Emirates Woman - January 2021

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Good vibes only

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HEAD OFFICE Media One Tower, Dubai Media City, PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE, Tel: (+971) 4 4273000, Fax: (+971) 4 4282261, E-mail: motivate@motivate.ae DUBAI MEDIA CITY Office 508, 5th Floor, Building 8, Tel: (+971) 4 3903550 Fax: (+971) 4 3904845 ABU DHABI PO Box 43072, UAE, Tel: (+971) 2 6772005 , Fax: (+971) 2 6770124, E-mail: motivate-adh@motivate.ae LONDON Acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER, UK, E-mail: motivateuk@motivate.ae

Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai

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Editor’s Letter

Welcome to The Positivity Issue. I would like to thank page 42 and PALM in Smart Swimwear on page 30. We an incredible team for digging deep in 2020 and allowing also speak to YNAP’s Director of Sustainability and us to stand where we do currently, having honed and Inclusion, Giorgia Roversi in A Positive Future on page elevated Emirates Woman we are well positioned for a 48. Beauty wise, we look at the gentlest cleansers that strong start to 2021. This wouldn’t deliver a deep clean in Fresh Faced work without you all so thank you on page 66, Tata Harper discusses FOCUS ON for every late night, every detail and their mindful approach to beauty in extra mile, it is truly appreciated. Positive Impact on page 70 and Aveda THE GOOD AND In this issue you will find leads the charge for ethical beauty in THE GOOD everything to enable you to kick off The Positive Pioneer on page 82. GETS BETTER the New Year with a positive mindset. We also look at how to give For our cover, aerial artist, your investment pieces longevity in fitness enthusiast and wellness expert, Mayassa Al New Year, New Life on page 94 and some of the most Tajir, shares with us her positive approach to life in incredible women we know outline how they will be Ariel Art on page 16. harnessing an attitude of positivity for 2021 in The We also look ahead to SS21 with interviews from Power of Positivity on page 96. three key swimwear brands, Oséree in Contemporary Focus on the good and the good gets better. Cool on page 34, Myra Swim in The Game Changer on Happy New Year.



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Private Blend Tobacco Vanille Scented Candle, 595g Dhs360 Tom Ford Beauty


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Monitor News p.14 Social Listings p.15 Cover Shoot with Hermès p.16 Exclusive Interview – Cover Star – Emirati Aerialist, Mayassa Al Tajir p.24


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Positive Impact – Exclusive interview with Tata Harper p.70

Contemporary Cool – Exclusive interview with the founder of Oséree p.34



Hot New Buys p.64 FASHION

The Perfect Arch – Interview with the master of microblading Suman Jalaf p.74

The Edit – Clean Slate p.28 Smart Swimwear – Exclusive interview with founder of PALM p.30 The Game Changer – Exclusive interview with the founder of Myra Swim p.42 The Icon – The powerful positivity of Hermès’ signature DNA p.46


Beauty Shelf – Sara Tamimi p.76 A Positive Future – Exclusive interview with YNAP’s Director of Sustainability and Inclusion, Giorgia Roversi p.48 CHANEL Cruise21 p.58

The Cover

AM/PM Beauty – Asma Hilal Lootah p.78 Fresh – An exceptional edit of fragrances for a fresh start to 2021 p.80 The Positive Pioneer – Aveda is leading the charge for ethical beauty in 2021 p.82

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SPORTMAX Resort21 p.52

Fresh Faced – Gentle cleansers that deliver a deep clean p.66


Train Hard – The go-to places for working out in 2021 p.100



Fine Produce – Interview with Kibsons Director of Finance and Operations Halima Jumani p.90

Positively Empowering – Three exclusive interviews with Nayla Al Khaja, Hend Almatrouk and Adwa Al Dakheel p.84

Mind & Matter – Interview with Asma Hilal Lootah, the founder of The Hundred Wellness Centre p.92

High Performance – Interview with Dubaibased brand Gym Clothing Co’s director Kelly Hodgkin p.88

New Year, New Life – Interview with The Cobbler p.94 The Power of Positivity p.96


Safe Flight – Etihad p.98 Home Training – The best apps for starting a new regime and staying on it p.102


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Social Listings


A curated list of who to #follow this month





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The brow guru. If you haven’t tried this face framing, game changing technique – you’ll want to.


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Aerial artist, fitness enthusiast and wellness expert Mayassa Al Tajir shares with us her positive approach to life

Words & Creative Direction: AMY SESSIONS Photography: ŽIGA MIHELCIC 16


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Previous page: Kachinas Silk scarf; Both pages: Ex-Libris Silk scarf, all Hermès



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This page: Tout En Carre Giant Silk scarf; Right page: Guépards Tattoo Silk scarf; all Hermès

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Left page: Ex-Libris Silk scarf; Both pages: Etude Pour une Parure de Gala Silk scarf; all Hermès


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Left page: Tout En Carre Giant Silk scarf, Hermès

How does your morning routine set you up for a positive day? I am more Lark than Nightingale, so the morning is my favourite part of the day. I usually wake up at 5:30am without an alarm, just so that I can steal an extra hour of me time before the day actually starts, this helps me feel grounded. I always start with a large cup of English Breakfast tea while I draw as I love the history of art, so I spend my first hour in the morning sketching, shading and enjoying the quiet, while the rest of the house sleeps. I feel that positivity and productivity come hand in hand, we are never happier than when we feel accomplished, and so I always start my day this way. You follow a holistic approach to health and fitness – how did you discover this path? This is a tricky question, because sometimes I feel like I haven’t quite made it down the path as yet. I have always been looking for the path, searching, as most of us do for fulfilment, belonging, a sense of purpose, all those heavy anchors that bind. In the end, it Which inspiring books are currently on your reading list? I am a book did turn out to be a holistic approach, I just didn’t realise it at worm! Currently I am reading “Be Water My Friend: The True Teachthe time. I think it started after I had my second child, I had ings of Bruce Lee” by Shannon Lee, which is a remarkably beautiful a tough pregnancy, and difficult birth, which left me with no book, filled with inspirational quotes and life teachings, while concore, I had severe diastasis recti, and back issues. Both ailtinually focusing on the fact that we are all becoming, and we should enjoy the journey of becoming, despite the obstacles. The cup should ments were just something I was not willing to accept, so afbe empty, because that is the purpose of the cup, and then of course ter grieving the loss of my core, I decided it was time to heal. you get to fill it. I am also reading “The Secret Lives of Colour” by I took up yoga, after which I followed my love for the aerial Kassia St Clair, a real dream of a book for any artist, it reveals the arts, and now I have a very strong core. Now each step I take, history and story of different colour pigments, their symbolism and I am motivated to stay strong, and keep my core safe. meaning, e.g. gold is the colour of desire. How beautiful is that. How does movement impact mindset? My main form of movement is yoga, which in itself is a very mindful approach What are your health and wellness goals for 2021? I never have acto movement. You are very aware of your body and your mustual health goals per se, but they usually tie into my aspirations for cle movements, and your breath. In the moment of practise, new experiences. I have a habit of trying to learn or experience a the mind becomes raw and bright, you new hobby or activity with each new forget about your giant to do list, as year. 2021 shall be the year of the horse! the mind becomes unblocked.I believe I plan on horse riding every week and aerial movement needs to be extremely galloping across the sand dunes. Other coordinated, you are concentrating all than that, I already have an abundant the time, for the flow, at times I feel I schedule which includes snowboardam in a math class, trying to memorise ing and diving every week. In general, different formulas. In short, movement I would say I lead quite an active life wakes up the mind, when you expel enstyle, which is a blessing. ergy you feel energised, and the breath Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals? I nourishes, and so clarity of mind altry to get into bed as early as I can, the ways comes at the end of the practice. earlier, the better. This ritual usually requires me to cause a distraction in What motivated you to start practising order to sneak off early, while everyone aerials and what challenges have you else stays up. Apart from an early night, overcome on your journey? I started I don’t have any beauty regime per se off with yoga, which I believe is the apart from brushing my teeth. I do always review my to-do lists at fundamental backbone of any kind of physical exercise. night and see what I can tick off for the next day. My to-do lists are My favourite yoga practice would have to be vinyasa and biblical, they are categorised from year, to month to week. The more arm balances, being an artist at heart. I can’t resist the organised you are, the more time you have to do the things. beauty of the poses, shapes, the strength and the grace of the human form. Therefore aerials was naturally the next This issue is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how do you stay positive? Well I progression in the journey. I like variety and I like to feel always watch a lot of Disney, aside from that, I stay hydrated and challenged, and the real beauty of aerial arts is that it just active, I make sure that I start the morning with great expectations, doesn’t feel like exercise as I am not a gym person, in any I get excited when I finish my morning sketch, and I am happy to shape or form. I don’t even know how to turn on those gym meet my friends in the aerial studio, it’s all about the little things, machines. But in aerials, you combine height, spinning, that end up adding up I guess. I am an extremely visual person, so drops, shapes, climbs and dance in the practise, it is a very I take a lot of comfort in my surroundings, I love beautiful spaces or beautiful, inspiring art, where you continually progress on places that hold memories. I like to live a life of appreciation, and I your journey, there is no end, and therefore there is no limit. appreciate the knowledge that I can learn every day, and I appreciate The main challenges have been to balance strength and my personal efforts in that I try to make every day count, nothing flexibility, you require them both, and I believe that findshould be wasted. It is a difficult trick to make sure that the mind takes nothing for granted, and in this way, everything has purpose. ing the correct balance between these two fundamental eleWhen I do feel down, I try to understand my mood, and then what ments is every ones Achilles’ heel. You need complete core strategy I can apply to fix it or clean it. Sadness only comes when to be able to lift your own body weight, and sometimes hang we feel defeated, and so I always ask myself “what does it do to your on just one arm or one ankle even, and you need to be able heart?” and I genuinely let it go, because I need all my time to do to bend, and open your heart and breathe inverted. I have the things I love. I live a life abundant with hobbies and beautiful never found inversions challenging, but sometimes I have friends, and they keep me flowing. said a prayer or two before doing drops.


“Aerial movement needs to be extremely coordinated, you are concentrating all the time.”


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Stretch-canvas mules Dhs 3,352 Vetements

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Creating well-considered cuts in sustainable materials, PALM is the ethically made-to-order brand crafting the swim essentials you need to know FAS H I O N

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What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine? To be completely honest, I am not really a morning person. I am usually most creative at night and tend to be the most productive. Therefore, I like to start my mornings slowly by taking my dog Reggie for a walk to the park, whilst listening to music or a podcast. I then have my first coffee of the day at my favourite cafe before heading into the studio for the day. What is at the heart of PALM’s DNA as a brand? The focus for me has always been to develop PALM as a luxury sustainable brand. This means that ethical and sustainable principles are at the heart of everything we do. This is carried out throughout the design process, material selection, manufacturing and packaging as well as ensuring our staff and sewers are working in safe and fair conditions with a good living wage. Our core fabric is made from recycled Italian ECONYL® fibres which is a material regenerated from waste plastics and old fishing nets to create a nylon fabric that is fully and endlessly regenerable. Your pieces are super flattering yet still supportive. How complex is it to achieve the perfect cut? Thank you for your kind words! I am very happy to hear that. I spend a lot of time working with my team to find the balance between the perfect cut, support and just the right amount of coverage. When I create a new design, I work tirelessly with my team to sample, refine and perfect the fit. It’s a very time-consuming process but I want my designs to feel amazing on every woman, regardless of shape or size. We now have our own expert in-house production team who are dedicated to perfecting my designs. This has helped to make achieving the perfect cut much more attainable. What has been the biggest hurdle since starting your own brand and how did you overcome it? The biggest hurdle was finding the time in the day to manage all the different aspects of the brand. Because we source all of our own materials and have our own inhouse studio where all of our pieces are made to order, there is a huge amount of work to do. In the early days, I had to manage all of the different aspects of the brand myself with the support of my partner, Ben and my family. As the brand has grown, I have been able to build my team and find more time to focus on what I love best: design. Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path? I haven’t had a ‘mentor’ as such. I would prefer to say that I have had a number of partners and collaborators whom I have learnt a huge amount from. Being an independent designer, a lot of what I have learnt has been through my work on every aspect of the business. Over the last seven years, I’ve developed close working relationships and friendships with photographers, models, graphic designers, artists and other


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independent designers. Creatively, this has been a huge source of support and inspiration and it has helped me to refine the concept of PALM. My biggest support has always been my partner Ben. Whenever I need support I can rely on him to be there for me. I am also very lucky to have the support of my family and friends, as well as our amazing customers. You operate a made-to-order approach – was this part of the business strategy from the outset and why? When I started PALM, I saw first hand, the huge amount of waste generated throughout the production process and was shocked. I discovered the huge environmental implications caused by fast, disposable fashion largely due to over-production, fabric waste, toxic dying processes and end of season deadstock that ends up in landfill. Not to mention the human cost of the fashion industry where workers in low-income countries were often subject to poor working conditions. I wanted to tread as lightly as possible on the environment and have a more positive impact on the people ‘behind the scenes’ who construct our designs. So, I decided to move towards a ‘slow fashion’ model that reduces

has a beautiful rouched bra maillot and looks beautiful styled with a long wide leg pant or a printed silk skirt. Our hand-smocked pieces are also very unique. The fabric for our smocked pieces is carefully constructed in-house through a time-consuming process. No two pieces are ever identical making each one unique. My favourite new style in this fabric is the petite Kya triangle. Which key PALM pieces outperform season after season sales wise? Overall, I would have to say the Viper bikini set is our current bestseller. Although it is one of our smaller pieces, it is versatile and comfortable and fits well on many women. Our long-term bestseller is the Maya Bodysuit. It is our modern take on the classic one-piece with clean lines and a scooping neck and back. We recently introduced a detachable Italian belt feature which has been hugely popular. You have clients the globe over – do you see any buying patterns based on regions or countries? Different styles tend to do quite well in different countries. In the US, Europe and Persian Gulf countries customers opt for more elegant and classic pieces such as the

When we started PALM, social media (Instagram in particular) was becoming more and more popular for brands and advertising. I have always been quite digital savvy so I’ve always found these platforms easy to use. They have been pivotal with building our brand profile as we are able to directly communicate and engage with our customers all over the world. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? I love following travel accounts, as well as interiors, conceptual florals and anything colourful. I find myself scrolling endlessly through @viancasoleil who lives on the beautiful Puro Island in the Philippines. Another one I recently discovered is @_mue_studio. Their images are surreal and other-worldly. I find them a little haunting, yet serene. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? First of all, never underestimate the value of experience. Before I started PALM, I studied in design and worked in many different areas including marketing and administration. I was also open to any opportunity where I could intern within the fashion industry. I learnt skills from all of these industries that I can now apply at

“The focus for me has always been to develop PALM as a luxury sustainable brand.” our environmental impact. This led us to start producing our swimwear in-house with our own team of technicians to ensure that our designs are ethically manufactured, produce minimal waste and enhance our design process and quality. All of our swimsuits are only made upon order, allowing us to minimize waste by not making more than we need to. You’ve partnered with the likes of Moda Operandi, Luisa via Roma and Bloomingdales. What is your approach to scaling the business? I’ve always wanted PALM to be a natural choice for leading luxury retailers who appreciate high-quality garments and impeccable design. Our approach is always to focus on our core values. That means embracing ethical and sustainable practices to develop elegant, timeless pieces that are made to last. I am thrilled with the response we have had to the brand so far and am excited about the future. Our main objective is to keep pushing sustainability in the luxury sector. Which colourways/designs have been most popular the globe over and was that a surprise? We have a few key pieces that have been most popular and come in season exclusive prints. The Viper is always a season bestseller, as well as the string Talise bikini and Cenit underwire. This season, our new Kelly bodysuit has been very popular. This

Cenit underwire top, Bruna ring bandeau and the side wrap Bella high-waisted bottom. Australians tend to gravitate towards our designs with less coverage for minimal tan lines. What in this market is luxury? In swimwear, it is the design, fabrics, accessories and construction that set luxury brands apart. At PALM, we prefer simple, elegant pieces with exceptional attention to detail and unique features. Many luxurious swimwear fabrics and accessories are manufactured in Europe. We are very selective about our fabrics and materials and we source all of our fabrics from Italy, choosing only those that are of the highest quality and are responsibly sourced. How do you approach client engagement and retention? At PALM, we offer a unique experience by producing our swimwear in-house and made-to-order. As we communicate this to our customers, it allows them to engage with our slow fashion and sustainable principles. Our aim is to engage our customers and to allow them to reconnect with the “making” process. We believe that our ethical and sustainable practices, alongside design, should underline a garment’s value. In the world of fast fashion today, we forget that clothes are made by people and that they utilise the earth’s resources in the process. How has social media affected building PALM?


