Turning 35: A Birthday Iftar Celebration and Some Reflections

My 35th Birthday Iftar at Tesoro Dubai
My 35th Birthday Iftar at Tesoro Dubai

 

This year, my friends and I chose a Peruvian restaurant for our Birthday Iftar celebration. My friend’s husband’s birthday is on the 16th of July. My birthday falls on the 15th of the same month. So we’ve been doing a one day celebration with our groups of friends for the past two years.

Tesoro is a fine dining Peruvian concept located at the new Taj Hotel Dubai. The place has a very eclectic and modern feel to it. It’s also very spacious with a huge terrace overlooking the Burj Khalifah.

Thankfully, everyone had a great time and loved the tasty creations by the Chefs at Tesoro.

So, another year has passed. I’m 35, single and still looking for a suitable job or paid internship in Dubai.

I’m grateful for the good friends that I have in this magical city, and those who shared my special day with me.

I’m also blessed for being able to constantly learn new things and new ways to develop and grow – both professionally and personally.

I’m thankful for the experiences that I had and that I continue to have. Like doing random activities, meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures, and discovering something new along the way.

What’s my plan for future days?

Honestly, I think it’s time for me to be more self-involved and self-centered. Nothing can be more disappointing to a diva than investing time and energy into projects or people and not getting similar vibes in return.

Some people like to put their self-interests first, set their own rules, and then expect others to entertain them. Well, I can publicly declare that I’m not Mother Teresa and that I never will be!

When I give someone my time, it’s because I genuinely want to. But I also have realistic expectations to be treated in the same way!

Basically, it’s now time for me to focus more on my career and personal life. I need to eventually land a full-time role that I enjoy doing. I also need to find a loving and supportive partner.

As for this blog – a project that has been so exciting to work on, and very close to my heart. It was an honest representation of my life, my struggles, my dreams and aspirations.

The time for this website to end is getting near. But I have plans to start another blog with a different niche. You can stay updated with my news and new blog news by following me on social media:

Facebook Page

Twitter

 

Instagram: nadaalghowainim

 

Update: New Blog is now Live!

Here’s the link for my new blog:

Saudi Diva Blog

 

I’m very active on Twitter and Instagram these days. So make sure to follow me to stay in touch with my news.

Being 35 and single means that I have the strength and independence to make significant life decisions.

It also makes for a good time to reflect on those life decisions and possibly rethink my priorities.

Love,

The Rebellious Saudi Diva XXX

 

Lovely Birthday Iftar at Tesoro Dubai
Lovely Birthday Iftar at Tesoro Dubai

 

A dual Birthday Celebration with genuine Dubai people
A dual Birthday Celebration with genuine Dubai people

 

Bonus Track to listen to while working or reading this post!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6B8btpBWNo

UD Insider: Artist Ruben Sanchez Brings Street Life Culture to the Lake-side Community

The Creative Community Wall in JLT, Dubai
The Creative Community Wall in JLT, Dubai

 

Dubai-based Creative Group – ING Creatives – teams up with graffiti and multi-talented artist, Ruben Sanchez for an original community initiative

 

ING Creatives, a Dubai-based organisation that supports local artists and creative professionals teamed up with Artist Ruben Sanchez for a JLT community initiative.

The Spanish-born graffiti artist, Ruben Sanchez created a colourful outdoor mural with a local theme.

Using 150 spray paint cans, Ruben transformed the wall – which looked so raw with meaningless words – into a beautiful piece of artwork.

Ruben’s inspiration comes to him while he’s drawing the sketches. “The idea was creating itself as I was sketching.” He said.

Based in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers residential area of Dubai, the community wall has a local theme behind it.

Ruben’s main inspiration were the local elements and culture that surround him. He explains the mural’s main subject as a love story: “You can see the guy playing the Oud, and he’s looking to this woman who’s not facing him. She’s acting tough.”

“That’s basically a love story – courtship.” He continues.

The local elements that inspired this artwork are evident in Ruben’s mural. “I wanted to bring things from the desert. I was playing with the local elements, like the camel.” He said.

Ruben began painting on the blank wall on the 11th of February, and the artwork was completed on the 18th of February.

“It took exactly seven days to complete the project.” He said.

The graffiti artist describes his style as Neo-Cubism.

“Since 10 years ago, I’ve been developing this style.” Ruben explained.

 

As a strong advocate of community art projects, Ruben was very delighted to re-paint the wall. He explains that getting involved in community art initiatives is the essence of graffiti art.

“Nobody was doing graffiti in the beginning to get money.” He explains.

The talented artist is also happy to see the street life and street art culture evolving in the Arab region and the UAE in particular.

Despite being in its novice stages, Ruben notices the street art scene progression in the city.

“Now street art is getting a lot of recognition. And huge festivals are done for it.” He says.

 

DMCC – the government entity which regulates trade for the JLT area has supported the community initiative by providing the paint and the cherry-picker (the lift) used to paint the wall.

Another significant supporter to the project was Ramy Alawssy, Founder of ING Creatives.

Ramy’s organisation aims to bridge the gap behind the industry and the creative professionals.

Providing a platform for illustrators, designers and photographers to showcase their work is the JLT-based company’s main concept.

