street guy, then checking CNN Money, CNBC, Forbes and the likes and knowing and talking about the updates would sure position you as the guy to go to if I want to talk stocks, bonds and NASDAQ!

The brand is there, how about its management? What hurts your personal brand the most? Ask Britney Spears how hard did her coke scandals hit her image! The moral is not that using coke is not a wise choice when wanting to establish a good brand (not in this context), but that once you have the image out there, keeping it clean becomes your job. That goes for your Social presence and your offline interactions. Sounding like a dumbass on Facebook and then attending a startups dinner is not the best thing you can do, because everyone will have a prejudice against you! Align your life with what your brand means. Whether we are talking about getting pictures on Facebook, tweet-

ing, hanging out with certain people, speaking a certain way or dressing in a certain manner, you have to always assess how what you are about to do impacts your image and brand. At the end, it’s all worth it, because once you are seen and known the way you want, you become a reference that stands out immediately and, surprise, great stuff starts coming your way! People coming to you asking for advice, for help or for someone to join their latest project and be part of it, this is plainly and simply success and opportunities running after you rather than having it the other way around!

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” - Steve Martin



The 5 things you need to keep in mind when making a first good impression


e have all been in that nerve-racking situation. You’re about to meet a new stunning girl that might just be the one, going for a job interview that you have been dying to get or meet a new business partner. But to nail that job interview, sweep the girl of her feet or convince a business partner that you are not to be fucked with, you need a combination of 5 essential elements – a combination of elements that will make you look like a boss.

1. You are what you wear First impression is always last impression. The first impression you make as a potential employer or future lover is the most important one, so you better not mess it up. The first vital judgment an interviewer does is going to circle around what you’re wearing and how you look. Is your shirt tucked in? Please tell me you wore clean shoes! Hope you wore a dark blue tie with that white shirt. The spark between you and her is going to be ignited by your looks, not by how kind, good hearted or understanding you are. How you represent yourself will always be the gulf elite magazine

underlying foundation of your forthcoming representations. I hate to break it down to you, but you may have a great CV and look good on paper, but if you don’t fit in perceptually, you’re a lost case. Wether it is a job interview or a date, you’re reflecting and representing yourself as a product, a product you want to sell.

2. A firm handshake

The first physical and mental connection you make with your future “boss in law” is your handshake and the following eye contact. First impression is last impression – so if you end up shaking his hand like a stoned bum with a delusional and avoiding eye contact, well to put if frank, you won’t be getting the job. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve walked away from a grown ass man who shook my hand like a total whimp thinking “ What is this guy doing, is he high… what the hell was that handshake?” An introducing firm handshake with direct eye contact will make you look confident and present you as determined – like you know your shit. So next time you see that intimidating black suited man, waiting to see who’s next in line for the job, you shake his hand and look him in the eyes, like he doesn’t have to look anymore, the search is over, because he just found his new employee.

by ibrahim naji

3. Composure is key You were interesting, suitable and qualified for the job – now you’re scheduled for a formal job interview with a dream corporation, nervous much? We have all been there – you start getting nervous, warm, afraid that you’re going to screw up. Your nervosity is killing your planed A-game. It’s all perfectly normal; just don’t let it affect the outcome of the next hour. They want to see that you can handle pressure and better yet, intimidation. So if you’re wondering about what you’re going to say or how you’re going to say it, remember they already said yes to an interview with you. That means that they said yes when they could have said no, blown you off! So it’s no longer your job to make them like you, it’s your job not to screw it up. So calm your ass down, be yourself and let your magic play.

4. Subtle body language Remember when your mom told you to sit up straight? Well she wasn’t telling you that just to piss you off. Body language and posture play a huge role when meeting someone the first time and making a memorable impression. Whether facing an interview or going on a date, you want to signal out a good and confident vibe. A good stance and posture that reflects a proper state of mind - that means that rubbing your hands, having a slacking posture or a lost sense of eye contact isn’t really going to cut it. So straighten your back, keep your hands subtle and for god’s sake stop gazing around like a lost puppy –keep your eyes on the prize! The way they perceive you is the way they are going to judge you. So grow a pair, straighten your back, and go nail it!

5. Be engaged Be interested and interesting, the last thing they want is yet another boring and dull graduate that has more or less the same attributes as all the other “special” individuals. Why do you think New Yorks’ best closer decided to hire a kid who didn’t go to Harvard law (or any other law school for

that matter) and was trying to “ditch the cops” – not really your everyday kid. Individuals that stand out by being bold, engaging and who know their shit have a greater shot – so engage in the conversation, listen to what they have to say and be ready to fire away answers to each and every question they have.

It’s all about that first sight, that first observation that will determine whether you’ll be the new Mr. Right or “one of those guys that just came by the office”. Nothing is easy in life, and we weren’t all born with a silver spoon up our asses, so you really have to do whatever it takes to reach your goal – to make that first good impression. So if you have to convince your Danish gay best friend to come over just to spend an hour picking your clothes out or sit up all night watching Will Smiths movie “Hitch” taking notes on how “any man has a chance to sweep any woman off her feet; he just needs the right broom” – Just Do it! So go out there, and make them an offer they can’t refuse.



entrepreneurship I’M CEO, B**CH!