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PALM. It is also very important to not rush the foundations of brand development. Take your time (even if it takes years) to really develop the essence of the brand, research your materials and suppliers and refine your designs. Having these strong foundations will set you apart. If you had not launched PALM which other role would you choose careerwise? When I started the brand in 2013, I had just started studying my Applied Science degree. I am particularly interested in environmental science and sustainability so I guess this would have led me to a role in environmental biotechnology or textile science. I have since been working towards my degree whilst simultaneously building PALM and am due to complete next year. As my knowledge in science has deepened, I have been able to integrate this into our sustainability practices. This issue is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how do you stay positive? For me, exercise really clears my head as well as hiking outdoors or simply walking my dog in the park. Life in lockdown this year was tough and a real shock to the system. What it taught me was to be grateful for life's simplest pleasures. It’s allowed me to look at the future with optimism and hope, knowing that I can reconnect with family and friends.

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Contemporary Cool WORDS: AMY SESSIONS

OsĂŠree is the clever, contemporary swimwear brand that takes poolside cool to another level


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“At the heart of Oséree you can find women’s strength.”

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What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine? Every morning I try to wake up with a positive thought in my mind, and I try to incline all of the days energy towards reaching an objective. As soon as I wake up, I hug my dog and after a fruit smoothie I start my yoga lesson and meditation. This helps me gain physical and mental energy and to maintain a steady pace and clarity through my daily tasks and decisions, both personal and professional. What is at the heart of Oséree’s DNA as a brand? In the heart of Oséree you can find women’s strength, a force as intense as a hurricane. What has been the biggest hurdle since starting your own brand and how did you overcome it? We have obstacles and challenges to overcome every day. Creating swimwear, we find ourself in a very delicate context and we try to stay as close as possible to women, trying to comfort them with new products which hug every shape. We are trying to combat the stereotype that bikinis can only be worn by models, it most certainly isn’t true! For that reason we try to always portray photos across our social channels which communicate real women. No one should be embarrassed or ashamed of their body, we are all special and unique. Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path? Most definitely our parents and our partners, they have always been and will always be great guides in unbreakable values, ethics and support. For that reason we are very lucky. Externally, Versace and Giorgio Armani.

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The pieces are designed and made in Italy. How do you think this has affected the design ethos from colourways to material selection? We’ve had the chance to collaborate with professionals whom have had the experience of working with great artists through their lifetime, bringing Italian excellence. We are lucky to be able to have this experience within the Italian factories. What is your approach to scaling the business? We have always placed the people and the products as a priority. We ensure everything runs in a harmonious way and we hope to obtain the same positive feedback from our clients, as well continuing to create a happy team. We are most definitely growing, and our views and objectives for the future are clear; among these we will continue to have our products made in Italy, to maintain our quality and the rest we are not yet able to reveal! Which designs have been most popular the globe over and was that a surprise? Our bestsellers are the high waisted bottom and bralette lurex bikinis, after 5 years they con-

tinue to be the bestsellers due to the unique design and high quality fabrication. You have clients the globe over – do you see any buying patterns based on regions or countries? Our sales manager has the main objective of finding retail partners in every country. We try to ensure our clients have access to all styles the globe over. What in this market is luxury? We believe that luxury is enclosed in all those things that comfort us and make us feel good. We believe that nowadays luxury is exclusive, but we also believe that it is something accessable. How do you approach client engagement and retention? We are happy if a client falls in love with our brand, we think that we don’t have to do much other than simply be ourselves. We communicate our true values and this creates credibility and trust. How has social media affected building the brand? It’s extremely important for us. Social media was one of the first tools which helped Oséree become recognised and communicate its message. It’s a very strong channel in which you can connect directly with potential clients. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? We like following accounts that evoke vintage images. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? To always believe! Never become demotivated and never stop dreaming. Always be original and don’t have any fear. My father told me: go wherever your heart takes you. This issue is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how do you stay positive? Thinking positively is step one!


“We communicate our true values and this creates credibility and trust.”


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Featuring flattering cuts constructed from lightweight fabrics with seamless finishes, Myra Swim is redefining swimwear, with nods to icons of the ’80s and ’90s WORDS: AMY SESSIONS

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Changer FAS H I O N

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“When it comes to positivity, you have What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine? My morning is quite simple. I normally get up brush my teeth, have a shower and watch the news. Then I head to the warehouse via my local coffee shop for breakfast. Twice a week I do Pilates at 6am but other than those mornings my routine is quite simple. What is at the heart of Myra Swim’s DNA as a brand? The heart of Myra Swim’s DNA is the ocean. The brand is born from my love of the ocean and surfing. The company is also named after my grandmother Myra (my father’s mother) whom I have amazing memories of spending time with on vacation at the beach. What has been the biggest hurdle since starting your own brand and how did you overcome it? The biggest hurdle for me has been finding a solid team. This took me nearly 5 years. I have the most amazing team now and having staff who are passionate as well as loyal is something companies should not take for granted. The workflow

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and environment at Myra Swim HQ is invaluable. Because I am so hands on with my company, I’ve had to go through many stressful years of having to fulfill positions within the company myself and take on bigger work loads because the job wasn’t initially being done correctly. Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path? The only ‘mentor’ figure other than my parents I’d say is my accountant. He’s been with my family since my parents ran their companies together and has taught me so much about how businesses run financially. He’s also guided me on ways to invest my money strategically within my company & outside of my company. As I said I am so hands on with my business, knowing how my money is working for me and for my future is something I take a lot of interest in and enjoy learning about. I do follow other entrepreneurs and like reading about their journeys but I’d say learning from my accountant and my parents has been the most beneficial.

Minimal design, close attention to detail and silky fabric choices have created pieces which bridge the gap between swimwear and ready-to-wear. Was this the goal from the outset? 110% my goal. I built my company to fill the gap in the swimwear market and created what was missing. The swimwear industry has grown so much since I started, but back in 2013/14 (before social media had such a strong influence) it was hard to find a brand like ours. What is your approach to scaling the business? To me, it’s being consistent and focusing on the brand. A lot of people lose track of their core market. I feel like I stay true to my goal and the brand DNA and we will never lose sight of that. Staying relevant to the market with new designs, but always remembering why my customers buy in the first place is key. Which colourways/designs have been most popular the globe over and was that a surprise? To be honest black never fail, it’s timeless. You’d be surprised how big the


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to surround yourself with positive people.” demand for basic black or neutral bikinis is globally. This next season I have ignored any trends and am going back to my original colourways based around neutrals. There is such a high demand for a classic low and high-rise bikini bottom. I sell out monthly and I’m constantly replenishing stock year after year of the same classic designs. Which key Myra Swim pieces outperform season after season sales wise? Hugo Bottomsfull coverage high waisted bottom); Kahlo bottoms (high waisted thong bottom); Hunter & Davis one pieces; Siegil & Diego tops: My bread and butter styles that really never go out of style. You have clients the globe over – do you see any buying patterns based on regions or countries? In the US, spring and summer is a busy busy time of year and this is a consistently growing market for us. We’re currently trying to tap more deeply into the European market, which we’ve always been consistent with but I know it can grow a lot more. The most surprising places we ship to

are Middle Eastern countries; we have a very solid customer base in Dubai. What in this market is luxury? To me when it comes to resort and swimwear, luxury is quality & comfort. How do you approach client engagement and retention? Being responsive and approachable. I have trained my staff to always be approachable and to communicate directly with our customer base. Providing a customer service level that is unparalleled is key. I’m always listening to my customers, taking on feedback allows us to grow and develop as a brand. How has social media affected building Myra Swim? We’ve used social media growth in general to our advantage as much as possible when it comes to a business but we’ve never focused on it as one source of marketing. Instead, we’ve focused on building a brand that will be strong without it. Word of mouth is key with any business. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? I follow a lot of business pages


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and other entrepreneurs for inspiration such as Forbes and Business of Fashion. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? Don’t spend so much time stressing over the small things. I normally use my mistakes as a learning curve but being a perfectionist can sometimes be a weakness. I think I’ve really always had a great mindset when it comes to business and that’s why I’ve been so successful. If you had not launched Myra Swim which other role would you choose career-wise? In my childhood years I always wanted to be a vet or work with animals, the polar opposite to being in the the creative world. This issue is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how do you stay positive? Reflecting. Just looking back to the days of me dreaming about the things I have now. Also, staying true to my core beliefs, not forgetting where I came from and surfing. When it comes to positivity, you have to surround yourself with positive people. You can’t keep a positive mindset being surrounded by negative people.

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“You must perfectly master the rules, the better to break them,” says Pierre-Alexis Dumas, the artistic director of Hermès and the grandchild of Robert Dumas, who created the first-ever Hermès carre made from pure silk. Embodying this trait, the world’s most longstanding fashion brand has con- tinued to harness its iconic traits, intrinsically knowing the power and positive value of having its own signature DNA which has been cultivated through 183 years of hard work – 83 of which the Hermès carré has been a part of. As PierreAlexis explains, from its inception, the carre – measuring 90cm by 90cm – was imagined and composed as its own autonomous piece – not as an accessory. Carving itself as its own icon, the Hermès scarf represents the importance of art, expressing individuality and detailed design. “My grandfather was fascinated by the rigour imposed by printing on silk, and he immediately addressed the creation of his motifs through composition,” Dumas says. “He therefore accorded great importance to the design, refusing to accept approximation in the representation of animals, objects and details, and he ended up with a very expressive printed style, even when he was not the originator of the design.” By 1978, the new Hermès director, Robert Dumas’ son, Jean-Louis Dumas, injected a further storytelling element into the house’s carré. Coming to life in a new way, the designs were more abstract, but still holding the intrisnic Hermès DNA the scarves are so well known for. When Pierre-Alexis stepped into the role of artistic director in 2003, new talent was championed and continues to be, with creatives around the globe continually contributing to the carré design process.

THE POWER OF COLOUR AND SILK. As part of its signature, the Hermès

carré is famed for its use of colour in more ways than you can imagine – it’s the secret to the success of each collection released. The late Leila Menchari – who was with the Maison for 52 years, 35 years of which she was responsible for the artistic direction of the window displays for 24 faubourg Saint-Honoré – previously said that colour is incredibly “subjective”. “The work of colouring the carré requires time, because each design must be produced in around ten different colour schemes, or ‘ambiances’,” she said. Menchari previously recalled how when she first came to the Maison in 1961 that the “backgrounds of the scarves were much more neutral, often white”. Throughout her time with Hermès, the power of colour and silk together evolved immensely and “today it brings different reliefs to the design, and silk lends itself perfectly to this.” This is the signature essence of Hermès – to give the carré its magic touch.

HERMÈS SILK IN NUMBERS. To date, over 1,500 versions of the silk carré have been created, across three generations of the Dumas family throughout the last eight decades. For each season, there are an array of designs produced which then need to be printed onto silk. As for the numbers in the creation process of the carré, it’s an 18 month time span from the official start to finish. In this year-and-a-half time span, there’s a seven-step process. Firstly, the weaving process which comes from a Brazilian mill from raw silk, which is eventually made into rolls approximately 150 metres long. Then comes the engraving – the art and patience of the creation process. For carrés that have 30 colours means an estimated 400 to 600 hours of engraving, but the most complex of designs such as the ‘Les Jardins d’Analouise’ calls for 1,500 to 2,000

hours of work. In the silk-screen printing process, the engraved pieces are coated with a layer of photosensitive gelatine which then hardens and prevents colour from leaking. It’s then time for the proposed colour schemes, which truly brings a carré to life. Colourists propose said schemes, with each scarf produced in 10 different harmonies to see what the winning hue combination is. Following this, the colour is “cooked” by craftsmen who produce the forumla conjured by the colourists. Then comes the printing process whereby the 150 metre-long rolls are stretched onto the silk-printing tables, where the frames are applied one after the other. And finally, once the length of silk dries, a process of fixing colours, washing and drying occurs. The unique rolled hemme on an Hermès carré is handsewn.

THE CARRÉ CLUB. Celebrating the signature DNA of the Hermès scarf is the Carré Club, which aims to bring the knowhow of the carré to people. It’s an interactive and immersive experience into the world of silk, bringing the positive spirt of art, culture and design of Hermès to life. Having been on a world tour to Paris, New York City, Milan, Toronto, Singapore and Los Angeles, Hermès Carré Club is finally coming to Dubai. Not only can you meet some of the artists behind the iconic motifs – including Cyrille Diatkine, Gianpaolo Pagni, Octave Marsal, Theo de Gu and Daiske Nomura – but you’ll see the designers showcase their creative process live. From January 15 to January 20, 2021, Hermès invites you to immerse yourself in the world of the silk carré at Alserkal Avenue in Dubai. Experience the world of design at the forefront to see exactly what it takes to create such a signature and iconic piece season after season.