Ramy’s idea of converting the raw wall into a piece of artwork became a reality after a long waiting period.

“It took DMCC one year and four months to revert with the final permission to start the work on the wall.” He said.

The delayed response from DMCC didn’t hinder Ramy’s aspirations for an enhanced community experience. His hard work was clear once the work was completed as community members were happy to take photos and play around the wall.

Ramy said: “When we removed the barriers, kids were running towards the wall and touching it, and wanting to take photos with it. So it shows you that it really is a community wall.”

As for Ramy’s choice of artist to paint the wall, he explains: “I really liked Ruben’s style, I felt it really fitted with the community.”

When Ruben is not painting or sketching in the studio, he can be found skating at one of the city’s newly developed parks.

Skateboarding is a part of his lifestyle since he was living in Madrid.

“I was skate-boarding since I was a teenager, and I was doing graffiti since I was a teenager too.” He said.

The artist misses the convenience of being able to skate at any street pavement, like in Europe.

Ruben finds the street life scene in Dubai very limiting, due to the city’s design and layout.

“It’s very confined to designated locations. It’s not like in Madrid or Barcelona, where you just go out and go skating or walking or ride your bike anywhere.” He said.

 

The ING creative community wall by Ruben Sanchez can be found in JLT, Dubai, Cluster V – at the lake level.

 

ING Creative Conference

ING Creatives are hosting a conference on the 27th and 28th of March, 2015.

ING Creatives regularly host talks and portfolio review sessions. But this will be their first conference at this scale.

The conference includes talks, workshops and portfolio reviews that are designed to motivate creatives, give them the support they need and help turn their ideas into reality.

“We’re built for the creative community. We’re not built to help communities that are outside. We’re here to help the community in the UAE, in the region, because they lack the support.” Ramy said.

To describe the group, Founder Ramy said: “We’re a creative community, we’re based here in Dubai.”

“We help creatives to make ideas happen. So we do that through talks, workshops and portfolio reviews.”

International speakers who are experts in their respective creative fields will be flying into Dubai from major cities. Ramy explains:

“We’re flying and getting 15 international speakers from New York, San Francisco, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, and Singapore.”

“Some of these line-ups are great illustrators, designers, creative directors, fashion designers, and they speak at international creative conferences.” He continues.

The event caters to creatives from different disciplines. “Whoever has a visual portfolio, or anybody that is in the creative field. Whether there’s photography, illustration, graphic design.” Ramy explains.

“We’ll be doing it every year from now on.” He said.

The tickets are 725 AED for both days including talks and portfolio reviews.

For more information, check ING Creatives’ web site:

http://www.ingcreatives.com/

 

To read more about Ruben Sanchez and see more of his artwork, check out his web site:

http://www.iamrubensanchez.com/

 

The raw wall in JLT’s Cluster V had random writing on it for years, before it underwent a major beautification project by Spanish artist, Ruben Sanchez.
The raw wall in JLT’s Cluster V had random writing on it for years, before it underwent a major beautification project by Spanish artist, Ruben Sanchez.

 

Set in the midst of sky-scrapers, the creative community wall reminds residents of the simple old days from the Arab culture and heritage.
Set in the midst of sky-scrapers, the creative community wall reminds residents of the simple old days from the Arab culture and heritage.

 

‘A professional dreamer’ is what the Spanish-born artist, Ruben Sanchez likes to call himself. He spends his time between sketching at his studio and skating at local parks.
‘A professional dreamer’ is what the Spanish-born artist, Ruben Sanchez likes to call himself. He spends his time between sketching at his studio and skating at local parks.

 

When Ruben works outdoors, he always uses spray paint. A colourful selection of spray paint cans fill the artist’s studio space.
When Ruben works outdoors, he always uses spray paint. A colourful selection of spray paint cans fill the artist’s studio space.

 

Ramy Alawssy, Founder of ING Creatives believes in supporting creative professionals in Dubai, and in featuring their work to the community.
Ramy Alawssy, Founder of ING Creatives believes in supporting creative professionals in Dubai, and in featuring their work to the community.

 

Ruben Sanchez in front of one of the murals that he has created in collaboration with other artists, at the Tashkeel Studio and Gallery spacious backyard.
Ruben Sanchez in front of one of the murals that he has created in collaboration with other artists, at the Tashkeel Studio and Gallery spacious backyard.

 

Another collaboration between Ruben Sanchez and another artist.
Another collaboration between Ruben Sanchez and another artist.

 

 

The creative community wall adds a vibrant element to the lake-side community. ING Creatives’ initiatives give back to the community and support local artists simultaneously.
The creative community wall adds a vibrant element to the lake-side community. ING Creatives’ initiatives give back to the community and support local artists simultaneously.

 

 

Undefined Declarations’ List: Top 10 Things I like about being a Blogger

 

Blogging from Cafes becomes a lifestyle for most bloggers
Blogging from Cafes becomes a lifestyle for most bloggers

 

My previous Top 10 List was about being raised by parents from the Gulf region. I come from a moderately conservative family. We are not liberal, but we’re also not extremely conservative or religious. Here’s a link for that post if you missed it.

Today’s list includes the top 10 things that I like about being a blogger. I started this blog in September 2012 to showcase my writing to potential employers. Now, it’s more of a hobby and sometimes feels like a full-time role!