5 reasons why you should launch your first startup before graduation 1. Youth Innovation and work spirit


o one denies it, the youth are full of motivation and untapped potential, and most of all are eager to exploit it or blow it off thanks to the many hormones flowing through their bodies! We tend to forget it but as we grow up, our dreams dwindle down and our passion for change and innovation simply fades off. We grow dreaming of becoming astronauts and presidents, then go to school and think that becoming a lawyer or a doctor might do the job. Before we hit our 30s we’re stuck with the idea that our place is behind the office desk churning on the toilet paper of bureaucracy. It is like a breath slipping away and there is no way to catching it back. All we can do is scream the loudest we can while se still hold some of it in our lungs. This is life and this is how our motivation and passion for change goes about, and it is big time you understand it and get your ass to do whatever you can while you still have the guts for it. You are young, full of excitement to meet what life has out there for you, and this excitement and enthusiasm is the mantra of entrepreneurship! Entrepreneurs, unlike others who settled for mechanical, zombie-like jobs (which most end up hating anyways), are full of stimulus and drive to explore, invent, try, fail and succeed, like a teenager on steroids.

2. University resources In the workplace, no one will help you climb the corporate ladder or take your hand and show you how to make it. It’s a fierce competition out there with little support, but in University, there is much you can rely on. Universities now understand the importance of boasting a strong entrepreneurial record by investing in their student’s startups either through grants, mentorship or incugulf elite magazine

bators. Being a University student opens these resources for you, so why not making the best out of them? Starting clubs, filing budget requests, competing in university based startup weekends and using your professors and administrators as mentors is a valuable supply only students have, so don’t waste it by graduating with no startup running in the background! Moreover, businesses and big ideas don’t come up well if you’re running the show alone, so use your roommates, classmates and studenst out there to help you in the process. Facebook, Apple and other ventures were the combined product of many heads coming together (Although they collided in court rooms afterwards over ownership), so when you’re sitting in the cafeteria, staying up late or having fun in the pool, remember that the persons you’re hanging out with are full of potential, so tap in it (Or tap it)!

3. The Environment is Key The college life is the best ecosystem to start a business and run a startup, so no wonder they are trying hard to reproduce it in Facebook and Apple headquarters to boost productivity and innovation! You’re a college student in an environment that has much to offer. For one you have low collaterals as opposed to running big risks and responsibilities if you are in the workforce. Having a job to care for, a boss to satisfy, a wife to worry about or the mundane life tasks a person out of college has to deal with is a true impediment for growth and innovation. Waiting until post graduation to start building a Business is demanding and clashes with many commitments life imposes on us in that stage, but while in college, the risks are low, there is less stress and you are more likely to be in an adventurous mood to try new things. The hippie culture of not caring much, of working hard and playing harder is an amazing tool to exploit if you are a student, so employ it in getting your startup up and running. They say being high can help

you accomplish a lot, so while you’re flying in the clouds solving worlds’ most pressing problems or turning into a philosopher, take some time and think about the needs and

issues around you and how to best solve them through a company of your making.


company CEOs, and that’s that we are living side by side with the next wave of middle class client base. The very students you go to school with, see at lunch, hang out with and talk to most of the time are the same people who will be joining the workforce 5 or 7 years from now and will be shopping in malls and getting their credit cards out to buy stuff. Companies spend millions trying to understand their market niche, their needs, their lifestyle and their mindset while you, the student, have it all figured out. Your discussions with your fellow buddies can reveal a lot about what they lack and what they would love to buy given it existed, so why not be a good entrepreneur and create the solution for their problems all while pocketing some money on the way? All you have to do is to take time to observe and analyze behaviors and conversations, looking for the gap that’ll allow you to move in and come up with the fix, and colleges are a fertile land to achieve this with great odds of success.

Living with future client base

We tend to forget while in college that we have a competitive edge over all other salesmen or executives and

by mohamed amine belarbi

5. Failure is good, but better while young Fail early, fail fast, fail often…the glorification of failure goes hand in hand with innovation and success we read and hear often about, and this cult of failure is what proves that college is the best place and period of your life to start your business because you’ll have plenty of opportunities for failures given the low collaterals it carries, and most importantly college rimes well with the “fail early” part! Failure is good, but the sooner it happens the better since you’ll have plenty of time to recover and enough energy to burn continuing with your venture. It is hard when failure strikes at an age where you spent years investing yourself in an idea too costly in effort and money. In college, most startups are the result of small if no funding, so the failure carries more constructive load than destructive one. Believe it or not, it’s easier to get over the disappointment of a failed idea that cost you 1000$ and few months in college than a years-long loss while you are in your 30s or 40s!

Conclusion Your college period is probably the best of your life because of the fun it carries, the friendships it allows you to forge and the experience it offers, so make it an even better time by coming out of it with an operating startup or venture. The resources and assets you have at your disposal as a student, the ecosystem you work in and the mindset that shapes your everyday life while in college are valuable assets even big companies try hard to emulate in their workplace. Owning your business while in your 20s is not only a crowning prize for the great potential you hold as a young aspiring student, but is also a recognition for what you can and should make being in the position you are in. We have no excuse to not be the boss of ourselves, to pride ourselves with being our own CEOs, so don’t waste time and exploit all you have at your disposal in college so that you can gladly claim “I’m CEO bitch and still in college!”