The Icon

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A POSITIVE FUTURE This year marks the start of a decade of delivery in the sustainability space for YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP. We spoke to to YNAP’s Director of Sustainability and Inclusion, Giorgia Roversi, about their 10-year Infinity plan 48 emirateswoman.com

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Can you talk us through the YOOX NET-APORTER GROUP Infinity plan? At YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP, we are inspired by the possibilities the future holds and how we can play a role in shaping it. We see a future where the clothes we love last for longer and if they fade, may start a new beginning, forming part of a circular fashion system. A future where customers are empowered to make informed choices, and where luxury and fashion play their part in restoring balance to our planet. We believe in an inclusive future where our industry is truly diverse, and where the next generation is equipped with the skills to make a difference. Through our technology capabilities and the global influence we’ve grown over the past 20 years, our aim is to collaborate and foster an environment that allows our people, industry peers, brand partners and customers, who all want to see a change, to create a sustainable future together. Infinity is an ambitious vision, supported by both immediate and long-term initiatives, to achieve positive change. What was the driving force behind this? We have pioneered a number of sustainability

a lifetime and beyond. In order to deliver meaningful change, our longterm strategy combines an ambitious vision connected to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with tangible projects that will start to facilitate positive change today. In terms of the four focus areas, Circular Business is about connecting the loops in fashion, using innovation, new services and circular design to eliminate waste. Circular Culture is about using our global reach and editorial content to encourage more sustainable behaviours and habits through collaboration with our customers, colleagues and brand partners. Planet Positive aligns with our commitment to become climate positive, taking more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than we generate, as well as sourcing and buying responsibly and protecting natural ecosystems. People Positive is designed to nurture and inspire the next generation, breaking down barriers to entry and equipping people with the skills they need to design a positive future – investing in our own people and external programmes to create a sustainable talent pipeline for luxury and technology. How will you ensure Infinity is executed to the highest standard? Each commitment is underpinned by specific actions and measurement tools to keep us on track. There will certainly be refinements along the way – this is an ambitious strategy and we do not have all the answers yet, but if you have a clear vision, passion, energy and a talented team to deliver, you can have confidence you will get there. The beauty of the process is discovering new solutions and sharing these along the way. Some of the best inventions we have had, like ECOBOX, are very simple in hindsight but can inspire people to think and act differently in order to create long-term meaningful change. I am excited to discover what the next innovation will be and to share this with our customers and industry! What previous moves has YOOX NET-Ainitiatives over the last 10 years that we are PORTER GROUP made towards making the incredibly proud of. YOOXYGEN, estabplatform more sustainable? At YOOX NETlished on Earth Day in 2009, was the first A-PORTER, we have a uniquely connected online platform solely dedicated to responecosystem across our 4 multi-brand stores, sible fashion and NET-A-PORTER’s NET NET-A-PORTER, MR PORTER, YOOX SUSTAIN platform, celebrating brands and The Outnet, which innately extends the with sustainability at their heart, has commercial life cycle of a product. We believe helped increase information and transparthere is further untapped potential with this ency on sustainability for customers. We ecosystem and Infinity is designed to haralso pioneered sustainable packaging in our ness, explore and unlock this. At present, we industry with the ECOBOX at YOOX. We work with many incredible brands who have have seen the positive impact these changes placed sustainability at the heart of their have made, and that drives us forward to do mission, through our YOOXYGEN and NET more. We also listen very carefully to our SUSTAIN platforms, and it is our mission customers, and they are telling us loud and to use our global platform to promote their clear this matters to them. YOOX NET-Acreativity and innovation. Most recently, our PORTER GROUP is the world leader in own private label brand, 8 By YOOX, and online luxury and fashion and we want to The Modern Artisan project, our training use scale and reach for good. programme developed by YOOX NET-APORTER GROUP and The Prince’s FounTell us about the 12 targets to achieve by dation, have explored sustainable and cir2030 under the Infinity plan? Infinity is a cular design principles. Infinity is designed ten-year strategy that commits to four foto take our potential for circularity to a scale cus areas, each one designed to advance we have not seen before, from using data to our ambition of providing circular luxury design out waste, launching care and repair fashion to the world, and to connect people services to increase longevity, and piloting with the joy of luxury and fashion that lasts


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and recycle clothes. Kindling inspiration and reflection amongst our customers on issues that matter and can change mindsets will be a key force in our move to a more sustainable future for fashion. As well as this, we want to continue driving the movement for better information and transparency on sustainability credentials for products, and increase sustainability information throughout the entire customer journey. We want customers to feel empowered and confident they are making choices to support our planet and a more sustainable, inclusive and diverse future. In your opinion, which demographics are the most conscious when it comes to sustainable practices and mindful purchasing? Social media and digital communication have certainly empowered younger generations to take action. Not only do they have a powerful voice, they can connect directly with the consumer, designing new solutions that speak to the desire for change. In November 2020, we announced the winner of the Vogue YOOX Challenge – The Future of Responsible Fashion, a project to provide support and mentorship to designers, creatives and start-ups that are boldly investing in a more responsible and sustainable approach. The level of talent and creativity was astounding and filled me with great inspiration and optimism. The winner, SaltyCo, a UK based start-up, offers textiles for clothing and furniture made without the aid of fresh water, but instead using natural textile fibres from plants that grow in salt water environments. The brand has been created by four young students who specialised in Innovation Design Engineering, and they can teach us so much. What are the immediate changes you are making to kick-start Infinity? There is a lot of activity already underway, with a particuderstood the roadmap. Since then we have lar focus on training and up-skilling in the designed internal frameworks for listening, initial phase. As we enter 2021 we are really collaboration and sharing ideas, with trainexcited to launch several new pilots, including and designated leadership to ensure we ing exploration of the circular product jourstay focused on delivery. It is also by conney within our own brands 8 by YOOX, MR tinuing to share our learnings, through colP and Iris & Ink and trialling new care and laboration across the industry and continurepair pilots for our customers in key citously innovating that we will reach our goals ies around the world. Our new Responsible and play our part in accelerating positive Marketing Policy is already live internally, change for our industry. We want to work in underpinning our plans to embed sustaincollaboration with our industry to help deability and circularity in brand campaigns in sign a new blueprint for the future; sharing an authentic and considered way and we will our learnings and experiences with others continue to expand our incredibly successand welcoming them to do the same in reful NET SUSTAIN and YOOXYGEN platturn to drive progress even faster. forms. It’s true to say that we are coming off How do you plan to help your customers the starting blocks with great momentum! make more informed and conscious choices This is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how will YOOX when it comes to shopping? Investing time in storytelling is crucial for how we connect NET-A-PORTER GROUP be championwith, inform and inspire our customers. As ing positivity in the year 2021? What a great a leading authority on style and fashion, we question! For me, this is the decade of delivwant to leverage the power of our editorial ery. There is a really beautiful energy created content to educate customers on sustainwhen you have a clear vision, you share this with your peers, and you can move forward ability and circular luxury fashion through with great clarity and purpose. It took time dedicated sections. Sustainability stories and consideration to design our Infinity have already been at the heart of flagship strategy, and we are now in that really excitfeatures across our PORTER and MR PORTER editorial outlets, whether raising phase where we get to unleash creativity, to work with new partners, to design, ing awareness around saving our oceans, experiment and invent new solutions that creating exceptional craftmanship content have the potential to shape our future and on independent, sustainable artisans and truly delight our customers. brands, or showing how to care for, re-use

“Luxury fashion is exemplified by quality materials, craftsmanship and beautiful design that stands the test of time.” re-commerce services to allow garments to take on a new lease of life with new owners. As well as this, we have strong foundations in Digital Education and cultivating the next generation of women leaders in tech. Are there any particular brands you will be working with and championing in order to spearhead the Infinity initiative? We collaborate very closely with our Brand Partners, and this will be no different. We are excited to share our journey, learnings and opportunities to work together to innovate further, particularly within our pilot projects. In the past, we have worked with our partners on issues such as human, animal and environmental welfare, with an overwhelmingly encouraging response from our customers, and it is exciting to see what we will create together next. Whilst this is an incredibly positive move by YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP, there are still so many fast fashion brands out there. Do you believe this will hinder positive moves like Net-A-Porter’s? Luxury fashion is exemplified by quality materials, craftsmanship and beautiful design that stands the test of time. For many people, it is an investment. We want customers to fall in love with their purchases and cherish them for years to come, re-loving them and even passing them on to the next generations and new owners in the future. Infinity also reaches beyond this. It is our commitment to explore how our industry can use technology to design out waste, to increase transparency for customers, to extend the life of products, to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces, to redesign operations to be more efficient and greener. These learnings will benefit the whole industry and can be tailored and adapted. How will you ensure the changes you make will last and make a meaningful impact? It is a big transformation and it’s important our people and teams are empowered to create change. It is by building a strong internal culture that you create a lasting legacy. We first launched Infinity internally, to ensure our colleagues shared our vision and un-


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FINE FORM Glossy, technical fabrics and asymmetric lines feel fresh for Resort 21 at Sportmax

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Chanel’s signature laid-back allure for CR21


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Hot New Buys

The optimal edit of the latest luxe beauty and fashion

Fresh Formula

Collagen Boost

DIAMOND DUSTED Adding that 3D shimmering formula, this one-of-a-kind diamond dusted highlighter applies like a 3D glittering veil, delivering pure, show-stopping sparkle. Dhs143 Fenty Beauty

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Enriched with Vitamins A, B and C, this face cream hydrates your skin with additional cell production thereby refining the pores for healthy looking skin. Dhs212 Vanessa Megan


The Kayali DĂŠjĂ Vu White Flower 57 Hair Mist refreshes your tresses while leaving an enchanting trail in your wake with underlying notes of crystalised patchouli and Sri Lankan sandalwood. Dhs142 Huda Beauty


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The Shopper This square-shaped shopper bag made from 100% faux mink in a covetable hue for the perfect classic style, making each day more trendy. Dhs286 Source Unknown

THE PERFECT FIT This belted suede collarless blazer is the perfect relaxed tailored silhouette with a padded shoulder making it an effortless outwear. Dhs580 Source Unknown

’90s Satin Reminiscent of the ’90s era with a square neckline and chic slip style, this Bima open-back satin dress can be paired with pointy pumps for the complete look. Dhs1,345 GAUGE81


Dewy Glow Adding luminosity to the skin with a radiant finish, this healthy glow foundation protects the skin against pollution while providing light-to-medium coverage that lasts up to 12 hours. Dhs220 Chanel


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Bottega Veneta’s crocheted cotton-blend shoulder bag demonstrates Daniel Lee’s creative flair for rich colour and texture with distinctive gold-tone hardware Dhs18,153 Bottega Veneta

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Fresh Faced

Gentle cleansers that deliver a deep clean WORDS & STYLING: AMY SESSIONS

From left: Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser Dhs269 for 120ml 111Skin available at Harvey Nichols; Amazing Face Cleanser Dhs115 Aesop available at Bloomingdales.ae; Super Amino Gel Cleanser, 150ml Dhs153 Summer Fridays; Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser Dhs55 La Roche Posay; Vitamin C Face Wash, 50ml Dhs144Joanna Vargas available at NET-A-PORTER; The Cleansing Foam, 125ml Dhs335 La Mer; The Cream Cleansing Gel, 100ml Dhs269 Augustinus Bader; Cleanser Dhs247 for150ml Dr. Barbara Sturm

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Skin Tech

CurrentBody’s LED Light Therapy Mask is the latest generation in wearable anti-ageing

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Talk us through the ideal morning routine in terms of beauty? The ideal morning routine is one that is easy to maintain. With both skincare and devices, consistency is key so we recommend putting a routine in place that you can be sure to complete regularly. At a minimum, a morning cleanse followed by our Hyaluronic Acid serum and a broad spectrum SPF to protect the skin from sun damage. What is at the heart of CurrentBody’s DNA as a brand? We believe in offering our customers as much information as possible to help them choose the best device for them. We want our customers to see the results they are looking for, which is why we select and partner with the most effective technologies on the market. You can be considered the go-to in terms of anti-ageing tech kit – which should we be using and why? Anti-ageing is our most popular category with our customers and we have quite a range of technologies available. The one you choose depends on what you are looking to tackle, be it fine lines and wrinkles, sagging jowls or pigmentation. Our team of beauty device experts are always on hand to help you choose the right device but our LED mask has been an incredibly popular choice as it tackles a range of different ageing issues. Tell us about the LED light therapy mask and how we can optimize results? We carefully designed our LED light therapy mask using flexible silicone to make it very comfortable to wear and convenient to use. Consistent use is fundamental with all at-home devices so we wanted to design something that fits easily into a daily routine and only takes ten minutes. Our customers told us that shorter treatment times and easy to use devices meant they kept up their treatment plan so we took this on board when designing our mask. How often should we be using it? For optimal results, we’d recommend using the mask 3-5 times a week and boosting your results with our hydrogel facemask, designed to be worn under the LED mask. How has the mask been received in the Middle East and have you responded to a demand for such equipment? We’ve had a great response from our Middle East customers as we’ve focused on talking about the benefits of LED light plus how easy our mask is to use. We’re looking forward to seeing how it takes off following the huge success we have had in the UK and the US. How easy is this to use at home? Super easy! We’ve used flexible silicone for comfort and it only takes ten minutes so you can fit it into your lifestyle quite easily. It is pain-free and non-invasive with no downtime at all. Which skin challenges can this help support? Red LED and infrared LED light tackle several skin issues. Red light stimulates the production of new collagen, calms redness and creates an even skin tone. Near infrared works beneath the skin’s surface, penetrating deep into



the layers of the skin. It boosts circulation, improves blood flow and increases oxygen to the skin’s cells. The result is nourished, healthy skin that is visibly glowing. This issue is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how do you stay positive as a brand? Throughout 2020, we have all had to work very hard at times to remain positive. There have been some real

challenges to face for many brands and businesses. We’ve continued to focus on our customers to stay positive and we love hearing their feedback on their devices and seeing their results. In 2021, we’ll be bringing you more CurrentBody devices and further developing our range to offer our customers even more result-boosting options for their skincare routine.

