Who knew that a cafe/magazine shop aptly called “The Magazine Shop” existed in DIFC? The newly opened shop serves as a cozy outdoor space to sit and read magazines; nestled in between the art galleries of DIFC. You can find a great variety of International and local magazine titles on the shelves. All you have to do is order your coffee or tea, take your pick from the many cool magazines and unwind at a cute wooden stool chair.
I was honored to meet two prominent and outstanding individuals from the publishing industry in Dubai at the event. Conor Purcell – the Founder and Editor of the niche targeted “We Are Here” magazine was hosting the event. He explained to us the idea and concept behind the magazine, as well as the process and challenges associated with publishing an independent magazine in Dubai. Conor’s main objective was to create a travel guide magazine that was different from the commercial travel magazines available in the market. His view is basically to try not to become a cliche. But instead to present something different to a niche target of readers. He also shared with us some valuable information on independent publishing procedures in Dubai, and gave us honest tips and useful advise from his own personal experience during the creation of “We Are Here”.
Another leading Dubai persona who I had the pleasure to meet at the event was Narain Jashanmal – General Manager at the Jashanmal Group. Having grown up in Al Khobar in Saudi, trips to the Jashanmal Bahrain store were a vivid part of my childhood and teen days. I also remember a Dadhabai store in Al Khobar, which was part of the Jashanmal Group if I’m not mistaken. Yes, those were the days when all I had to worry about was what cool stationery item I was going to buy next. And I would genuinely get upset if I had seen something in a catalog or an International magazine that wasn’t available in the Saudi market! While nowadays, I am surrounded by almost anything that I could ever wish for; except that I don’t have the peace of mind to shop for it since I spend most of my time working towards my goal and career path. Ah, the irony of life.
Honestly speaking, this event has proved to be the most relevant, useful and worthwhile event that I had been to since I started to attend events and network in September of last year. I think while I have truly enjoyed going to fashion or art events, I knew that those weren’t exactly what I needed to do or where I needed to network. While mingling with the young Dubai fashion crowd, or the older and more mature artistic circle was quite interesting and enjoyable, I believe that meeting inspiring individuals from the publishing and journalism industry is what will get me closer to understanding the market and help build my knowledge about it.
Do I regret not attending Rihanna’s new collection launch in-store event at high-street store River Island? Absolutely not.
As I was chatting with a friend who I unexpectedly met outside “The Magazine Shop”, I found out from another lady that there was a “Dior” event taking place in a nearby shop at DIFC. This time though, I was glad that I wasn’t part of the fashion pack 🙂