If Music can’t do it, Business sure can!


ince its birth during the 1970’s in New York City, hip-hop has gathered polarized views as an artistic movement. While mainstream audiences often linked it to violence and war between gangs, especially during the 1990’s, black artists saw it as a way to climb on the socio-economic ladder without using the conventional tools. However, the stigma did not remain indefinitely. As of today, rap music has achieved such a critical and commercial success that its main figures are now able to “compete” with other types of entertainers in terms of financial status. Consequently, mainstream rap music has lately focused on materialism, with artists displaying their ostentatious

wealth through their music. So rap started to lose its image of ugly duckling in the music industry very recently, but some entrepreneurs oversaw the overcoming change of wave in the business and saw it as a promising opportunity. While rappers (or MCs) are able to earn a more than decent living thanks to their art, that is just the tip of the iceberg. But in the background, business moguls in the industry are dealing with astronomical amount of money, considering where the position of rap music was just a few years ago. The three richest rap moguls (Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jay-Z and Dr. Dre) have a combined net worth of $1.4 billion according to Forbes. gulf elite magazine

When the majority of rap artists usually content themselves with the royalties brought by their music, these three have used their musical careers in order to support even greater and more profitable business ventures.

Stay diversified Entertainers’ careers usually have a relatively short life span. Whether they are professional athletes or successful musicians, they will actually get paid only for a certain amount of years. After their career is over, they have to

find another source of income. And knowing that it is hard, very hard to find another job out of that field once they have entered it (considering they would even want to), they have to be very smart with their finances while they are at the top of their games. Most of them hire agents for that purpose, but that is rarely a great success. “If you want something done well, do it yourself ”, says the proverb. Someone like Jay-Z understood that saying. As a rapper, he reached mainstream success in the mid-nineties thanks to two critically acclaimed albums, which were released by a label he co-created. However, aware of the importance of

having a diversified collection of assets, he knew he had to expand his activities and create more permanent sources of income. And that is a very important thing to do in business. Individuals are by definition risk averse, and the most effective way to decrease risk is to diversify. To all the basketball fans reading this, think of two players: one is extremely good at scoring points but almost useless when it comes to giving assists or taking rebounds whereas the other one is average in those three sectors. If they face a very good defense during their next game (risk), hence limiting their scoring, the second player can always help his team by giving assists and taking rebounds; on the other hand the player who does not have a “diversified” set of skills will deliver a terrible performance.

“I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man!” Jay-Z took advantage of his success to build an empire, establishing himself as one of the most successful moguls in the music industry. Aware of the significance of his name, he decided to use this brand power to strengthen his business. In 2008, he founded his own entertainment company named Roc Nation. He signed promising artists under his record label, many of which became very successful. Between the end of June and early July, four albums were recorded the best sales in the United States; all of them were distributed by Jay-Z’s label. Success happens outside of your comfort zone. Finding new challenges stimulates you and forces you to work harder and better. Most entertainers rarely step out of their comfort zone. That is a wise choice as long as they are at the top of their game; however that will not last forever. There will always be someone who could do your job better than you. Find other domains that do not necessarily concern your primary occupation. When most entertainers see their careers as a bed on which they can rest for eternity, Jay-Z saw his music career as a springboard to reach even higher objectives. Through his Roc Nation entertainment firm, he is now playing on many fronts. He is the CEO of the clothing manufacturer Rocawear, a $650 million company. For many years, he has owned a small fraction of the Nets, an NBA team. Earlier this year, he sold

by abdoulaye ndiaye

his stake just so that he could focus on his latest business venture: Roc Nation Sports, a sports management firm. Many people (most of them being current sports agents) criticized this operation claiming that Jay-Z did not have the experience to manage sportsmen’s careers. However, a few months within the birth of the firm, he has already managed to sign the NBA superstar Kevin Durant.

And that is not the end of it. What did we learn looking at Jay-Z’s successful career? Probably nothing we did not already know. Entrepreneurship is not something you will learn in a book or during a class, or else we would all be successful businessmen. Here is a man who could have easily gone the wrong way: a former drug dealer brought up in a poor area of Brooklyn who does not even hold a high school degree. Today, he is sitting on a fortune estimated at $475 million, married to the superstar Beyonce (hence forming one of the richest couples in the world), listed in Time’s “100 most influential people in the world”, and he is a personal friend of Barack Obama. Miracle? Luck? Underachievers would like to think so. Jay-Z used simple recipes that business books may tell you about but cannot teach you. He created his own success, and so should you.



5 reasons why the bull is still in the game


he Wolf of Wall Street” is under everyone’s radar and the sneak peak it offered to the viewers is sure to drive us all crazy about the upcoming Hollywood artwork, but after the Financial Crisis of 2008-2009, do we have to believe again that Wall Street can offer us that sort of life after hitting the bottom and making for itself a very nasty reputation? Here are 5 reasons why Wall Street is and will still remain a magnet for all ambitious and dollars-thirsty youth out there!

1. Money Big Time Nothing rimes with Wall Street finance better than fat checks and generous bonuses, and whether we hear it or see it through articles in the New York Times or in Hollywood productions, it has never been far off from the truth, especially in today’s rebounding economy and revitalized stock market. If your father puts you off from Wall Street because of gloomy prospects and the imminent death of the industry, you can just layback with a big smile because if you’re heading finance you’ll be pocket-

ing a fair paycheck according to leading newspapers and recent studies (unless your dad knows better, in that case I’ll be amazed that Ben Bernanke’s son is reading this article!)