“Consistent use is fundamental with all at-home devices so we wanted to design something that fits easily into a daily routine and only takes ten minutes.” BEAUTY

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Positive Impact

Founder of the eponymous skincare brand, Tata Harper is a champion of natural, green beauty. We discuss how the brand is making a positive impact on the world 70 emirateswoman.com

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Talk us through your career background? I was born and raised in Colombia by my mother and grandmother who were obsessed with beauty. After high school, I wanted to study fashion, but my mother encouraged me to attend school in Mexico to become an industrial engineer. Then, I took this road of being an entrepreneur in beauty. I never thought that I would be in beauty, even though I’ve always loved it. We started Tata Harper Skincare on our organic farm in Vermont in 2010 and since we launched our first product line, we have grown into a global business. From the inception of the company, I have been unwilling to compromise or take shortcuts. If I had chosen to take the easy route or was willing to take no for an answer, Tata Harper Skincare would not be what it is today. I am always striving for the best, most innovative solution to the problem, and I won’t settle for a lesser answer. We have a unique approach to formulation, grounded in the philosophy that complexity equals efficacy and more ingredients equal more results, to the completely vertical integration with zero shortcuts or outsourcing that now defines the farm-to-face movement. What led you to explore the beauty space? The catalyst for starting a green beauty line was when my stepfather was diagnosed with cancer and I became aware of the toxins and chemicals. I couldn’t find any natural products without synthetic chemicals that gave me the results and the luxury experience I was looking for. Looking behind the curtains of the products, I was disappointed to learn that many products used ingredients that belonged in cars, and not on your skin. You’ve always focused on natural beauty. Was this the strategy from the outset? When I started learning about the toxic load and how many toxic ingredients are in my personal care products, I was shocked to find that many brands use a fully synthetic or premade base that make up 75 per cent of the formula. Most of the time, the bases don’t do anything for the skin and are made primarily with preservatives and artificial ingredients that might make them look and smell nice, but that’s it. My goal from the very beginning has been to create products that would give me the results of the luxury skincare I was used to but with completely natural and nontoxic ingredients. For us, luxury is about the quality of our ingredients and the powerful performance of our products. We achieve that by using as many potent and high-tech ingredients as possible in every formula to make multifunctional, hardworking products that give you real results without a single drop of synthetic chemicals. It’s not the easy way, but it’s the only way we have done things and will continue to operate as a brand.


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Since you launched Tata Harper skincare in 2010, how has the brand developed? We were outliers when we first launched, so education was key to breaking into the beauty market. For the first few years, it was like we were talking to customers and retailers in a foreign language. The idea of clean beauty was not accepted so we built trust through transparency and an unwavering message. Now that natural beauty is widely recognised, it is here to say. It is no longer just ‘a trend’, but rather the way the industry as a whole is headed. How does your brand leave a positive impact on the world? I believe that our products have opened the eyes of so many people who believe the only option out there is to use products and formulas that are bad for your health. We are so proud to be innovators and pioneers in this industry and to pave the way to do things differently. We are completely transparent and take social and environmental responsibility in every step of our process. Whether it’s our ingredients or our packaging, we work with vendors that are committed to fair trade, protecting workers, supporting local communities, sustainability, and environmentally responsible practices. What are the 3 hero products form Tata Harper? This is always a hard question because I love every product we make, but if I had to pick it would be Elixir Vitae, Regenerating Cleanser, and the Resurfacing Mask. Elixir Vitae is seriously the product I can’t live without and it’s our most potent and powerful formula. It has 72 ingredients and works like a daily dose of injectables. It has a Quadruple Neuropeptide Complex that uses relaxing technology to minimise the look of wrinkles, Kelp Polymers that address signs of cellular ageing, and Pistachio Tree Crystal Tears that use filling technology to restore the look of volume. If I want to instantly grow and restore radiance to the skin, my favourite products are in our Glow Getter routine. The first step is the Regenerating Cleanser, which is a



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“We were outliers when we first launched, so education was


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the key to breaking into the beauty market.”

daily BHA exfoliant that polishes your skin with a deep clean. You want to apply enough so that the product creates a thin, white foam on your face by rubbing all over the skin in circular motions. Instead of washing the cleanser off, I then apply our Resurfacing Mask directly on top of the cleanser and let the products work their magic for five minutes before removing. I love it because the combo gives me results like a peel, but without the downtime. Can you talk us through your daily skincare routine? When it comes to my daily essentials, I’m a maximalist. I believe that more is more when it comes to my skincare and I use a multitude of our products every day, twice a day. For my morning routine, I always start by exfoliating with Regenerating Cleanser – exfoliating daily really lets my skin breath and glow since it gets rid of any build-up that accumulates overnight, it also helps products absorb better. I follow with Hydrating Floral Essence to help prep my skin for treatment and help my serums penetrate deeper. Then it’s all about layering – I use Elixir Vitae on my whole face, next I’ll use Elixir Vitae Eye Serum, and then Repairative Moisturizer. At night, I always start with double-cleansing. First, I use Nourishing Oil Cleanser to get rid of that top layer of dirt and grime from the day, then I follow with the Purifying Cleanser to actually cleanse and detox my skin. Then, I use the Hydrating Floral Essence. For serum, I use the Elixir Vitae on my face and Boosted Contouring Serum on my neck. I like a thicker eye cream at night, so I usually use the Boosted Contouring Eye Balm. I also like a richer moisturiser at night, so I finish with Crème Riche. What positive steps are you and your brand taking in 2021? Sustainability has always been a top priority for me and even though we’ve always been eco-friendly, there’s always an opportunity to do more. I believe the future of sustainability is in reusable packaging, which is even better than recycling. We have recently launched our first refillable

product, the Water-Lock moisturiser which is our first step to becoming reusable beauty instead of throwaway beauty. The reality is that beauty packaging can definitely be used longer. The pump, caps, and jars can always be reused multiple times – it’s not like the components will disintegrate after a month or two of using it! Right now, we’re working on developing product refills for our entire product line to minimise consumer waste and extend the lifespan of our packaging. What has your journey as an entrepreneur been like? In the beginning, no one believed that naturals really worked, it was an uphill

“I believe that our products have opened the eyes of so many people who believe the only option out there is to use products and formulas that are bad for your health.” battle to educate our first customers and get them to try the products so they could really see the benefits for themselves. It has been such a rewarding experience to make products that are better for people and the planet and I feel so lucky to travel around the world and teach people about our mission so they can live healthier lives. I am continuously


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learning about new technologies and ingredients from the earth so we can continue to advance the next generation of beauty. What have been three hurdles you have had to overcome throughout your career? The misconception that naturals aren’t effective. When we first started, formulating hightech, ingredient-packed products with exclusively natural ingredients was a challenge. Then, once we launched our first products, the challenge we faced was overcoming this old misconception that naturals weren’t effective. Now, as we continue to grow and are more focused on international expansion we’re facing new challenges that come with scaling a business. It has also been challenging to design sustainable luxury packaging. We’ve had to create our own moulds, rethink conventional packaging practices, and spend years researching. It has come a long way, but it is still a hurdle. On the opposite end of the spectrum, what are three milestones that stand out? I’ll never forget when I saw our products in Vogue for the first time. It further validated what we were trying to do and the idea that women don’t have to compromise health for beauty. Recently we have launched our first refillable product, the Water-Lock moisturiser. This was a huge milestone for us because our goal is to end single-use plastics and help our customers live a waste-free life. Beyond beauty, our mission is to make people’s lives better and this means making our products accessible to customers around the world. It’s been amazing engaging with an even broader audience of men and women who deserve to look and feel amazing, without having to compromise their health. It means the world to me to now be able to share this philosophy with our customers in the Middle East. This is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how do you plan to instil positivity in your life throughout 2021? It really can be that easy to bring more positivity into your life. Take care of yourself, change your thoughts, and show some appreciation. And soon you’ll be rolling in good vibes.

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The Perfect Arch

There is nothing that will lift your face game more than an eyebrow overhaul. We spoke to the master of microblading, Suman Jalaf, on how to balance your face and the high-calibre clients demanding her services the globe over What do the first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine? As often as I can, I devote the first 30 mins of the day to selfcare. That includes limiting all things digital when possible. I have a morning shower while listening to soothing nature soundscapes; then I meditate, practise yoga; have a coffee or breakfast and later, I connect with mum through Facetime so I can wish her a good day and see my baby Pomeranians. My pups give me so much joy! How did you start in your career and how has your skillset grown? I grew up learning the craft of all things brows early on. My mum was diagnosed with cancer and had several rounds of chemotherapy, which caused her to lose her hair. At that point, my childhood craft sublimated into a passion for working at the intersection of art and beauty. By the time I turned 13, I began my first brow business where I bartered tidied brows for school lunch (food has always been the way to my heart). How did you know it was the right time to launch your own company and what were the stepping-stones to that point? While working at multiple salons for over five years, I recognized that there was a huge need for brow services and most salons were myopic in their view of the bespoke artistry of brows. What’s the key to curating the perfect faceframing brows? Keeping it natural is key #SumanSays. I see brows as art and I strive to enhance what’s already there. Symmetry and the ‘Golden Ratio’ are fundamental. That, along with hair, skin tone and eye colour need to be considered when starting as brows frame the entire face.



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Can we ever grow brows back and if so, what helps? This is a popular question asked all the time. If you have been an “over-plucker” since your teens, then it’s likely that you have damaged the hair follicle. To prevent losing brow hairs due to age and to allow for hair growth and nourishment, I believe in using organic castor oil nightly. It definitely is a slow process but it’s an important part of a beauty regime. RevitaLash, RevitaBrows and BioPeptin Complex are other notable mentions. Also, never tamper with your own brows if you don’t know what you are doing! Keep them growing and see a professional brow artist to maintain the definition and tidiness of them like you would go to your hairdresser for a haircut/style. Treat your brow hairs in the same way. Do you feel more drawn to the creative or the business side of the brand and how have you grown the team to support this? I am passionate about my craft. The business is completely secondary and an afterthought, to be completely honest. When I knew I could make my passion my career – that’s when the magic started! I have many longterm clients and it is difficult to fulfill the need. As such, I grew my lean team through intensive apprenticeships and proprietary teaching materials I developed. I regularly keep my team up on the latest techniques and trends to make certain we remain at the forefront of this burgeoning industry. Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path throughout life and your career? Victor Ferdinandi (my accountant) is my North Star

in all things business. Without his business acumen, I could not have made my passion into a viable business. Errol Douglas MBE: He gave me my first break and the ‘push’ to make it happen. My family and my Best Friend/Significant Other (who chooses to go unnamed): They always have my back and give me the support I need. During the second lockdown in London, you decided to visit your clients throughout the GCC. Tell us more? I had to cancel several client engagements given the UK prohibited travel to the GCC. I took the first opportunity to go to the GCC to keep the commitments I had made to my clients there. How has this year impacted the industry both positively and negatively? The beauty industry was particularly hard-hit by the lockdown. As beauty professionals, we are taught to keep a high standard of hygiene and sanitation, including the use of PPE (apron, gloves, masks) as standard so it was disappointing to see salons have to close. One positive was that we were extremely busy when we reopened with clients having a renewed appreciation for our work! How has social media affected the luxury beauty industry and which platform has been most useful? Social media is helpful in keeping connected with my clients or showing a potentially new client my portfolio of work and services. That being said, 80 per cent of my business is built organically through word of mouth from thrilled customers. The finished brows speak for themselves. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? @The Kash Collection, as I love art. @Sadhguru, a yogi and mystic visionary. @Thebodycoach by Joe Wick: Great for quick, healthy recipes and motivational pieces on fitness. @TheGoodQuotes Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals? Herbal tea, documentaries to unwind and reviewing the client roster for the next 1-10 days. I also add notes to my creative mood board. If you were not on your current career path, which other role would you have chosen career-wise? An Oculoplastic Surgeon: I’m passionate about all things peri-ocular and have a very strong attention to detail and steady hands – I am a perfectionist! How do you stay positive? I am mindful to surround myself with people and things that keep my vibration high – positive vibes all the way! Family, friends and my two Pomeranians.


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12/23/20 11:38 AM

The Beauty Shelf

Entrepreneur Sara Tamimi takes us through her hero products C O M P I L E D BY: S A R A H J O S E P H

Noor12 Perfume Dhs475

This perfume is different from any other scent I’ve owned; it simultaneously has rich, fruity and flowery top notes. Complexe Iribiol 30ml Dhs1,679 Biologique Recherché

This helps balance and purify the skin. Lotion P50 150ml Dhs834 Biologique Recherché Cabin No. 5 plant-powered deodorant Dhs55 Myro

Crème Dermopurifiante Dhs1,059 Biologique Recherché

I love Myro, especially because it eliminates waste while keeping you smelling great. They use plant-based ingredients and recycled packaging including refillable cases.

Makes my skin feel ultra soft.

Lanolips Dhs58 101 ointment

Fluide VIP O2 8ml Dhs316 Biologique Recherché

The deepest moisturizing lip balm I’ve discovered.

This is an amazing finishing serum.

Mothership V Eyeshadow Palette Bronze Seduction Dhs500 Pat McGrath Labs

Lait U 150ml Dhs220 Biologique Recherché

A game-changing cream cleaner with botanical extracts.

Squalane + peptide eye gel 15ml Dhs226 Biossance

This is an ultra-hydrating peptide eye gel that reduces the look of puffiness and dark circles – it works miracles. Silver repair cream Dhs82 Louis Widmer

Moisturizes and protects the skin.

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I collect Pat McGrath eye shadow palettes, I love how strongly pigmented they are. Balancing Shampoo Dhs132 Harklinikken

An all-natural product based on mustard seed oil that always leaves my hair feeling fresh and clean.

Honey infused hair oil Dhs320 Gisou

I love everything about this product; it gives my hair a really nice texture. Above all, I love the smell! Honey infused hair mask Dhs228 Gisou

My hair looks more hydrated, feels stronger and healthier even just after one use. I like mixing it with the Gisou honey hair oil drops for a better result.


Brightens and tightens the skin while keeping it hydrated, for the ultimate glow.


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Founder of The Hundred Wellness Centre, Asma Hilal Lootah, shares with us her daily beauty and skincare rituals Talk us through your morning routine. After I wake up, I usually pray and read my morning verses after which I have a sencha green tea. I plan the day ahead and then listen to my daily affirmations while getting ready. My routine feels like a morning ritual that sets me up for the day, I cleanse and tone with the Beautycounter Countermatch range, before using the Beautycounter All Bright C Serum, which makes my skin feel rejuvenated and energised. I then use the Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream, Barbara Sturm Face Cream Rich to moisturise and the Beautycounter No. 1 Face Oil. Before leaving the house, I always apply a Factor 30 SPF to protect my skin, I love the Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion by Beautycounter

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which provides UVA and UVB defence. And how about your evening routine? In the evenings, I remove any makeup I am wearing that day with the Face Halo, which is a sustainable and incredible product. I then use the same products to repeat my ritual of cleansing, toning and using a serum, eye cream, moisturiser and face oil. I love the Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel, which makes my skin feel soft and clear. If I have recently exfoliated, I then use a combination of the Barbara Sturm Anti-Aging Serum and Barbara Sturm Face Cream Rich before I sleep, to nourish my skin. If my skin is irritated or if I have recently had a laser treatment, I will use the Dermaquest Delicate Soothing Serum, which calms my skin down.