I present to you the top reasons that keep me hooked to writing blog posts:

  1. I can work from almost any location that I feel like working from. Writing blog posts can be done from the comfort of my bed, a cafe across the road, or even from the beach if I had the time and luxury of carrying around a laptop, and a beach bag full of beach essentials.

    Jumeirah Mosque view at this Starbucks Middle East location
    Jumeirah Mosque view at this Starbucks Middle East location
  2. I can write posts at any time of the day. On most days, I have a couple of things to get done. So, blogging is something that might not come at the top of my priority list. That’s when I can write in the evenings – when most people are watching TV, reading, socializing, or out having dinner or drinks. This point can be a disadvantage to blogging too. But that will be discussed in another post 🙂
  3. I get to do creative work, that I choose myself, without any supervision or editing from another party. Unlike working for a publishing house and adhering to certain rules and regulations, blogging gives the writer the freedom of expression and writing within their personal set of rules and limitations.
  4. I get invited to review restaurant meals, spa treatments and other cool stuff. When I first started the blog, I was reviewing these things anyway, because I enjoyed it. After some time of hard work, the blog gained more followers and I started to get invites to review meals, and other stuff. The only issue these days is that, with my University course work, I don’t have the same free time I used to have when I first started the blog. That’s why, I don’t write as many reviews as I used to in the past.
  5. Being a blogger means that I’m considered as a media person. This grants me access to events as press. It also allows me to network with other media professionals, and others from the media industry.
  6. One thing that I really like about blogging is meeting other bloggers. Whether they are based in the same city, or on another continent, it’s always great to meet like-minded people. Most bloggers share many traits in common; they are interesting, determined and curious individuals. We love to learn new things, and we are pretty good in taking action.

    What I just Love the Blog and I catching up over lunch
    What I just Love the Blog and I catching up over lunch
  7. Blogging allows me to share my thoughts, experiences, views and ideas with my readers. It makes me so ecstatic to hear that a reader found my post insightful, or that they learned so many things from it. It equally brightens my day when someone tells me that what I wrote resonates with their own experience very strongly.
  8. I love that blogging has helped me practice – and hopefully – improve my writing skills. I think most of all, it gave me the confidence that I needed to keep writing. It helped me stay focused on my goal of becoming a better writer and journalist.
  9. It helped me build on my social and networking skills. I started to attend all kinds of events when I started this blog. This was mainly to meet new people and to generate blog content. It was very exciting to meet people from different backgrounds and industries. At that time, I was mixing with people from the fashion, arts, food or media industries. That fitted well with the blog concept, as I was writing a lifestyle blog that covered all these topics. Nowadays, I still enjoy attending random events. But due to my time constraints, I have to be more selective with the events that I choose to attend. Of course once I’m done with my course, I should be able to attend more events and network with people from various communities.
  10. Being a blogger who doesn’t outsource anything to another party means that you need a set of multiple skills. I truly enjoy being the following:
  • The editor who comes up with the idea for the post.
  • The photographer who takes the pictures for the post.
  • The writer and editor who writes and then edits the words and images.
  • The marketing and PR person who promotes the blog.
  • The social media person who promotes the blog and the posts on social media.
  • The communications person who attends events and tells people about the blog.
  • The entrepreneurial spirit who constantly goes through ups and downs, but never gives up.

As you can see, blogging is a very fun and engaging way to communicate with others and express your feelings and thoughts through words. I love hearing positive feedback as much as I love hearing critical remarks. So feel free to leave a comment or not 🙂

The next post will be a list of the things that I don’t like about being a blogger. So stay tuned for that!

Till then, Have a wonderful weekend ahead. No matter how you choose to spend it!

XXX

 

Coffee breaks are more fun when blogging is involved :)
Coffee breaks are more fun when blogging is involved 🙂

Interview with LCF Senior Business Manager

LCF Art of Dress Exhibition in Dubai
LCF Art of Dress Exhibition in Dubai

I must start by apologizing for not writing in a while. Basically, I was on a break from my University course and I was trying to make the most out of my free time.

Apart from catching up on much-needed sleep and not doing much really, I managed to make a few trips to the beach – like three trips I think! I don’t know about you, but the Dubai winter has made me feel very sluggish and all I felt like doing was stay in bed and sleep! I’ve been feeling tired most of the time too. I think it could be the result of the accumulated stress that I went through in the past term. It’s for the better though, now I can add more skills to my CV – like short video production and editing.

Talking about video editing, you might have viewed my video on the LCF event that was held in Dubai in November. Oh how I miss London and that college! I still plan to go back to finish a course that I started there in 2009 and take another course. Yes, I am a woman on a mission!

If you haven’t seen that video yet, you can find it here.

Today I’m sharing with you my full interview with Senior Business Manager at LCF, Linda Roberts. In the interview, I ask Linda about the Art of Dress Exhibition and her views on the fashion education scene in Dubai and the Middle East. Here’s a video for the full interview that I conducted with Linda Roberts from LCF:

 

LCF will be back with their short courses program in Dubai this February. For a complete list of the courses on offer, visit their short courses in Dubai page:

LCF Short Courses in Dubai

 

Stay tuned for my second interview – with Head of LCF and Pro Vice-Chancellor for the University of Arts London, Professor Frances Corner.