2. Competition vs Cooperation Many in today’s job market emphasize the importance of the employment environment as a key aspect in deciding one’s industry, and most keep on regurgitating the wonders of working in an ecosystem where strong cooperation and workplace serenity are kings. Whether it is “The Internship” or the cool offices of Apple, there is no lack of promotion and publicity for what is becoming quite a trendy way to organize the workforce and the office life. But face it: cooperation can take you far, but competition can take you quick to your destination, and in the world of dreamers who want to get rich quickly, this is bliss!

3. Work Hard Play Hard

No one denies that Wall Street will suck the living out of you from the stress it imposes on the financiers roaming its streets to the tense competitive survival game it launches in each one of the buildings populating it. You’ll hate yourself at times, wish you could have more than 20 min for your daily lunch break or crave punching the asshole executive yelling your orders from the floor above, but at the end of the day, you’ll have plenty of places to steam off the stress. It’s New York after all, and the nightlife is generous in terms of activities (illicit mostly), especially for the Wall Street network where wild parties and bunga bunga socials are common currency. Just the status of trader, risk analyst or banker in Wall Street is enough to secure you a frenzy night so know how to use it around (or just say it if it’s a blonde).

5. Networks If there is anything more important than money, power and girls, it is all of them combined, and that’s where the power of networks lies. Friends are the backbone of your success so you need to arm yourself with resourceful ones. Having Wall Street elite on your speed dial can make your life a lot better, whether you are planning to throw a nice party or are drowning in troubles. Wall Street’s beauty is that it is not only a hub for bankers, but harbors anything from top notch lawyers to key lobbyists whose reach extends far inside the offices of DC. The entourage one can create when working in Wall Street for investment houses is an asset that can take your status and all that goes with it a couple of levels up, and these are the things that, although not crafted in numbers in your salary, are far more valuable than the 6 or 7 figures you make yearly.

4. Life after Retirement It is sometimes hard to believe that people work so hard for so many years only to retire at 60 and find no strength to enjoy life anymore. After reaching 60, it’s hard to find the effort to go bungee jumping, sailing, getting into extreme sports or traveling the world and having a blast in every city you pass by. We’re all told that youth is the period where we make the most out of our existence in this planet, yet the constraints of finding a job, taking care of a family, paying your mortgage or settling that student debt makes it hard if not impossible to keep a smile on our faces. So why not enduring a tough 10 or 15 years and then still retain enough energy to blow our earnings and fulfill every line in our bucket list? One can still do a lot at the age of 45, and with millions of dollars in your pocket, the skies become your only limit (unless you go for a Virgin Galactic sponsored tour to space).

by mohamed amine belarbi




sanaa azzam


gulf elite


Saana Azzam -“If your will of winning is greater than your fear of losing, you will go far.”


ulf Elite took the time to meet up with Swedens Female Economist of the Year 2010, Saana Azzam. A serial entrepreneur with a master’s degree in Economics from Stockholm School of Economics and a public speaker that has spoken in front of the glitterati of Swedish business life. Based out in Dubai at the moment, we decided to meet up with Azzam for lunch at Jones the Grocer, to find out how this piece of coal turned into a diamond. Now this is not you’re usual suspect – she opens the door and you see this tall dark brunette, all suited up with a pair of black stilletos, approaching the table… damn! Saana is born in Germany “in transit”, as she expressed it, between Lebanon and Sweden. Her parents are Palestinians, “I wish I had time to pick up the German at that stage but I guess I had other priorities as an infant,” she says and laughs. By the age of 26 she has lived in six different countries, worked within private banking at SEB and done an investment banking internship at Barclays Capital in London during the fincial crisis in 2008. She also had an internship at Nike, American Express and held 32 innovatie speeches around Europe. But traveling around the world, working and exploring the many opportunities out there, you need to keep your feet on the ground and stay contected within the social buble by taking advantage of the technonology available today. “Some of my business opportunities come through social media. It is so incredibly easy to meet any CEO for a casual coffee and it is literally one button away.”

You see, Saana is young and driven, just like a lot of people within her generation. But keeping in mind that there are 100s of millions of people within that generation, some of them are bound to mess up eventually. So what made her “shine bright like a diamond” (i.e not mess up) was a mindset characterized by a fearless determination. She had the determination to pursue tough studies and graduated from one of the world’s most esteemed business schools, holding ultimately a master in Economics from Stockholm School of Economics, and is today a 26-year-old entrepreneur, businesswoman and an inspiring figure that makes us believe that we can make it to the top, with just a little magic of hard work, determiniation and inspiration. Looking at her background, one can see her as a very fearless individual. A woman that has the guts to use all of her competence and skills to climb up the social ladder, a woman that embraces the present and sees her young age as a great advantage. “As a successful yet young individual, your aren’t natuarly empowered to use the space you need, which is why you have to speak your mind and have the confidents to take your stands. One warning though, you better know what you’re talking about when you start talking!” As a young businesswoman or an entrepreneur, working within a world dominated by corporations and authoritative inidividuals, you have to have the brains to present your potential, and without fearlessness or confidence, your potential will always remain unknown. Let your actions speak for you because actions are much louder than empty promises and talks.