What are your go-to skincare products? I love Beautycounter and source their amazing products directly from the US as they are real advocates of clean beauty, with natural and safe ingredients that truly work. I have quite sensitive skin, and it has felt softer, clearer and more luminous since I started using their products as I feel reassured by their incredible ethos. Are you a fan of masks? I use the Juice Beauty Exfoliating Instant Facial Mask by Goop once a week. It is made by Gwenyth Paltrow and I really admire her dedication to clean products and the ability to raise awareness and educate people on the importance of skincare ingredients. This mask includes organic, plant-based in-


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Clockwise from left: Face cream light 50ml Dhs613 Dr. Barbara Sturm; White Suede 50ml Parfum Dhs753 Tom Ford; Tinted moisturiser natural skin perfector Dhs216 Laura Mercier; Intensive Hair Oil 50ml Dhs270 Sacha Juan; LOVE Curl Shampoo 250ml Dhs106 Davines; Lust lip gloss Dhs108 Pat McGrath

gredients that remove dead skin cells and make my skin look dewy and refreshed. How would you describe your relationship with makeup? I wear makeup for special occasions and photo shoots and work with an amazing makeup artist for both. Throughout my usual week, I prefer to keep my make-up minimal and natural. I focus on taking care of my skin through the products I use, my diet and the amount of water I drink. What can always be found in your makeup bag? I much prefer a subtle look and don’t regularly wear a lot of makeup. My makeup bag includes the tinted moisturiser by Laura Mercier for a smooth complexion, Nars Blusher, Pat McGrath Lip Gloss as well as an eyeliner pencil and mascara to open my eyes a little.

Let’s talk fragrance. What are you loving at the moment? Fragrance is very close to my heart, as I come from a family of perfumers and my mum is a mixologist. I have learned a great deal about blending scents from her and like to wear different perfumes in layers. I wear a mix of Beige by Chanel with White Suede by Tom Ford, and occasionally include the Edwardian Bouquet by Floris London. My favourite scents are delicate white flowers with a hint of honey and patchouli, they are so elegant and pleasant to the nose. How do you choose your evening fragrance? For the evenings, I tend to wear a slightly more intense fragrance. I really like the Ombre De Hyacinth by Tom Ford. They, unfortunately, discontinued it, but I


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managed to stock up on it. Talk us through your hair routine. I visit Maria at Maria Dowling once a month, a very close friend and my favourite hairdresser. We met when I was really young, and she is always compassionate and understanding, I’m very grateful that she manages to colour and style my hair in a really natural, subtle and elegant way. My favourite shampoo and conditioner is the LOVE Curl range by Davines, and I regularly use the Intensive Hair Oil by Sacha Juan, as well as the Wild Marula Tangle Spray by Drunk Elephant for soft and smooth hair. What is the most unusual item in your makeup bag? I picked up a very special blusher brush in Kyoto, which brings back fond memories of that trip whenever I look at it.

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An exceptional edit of fragrances for a fresh start to 2021

Acqua Di Parma Colonia Futura Eau de Cologne

With an explosion of natural ingredients and top notes including grapefruit and lemon, softened by lavender and clary sage, this scent will leave you feeling light all day long. Dhs220 bloomingdales.ae


Byredo Gypsy Water Eau De Parfum

Woody notes of pine needle and sandalwood associated to intense amber and fresh citrus evoke the fever of gypsy nights spent in the forest.

Le Labo Eau de Parfum – Santal 33

Oribe Eau De Parfum – Côte d'Azur

This heady scent blends warm cardamom with floral notes of iris and violet, which contrasts with the spice and musk of sandalwood and cedarwood.

Aptly named after the luxe coastline destination, this cool and airy scent will transport you to the south of France.

50ml, Dhs641 NET-A-PORTER Narcisco Rodriguez Narciso Poudrée Eau de Parfum

Main notes in this velvety and floral fragrance include white jasmine and Bulgarian rose. 90ml, Dhs581 bloomingdales.ae

50ml, Dhs320 NET-A-PORTER Roja Dove Elixir Pour Femme Parfum

With a top note of bergamot and heart notes including lily of the valley, rose, ylang ylang and undernotes of sandalwood and cedar, this crisp fragrance will put a spring in your step to start the year off in a positive light.

Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau Eau de Parfum

A floral scent featuring a combination of roses and berries. Dhs625 bloomingdales.ae Frederic Malle Carnal Flower Eau de Parfum

With Tuberose as the anchor of the scent, this fragrance embodies floral essences without being overpowering. Dhs1,207 NET-A-PORTER

50ml, Dhs2,011 ounass.ae

100ml, Dhs893 sephora.ae


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12/23/20 10:27 AM

The Positive Pioneer

Aveda is leading the charge for ethical beauty in 2021 WORDS: OLIVIA MORRIS

For the last four decades, Aveda has been a leading cruelty-free and all-natural brand. In its next chapter, as part of its natural evolution, the brand is now going 100 per cent vegan. However, such a pioneering move doesn’t just happen overnight, it has been many years in the works. Aveda’s Global Brand President Barbara De Laere sat down with Emirates Woman to discuss the motivation behind the brand’s positive innovation, the highs and lows of making such a move and what it exactly means to be 100 per cent vegan. What was the motivation behind going vegan? Aveda has been cruelty-free since the brand was founded in 1978 and was largely vegan with the exception of some products that contained honey, beeswax and beeswax-derived ingredients. Going 100 per cent vegan is part of Aveda’s cruelty-free philosophy and environmental mission. This milestone is a natural evolution of our mission and we’re so proud to offer consumers highperformance, naturally-derived products that are sustainably made – and now vegan! How has the brand grown and advanced in a positive way since its launch? Aveda was founded in 1978 by Horst Rechelbacher: he was a world-class hairstylist and an environmentalist who believed that you shouldn’t have to compromise high-performance when using natural products, and set out to cre-

ate products that were good for our guests, our stylists and our planet. He was a pioneer in so many ways and helped Aveda achieve several industry firsts like the combining of products with haircare professionals to create an integrated brand experience, and the introduction of the concept of a retail store within a salon setting. We have never swayed from Horst’s original mission to care for the world we live in: in fact, our care for the environment is as important today as it ever was, and every year we set out to achieve sustainability milestones that will help to further decrease our impact on the planet. As a brand that was born cruelty-free, never tested on animals and founded with an environmental mission, going 100 per cent vegan is a milestone that’s been in motion for some time and one we are quite proud to achieve. Aveda has always strived to be as natural as possible – does this latest decision align with the same ethos? Yes, absolutely. For Aveda, as a company founded on an environmental mission, there were obvious environmental reasons for not using animal ingredients – which is why we previously refrained from the majority of them, except for beeswax. Going vegan has been a milestone that has been years in the making and we are so happy to be able to now offer 100 per cent vegan, high-performance, naturally-derived beauty products to our guests, our salon and

retail partners and our stylists. These are truly no-compromise formulations that are sustainably made and deliver the absolute best-in-class results. If you could describe Aveda in just five words, what would they be? Can I choose six?! Pioneering, responsible, high-performance, powerfully-natural, professional, vegan What have been the major hurdles going through the process to be all-vegan? Prior to this milestone, Aveda has typically avoided animal-derived ingredients, with the exception of those created by bees such as honey and beeswax. When reformulating, removing beeswax and beeswax absolute was our biggest challenge. Can you describe the process of changing ingredients to vegan? Beeswax is commonly used in lip products and styling products. Lipsticks used beeswax for product strength, colour payoff and smoothness. In styling products, beeswax provided structure and the ability to spread easily through your hair. Instead of using a synthetic beeswax, we formulated our own alternative with a blend of naturally-derived waxes and butters. Beeswax absolute was used in some of our aromas, an ingredient that is extracted from honeycomb or cakes of beeswax, and it provides a sweet, warm and complex aroma. Upon this transition, our in-house perfumers were tasked to recreate their beautiful aromas without it.

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As well as being vegan, your products are ’90 per cent naturally-derived’ – tell us more? I’m glad you asked because vegan doesn’t always mean natural – did you know Oreos are vegan? And vice versa – there are many natural ingredients that aren’t vegan like milk proteins and beeswax. With years of hard work and research, we were able to find the sliver of intersection where the two coincide and identify incredibly powerful naturally derived and vegan ingredients that deliver first in class results. To further elaborate, naturally derived means that the ingredient originated from a natural source (plant, animal, microbiological or mineral) and remains over 50 per cent natural (by molecular weight) after being modified during its creation through certain permitted chemical or biological processes. As of July 2019, Aveda voluntarily chose to follow the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standard for its natural and naturally derived claims in the belief that it offers a transparent, consistent, and internationally recognised standard for natural and naturally derived cosmetics. We are very proud to be a leader in the beauty industry in adopting this standard. Tell us about the growing demand for ethical beauty products? All of our data is telling us that consumers are looking for more from the brands they invest in. For example, according to Google Trends, the term ‘vegan beauty’ was searched 305 per cent more in 2020 than in 2019. I think there are a few reasons for this. Firstly, from a beauty perspective, there is more interest from consumers to know what goes into their beauty products. Also, the idea of ‘clean beauty’ has taken over, but now it’s moving beyond actual formulations to also encompass the idea of ethical sourcing and cruelty-free practices. Then, in some cases, ‘ethical beauty’ is expanding from vegan, cruelty-free and free-from to include transparency across the full spectrum of the supply chain and working environment, including how brands treat their employees and local communities. And finally, crueltyfree cosmetics have experienced increased demand due to consumer awareness about the prevalence of animal testing. How has your role evolved since you joined the brand? I’ve been at Aveda for more than four years and every day, I continue to be motivated and inspired by our team’s shared goal to live our brand mission. Our founder, Horst Rechelbacher, was a disruptor and an innovator and his original mission to care for the environment while creating highperformance, natural beauty products – with no compromise – is what drives me. In my personal life, commitment to pursuing sustainable practices is a passion of mine. To be able to channel that passion into the

“We are very proud to be a leader in the beauty industry in adopting this standard.”


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work I do at Aveda is a true privilege. Plus, I have the honour of working with the most incredible team – it takes a village to live out our mission and I have the very best working alongside me to do so! This is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how will you be channeling positivity in your life this year and amongst everyone at Aveda? As my team will tell you, I am a perpetual optimist and firmly believe in the power of positive thinking. In a year that has challenged us all, I continue to seek opportunity in obstacles. So often, incredible innovation is the result of perceived roadblocks and challenges. I strive to lead my team at Aveda by example by finding the silver linings, guiding us to them and recognising them as an opportunity for growth.

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We speak to three incredible women of firsts from the region. Partnering with Porsche to motivate others to pursue careers in male-dominated professions, Nayla Al Khaja, Hend Almatrouk and Adwa Al Dakheel discuss exactly what it’s like to be pioneering women and how they plan to pave the way in the GCC 84 emirateswoman.com

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The first female director and producer in the UAE You’re a woman of many firsts in your career. What is it like being a woman in this region to pave the way for others? It’s an immense, honourable responsibility. I see the messages and emails I receive from girls wanting to follow in my footsteps, and I don’t take that lightly at all. It drives me to do more, push boundaries and have my voice heard. To know that I have an impact on women and also men gives me an internal drive, a motivation inside that doesn’t die. I hope to be able to guide those around me interested in filmmaking, especially the younger women and let them discover their own journey in life. What are your hopes for the future for women in the UAE? I hope the women of the UAE find the passion they are looking for professionally and personally. I know mental health is a big topic in the world at the moment and while I believe it’s important to stay positive, it’s also important to be transparent and to reflect from within, understand all emotions and in return address them. With that said, I hope the women in my country find their voice, their passions and positive mental health. I’m confident that we will all have an incredible future in the UAE given all the current opportunities at hand for women. From every field whether criminology, business or judiciary, you will find women taking on roles which are truly inspiring. Can you talk us through the campaign with Porsche to inspire young females across the GCC? Teaming up with Porsche for #DriveDefinesHer has been an incredible experience. The campaign was launched to celebrate the new Panamera and has shone a spotlight on inspiring women across the region by showcasing their aspirational stories through video, while encouraging other women in the Middle East to pursue careers in male-dominated professions. The campaign is centred around Porsche’s commitment to supporting female leadership within the company and beyond and this is something that resonated with me, as it’s a passion of mine to inspire the next generation of young female Emirati filmmakers. Working with Porsche in the region has been so special and natural for me. I’ve always loved the brand, it’s heritage and the cars they’ve built. The campaign effortlessly captures the power of a female and the car, soul and spirit, alongside each other in such a way that highlights the beautiful balance of both. Like the Panamera, the campaign is powerful, yet elegant, bold and loud yet feminine, giving me a sense of empowerment and safety. To you, what does being a role model mean? How do you execute being a positive role

is storytelling, so we can continue to be our own role models and attract more female talent to the industry. What advice would you give to young women in this region? Volunteer. Whatever industry it is that you love, volunteer. Shadow someone who’s been doing it for years. Research the insides of that field to determine if there’s anything specific that you like – or you might just realise you’re just not that into it. What have been three hurdles you have experienced in your career? First, it was education. I had to travel abroad to be able to study film as there were no schools providing that here. It wasn’t easy to convince my parents, but I was able to do it! Second, it was infrastructure. Being the first female filmmaker, I didn’t have access to a lot of resources like gear or crew members which was heavy on the pocket as I had to fly it in. Equally, it was difficult to find people who believed in me and would agree to fund my film. Thankfully, I was able to overcome that by simply following my heart and the stories that I’m passionate about which was contagious, and I was able to find people who agreed to finance my projects. Last, it will be the robust TV commercial industry here, vs. an active film industry and the lack of government movie funding. It would be great to see private investors supporting Emirati talent and government funding. model to others? Being a role model is someWhat have been the major milestones in your thing that I honour and always give a lot of career? One big milestone is when His Highthought to, to push further and aim higher ness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan in my work. To constantly be learning and announced me on stage as the first woman challenging myself. Nothing in this world redirector in the country. That beautiful night mains constant and I find it very important to inaugurated my career which had such an always embrace change and emotion. I’m in impact with the media at that time. For a girl the motion picture business so from my perthat was so young, the inauguration speech spective, I too have to constantly be moving, was like a dream come true. I had to find the be ahead of the curve in life but in a way that courage to contact his office and speak to His actually creates impact. The real challenge Highness to invite him to attend my film! is to stay relevant while being a role model, which in return motivates me to stay hungry and continue to learn so I can give back. What do you believe it takes to break down barriers in male-dominated professions to make positive strides for women in this region? Your work will have to speak on your Kuwaiti architect and owner of the urban behalf and break down barriers. It will travel design firm Studio Toggle further than you, speak volumes of you. So in a male-dominant profession, I should just You’re a woman of many firsts in your career. forget about that, focus on myself and work, What is it like being a woman in this region to and allow that to speak for itself. pave the way for others? There is a general Once that happens, the barriers start to tendency to underestimate women working fall one after the other. I believe when you’re in traditionally male-dominated fields. As a creating a story you truly believe in, stay fowoman entrepreneur in the construction incused, hire a strong team, have the right pildustry, operating in the Middle East can be lars and give it your all, it will find a platform, extremely challenging. I have had to challenge whether regionally or internationally as well. the norms and overcome stereotypes to get Women in the film industry from all around Studio Toggle to where it is right now. I believe the world have their challenges but one commy biggest challenge in the early days was to mon thread is that it’s a male-dominated inconvince potential clients that being a womdustry. But this is where we should continue an-led team does not make Studio Toggle any to do what we love, the beauty and magic that