 

Happy New Year X

 

BCBG’s Living the Bon Chic Life Celebrates 25 Years of Style in Dubai

Chief Creative Officer for BCBG Max Azria, Lubov Azria standing against a wall that showcases the company’s 25-year advertising campaigns history. This took place during the “Living the Bon Chic Life” exhibition at Cuadro Gallery, Dubai.
Chief Creative Officer for BCBG Max Azria, Lubov Azria standing against a wall that showcases the company’s 25-year advertising campaigns history. This took place during the “Living the Bon Chic Life” exhibition at Cuadro Gallery, Dubai.

 

This post is another project that I did for my web news production class in University. I had the pleasure to meet Lubov Azria, wife of renowned designer Max Azria, and Chief Creative Officer for the BCBG Max Azria group. Lubov and her team are very professional and talented individuals, and I’m glad that I had the privilege of meeting them and speaking to them about the retrospective exhibition.

In the lines below, you can read my final news story which I did for the social media project for that unit.

 

Lubov Azria, the brand’s Chief Creative Officer opens the stylish event with an A-list crowd

 

On her first-ever visit to Dubai, Lubov Azria – Chief Creative Officer of the distinctive fashion retail brand BCBG Max Azria opens the retrospective “Living the Bon Chic Life” exhibition in DIFC’s Cuadro Fine Art Gallery.

The one-day exclusive exhibition was held on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 and brought together the city’s most stylish, VIP and art-loving crowd.

From 7 pm and onwards, invited guests made their way to the spacious gallery and walked through a timeline of events, advertising campaigns and cutting-edge design creations that showcase the brand’s 25 year history.

 

Lubov Azria and I after our first interview.
Lubov Azria and I after our first interview.

 

With famous quotes by the brand’s Founder and Designer – Max Azria – decorating the gallery’s spacious walls, there is no doubt that BCBG is a brand with a strong identity and vision.

Founded in 1989, BCBG was named for the French phrase ‘bon chic, bon genre’ – a Parisian expression meaning ‘good style, good attitude.’

Max Azria’s vision is simple; he aims to create a beautiful dress to make women look and feel beautiful.

Creative Director for the brand’s lifestyle products, Clifford Pershes explains BCBG’s philosophy by saying: “It’s a brand that doesn’t follow trends, it embodies style.”

 

Clifford Pershes, Creative Director for BCBG’s lifestyle products poses to take this photo with me, after his informative tour of the retrospective exhibition.
Clifford Pershes, Creative Director for BCBG’s lifestyle products poses to take this photo with me, after his informative tour of the retrospective exhibition.

 

The 25th anniversary retrospective exhibit takes visitors on a journey throughout the key events and achievements that shaped the company’s history.

Beginning with an events timeline that covers the brand’s entire 25- year journey, visitors get to learn more about the brand, its creators and their vision.

An adjacent space emulates a design studio which stages the evolution of a BCBG dress from idea and pattern design to detailed and careful construction.

BCBG’s design philosophy is inspired by the arts and culture. As Clifford explains: “We feel that arts and culture are part of the brand’s DNA.”

Featuring top models and talented photographers, BCBG’s ad campaigns cover the walls of the brand’s campaign history section in both print and digital platforms.

“There’s a timeless, effortless chicness that goes throughout the years.” – says Clifford of the brand’s innovative, yet timeless designs.

 

An extensive collection of BCBG’s advertising campaigns covers the walls of the brand’s campaign history section in both print and digital platforms.
An extensive collection of BCBG’s advertising campaigns covers the walls of the brand’s campaign history section in both print and digital platforms.

 

Upon stepping into the ‘Runway Collection’ installation space, a selection of exclusive, fashion-forward designs can be seen adorning the mannequins.

As Creative Director – Clifford Pershes states: “There are only around 200 pieces made of each piece; so it’s definitely a little more exclusive.”

 

A beautifully curated selection of archive favourites from the BCBG Max Azria Runway label. The collection is exclusive and is launched at the global fashion week runways – where the timeless and elegant label regularly opens the New York fashion week shows.
A beautifully curated selection of archive favourites from the BCBG Max Azria Runway label. The collection is exclusive and is launched at the global fashion week runways – where the timeless and elegant label regularly opens the New York fashion week shows.

 

From fashion week runways, to celebrities’ closets and the renowned red carpet, Max Azria’s Atelier creations are featured in a beautifully colour-curated collection aptly named ‘Max Azria Atelier’.

Launched in 2004, the brand’s most exclusive collection embodies couture eveningwear and special-event dresses for socialites, celebrities and the elite.

The one-of-a-kind dresses worn by A-list stars and royalties including Alicia Keys, Angelina Jolie and Michelle Obama, are limited edition creations.

 

Max Azria’s Atelier collection was curated by colour, and is displayed on a red carpet with a paparazzi wallpaper in the background. Worn by Hollywood’s elite and royalties, this is the designer’s most exclusive collection.
Max Azria’s Atelier collection was curated by colour, and is displayed on a red carpet with a paparazzi wallpaper in the background. Worn by Hollywood’s elite and royalties, this is the designer’s most exclusive collection.