In your lectures you talk about Generation Y and organizational development, how do you see the diversity within modern organizations and do you think its important for success? I want to evolve and operate in dynamic, healthy work environments. In this day and age, operations are global and the consumers are world citizens, thus a homogenous work environment will not be able to cater for that and will ultimately put them at a disadvantage. Mix ethnicity, age, gender and more to create a creative work place. Equality among multi-ethnic personel is not a sole question of ethics, it is a question of profitability, to even question it seems unjustified, says Saana Azzam.

Many business leaders describe Generation Y as spoiled and demanding, do you agree? I like to describe my generation as the generation that wants to be Mother Teresa and Gordon Gekko, all at the same time. We may demand more from corporations but we also demand more out of ourselves because the technological capability and know-how is available. Circumstances change, people don’t, and so we should remember that we are as much impacted by the latest world developments as our grand parents were by the industrial revolution. We are adapting and actively participating in a changed world, in our own way, and this is what the aging class that has long been at the helm of the corporate world perceives differently.

What advice would you give young entrepreneurs like yourself to be able to live up to their own dreams and potential? Because something that’s wrong and is constituted is seen as a social norm doesn’t make it right. Every new idea always starts within an individual. But if that individual can’t take responsibility, he or she will neglect the possibility of getting a better life, not only for themselves but also for the people around them.

by ibrahim naji

I was raised by immigrated parents, like many Palestinian families that were driven out of their countries due to horrible circumstances, and unfortunately, my parents’ qulifications were neither transferrable nor valid in Sweden. All this being said, they still very successfully managed to integrate and raise 8 ambitious children including myself. My mother always said “The doorway to success is wide open, but its up to you if you want to walk through it or not.” The picture she painted up for me made me realize that we all control how to walk through our destined path and If your will of winning is greater than your fear of losing, you will go far. Morale of the story, you don’t have any excuse for not going out there and achieving wonders. Instead of finding excuses to explain why you suck, find excuses to let people know how awesome you are and how successful you can be. Saana Azzam may have been raised by a family of emigrants, grown in a foreign country all but similar to hers, challenged by the hardships of studying along the intellectual elite of Sweden, but sure as hell she never quit and was always determined to carve a name for herself. “Pain is temporary, it may last a minute, an hour, a day or a year, but it will eventually fade away. The pain from quitting though, lasts a lifetime”. So choose a path and decide where you want to be, because where you are now doesn’t matter at all, like it didn’t matter for Saana when she opened her eyes the first day to see that her starting point wasn’t very promising!

wan Do y wit t to ou Gu h Saan meet l u tha f Elite a Azz p am t po w ssib ill m ? ake inf l e ! o so Mo on! re

gulf elite for men and women


The 5 Ps that lead to success in Life and Business


hat was the only thing I ever heard from my uncle, now you can imagine, as a kid, that was a pain in the ass. Hearing how you had to prepare and constantly keep a disciplined schedule to simply prevent a bad grade or getting an essay handed in on time. But not until later years did I actually understand the value of what he was constantly repeating, Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. It’s a life lesson, a lesson that every successful individual has embraced. The key to achieving that top grade you’ve always wanted, a successful business plan or even that dream beach body you’ve only seen on cheap TV shops, is repetition. Having a repeated daily routine, a routine that does not only guarantee success but stability, something that keeps you in check whenever you get of course. Because we´ve all spent those killing hours in front of our desks studying for an exam, working on an essay trying to meet a deadline or working on a project that might just do the trick. That long “To Do List” you write down every day to finish your work – That’s called doing what you have to do. That’s called discipline. That’s called living a few years like most people wont so that you can spend the rest of your life living like most people can’t. The shit you put up with is going to pay off once you embrace the disciplined routine of an action. It’s like the great Greek philosopher Aristotle once said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”. Let me break it down to you, a high IQ does not necessarily lead to success. An A in high school doesn’t habitually lead to an A in life. As a matter of fact, people with high IQ and who have an easier learning ability tend to fail because of their cocky overconfident state of mind. There is actually one essential characteristic that emerges amongst individuals who make it best, as a significant predictor of success. It isn’t their charm, social intelligence and it’s for damn sure not their IQ. It is people who have the passion and determination for the long-term gulf elite magazine

goals, the goals they want to achieve. It is about having stamina. Sticking with your “To do list”. Sticking with your plan – every day, for years to come. It’s about having a rock solid work ethic and working your ass off to become the man or woman you want to be. It’s about living life like it’s a marathon not a sprint. But during that sprint we have all felt like quitting, we have all had our doubts. Though something that should keep you motivated is that you will one day unlock that achievement, the achievement of living your dream and to finally meet Her. Who? The girl you’ve always dreamt of. Because who are we kidding; you will never have a fully successful life until you’ve found your dream girl, or should I say women, your Mrs. Perfect that you will spend your “happily ever after” with. But there is a catch; a pretty messed up catch actually. Ever wonder why rich ugly ass men end up with the young sexy 25 year olds? Well there is a key word here – rich. Yes people, wake up from you delusional dream – we live in a fucked up modern society were capital is one of the major variables that defines success. A society that evolves around money. So if you’re reading this and thinking, “this is such horseshit, money has nothing to do with success” go and shoot yourself. The day you wake up and decide that you want a wife and maybe a couple of small little devils running around the house, ask yourself this; Will I afford their education? Food on the table? Health care? Give them the life I never had – give them anything and everything they want? How the hell do you think Donald Trump ended up marrying the Slovenian supermodel Melania Knauss – well it wasn’t for his personality or good looks Ill tell you that much. It was because he could provide, provide one of the things every woman is looking for, financial security.