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less capable of designing and executing projects of any scale and to prove that we can do it better than anybody else. I have learnt that confidence is the key and that the power of success is within us. I have learnt that it is okay to be scared but selfdoubt should be banished at all costs. I believe women share similar challenges and obstacles throughout our life, regardless of what the journey is. Sometimes the societal norms may appear Porsche to inspire young females across the restrictive and harsh but I believe there is alGCC? I’ve had the pleasure to be involved in ways room for growth. Barriers can be broken Porsche’s most recent campaign around the and new horizons can be explored if we want. launch of the new Panamera, where Porsche If my journey became an example of women has shone a spotlight on unique and inspiring empowerment in my field then I will be the stories of Arab women from across the region happiest. I want women to be strong, fearless who are making significant strides within and understand that their dreams can be true. their line of work. I was extremely proud to What are your hopes for women in the future work alongside the region’s most talented in your country? Out of the long list of hopes females from the world of business, film and I have for Kuwaiti women, I want to highlight beyond. It was a great experience and I hope the need to encourage each other to fight for that the campaign will inspire ambitious our rights, our freedom of choice and freeyoung women to challenge themselves in evdom of speech. I believe that we need to be ery aspect of their life. unified, more connected and caring for each To you, what does being a role model mean? other. To ensure a better future for the women How do you execute being a positive role in Kuwait we need to step out of our comfort model to others? A role model to me means zone and be more vocal about what we want. someone who sets an example, someone who Can you talk us through the campaign with inspires you to strive for excellence. I believe

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that you can have several role models because you relate to them differently. It could be someone’s career journey or a life experience or overcoming a tragedy. I do not know if I am a role model to someone, but I really hope I empowered or inspired someone and made that person realise that with hard work and determination, everything is possible. What do you believe it takes to break down barriers in male-dominated professions to make positive strides for women in this region? I believe that to break down barriers in this region we need affirmative action to ensure equal opportunities. More training should be offered to aspiring women to equip them for the rigours of careers in maledominated professions. Leadership training, mentorship programmes and entrepreneurship guidance are vital to ensure quantifiable positive strides in this aspect in my opinion. What advice would you give to young women in this region? I would advise them to be true to their principles, to trust in their capabilities and to be grateful for any challenge they might face because it makes one grow as a person. I would tell them it is ok to be scared, to fail or to be doubtful. To keep it simple, we as women do not need anyone’s approval for us to move forward with our dreams. The only thing you need to do is to trust and love yourself. What have been three hurdles you have experienced in your career? One of the major hurdles that I have experienced in my career is a general lack of support for women entrepreneurs in the region. Second is an absence of any sort of mentorship which fosters much-needed guidance for female business owners making strides in male-dominated fields. Third and not the least are the restrictive social norms that disadvantage women in general. What have been three major milestones in your career? I believe the three major milestones that have shaped my career are the following – firstly, one of our very first built projects, Edges Apartments, which won the Residential Project of the Year (Mid Rise) at the Cityscape awards in 2017. Then winning the Young Architect of the Year award at the Middle East Architect awards in 2018 was a particular highlight and then winning the Architizer A+ Awards for our Project Khat (Al Ula) in 2020. This is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how do you plan to instil positivity in your life throughout 2021? Positivity in life is the key to success, happiness, and a sense of fulfilment. It is difficult to have a positive attitude and maintain positive thoughts when we look back at how the world has been affected by the pandemic in 2020. But as much as there was pain and suffering, there were many silver linings and for that I am deeply grateful. I believe having a positive attitude towards the unknown gives a sense of stability and hope for those around me and helps me to stay focused on my passion in 2021.


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Saudi entrepreneur and a prominent youth figure in the Kingdom Can you talk us through your career? I was always driven to be financially independent. My career started off in the finance world as a stock trader. That was a world I was curious about, so little by little I managed to save up $4,000 by the time I was 16 years old. I managed to open up an account in Forex trading, and the first day I doubled the $4,000 into $8,000. The second day, I lost everything. I was actually minus $126, and this made my financial obsession stronger. I continued as a trader from my teenage years up until I went to college – that was when I switched into options and derivative trading where I won first place in 3 capital trading market competitions by TD Bank before graduating from college. After that, I took my flying license as a hobby and came back to Saudi Arabia to start my business. In 2018, I launched Falak Investment Hub which does venture capital investments and the first-ever investmentbacked acceleration programmes in KSA. You’re a woman of many firsts in your career.

male participation on boards which will hopefully happen in the near future and years to come. Can you talk us through the campaign with Porsche to inspire young females across the GCC? When I think of Porsche, I associate the brand with performance and agility – something that is essential in the business that I’m in. Just recently, I’ve been involved in their most recent campaign around the launch of the new Panamera, where Porsche has shone a spotlight on unique and inspiring stories of Arab women from across the region who are making significant strides within their line of work. It was such an honour to work with some of the region’s most talented females from the world of business. I hope the campaign will inspire young women in the Kingdom to enter into industries that they might not feel are achievable. To you, what does being a role model mean? How do you execute being a positive role model to others? I believe I’ve reached a stage where I am financially independent and sustainable, so now it’s my time to do something for society. It is by lifting others up you reach the true potential. That’s the most important thing to me. What do you believe it takes to break down barriers in maledominated professions to make positive strides for women in this region? It starts with believing in yourself and your abilities. I’ve learned that nothing comes without backlash and nothing good comes without a price. My life motto is work smarter not harder. We face obstacles on a day to day basis – what matters is your perspective and how you overcome them. What advice would you give to young women in this region? You are the future leaders, and there are no boundaries for our achievement. If you have a strong work ethic and always challenge yourself, you can achieve anything you want. The comfort zone is one of the greatest enemies of human potential. Once you have a comfort zone you are limiting yourself to achieve your biggest goals and ambitions. What have been three hurdles you have experienced in your career? I don’t believe in What is it like being a woman in this region to hurdles, as I believe every challenge and failpave the way for others? There were many ure I’ve faced has had a positive note and an inspirational Saudi women before me who important lesson towards anything else I do. overcame gender barriers to achieve a string What have been three major milestones in of firsts for women in the Kingdom. In terms your career? Winning first place in 3 Capital of my own achievements, I try to look ahead Trading Market competitions by TD Bank because there is still so much more that I across New England; getting my private piwant to accomplish. lot license; and launching Falak Investment What are your hopes for women in the future Hub and Ns3a Recruitment Software. of your country? The recent developments This is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how do you in Saudi have paved the way for women and plan to instil positivity in your life throughyouth leadership. There’s the talent, innovaout 2021? One of my biggest inspirations is tion and the vision to achieve extraordinary human potential. You can do anything you things and the sky is the limit. For example, want if you dedicate yourself to it. Always see Falak is 80 per cent female, which wasn’t the glass half full, accept obstacles and take planned. Where I want to see further change on challenges. outside Falak, though, is an increase in fe-


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High Performance

Gym Clothing Co. produces highperformance, durable workout wear. The brand’s director Kelly Hodgkin tells us the story behind the Dubai-based brand and how to ensure you have the motivation to keep your squats low and energy high.

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What inspired you to launch Gym Clothing Co.? Gym Clothing Co. was originally started by my Co-Director Max Bissell. In his role as a PE teacher, he saw that the students didn’t like their kit and decided to change that by designing a new one. He really enjoyed the whole experience and having always wanted to start his own clothing line, that’s what gave him the push to turn it into a business. Max is a former semi-professional footballer who loves fitness and he gets a real buzz from wearing his own designs and seeing others train in the pieces we create. Prior to launching the brand, can you talk us through your career? I originally started out in the healthcare industry back in the UK, alongside being a model. Now my career is extremely varied, which I love. I still work as a model and brand ambassador, as well as running an events and modelling agency, and recipe designing for various publications and brands. And of course, thanks to the Gym Clothing Co., fitness has evolved from a personal passion to being an important part of my career as well. To you, how does the fitness landscape in the UAE differ from other places? I find the fitness




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landscape is a huge part of the lifestyle here in the UAE, and there is something for everyone 24/7. With the warmer weather, there are so many options to keep fit and healthy all year round thanks to lots of indoor and outdoor facilities. The government also encourages people to get started on their fitness journey and stay motivated, introducing initiatives such as the Dubai Fitness Challenge and other sporting events. How has the brand evolved since you opened in 2017? Initially, it was more about finding individual high-quality pieces that reflected Gym Clothing Co.’s vision and brand values. Over time, our approach has become much more strategic designing distinct collections, and becoming a fully functional e-commerce business delivering direct to the UAE and UK. More recently, we have also been involved in high-profile sponsorship opportunities with the Dubai Muscle Show and Dubai media day for heavyweight MMA champion Alistair Overeem. What has your journey as an entrepreneur been like? Mostly fun, a lot of hard work but if you don’t enjoy or love what you do then what’s the point? You should always have fun whilst working.

“So many things in our lives affect how we train and it’s important to have the confidence to do what’s right for you.” What sets Gym Clothing Co. apart from other activewear brands? Gym Clothing Co. offers high-performance activewear combining quality, style, durability, and value. A lot of attention has gone into premium detailing, such as high waists, soft seams, subtle contouring, light-weight materials and vibrant


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shades, while maintaining an affordable price. This means our customers are empowered to stay fit without worrying about their budget. The range also takes a lot of its inspiration from the landscape and colour palette of the UAE, where it was born. Given it’s the start of 2021, many will be looking to kickstart their health journey. What is your key advice to people when beginning this journey? Don’t rush, take your time and don’t compare yourself to anyone else’s journey. So many things in our lives affect how we train and it’s important to have the confidence to do what’s right for you and follow your unique goals. What is next for Gym Clothing Co.? The New Year will be bringing something very unique, in line with our aim of inspiring people to be more active while feeling their best. This is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how do you plan to instill positivity in your life throughout 2021? By maintaining my focus. It’s important to focus on yourself, your goals and your vision and the rest will fall into place. Don’t get distracted by external factors or other people’s actions. Also, keep reminding yourself of your achievements and stay grateful.

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Fine Produce

Sustainable practices and vegan product lines have enabled Kibsons to grow from strength to strength under the guidance of Halima Jumani, Director of Finance and Operations

How does your morning routine set you up for success? I love my sleep so much and can be a slow starter, but when I’m finally up, I’m ready for action. Being passionate and dedicated to your mission is the key to staying positive and focused. Of course, it’s also about great time management skills to prioritise and achieve as many things as possible on the “to do” list. Ultimately, it’s about doing the right thing without compromising on ethics while trying to achieve your long-term goals, I believe integrity is a huge underlying element of success. How has your role evolved at Kibsons over the last ten years? In one word; organically. With my background at KPMG, I started my career in Kibsons as Head of Finance. After my MBA and a Six Sigma Certification at GE, I started managing and building the operations which worked well because leaner operational processes made the finance and numbers side look stronger. The next step was tech, working with a team of IT engineers to develop our new ERP systems purely with the intention of enhancing our operational processes along with developing our financial systems. Eventually data driven

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understanding customer needs and expectation which is the first step. Then building the right infrastructure which is at the core of the business is so critical to protect those promises which we make to our customers. Once we have the right structure at the core, surrounded by the required skills and expertise that set us apart, that gives us the core competitive advantage. With the undying passion of a beautiful team, that not only dreams but also works hard to see those dreams come alive, we’ve got the fighting chance to aim and achieve the desired customer retention and ultimately customer loyalty. Customer experience is paramount – how do you ensure this is consistently delivered to such a high standard? We never take any business including customer orders for granted. Every online order is just as important to us as it was when we started the e-commerce segment four years ago. Every step in the process at Kibsons, whether its procurement, supply chain, operations or IT – is thoughtfully crafted and designed keeping the customer expectation and satisfaction in mind. Consumer empathy is key in how we set things up internally and how we practice honesty and transparency in all our forms of communication. It’s about developing a relationship with the customers so we can truly deliver peace of mind to all. statistics led me to a corporate turnaround strategy and I soon became the founder and Which sources of positivity would you recomdirector of the Kibsons e-commerce division, mend? It is important to recognise and apwhich we all know as Kibsons home delivery. preciate the true heros in real life regardless of whether you find them in your own office, What are the core values of Kibsons? The core in your circle of family and friends or so many values are ethical, sustainable and responamazing SMEs in the city you live in. Personsible. After being born and raised in the heart of the fresh produce industry, Kibsons is truly ally, when I’m feeling low, I like to read Hupassionate about ‘healthy eating’ while makmans of Bombay, it’s a platform that shares ing it convenient and affordable for everyone. some incredible stories of real-life survivors that make my problems look smaller and my Do you see any trends in ordering in terms of blessings look bigger. That positive mind shift produce? People are moving towards healthuplifts me and helps me move on with my misier, more organic and perhaps even more vegan choices than ever before. There is a sion to add positive value – however I can. growing trend of people being more cautious This is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how do you stay about the ingredients they bring home. For positive? A good night’s sleep solves the maexample, people want to understand and if jority of my problems. My world is definitely possible, avoid the bad e-numbers when they more positive in the morning than at night. On select food items as part of the regular grothe other hand, gratitude is one of the most powerful thoughts that keeps me positive. I cery shopping chores. There is a gradual yet am grateful that I have a family, and that they steadily increasing demand for products with are beautiful, compassionate, healthy, happy less sugar, low calories, low fat content, low and safe. It’s also not about blood family carbs, gluten-free, and even no additives and only, it’s the bigger family in spirit that has preservatives. At Kibsons, we are so pleased grown over the years, all around me, all over to be a part of these healthy lifestyle choices. the planet – it’s all about perspective and how How do you approach scaling a business and you choose to see things, isn’t it? client retention? One step at a time – by truly