 

When asked about the main concept of BCBG’s retrospective exhibition, the brand’s Chief Creative Officer and Max Azria’s wife, Lubov Azria explains: “The exhibition is really 25 years of my life; it’s called ‘The Bon Chic Living’ and it really showcases the work and my passion.”

Lubov describes the exhibit’s walkthrough design by saying: “It starts off with the history, with when the company started. Then it goes to how we make the clothes. Then it continues to the ad campaigns, to the actual clothes, and then to the one-of-a-kind dresses that we make for celebrities.”

 

BCBG Max Azria’s 25-year mark in fashion history showcased in its retrospective exhibition is a genuine portrayal of its founders’ passion for success and achievement.

As Lubov Azria states: “It’s really without passion, innovation and vision, there is no success.”

 

The window display of Cuadro Fine Art Gallery in Dubai’s DIFC area looks vibrant with contemporary visuals from BCBG’s stylish collections – at the opening of the brand’s retrospective exhibition in Dubai.
The window display of Cuadro Fine Art Gallery in Dubai’s DIFC area looks vibrant with contemporary visuals from BCBG’s stylish collections – at the opening of the brand’s retrospective exhibition in Dubai.

 

For more photos from BCBG’s retrospective exhibition event, click here.

 

Here are some additional photos from the event:

 

The exhibition visitors are welcomed by the brand’s timeline as they enter the gallery. Spanning a total of 25 years, the timeline showcases the company’s pivotal moments that shaped its vision, since its inception in 1989.
The exhibition visitors are welcomed by the brand’s timeline as they enter the gallery. Spanning a total of 25 years, the timeline showcases the company’s pivotal moments that shaped its vision, since its inception in 1989.

 

Kimberly Concepcion (left) and Bettina Micu (right), Fashion Design students at Heriot Watt University Dubai viewing the exhibition for some inspiration.
Kimberly Concepcion (left) and Bettina Micu (right), Fashion Design students at Heriot Watt University Dubai viewing the exhibition for some inspiration.

 

Diana Chipar, Fashion Stylist from the site dcstyling.net wearing a BCBG dress from the brand’s Autumn/Winter 2014 collection.
Diana Chipar, Fashion Stylist from the site dcstyling.net wearing a BCBG dress from the brand’s Autumn/Winter 2014 collection.

 

Saira Mehar, New Business and PR Director for Dubai’s Fashion Forward event networking at BCBG’s VIP-packed exhibition opening in DIFC’s Cuadro gallery.
Saira Mehar, New Business and PR Director for Dubai’s Fashion Forward event networking at BCBG’s VIP-packed exhibition opening in DIFC’s Cuadro gallery.

 

BCBG’s Dubai Marina Mall shop manager, Andreea Pirvuleasa standing in front of the brand’s ‘Runway’ collection in a unique ‘Runway’ label creation. The new collection dress reflects a highly detailed and carefully embroidered, hand-made finish.
BCBG’s Dubai Marina Mall shop manager, Andreea Pirvuleasa standing in front of the brand’s ‘Runway’ collection in a unique ‘Runway’ label creation. The new collection dress reflects a highly detailed and carefully embroidered, hand-made finish.

 

A great networking event for people from the fashion industry, BCBG Max Azria’s 25-year birthday bash was well received by the stylish and VIP crowd. A memorable evening for catching up with old friends, making new ones and celebrating an iconic and visionary company’s success.
A great networking event for people from the fashion industry, BCBG Max Azria’s 25-year birthday bash was well received by the stylish and VIP crowd. A memorable evening for catching up with old friends, making new ones and celebrating an iconic and visionary company’s success.

 

Sheida Fashionista, blogger and make-up artist covering the remarkable event for her next blog post at sheidafashionista.com.
Sheida Fashionista, blogger and make-up artist covering the remarkable event for her next blog post at sheidafashionista.com.

Event Review: London College of Fashion “Art of Dress” Exhibition in Dubai

LCF Art of Dress Exhibition showcases the work of LCF students
LCF Art of Dress Exhibition showcases the work of LCF students

 

When I received the invite for the private view event for London College of Fashion‘s “Art of Dress” exhibition, I was so excited and knew that this would be the perfect topic for my next video journalism University project.

I had attended LCF back in 2009, as a first step towards changing careers into journalism. The course that I took was a foundation course in fashion media and communication. It was an intensive one year course, equivalent to the UK A-Levels. At that point in time, I wasn’t ready for an intensive study program. Mainly because I had been working in IT support for the past 4 years before starting that course. So it wasn’t easy for me to go back to education and to take an intensive course.

However, I did manage to successfully complete one term of that course. And I still plan to go back to LCF one day to finish that course and maybe take a post graduate course too! I always believe that it’s never too late to achieve your goals and follow your dreams.

The last time I met with the lovely LCF people was two years ago at Okku restaurant and lounge in Dubai. It was an alumni event organized for the college’s alumni in Dubai and short courses’ students and graduates.

You can read about that event here.

As expected, attending the private view event was a great decision made by me, and deciding to cover the event for my project was just as interesting as I thought it would be. I had a wonderful time meeting everyone from the College and conducting the interviews with my lovely and professional talents.