Now yes there are women out there who don’t value or need the financial thing as much, but lets face it, no matter how lovable, sweet or good looking you are, you won’t get that dream girl, unless you are successful. Why? Well it’s simple, a dream girl desires a dream life. As a man, if you can’t fulfill that dream she´s always dreamt of, she won’t fulfill yours. So keep your head in the game, keep on working your ass off, keep that determination going for just a little while more, fight for those few extra hours, so that one day, you’ll wake up beside an angel. We´ve all heard the expression, practice makes perfect; it’s not just some bullshit your football coach used to say, it’s actually true! Doing something, constantly in a scheduled routine will lead to invaluable and glorified success. How do you think LeBron James got his jump shots? How did Steve Jobs come up with the revolutionary technology that exists today? All questions have a similar answer; they properly pre-

by ibrahim naji

pared, day in and day out, to prevent poor performance, and ended up on top of the food chain. We may all be motivated and have that igniting spark that gets us started, but it’s the habit of it, that keeps us going.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle

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Simple! Send your sample writing or pitch your article to us at, and we will get back to you asap. Only condition: your writings should follow our editorial line and fall into the subjects we cover at Gulf Elite. Our editors will review all submissions and reserve themselves the right to reject any piece that doesn’t fit our editorial line, clashes with recent publications in our Magazine or does not address the issue and topics covered by Gulf Elite Magazine.

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fashion and style YOU ARE WHAT YOU WEAR

The clothing items you should pick carefully if you want to be taken seriously


ou can have an amazing CV, be fluent in many languages, have graduated from the best universities or even have the perfect GPA. You also might have the Mitt Romney jawline or Barack Obamas’ smile, Morgan Freemans’ voice or Drakes’ swag. But if you don’t know how to dress up, you’re a couple of steps behind my friend.

recommend would be Panama style hat, preferably black or cream colored depending on the rest of your outfit, BUT there is still a chance that you might look like a gangster from 1930s.

What we wear gives the first impression about ourselves. You want to impress that boss, businessman and the government official: You have to be fresh, clean, cool. It’s almost like a relationship, where you want the girl you’ve been thinking of for months to fall in love with you at first sight. Well, it’s not that easy or cheap. But there is a way. By making a couple of small changes to your outfit and adding a couple of cool details, you can make your receiver fall in love with you…and hopefully invest his hard-earned stacks of dollars in your idea. Let’s go from head to toe:

One of the most important elements of your outfit that can make or break it. The color, the texture… Everything about a tie needs to picked carefully.

Hat Well, unless you are Russel Brand or Winston Churchill, you HAVE TO be very careful with wearing a hat, if you want to be taken seriously. A top hat would make you look like you’re running for president or marrying into a royal family. Derby hat? Churchill already did that, you’re about 70 years late to even consider going to a business meeting with that. Trilby? I highly discourage, after all, Cold War era is over. Neither a boater hat or a beret will get you anywhere too, unless you’re trying to brownnose an Italian or a French boss. The only type of hat I would gulf elite magazine


First, always go for slim ties, not regular ones that you

can find in your dad’s wardrobe. Skinny ties add an energetic and powerful look to your suit. Since we don’t really see middle-aged or old men wear them, wearing a skinny tie stresses the power, excitement and rebelliousness of the youth inside you. If you want to look professional, it’s a must, I repeat, A MUST that your tie is neither too short nor too long. How do we measure? The tip of your tie should be touching your belt. You would be surprised how much this very small detail adds to your general appearance.

Second, the color. This might seem as the hardest part

but really it is not. The good news is there is no secret formula that you have to know to find a matching tie and look amazing. It’s very simple. Never judge the color of your tie by itself or by your shirt, or by your jacket, or shoes or any one thing you’re wearing at the time. Always look at it from a bigger frame. Judge the color based on the whole, general outfit. For instance, you have a slim black tie and a white shirt. Well, those two look good together. But before you put that black tie on, check your jacket. It’s blue? Cream? White? I’m sorry but no matter how awesome a black tie can look with a white shirt, if the jacket you’re wearing is one of the colors above, that tie won’t ever work. Save your plain ties (black, dark blue, grey, red) with your more serious suits. A black or a red tie with a black or a grey suit always works, ALWAYS. There is one small rule though.

by aytunc ronnie guler NEVER mix black and blue. Let’s say you have some really nice ties but the colors are not regular like black or red. Let’s say you want to wear a yellow, purple, green or maroon tie. Save these colors for your not-so-serious suits. A blazer maybe? You have a dark blue blazer, a white shirt, cream or brown pants and brown shoes? GO CRAZY! Put on your yellow tie confidently, carry that maroon tie like a medal of honor, because you look great.

Shirt The more the merrier. Try to own as many as you can. White, blue and black are all musts! Just don’t go too crazy on the color if you don’t want to be the clown of the business world. I personally recommend slim-fit shirts. If you have the body for it, a slim-fit shirt will make you 100 times sexier. Take my word for it. The golden rule? Iron! You have to, have to have your shirts ironed. You want to look sharp, professional, cool, handsome, simply amazing? You won’t unless your shirt is ironed!