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Discover the collection at: Dubai: Dubai Mall | Dubai Marina Mall | Mirdif City Centre | Dubai Festival City | Abu Dhabi: The Galleria | Yas Mall | Abu Dhabi Marina Mall


and a health food café, which was always a dream of mine. Where did your love of Pilates originate? I truly believe there is a connection woven throughout all of our lives, and when you look back you can join the dots together. It wasn’t until my sister told me that I found out about a Pilates studio in Dubai, it was the only one in the Emirate at that time. My sister heard about the rehabilitation and benefits of the exercises and introduced me to it, sparking a new passion and hobby. How has The Hundred evolved since you opened in 2008? It really has been such a journey. Our first studio was located in Healthcare City, and I remember visualizing starting a wellness movement in Dubai. I have always tried to listen to our clients, find out what they need and how we can help them find happiness. A lot of the time, people want to feel loved, supported and cared for. I wanted to create a holistic safe space for clients to feel connected, whether they just want to visit the café, read a book in the garden or have a session with one of our therapists or instructors. How does it feel to be a leading female entrepreneur in the region? Thank you! Often, when I am in the process and working away, I get so caught up in my current focus that I don’t always recognize everything we have achieved. It can be hard sometimes, women can be stereotyped, and we do face challengtherapies, life coaching and a health-food es, but I try to focus on how my work can help café, which grew organically to serve and others, and myself. It really warms my heart care for the people of the UAE. when I receive kind words, nice feedback and hearing about how the centre has impacted You went from corporate to entrepreneur life someone’s life. The small sentiments from – tell us about this? Yes, of course, there is our clients fill me with pride. risk involved which is something I continuously strive to manage. I try to focus on my Talk us through the name ‘The Hundred’. The goals and avoid thinking about the obstacles name of the centre was inspired by a posture, or things that may get in the way. When you The Hundred, a deeply meditative Pilates believe in yourself and your vision, as well exercise that focuses the mind, warms the as listen to your gut and intuition, we really body deeply, gets the circulation going and can achieve anything. the lungs working. Held for the duration of It took a great deal of self-work before 100 breaths, it prepares the body and mind I set up the centre, I knew I wanted to start for transformation. This movement evokes my own business and turn my hobbies into fond memories with my first Pilates group. my career. I analysed myself, my wants, What has your journey as an entrepreneur needs and passions; asked myself who I am, been like? Exciting, rewarding and heartwhat I love, and how I could help serve my warming, despite the hurdles that we have country, and gradually found the answers. faced. I live by the motto, “If there is a will, Self-reflection is an ongoing process and so there is a way”. I followed my gut instincts integral to becoming an entrepreneur. and had to believe in myself and my vision. It is not always easy, but I accept the challenges What was the reaction of those who support as a part of the journey and consider them as you when you opened The Hundred? I am lessons that are here to teach me something. so grateful for the support I have received As a business owner, I think there is a confrom my whole family. When I first opened stant need to self-reflect and pay attention to the Pilates studio in 2008, my parents were the small things. Once you are in tune with very sceptical, they didn’t really understand yourself, everything gets a lot easier. what I was doing or know what Pilates was. We were the second Pilates studio to open How does the centre ensure it instills positivin the UAE, so there wasn’t a large underity in its clients? Every detail throughout the standing of it in the region and it must have centre has been designed and curated to looked risky to them. After they saw how positively impact the subconscious mind. passionate I was, the energy in the stuSubtle detailing, such as the beautiful quotes dio and the community we built, my father written on the mirrors and in the bathroom, kindly offered me his villa in Jumeirah for as well as the lyrics in the music that plays, us to use. We completely rebuilt it from the are easily absorbed by our brains without us ground up in 2011, and it gave us the space even really noticing. Our team has an amazto be able to offer more services, therapies ing collective energy, that fuels a kind and

Mind & Matter

Asma Hilal Lootah is a woman of firsts and has paved the way in the wellness space in the UAE after opening the first fully certified health clinic and wellness centre – The Hundred Wellness Centre – in the country in 2008. With a truly entrepreneurial spirit, it was Lootah’s love for Pilates which sparked her to launch The Hundred 12 years ago. The centre has now expanded into so many other avenues under the wellness umbrella including rehabilitation, homeopathy, chiropractic therapies, emotional therapies and life coaching. Lootah sat down with Emirates Woman to talk us through her journey in the wellness space, being a pioneer in the UAE, the challenges she’s faced as an entrepreneur, some key treatments at The Hundred and more. What inspired you to open The Hundred Wellness Centre? Following my studies in Washington DC, I moved back to the UAE and it was a bit of a shock to the system. I was trying to find myself when my sister invited me to a Pilates class, and it really changed my life. I loved the routine, movement, social connection and my teacher. It fueled a year of self-discovery and helped me feel more positive about life. When my brother suggested opening my own studio, I knew it was the right thing to do. I opened the Hundred Pilates Studio in 2008, and in 2011 this evolved into The Hundred Wellness Centre. Pilates had such an incredible impact on my life, mental health and overall wellbeing, and I wanted to be able to help others achieve the same. The Wellness Centre provides rehabilitation, homeopathy, chiropractic therapies, emotional

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The Hundred Wellness Centre is an all-encompassing sanctuary for mind, body and soul


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supportive environment for all who enter. As a team, we work really hard to harness the same values and visions, and this has such a positive impact for both us and our clients. It’s incredible to see how much The Hundred has expanded into different realms of wellness. What treatment would you recommend for everyone to try? My favourite thing about the centre is that it can provide an entirely different experience in every visit. I see it as more of a journey; rather than choosing one treatment above another, I would recommend trying a mixture of different sessions depending on your current state and what is happening in your inner and outer worlds. If you are experiencing any physical challenges, the Chiropractor and Physiotherapist can help soothe symptoms and develop an effective treatment plan. Pilates, Yoga, Life Coaching and Sound Healing can ease stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed. We also have an Infra-red Sauna and BCA Diagnostic Testing for optimal health, and a café that serves delightful health foods and cold-pressed juices. The Hundred now also has a particular focus on mental wellness. Can you talk us through the treatments available? We have recently introduced a range of one-to-one sessions and group classes, designed to improve mental and emotional health as well as provide a safe and welcoming sanctuary of

tomers expect from it? RTT gives us the ability to reach the very core of the emotional aspect of every problem or challenge we face. This allows us to freely and effortlessly use our minds in a much more constructive manner. Benefits include the instant relief of negative beliefs and memories in the subconscious mind and the rapid rewiring of the neural pathways of the brain, replacing our outdated rationalizations and negative patterns of behaviour with new life-affirming beliefs that are formed as the healing process begins. How many sessions of rapid transformational therapy would you recommend? RTT is conducted in one session that lasts approximately two hours, followed by 30-40 days of affirmations with an audio recording. Each treatment includes: 1. CLARITY COACHING: This is a Talk Session where you get clear on how you want to feel and the outcomes you intend for yourself. This could be to target a specific problem like anxiety, procrastination, trauma, self-sabotage, smoking or weight. 2. RTT: The process is done under light hypnosis and relaxation where you dialogue with your subconscious mind to reveal, eliminate and reprogramme the situations in your life that are blocking you from achieving the goal in your clarity coaching session. 3. THE AUDIO RECORDING: After the RTT session you will receive an Audio Recording to listen to on a daily basis. You can listen to it at any time and you must be in a relaxed state, sitting down, undisturbed. The recommended listening duration is 30 to 40 days. As we are all different, some people change instantly, and other people change cumulatively. It is like going to the care. The new treatments include Emotion gym but for your mind. If you go to the gym and Relationship Coaching, Sound Masonce and do a massive work out versus gosage, Pain Management, Yoga and Meditation, Rapid Transformational Therapy and ing daily and seeing the impact on your body a Child Empowerment Programme. after 30 – 40 days. The mind is a muscle like the body. The body with a comprehensive One particular note of interest is the rapid programme focusing on correct alignment, transformational therapy you have. Can you training and nutrition will respond. For peotalk us through this treatment? Rapid Transple with a relatively fit body, they will see the formational Therapy (RTT) was developed by results relatively instantly, for people who award-winning therapist and speaker Marisa have never stepped in the gym, it takes time. Peer, and combines the most beneficial principles of hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, NLP, What do you hope your clients gain from CBT, and neuroscience to help people create coming to The Hundred? I really hope that powerful, positive and permanent changes. we give our clients happiness, kindness and RTT at The Hundred Wellness Centre is goodness. Sometimes life gets a little hard, led by Helen Pleic, a Rapid Transformaand we have created a safe space for people tional Coach that facilitates sessions where to come and unwind in those moments. I love people free themselves from negative critical that the centre provides support for people, thoughts, feelings and self-sabotaging behavto make them feel loved and cared for. iours so that they are able to feel fulfilled in This is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how do you plan their journey through all of life’s experiences. to instil positivity in your life throughout 2021? One of my teachers told me that “every day What are the benefits and what should cusin every way, we get better and better.” Positivity is an ongoing process, and something that doesn’t happen by chance. By continuously working on myself, reprogramming my subconscious mind, removing limiting beliefs, and constantly checking in on myself, I feel so much more positive. Sometimes we just need to take a step back, absorb everything and feel grateful.

“Positivity is an ongoing process, and something that doesn’t happen by chance.” F E AT U R E

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Re-invention is a smart, sustainable approach to luxury. We spoke to Partner & Chief Technical Officer of The Cobbler – Morgan Papin about breathing new life into leather goods 94 emirateswoman.com


What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine? On waking up I do a 30 min stretching and body weight exercise. Then I head to the shower, after checking the news and emails followed by a fresh and healthy breakfast and then it’s time to go to the workshop! What is at the heart of The Cobbler’s DNA as a brand and why was The Cobbler launched in the UAE? Craftsmanship, heritage, expertise and passion are some of the


New Year, New Life


key DNA principles of The Cobbler. These have been our driving force since day one and still drive us today. We believe that is what customers recognize in our work. 10 years ago there was a gap in the market for shoe repair and luxury gentlemen’s footwear at an accessible price point. People were taking their bags and shoes back to their home countries as they couldn’t get them fixed the way they wanted here in the UAE. This is how the concept of The Cobbler began. Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path? I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people who are smart, successful and knowledgeable in the field. So, when I face a situation, I always

have the right experienced person to turn to for advice and that has been the best guide specially during rough times like the one we experienced during this challenging year. You operate a bespoke approach and can restore as well as re-invest pieces – tell us about this service? It’s about bringing a second life to an item you love. Most well-crafted items can be restored and repaired. That’s the magic about it, to bring back to life items that were once damaged and to see the happiness in each customer’s eye once the items are ready What’s the most exciting overhaul you’ve ever given a piece? A limited-edition bag from Dolce & Gabbana that was completely burned including the handles and the front flap. We had to replace them entirely, but the only way was to dissemble the bag completely and then to reassemble it the same way as in their factory. Sourcing the right material, copying the grain, reproducing the stitching and thread – it was hard and stressful, but the result was great, and the customer couldn’t stop thanking us, which was wonderful. How should we be looking after leather/exotic skins ourselves? Never wear a pair of shoes two days in a row, the leather is a living skin that needs to rest always one day. Protect your items from direct light and humidity. Nourish your leather once in a week with a Saphir Medaille d’or Lotion and polish them if necessary. Exotic skins can be extremely fragile, and we recommend our customers to leave them in the hands of our highly-skilled experts. Which colourways/designs have been most popular, and do you see patterns and trends emerging in the market? Well in the last 10 years, shoes and handbags are now produced in any kind of materials. And as craftsmen we’ve had to adapt to these creative demands. What does luxury mean to The Cobbler? Luxury is about a unique experience that brings you joy and allows you to relieve memories. Transforming pre-loved pieces and giving them a second chance at life is at the heart of the brand’s DNA. Reviving traditions, craftsmanship and passing it on to younger generations is integrated as a luxury experience at The Cobbler. How do you approach client engagement and retention? Customer experience is paramount to us. We want our customers to be able to engage with our experts wherever they are, which is why we have enacted a digital transformation. In addition to visiting our shops, our customers can now shop through our online platform and book a free pickup & delivery for their items to be repaired. This can also be done over the phone through our customer care desk. We are putting all our efforts into creating the most seamless and pleasant experience for our customers. How has social media affected building The Cobbler? It is amazing to be able to com-


municate quickly and easily with our audience. Social Media is a perfect tool to drive the brand’s awareness and is also an efficient way to engage with our customers, to reply quicker to their queries. It is the heart of our communication. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? ParisianGentleman, YoheiFukuda, Cifonelli, The Rake, Permanentstylelondon. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? Take notes and embrace all the knowledge you can! I always thought I

“Never wear a pair of shoes two days in a row, the leather is a living skin that needs to rest always one day.” would remember everything, but I learnt that even the greatest forget things. So now as much as possible I write down things to not forget. If you were not at The Cobbler, which other role would you choose career-wise? Shoes have been my life since I was 16 and craftsmanship is a way of life, being able to transform a raw material into an item that brings a smile on a customer’s face is priceless. I’ve always been interested by the complexity of wood so I would have loved to be a carpenter, I think. This issue is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how do you stay positive? Thanks first goes to my wife, she supports and inspires me every day. Secondly a healthy, active lifestyle, spending as much time as possible outdoors. I also love to discover and learn new things – it’s important to never get bored and always keep progressing.

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The Power of Positivity As we start a new year, we ask some of the most inspiring women we know how they will be embodying positivity in 2021


EQUESTRIAN ATHLETE @lati_mak How do you implement positivity into your life? Positivity or a positive mindset is something I work with on a daily basis. I think it’s something that you have to consciously work on. What practices do you do to ensure you have a positive mindset? I think being disciplined is a way of implementing positivity. Having a firm belief that hard work pays off. How do you plan to stay positive in the year ahead? Surrounding yourself with good people is key to having a good mindset. I think the atmosphere of those you chose to be around has an effect on you. Surround yourself with like-minded people.

ILKE SHAH FOUNDER OF LIMELITE JEWELLERY @limelitejewellery How do you implement positivity into your life? I try to maintain a busy yet balanced day. A bit of exercise, designing my jewellery, taking time out to eat proper meals and having family time. Of course, there are exceptions from time to time but I try to ensure that mostly I reserve a place for each in my daily life. The best days are when I can also throw in a bit of girl time with my friends – I think it’s really important for each of us to have our support network and this requires investing time and effort.


What practices do you do to ensure you have a positive mindset? I kiss my husband and children every day. No matter what arguments we might have or other issues, this daily routine ensures that we never forget that underneath everything we all love each other. Every morning I drink a cup of tea and watch the sunrise. It’s like a form of meditation for me, that I reflect on the day ahead, how lucky we are to have our health. I regularly attend Barry’s Bootcamp – a hi-intensity workout gym. The communal energy and fitness focus is like getting a shot of positive energy directly into your bloodstream. How do you plan to stay positive in the year ahead? 2020 taught us that our plans are directional at best. I think we have all learnt to become more flexible, recognise the simple things in life, and appreciate what we already have. I intend to focus on the tasks that I enjoy and that I can influence, and not to waste energy on the things that are not in my control. That means definitely less time reading social media, more time reading books. Less time with negative people, more time with nature. And enjoy being in the moment and not postponing happiness for some future gain.