I will leave you now with the video, that was filmed, reported and produced by me. I researched the story, arranged for – and conducted – the interviews, filmed the footage at the event and at the interviews, and edited and produced the short video.

Here’s the link for the short video about LCF’s Art of Dress exhibition private view event, held in Dubai’s AlSerkal Avenue.

 

 

I will be sharing the full interviews with Professor Frances Corner and Linda Roberts on the blog soon. So stay tuned for that.

 

LCF magazine, showcasing the work of students and alumni
LCF magazine, showcasing the work of students and alumni

UD Review: Pilates with Tribefit ME!

Pilates at Tribefit ME
Pilates at Tribefit ME

 

It was my second time to visit this fitness center which brands itself as a “Fitness and Social Club”. My first visit was during an outdoor yoga event organized by the “Mother, Baby and Child” magazine. Needless to say, it was a highly rejuvenating and relaxing experience to do yoga at a terrace, when the weather was breezy and cool. This time, I was back to Tribefit to check out their Pilates class.

From my personal experience and after two visits to this hip and contemporary fitness club, here’s what I think makes this club different from others and why you should consider visiting:

  1. They offer classes at a professional fitness level, for intermediate to advanced trainees, by highly experienced and motivational instructors.
  2. The club is spacious, with funky and cool interiors, and a number of studios for the different group exercise classes they offer.
  3. There’s an organic food specialty cafe inside the club.
  4. The club regularly organizes social and fitness events for both its members and non-members.
  5. It’s located within short walking distance from the JLT Metro Station (Marina side). Which makes it perfect for those who don’t drive (like moi), or who prefer to take the metro for its convenience.

Now, from my personal point of view, how did I feel about Tribefit’s concept and venue?

  1. The yoga studio where we had our Pilates class had floor to ceiling glass windows, with a view of the Marina-JBR bridge. So it felt like I was in the heart of new Dubai, surrounded by life – as pedestrians walked by over the renowned bridge. It also made me feel nostalgic to my London days! Everything about that studio, the view from those huge windows, the people passing by…all of my surroundings at that moment in time could only translate to one thing: a trip down memory lane to my days in London town 🙂 So if any of you readers are going through some kind of nostalgia for your London days, then I would suggest a simple trip to Tribefit 🙂
  2. Anyone who has lived in Dubai as a single person might have gone through the process of endlessly looking for a compatible partner, only to be left hopeless and disappointed. Well, guess what? there’s a secret place where you can get fit, have fun while doing it, AND get to meet new people who share your interests, love for fitness and positive outlook on life! I believe that anyone who is single and looking for love in the city of Dubai, should give Tribefit a try and see where it goes.

 

IMG_2337 cropped

 

How was the Pilates Class?

  • The instructor was very friendly and she encourages you to work hard in class, in a very motivational and friendly way.
  • The class is like one big family. Everyone was so friendly – including the trainer – Kate. The ambiance of the class was very social and friendly.
  • You will definitely experience the difference in this Pilates class from others. It’s designed for advanced students, with some of the moves being too challenging for not-so fit people like me! However, I was told that the level of difficulty increases as the week goes by. And since I was there on a Thursday, the class was quite intense!
  • Since some of the postures are too advanced, Kate would guide us on the alternative move for beginners. Which was great. So she would demonstrate the move for the various fitness levels of the students in class. That way, no one has an excuse to lay around on the mat and do nothing!
  • As this is an advanced form of Pilates, you are certain to feel the results after the class. It is more of a fitness/strengthening/calorie-burning exercise. And not your typical Pilates class.

 

Check out these two experts in their best headstand split pose! P.S. They are loyal Yoga and Pilates students 🙂

 

Anna and Tariq doing the headstand split!
Anna and Tariq doing the headstand split!

 

Extra Points:

  • The Yoga studio was beautifully dimmed during our class, with color-changing lights in the ceiling. The ambiance was so relaxing and soothing.
  • The music playlist was excellent during the class, and it helped in synchronizing the moves to the song beats. Cool factor: high 🙂
  • Mats, towels of big and small sizes, and lockers are provided to all students. So are showers, sauna and changing room facilities.
  • Being a big fan of Elken Cafe, I must admit that having a branch of that cafe in my fitness club does score high in my books 🙂
  • As I mentioned earlier, the location is key for folks who don’t drive – like me. So being able to walk a few steps to the club from the Metro station is a huge plus for me!
Tribefit Marina interior
Tribefit Marina interior

 

Elken Cafe inside Tribefit Marina!
Elken Cafe inside Tribefit Marina!

 

Hip and Modern Interior at Tribefit Marina
Hip and Modern Interior at Tribefit Marina

 

Join the Tribe at Tribefit!
Join the Tribe at Tribefit!

 

Who should join Tribefit?

  • If you’re looking to meet new people and make new friends while socializing in a casual, friendly and positive environment.
  • If you’re single and are looking to meet new people in a different setting to the typical bar/club scene.
  • If you live in or around the Marina area, and don’t drive!
  • If you’re sick and tired of going to your building’s gym, the neighborhood gym, or of walking on the treadmill at your home.
  • If you can’t stand walking, jogging, or running in the midst of Dubai summer. And are fed up of doing the rounds at the Marina Promenade.
  • If you hate the loneliness that comes with using the gym equipment and working out on your own.
  • If you need highly experienced and professional fitness trainers to motivate and guide you to achieve those new year resolutions which you can never seem to reach with every passing season, or year!
  • If you want to work out in a hip, contemporary and upbeat environment. Where you can meet a friendly and positive crowd.

 

Contact:

Check out Tribefit’s web site, Facebook Page, or attend one of their social events!  Their next event is on Tuesday, August 19. It’s a Bikram Yoga event at 7:30 pm 🙂

 

I personally look forward to visiting this uber cool and happening club sometime soon to try out another class. And at a future date, I would like to become a member and try out my luck in the Tribal love scene 😉

 

Anna and Tariq doing the headstand split!
Anna and Tariq doing the headstand split!

Undefined Declarations’ List: Top 10 Tips for Making it in the Creative Industry

Picture1

 

When I first decided to change careers from IT to journalism back in 2008, I had no idea about the way to get there. I didn’t realize that it would be a completely different route to what I was used to, or to how I eventually got my IT job. Doing things the hard way – without anyone to guide me, assist or support me – I must say that I learned the lessons in the best way possible: by trial and error.

Comparing my previous career and work experience to what I do now is a very hard task. They’re two completely different fields and work environments. But, I will give you a brief idea to help you understand and maybe get inspired to make a similar change or adjustment to what you currently do.

I had a degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Bahrain. And after working in IT support for around four years, I decided to quit my job and pursue my passion: writing. I was 28, a year later, I moved to London to take a foundation course with London College of Fashion. After completing one term of A-Level equivalent and intensive study, I decided to move to Dubai to start interning for publishing companies in the hopes of landing an editorial role along the way…It’s the year 2014 and I’m still working towards that same goal that I had aimed for when I moved here in 2010. Except that these days, I have learned so many lessons along the way and I would like to share them with anyone who is working towards a similar goal or is looking into becoming a creative professional and earning a living out of it.

 

1. Start doing the creative work

While it might work otherwise in other industries – get a degree then apply for a job. In the creative industry, it’s the other way around. You must start by doing the work that you aspire to get paid for. Since employers will only hire you after they have seen your actual work and how you can add value to their organization and goals. Plus, doing the actual work will greatly help in improving your skills and expertise.

 

2. Do unpaid work

Freelancing and offering your services for free is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a great way to build your portfolio – because you will need one in order to get paid for your work. So keep doing unpaid work for as long as it takes to get paid for your work and to be accredited for it.

 

3. Work 24/7

Working in a fun and creative environment is a good thing, but you must be prepared to work without taking breaks. Fixed working hours aren’t part of the game. There’s always something new to learn, some project to work on, a new and exciting idea to consider…The cool thing is that you get to be your own boss and you can manage your time according to your personal preferences.

 

4. Take notes of your ideas and put them into action

Whether it’s your next blog post, photo shoot, short video, web site design, you need to keep coming with fresh and new ideas. Most importantly, put those ideas into action by implementing them into that blog post, photo shoot, video or web page.

 

5. Love what you do

Any entrepreneur will give you this advise really. You must do what you do with passion if you want to get to anywhere. The monetary return will not appear in the first stages, so you must do what you love in order to have the passion to keep doing it even when the going gets tough and when you are not making any profit out of it.

 

6. Network, network, network

One of the essential elements of the creative industry is networking. Find out about relevant events and make an effort to attend them. Not only will you learn more about the market, you will also meet new people who share your interests and passions. Building positive and meaningful connections with others in your industry is vitally important.

 

7. Have casual meetings with like-minded people

Whether it’s over coffee, lunch, dinner or even breakfast, meeting with others from similar industries is a great way to share ideas, discuss various topics and maybe learn new tips and market information. Supporting others in their own career goals is always a great way to build positive and healthy relationships with others in your industry. The road is always more entertaining when traveled with others.

 

8. Work in creative hubs and open spaces

Whether you choose to work from your local neighborhood cafe, head to the nearest spot of big chain coffee shops, or collaborate with others at one of the work spaces in town, it’s always better than working from home. Being a creative professional – especially when writing – can be a lonely experience. So surrounding yourself with others in an open and busy environment is the best way to go. You will also feel more motivated to work in an environment where everyone around you is working in front of their laptops or doing some sort of productive work.

 

9. Read, learn, study

Taking a short course or working towards a degree in your chosen creative field will only add to your knowledge and build up your confidence. If you can’t afford a course, simply read online articles about your topic or any topic for that matter! Staying updated with what’s happening in your industry will help keep you ahead of others and boost your knowledge levels.

 

10. Never give up!

Reaching your goals in the creative industry and getting paid for your work could be an extremely lengthy process. It could take years before you could get published or be taken seriously by potential employers. But the trick here is to never give up and to continue working hard towards your goals. Even if no one reads your blog posts, supports you or what you’re doing, or thinks that you have great ideas, you must stay fixed to your target and aim to achieve it no matter how challenging things get. Keep reminding yourself of why you chose to do this in the first place and how long it took you to get to where you are. You must fuel yourself from your own energy, ambition and inner power.

 

8_new_4

 

V-Day with The Committee Dubai!

1912181_671340269574966_267463234_n

 

Some of you might remember the first meeting I had with this wonderful group of ladies. You can read all about it here if you missed that post.

This month, I had the honor to be invited to the group’s third networking event which was held at the newly opened and uber cool Cargo restaurant and lounge. The theme for the evening was a Valentine’s one, and we were all dressed in red to match the warm and lovely occasion. Despite not having a single red-colored outfit in my overly packed and cluttered wardrobe, and not having enough time to shop prior to the dinner, I managed to get my hands on a cute flower hair pin…I also put on my party-mode dark red lipstick and matched that with a “perfect red” shade of nail polish 🙂

 

Araceli from What I just Love the Blog and I
Araceli from What I just Love the Blog and I

 

Cargo is an Asian fusion place with a cool industrial-look modern interior. The restaurant is located at the third floor of the Pier 7 complex at Dubai Marina. This means that you get a panoramic view of the marina promenade and the surrounding area from the spacious terrace. What I liked about Cargo is its contemporary and eclectic edge. It’s not your typical Asian eatery; the place offers a super chilled and hip vibe…where you can enjoy tasty Asian fusion dishes while unwinding after a long day at work.

It’s also a great place to catch up with friends or go to for a romantic and casual dinner.

 

Spicy Edamame Beans
Spicy Edamame Beans

 

Just like our first event, The Committee Dubai members had a fun night out catching up and discussing all sorts of topics. The meetup also gave us the opportunity to network with professionals from media-related industries and bloggers.

I’m truly honored to be part of this group of dynamic, independent and intelligent women. The Committee Dubai is hosted by the lovely and sweet Anita Buys.

Signing off with some photos from our Valentine’s dinner at this Asian fusion hangout with a twist…

 

Nada from Undefined Declarations
Nada from Undefined Declarations

 

Cargo at Pier 7 Dubai Marina
Cargo at Pier 7 Dubai Marina

 

Bloggers United
Bloggers United

 

Anita Buys and I
Anita Buys and I

 

Fun V-Day Theme!
Fun V-Day Theme!

 

 

 

 

 

Motivational Evening at Katsuya Dubai Mall: Media in the Making

Media in the Making Event
Media in the Making Event

 

I was delighted and honored to be invited to a social event hosted by the lovely Anita Buys at the newly opened Katsuya restaurant in Dubai Mall. The dinner event brought together 15 career-driven women from alternative areas and saw us conversing over many interesting and media-relevant topics. I must say that my favorite topic of discussion that evening was the one involving comparison between journalists and bloggers. Being a blogger and journalism student myself, I constantly face the dilemma of choosing between being a full-time blogger or journalist. As I’m still unsure which one of those career paths will open more doors for me. Listening to views from more experienced media professionals and bloggers definitely helped give me an extra insight into both worlds.

Anita and I would love to meet more inspirational women from the media industry and hear more success stories in Anita’s future events. So if you work in PR/events/print media/online media/blogging or any other relevant industry and would like to join us in the next Media in the Making event, please contact Anita on her e-mail address:

[email protected]

Have a look at some photos from our wonderful and inspirational evening at Katsuya Dubai Mall

 

Nada from Undefined Declarations Blog and the lovely Anita Buys
Nada from Undefined Declarations Blog and the lovely Anita Buys

 

A Blogger's Essential Habit: Taking Pictures!
A Blogger’s Essential Habit: Taking Pictures!

 

Beautiful Outdoor Terrace at Katsuya Dubai Mall
Beautiful Outdoor Terrace at Katsuya Dubai Mall

 

Amazing view of the Dubai Mall Fountain and Souk Al Bahar
Amazing view of the Dubai Mall Fountain and Souk Al Bahar

 

Refreshing and Tasty Mock-tails!
Refreshing and Tasty Mock-tails!

 

Delicious Canapes
Delicious Canapes

 

Hollywood Rolls - SIMPLY DIVINE!
Hollywood Rolls – SIMPLY DIVINE!

 

Cod Fillet in a Teriyaki Sauce
Cod Fillet in a Teriyaki Sauce

 

Interesting and engaging discussion at Media in the Making dinner
Interesting and engaging discussion at Media in the Making dinner

 

Nada from Undefined Declarations Blog Enjoying the Evening at Katsuya
Nada from Undefined Declarations Blog Enjoying the Evening at Katsuya

 

Prior to this amazing evening at Katsuya Dubai Mall, I have been to this Japanese dining hub with my American friend from LA. My friend who is a big fan of Katsuya and has been to many of their U.S. branches, has been waiting impatiently for the Dubai Mall branch to open. So once I found out that it was officially open, we went there for lunch on their first official opening day. I’ll be writing a review on that great lunch that I had with my friend Nia on that first opening day soon. So stay tuned for that.

In the end, I would like to thank the lovely and dynamic Anita Buys for organizing and hosting this event. Special thanks to the friendly and welcoming team at Katsuya Dubai Mall for their warm and generous hospitality that evening.

 

Signing off with a note to say that all dreams are achievable and that everything is possible with a little bit of determination, hard work and optimism.  Add to that: a lot of patience 🙂

 

Cool Bag!
Cool Bag!