Suit This is the main course. This is what people will remember the most. Yes, the details make a difference but just like in a restaurant, you can’t serve amazing appetizers and skip on the main course. This is what’s going to turn your presentation from a cheap Subway sandwich (Yes, they add nice and small details to their sandwiches) into a $1000 plate. If you’re planning to visit or even pass by the business world, you have to have that one high quality suit. Not necessarily expensive but high quality. You need to pick this one special suit so carefully. It’s up to you, go to different stores, check the fabric on each suit, check how the sizes work (each brand differs a little in their sizes so you want to be careful with that), if you have a specific color in mind, check different tones of the same color. Don’t settle down easily. If you really want to be profes-

sional, you should even check the material that the fabric is made out of (100% cotton is what I prefer). Believe me these things make a huge difference in the long run because you don’t want to wear a suit for 3 months and then throw it away because the color is messed up or the fabric is stretched out. Pick it carefully, it can save you a fortune. As for the color, I think it is a really good idea to own a black, blue and a grey suit. They are the mothers of all colors when we talk about professional attire. AND most importantly, make yourself a promise that the suit you buy is your perfect size. Not too tight, not too loose. Slim-fit is the perfect choice! I recommend slim-fit because if you find

your perfect size, it’s almost like owning a custom made suit. Remember, you’re young and wild and free, so own that suit like it was only made for you! Which brings me to my next point: If you can afford it, get your suit tailored. Nothing like a tailored suit…

Shoes Even easier. A pair of black and brown shoes is a must. Black shoes only with the black suit, brown for any other color (including your blazer combo). Black shoes with grey, cream, or brown pants is a NO NO in my opinion. That’s why you have the brown pair. Black socks with black shoes. No other colors. Brown or gray with the other pairs. Make sure they are clean and shiny, and make sure you know how to tie them, in case they get untied on the way to the meeting… God forbid… Well, that’s about it. I mean, after all, I’m not your mama. Peace out!

Those Who Want to Go the Extra Mile Cufflinks, brothers. If you want to go that extra mile and look super cool and professional, get cufflinks! They can be a man’s signature and definitely impress the opposite party. Works 100%, success guaranteed. Go get a shirt or two that can be used with cufflinks. You can wear it with almost any suit type, color or design. Now set sail to the rough seas of business looking like a boss!

We’ve got guys covered, but how about girls? In our next issue we will devote quite a big chunck to discuss matters relevant to the other half of Generation-Y! Fashion & style, dresses, latest tendencies, jewelery, what matters to women, all written by women! For each circumstance and occasion there is a proper dressing code that you have to follow, and sometimes it is hard to keep your feminity on display when asked to wear professional and smart. We’re bringing you some tips and advices from girls who have been at it all. Whether we’re talking about conferences, fancy dinners or casual encounters, our ladies are here to give you a helping hand! Stay tuned about our upcoming releases, because a girl unsatisfied with our manly publication is one too many!


Be the best, or live pretending it!


lot of people would shout all sort of names at those who live by this standard, calling them hypocrites, fake and whatnot, yet what these people fail to notice is that faking it doesn’t necessarily uphold a negative meaning but can stem from a deep understanding of social dynamics and evolutionary code of survival, and here is why. People and society in general will judge you not based on your actions but on the impressions you leave in your first encounters. In a world where interactions occur at a quick pace and meetings don’t last more than a few minutes, individuals and organizations developed a sense of natural selection based on the perceived potential of the people they interact with, because dressing full assessments of ones credibility and achievements is becoming costly both in terms of time and effort. We tend to think that people will only deliver what they say they will, or what they appear to be capable of, because the rigid bureaucracy of yesterday conditioned us to think in these standards. But in today’s reality, people who make it are those who bypass the conventional “what I actually can do” to “I’ll do whatever makes the client, organization or employer

ing the ladder of success. Its psychological reasoning is astounding since it catalyzes the individual to find new ways to live up to his commitment and pushes him to become more innovative in dealing with appointments and deliveries. Saying you can make it before even hearing what the task is about will not only ensure that you will be perceived as the man of the situation, but it will also drive you to prosper and innovate in order to honor and live up to your word, be it by learning how to do the job or finding someone else to do it for you. The potential is not a static being that is constrained in the physical boundaries of our CV or past achievements, but it is a flexible volume that either shrinks if we don’t challenge ourselves enough or expands when we put pressure on it and put it in front of the “fait accompli”. It’s not a matter of living a lie, or building an ideal utopia, but it’s about getting yourself outside of your comfort zone and finding out what you are capable of. People who wanted to impress their boss and claimed they could get that website designed may as well become the next marketing entrepreneur who got himself to learn about website building or gathered together a team from India to do

To be a great champion, you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are. Muhamed Ali wants me to do”. Although you cannot personally deliver what you were hired for, this is becoming a trivial challenge when the common business practice is outsourcing, outsourcing, outsourcing...

so and started a successful outsourcing business (talking from experience). This is not a Sci Fi account of what faking it may help you gain, but a common testimonial of the power of faking it in driving your growth and flourishing.