FOUNDER OF HAK THE LABEL @hakthelabel How do you implement positivity into your life? This year I have learned to step back and analyse the situation before getting involved emotionally. Anything that brings my mood down I stay away from. I also try to see the good in any situation and am learning to just relax and not take anything personally. Practising gratitude and showing more appreciation is also really important for staying positive. What practices do you do to ensure you have a CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF BINT THANI STUDIO positive mindset? I try to think positively and @khuloodthani have realised it’s all about perception. So in any How do you implement positivity into your life? It’s through having an organised situation, I try to be aware of my thoughts and if mind, we know that we can not be positive all the time, but it’s important to be I feel things are going a little negative I stop and conscious of our thoughts and emotions which does influence our actions. make some small changes to my mindset. I also What practices do you do to ensure you have a positive mindset? I practice medipractise self-care and I have started using meditations and affirmations every morning and yoga would be during the day. Yet being tation apps like Calm and Headspace, which are in London during the lockdown was a great opportunity to explore something new really helpful in keeping a positive outlook. to be added in my schedule, I started jogging in the parks and I would say it does How do you plan to stay positive in the year ahead? raise my positive vibration with the world around me. Reduce negative influences, continue self-care, exHow do you plan to stay positive in the year ahead? Staying focused is the most ercise, meditate and just see the positive in every important thing that we can do in such uncertain times. situation. We survived 2020 so bring it on 2021!


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EMIRATI FOOTBALLER good balance between my work focus and my @areej.alhammadi13 personal growth focus. I focus on my personal How do you implement positivity into your life? I try to avoid negative thoughts, encourage growth by doing things that give me invisible myself to look at the positives in my life, stay fit and healthy because I believe your menpower and this charges my battery – whether tal and physical health are all connected to your happiness and positivity. And I remind it’s horse riding, spending time with the people myself that it’s ok when things don’t work out. I love, reading a book, painting, being outWhat practices do you do to ensure you have a positive mindset? I try to do something doors or just being with my own thoughts. positive and productive every day. Something I enjoy every day. I find that if you start What practices do you do to ensure you have your day with small achievements it helps set a positive mindset for the rest of the day. a positive mindset? Aside from what I’ve menHow do you plan to stay positive in the year ahead? Every day is a new page and every tioned earlier, I actually really invest in surday there are small positive things you rounding myself with people who can take me can achieve. To stay positive in the to the next level. I work with 4-5 professionals year ahead I plan to set smaller goals that specialise in a specific type of coaching. to achieve over shorter periods of time It’s trying to surround yourself with people who and do the things I enjoy the most. have become experts in their field and you try FOUNDER OF SALAMA KHALFAN to draw from their expertise and incorporate it FINE JEWELLERY within your life to help you achieve your goals. @salamakhalfan & How do you plan to stay positive in the year @salamakhalfanfinejewellery ahead? My approach will be to focus on How do you implement positivity into your life? small wins. Generally, I’m a big picture type FOUNDER OF ODEEM By doing meditation and yoga, having an attiof person. I look at a goal in the long term @odeem_official tude of gratitude, and consciously making the but I think for this year, I’d like to break that How do you implement positivity into your effort to put my mindset on a positive track. goal into smaller milestones that are easier to life? The year 2020 taught me the importance Starting the morning and ending the day with achieve and give me those small wins to celof appreciating the little things in life & just meditation helps me a lot. I also try to have a ebrate every time. how valuable our time is. I spend a lot of time with my family and siblings and that is always the best way to keep me feeling positive. What practices do you do to ensure you have a positive mindset? My favourite time FOUNDER OF ROMANI of the day is right before sunrise, and lately, @hayajarrar & @romani.official I have been maintaining a routine of wakHow do you implement positivity into your life?Sometimes the smallest things bring you a lot ing up early and exercising on a daily basis. of positivity, such as music and dancing. I ensure that’s how I always start my day. It took my I would say this helps a lot, as I set a posihusband a while to get used to my singing and dancing around the house but trust me it works. tive intention for my day ahead. What practices do you do to ensure you have a positive mindset?My biggest therapy is riding my How do you plan to stay positive in the year horse, and I recently got into meditation. I also work out and try to surround myself with nature. ahead? To live day by day and in the moHow do you plan to stay positive in the year ahead? I will continue to work hard on ROMANI ment. I’m really looking forward to seeing and grow it further. Nothing brings me more joy or positivity than watching my brand grow and what 2021 will bring for my business, and seeing what I imagine become a reality. And I will continue to surround myself with positive all the exciting new collections, and prodand inspiring people. uct launches we will have at ODEEM.





FASHION INFLUENCER @raniafawazz How do you implement positivity into your life? It’s something I’ve been doing for years now and it’s really simple things but play a big role. Firstly I try to live a healthy lifestyle, I surround myself with positive people and I catch myself when negative thoughts roll in. What practices do you do to ensure you have a positive mindset? I start my day listening to positive affirmations and it sets the vibe of my day. I also keep a gratitude journal writing down things I’m grateful for that improves my optimism. How do you plan to stay positive in the year ahead? To keep doing my rituals. Focus on the positive always.

YARA ALDREES CORPORATE ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY SPECIALIST, RED SEA DEVELOPMENT How do you implement positivity into your life? We all have our bad days; however, it is extremely important to take an active approach to staying positive. Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said, “Expect the best and you shall find it.” I try my best to live by that. You attract the good things and supercharge your life by being positive, and by creating healthy habits. What practices do you do to ensure you have a positive mindset? I love listening to podcasts/music, meditation, and reciting


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positive affirmations. I enjoy being in nature and surrounding myself with the people I love. This always gives me a huge positivity boost. Simple practices like that help to keep me grounded and optimistic. How do you plan to stay positive in the year ahead? I hope to improve my outlook for 2021 by first accepting the challenges in my life and then trying to identify ways to overcome them. This activity is, in itself, a force for positive change, as is hoping for the best and always believing that everything happens for a reason: when one door closes, another always opens. Another thing I plan on doing is surrendering to the universe and I will try not to control everything in my life. By doing that I believe it will help me attract positive results and outcomes. I will also continue practising my positive habits and add more to them like eating healthy and practising yoga.

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Wings of Wellness How do you set yourself and your team up for a positive day? I wake up earlier than I need to, so I can take my time in the mornings. I like to start my day sitting out on the balcony with a cup of coffee and catching up on the day’s news – both world news and from friends and family overseas. I get to work around 7:45 ready for the day ahead. I’m generally a positive person and spend time walking around the office to connect whenever I can. I would certainly say that positivity is contagious and it’s good to keep that spirit within the team. For our communications team, we start the day with a quick Microsoft Teams call to touch base, update each other on the latest news, and make sure we’re all feeling informed and connected. Last year was a challenge, what positives have come to light either for you personally or Etihad? I can certainly agree, it’s been a challenging year. I joined Etihad on 1st March. Three weeks later the airline was grounded, the country was in lockdown and we were all working from home. We very quickly took advantage of the technology solutions available to us, and I’m amazed at how well we worked together as a team in planning the restart of the airline. We quickly adapted to working online, and I have no doubt that the use of technology and new style of teamwork is something that will last. What is at the heart of Etihad’s DNA as a brand? Emirati hospitality is at the heart of our brand. That’s why every Etihad experience is an embodiment of a warm Abu Dhabi welcome – thoughtful, exceptional, and open to all. We bring the world to Abu Dhabi by helping guests choose experiences that are meaningful to them and promote greater wellness and sustainability for our global community. With Emirati hospitality at our core,

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We spoke to Terry Daly, Etihad’s Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand Marketing to find out about the positive steps they are making to ensure safe travel through their Etihad Wellness programme

Etihad makes sure guests always feel embraced and at home with us, no matter where they’re headed. Tell us about the ‘Etihad Wellness’ programme and who you chose as Wellness Ambassadors. Wellbeing on board has always been important to us, but in these extreme times we took extra care to listen to our guests and our frequent flyers to hear their concerns about flying in the post-pandemic era.


‘Etihad Wellness’ is the airline’s expanded and comprehensive health and hygiene programme and customer guide. This builds on the stringent measures already put in place by Etihad to deal with COVID-19. The programme is championed by specially trained Wellness Ambassadors, a first in the industry, who provide essential travel health information and care so guests can fly with greater peace of mind.


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It became clear that of course everyone needs to know about all the procedures a company is putting in place, like social distancing, staff training, regular cleaning and sanitisation to name a few. However, it also became clear that there was a need to be able to ask questions and seek reassurance. The design and launch of the Etihad Wellness programme was the result. It’s there to reassure travellers that it is safe to fly with Etihad. For added reassurance and care, we introduced Wellness Ambassadors who are there to provide guidance and wellness advice at every stage of the journey. Our Ambassadors can be contacted through live webchat before travel, at the airport or on board. We have a dedicated Wellness Ambassador on every flight, and they are supported by the entire crew. Initially we asked our Cabin Crew to volunteer to become Wellness Ambassadors, but then we quickly trained every member of the crew to make sure that everyone would deliver the same, exceptional standards. You will however always find a dedicated Wellness Ambassador on every flight. You’re laser focused on wellness at every level from culinary hygiene to cabin deep cleaning. Why was implementing this so important to the brand? Laser focused is a great way to put it. We talk about wellness every day, and we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to make our guest experience even smarter. We’ve always prided ourselves on our reputation in the industry, and we quickly understood that getting wellness ‘right’, would be important to our brand. We owe it to our customers to ensure that an Etihad aircraft is as safe as it can be. This is why we’re the only airline in the world currently making sure that 100% of our guests show a negative COVID-19 test before boarding, and retest again on arrival in Abu Dhabi. We want our guests to think of Etihad and feel confident that they are in safe hands. What effect have you seen from launching this to date and what do you expect to see throughout 2021? The response has been overwhelmingly positive, both from the industry who have recognised our efforts, and from our guests. In the regular surveys we do, 93% of our guests have given us a positive rating on our wellness initiatives. This is something that we’re really proud of. As a brand, how do you approach client retention? It’s fair to say that our guests are at the heart of the decisions we make and everything we do. We operate the Etihad Guest loyalty programme as a way of recognising and rewarding our loyal customers. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve focused on making sure these Etihad Guest members are really well looked after. One of the most attractive parts of an airline’s loy-

“Positivity is contagious and it’s good to keep that spirit within the team.” alty programme is the ability to use miles to buy flights, or to upgrade an existing booking. That’s not so easy when there is a lockdown, a much smaller schedule, and travel restrictions across the globe. This issue is ‘The Positivity Issue’ – how do you stay positive as a brand? There is a saying, “never waste a good crisis”, and we’ve heard this mentioned a few times last year at Etihad. The pandemic has been really hard on the industry and it goes without saying that we are deeply saddened by the effect it has had. However, in the spirit of positivity, we have looked for opportunity. When most of our fleet was grounded earlier in the year, we used the opportunity to completely refresh our entire fleet, so that when you next step on board an Etihad aircraft it should look and feel brand new. Innovation is also in our DNA, and instead of waiting to follow the industry, we stay positive by taking the lead. We’re really confident about the Etihad experience and the Etihad Wellness proposition and feel this is something we can deliver with pride and positivity. Visit www.etihad.com/wellness


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Train Hard

The go-to list for working out, to keep your mind, body and soul on track WORDS: OLIVIA MORRIS

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Barry’s Dubai

World-renowned workout brand Barry’s Bootcamp ensures a high energy workout always. With studios in DIFC and Dubai Marina and burning up to 1,000 calories per class, it’s the ideal workout to kickstart your 2021 health journey. Eco Yoga Sanctuary

With yoga, Pilates and core classes, Eco Yoga Sanctuary encompasses both fitness for the body and meditation for the mind. The Gym

The Gym Dubai is a luxury fitness hub which understands that every person’s health goals and lifestyle are different. Going back to the basics, the team ensures their clients will achieve long-term and manageable results. FitRepublik

With personal training, group classes, gymnastics, aquatics, martial arts and more, FitRepublik has something available for everyone. GymNation

With the mantra of being ‘The People’s Gym’, GymNation ensures it’s accessible to anyone and everyone with one of the widest variety of exercise classes and an array of venues across Dubai and beyond. DRYP

Utilising the latest infrared heat technology, this hot yoga studio’s classes aims to help detox, help with weight loss, improve heart health, improve mental power and much more. Reform Athletica

This boutique fitness studio caps classes at 10 to 16 people and has four signature classes: The Reform Method, TRX Athletica, RA Yoga and Kettle Form. All compliment one another and each class aims to give every person a workout that will make an impact. Crank

Boutique fitness studio Crank has three main realms: ride, shape and stretch and offers indoor cycling, boot camp sessions, strength training and stretching classes. Warehouse Gym

For a truly exhilarating and heart-pumping workout Warehouse should be your go-to. Embracing music and club culture, this gym harnesses that energy to keep members on their feet for a high-intensity workout.

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Home Training

The best apps for starting a new regime, and staying on it WORDS: SARAH JOSEPH

Nike+ Training Club


Train from the comfort of your living room with workout routines, nutrition advice and expert help to improve your overall health and wellness, fast. nike.com/ae/ntc-app

This homegrown UAE app unites residents by helping them join citywide fitness challenges or embrace private ones to complete different fitness goals daily. steppi.com




With more than 400 unique workouts designed to provide an innovative fitness experience, ranging from absolute beginner, intermediate, or advanced, Sworkit makes it simple to get in shape and stay in shape. sworkit.com


From beginner to advanced plans, the app has workouts, that are scientifically designed to achieve results with worldclass instructors doing an array different workouts. lesmills.com/ae/ondemand

Melissa Wood Health


Using special techniques, the MWH method sculpts beautiful long lean lines throughout your entire body using precise, low impact movements to give you a toned figure. melissawoodhealth.com

Led by celebrity trainers such as Kayla Itsines, Kelsey Wells and many more make it the world’s largest female fitness community to help women feel stronger each week with a host of workout videos to weekly meal plans. sweat.com






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All Brandon Maxwell SS21

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Saint Laurent’s effortless cool for SS21 Rider belt bag Dhs3,800 Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

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NEW DECADE. NEW DECADENCE. Begin the year by treating your skin to an absolutely delectable day of pampering comprising of a stimulating coffee scrub, a mouthwatering body mask and a soothing back massage. Introducing the Ladies Day @ Anjana Spa. No calories involved. Promise. For bookings, call +971 4 457 5415 or email spa.dubai@rixos.com

Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites