Emirati director Nayla Al Khaja has finished shooting what she’s intriguingly referring to as a “teaser” for her highly anticipated feature debut, The Shadow, a horror based on events the director herself witnessed.
For the first time ever, American business magazine, Forbes has released a Women Behind Middle Eastern Brands power-list. Over the past few years, we have seen Arab Women succeed and break-barriers in their fields, cementing their place as leaders in their respective domains. From beauty, to fashion, to technology Middle Eastern women are showing no signs of slowing down.
The magazine’s first annual Women Behind Middle Eastern Brands list is compromised of 60 women, four of whom are Emirati. Here are the four local women representing the United Arab Emirates:
The Emirati singer is considered one of the most talented artists in the Middle East. Through-out her impressive career, she has released 13 albums. Not only that, but she was a judge on Arab Idol, the Middle Eastern version of American Idol for four consecutive seasons. Now, she has joined the coaching staff of The Voice.
Madiyah Al Sharqi
The daughter of the Ruler of Fujairah has been putting in the work, representing the UAE in the fashion industry. The Dubai-based designer, who studied at prestigious French fashion college Esmod, is famed for her uber-feminine silhouettes and juxtaposition of textures. Ever since launching her eponymous label in 2012, the designer has had several A-list celebrities don her creations. From Lorde wearing a Madiyah dress during her Grammy performance to Khloe Kardashian championing her at Diana Ross’ 75th birthday – we expect the list of star clientele only set to expand.
Nayla Al Khaja
This director and screenwriter is putting the UAE in the spotlight thanks to her award-winning work on the silver screen. The Three and Malal star, who is billed as the Emirates’ first female producer, is also the founder of Dubai-based production company D-Seven Motion Pictures (which has worked with brands including Gucci, Nike and Mercedes-Benz). Al Khaja is also the brainchild behind Dubai’s first film club – The Scene Club — and told Al Arabiya this year it’s her dream “to see UAE films in Cannes and Berlin and all these big festivals”.
Hind Al Mulla
After starting to cook at age 10, Hind Habib Al Mulla has since turned her childhood hobby into a career, founding Home Bakery in 2011. “I had no professional baking experience or culinary education – it was trial and error whilst I figured out the basics,” she recalls. However it wasn’t long before word got out and Hind looked to set up her own store. “Being a local business, it was difficult to get a location. People look at locals as incompetent and I was turned down a lot but that didn’t stop me.”
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