The business world picked up this trend long before and it appears to be working wonders, so why don’t we adopt it as a way of living in our social interactions and dealings? Bullshitting your way around is no longer a despicable practice, but is an imperative if you want to keep climb-

In confidence seminars they always encourage you to think that you own the room, that you are the alpha in the group and to just pretend that you know what you are talking about and at the end your entourage or the audience will end up believing it as well. Sometimes it’s not

gulf elite magazine

by mohamed amine belarbi

about what you say but how you say it, it is not about what you do but how you do it, it is not about who you are but who you project yourself to be, and these are things that you can fake, or to put it mildly, learn how to master. People will always follow the one who seems to know his shit, but if no one in the room knows jack about new business trends or US foreign policy in Asia Pacific, then stepping up and starting the discussion with confidence and with few technical terms will gain you applause and admiration, and most people won’t take the pain to double check because no one actually cares. Faking it is a blend of boldness, confidence, smart bullshit and intelligence, and those who apply it are far from being the bad guys or the failures who long for success. An example is politics. Do you actually believe that presidents, ministers and leaders know everything from economics to healthcare to tax systems to environmental policies? Standing in front of the TV and delivering a speech that touches on all these issues might make you think that this is the guy fit for the job, yet all those words are no more than speeches written by experts and knowledge crunched by multiple committees tasked with exploring specific subjects and policies. The morale? Why not you? In todays globalized and interconnected world, finding knowledge you lack or expertise you need is a click away,

so go out there and make your living code “Yes I can do it”, and see the results! Life is a theatrical performance; we want to be the main character, we play our roles and rehearse hard to wow our entourage, our audience, we put on smiles like we put on masks, we stick to our scripts and think that we are born to play only one role the divine director gave us the day we were born, but guess what? If we’re going to play the performance game, we might just as well pick the script we like or write our own! Life is full enough of preconceived notions of what our limits are, what our jobs are and what mechanical tasks and routines we have to fill our days with so no wonders we end up hating our jobs, our lives and everyone else. Challenge yourself, and bring your fears of success to an end, just claim you can make it, fake that you are up to the task and that you can deliver whatever they are looking for, and you’ll see how you’ll change into an individual who constantly adapts to the realities of his society, a superhuman who masters the evolutionary science and knows what role to pick depending on what are the fine mechanics of the market, of his entourage… Fake it until you make it, and people will start approaching you for advice, will start considering you a reference, and will bring you success on a silver plate instead of you going running after it!


After Facebook and Twitter, add these to your must check! 1. Business Insider - Business Insider is a fast-growing business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals. The flagship vertical, Silicon Alley Insider, launched on July 19, 2007, led by DoubleClick founders Dwight Merriman and Kevin Ryan and former top-ranked Wall Street analyst Henry Blodget. There are no subscription fees or production delays. Business Insider is dedicated to aggregating, reporting, and analyzing the top news stories across the web and delivering them to you at rapid-fire pace. 2. TechCrunch - TechCrunch is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news. Founded in June 2005, TechCrunch and its network of websites now reach over 12 million unique visitors and draw more than 37 million page views per month. The TechCrunch community includes more than 2 million friends and followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and other social media. 3. Elite Daily - Elite Daily proclaims itself to be the voice of Generation-Y. As the premier online destination for aspiring men and women alike, Elite offers a forum of peer-to-peer interaction in an increasingly digitalized world. The site consistently delivers diverse content with a fresh, relevant voice that appeals to the divergent perspectives represented within our ADD generation. Elite Daily has fused a social community of viral content with unique, authentic voices, appealing to a widespread, international audience by providing a sounding board for this generation to express its innumerable, differing perspectives. With a wide readership and an equally large authorship, Elite is by Gen-Y, for Gen-Y. 4. Young Entrepreneur - Young entrepreneurs are everywhere. Between the makers, tinkerers, inventors and creative types just coming up today, entrepreneurship may be an aspiration, but it’s not a hobby. Maybe you’re not Mark Zuckerberg-famous yet, but you’ll get there. And we’ll be there to help. We’re committed to chronicling the ups and downs of young entrepreneurs and startup founders, and serving as a resource for solid information and insights. Founded in 1999, has become one of the largest online forum communities for entrepreneurs worldwide. gulf elite magazine

gulf elite Co-Founder, Editor


mohamed amine belarbi

spent the last couple of years roaming the world, studying in three different continents, attending conferences throughout the globe and hopping from one project to another. a serial entrepreneur i started several ventures in the areas of politics and diplomacy, , philanthropy and business marketing. Tthey call me a skilled bullshitter, but iI like to think of myself as someone who knows how to talk his way through.

Co-Founder, Editor

ibrahim naji

they called me candy boy in high school, so you can imagine how popular i was amongst the ladies. my real name though is ibrahim naji, born and raised in sweden but originally from palestine. my feld is to guide,discuss and evaluate our daily obstacles and curiosities within our growing world of love, luxury and business.


aytunc ronnie guler

I if i work hard, i sure as hell have to play harder.. i am one blessed turk, all day every day. living a beautiful life in abu dhabi with skyscrapers, fast cars and amazing people. always out and about public speaking, style, confidence you’are talking to the right person. money is the motivation, money is the conversation. always see the bigger picture, always strive and propser.


abdoulaye ndiaye

abdoulaye was born in dakar, senegal. passionate about economics and business, he enjoys studying them in relation with his main interests. he is currently studying at nyu abou dhabi where he is majoring in economics and political science

To advertise on Gulf Elite, please send a message to with a subject line indicating your advetising query. StudInov Marketing Strategies manages advertismenet space in Gulf Elite Magazine. Gulf Elite Magazine 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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