I arrived in Dubai more than 20 years ago where I worked for the South Australian Government Office in Dubai assisting with business development between UAE and South Australia. It was in 2003 when I was approached by a shopping mall developer to work as the Marketing Manager for Mercato shopping mall and that is how I started my career in the field of shopping Mall Management.
The skills that I learned at university and my experience working in the field of Psychology in Australia helped me a lot as it provided me with good management experience and valuable transferable skills. Being part of The Mercato Shopping Mall, the first themed shopping mall of its kind in the Middle East region is one of my biggest professional accomplishments till date. The dynamic, creative and challenging nature of business has also given me opportunities to teach others from my experience which is quite rewarding for me.
My profession has taught me to remain humble and grounded, and grateful for the opportunities that are provided. It also made me realize that diligence, patience and perseverance is important and not all results can be achieved overnight. For me, operating a large mall is more like steering a big ship, small shifts in direction can change the course in time. However, achieving work-life balance has been a real challenge for me, particularly working on large projects with pressing timelines that may involve frequent travel. But I always make sure to maintain a balance by spending time with family and friends and through activities like sports and fitness, diet and nutrition.
In life, it is important to stand up, be heard and to follow your dreams – be it creative, sporting or academic. You have to identify what you like to do and if you are not sure, you should at least try something. It will make you more confident and you will learn more about yourself – your likes and dislikes, and strengths and abilities. I have seen many women who have turned their hobby into successful businesses because they simply made a decision to do something about it.