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It was such a pleasure meeting Manaal. Sweetest soul! It’s hard to believe she’s in her early 20’s. As her bio says, the mind behind the first solar power generated abaya. Hats off to Manaal for such an extraordinary idea! 

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Please tell us a bit about your business

I started up my brand when I was 15 years old, I design high end and very contemporary abayas perfect for the independent woman and the sporty mother, my brand was at first just a passion and a source of pleasure, but slowly as months went by it turned into a full fledged business before I could even realize it.

What was your main inspiration to be an entrepreneur? 

As I mentioned above how my passion turned into a career and my future, starting up and being recognized as an entrepreneur made it all the more interesting and gave me so much adrenaline that I just wanted to move forward and forward and made my brand go international.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment?

My goals and horizons are so wide spread that what I have achieved till this day is still not considered as my biggest achievement by me, as I challenge myself to the highest heights, but otherwise I have a hand full of my goals that I have made reality which will include being stocked at one of Dubai’s leading concept stores The Fashion Vault, being able to launch the first ever solar power generated abaya in the world, going international with Nude Pop-up,  and creating a well recognized name in the GCC.

What are the challenges you face of being a Woman In Business?

Being in this line is considered a cliché here in  the UAE or the GCC as a whole, but I’ve been in this line since 9 years now so I consider my label to be one of the founders or pioneers of  contemporary Abaya wear, so as I mentioned being in this line you face heaps of competition and of criticism, but when your goals are set and you’re achieving them one by one, nobody can hold you back.

What are the rewards?

Rewards are mainly gaining amazing loyal loving clients and also the recognition and  appreciation you get from not only the Middle East but even the West.

What is the best advice you’ve received? 

The best advice I’ve even come across is that always listen thoroughly to criticism, if there is room for improvement which I always believe there is, then tweak every corner of  your business or goals and then take the next step and leap forward, if you do encounter problems handle them with much care and calmness as being all over the place and not doing your homework before hand will leave everything haphazard.

What advice would you give to women who want to start a business?

I say go for it! There are never enough independent women and there is always room for millions, I’m a feminist when it comes to female entrepreneur’s, women make such amazing leaders and do so much good. Any woman out there with a plan, a goal, a dream, should not think twice and take the next step as securing yourself as being a woman in business is the best thing you could ever do to yourself, it’s like a treat in the long run!

What mistakes have you made along the way and learned from?

Mistakes I have made are talking to people who don’t deserve in confidence, I say always keep your matters, may they be work related or personal to yourself and find peace with them.  Telling around or seeking for advice from the wrong crowd can make you end up in a dead end and trust me it doesn’t feel good. Don’t waste your time telling small minded people about your big goals, it doesn’t bring you any benefit.  Surround yourself with your own confidence and aura and don’t let it be played with.

What’s your way forward of expansion? 

My plans for the future are very intense here in the GCC and internationally, and I want to reach there in a matter of very few years. Let’s see where Manaal Al Hammadi hits next!

What’s your secret to success? 

My secret which I’m basically letting out to you DubaiMother is to always surround yourself with self-assurity, confidence and your own aura and don’t let anybody cross those lines you have set, but be careful not to be too lost in your own self-esteem as sometimes it makes you fall beyond comprehend.

What do you do to unwind & relax?

I switch my business line off, get a suite at one of the leading resorts like  The Palm Jumierah etc and unwind at the beach and spa till I feel contempt, or if I’m still feeling the rush and anxiety of events and other areas of my work then I just love to go to the shooting range and blow off the steam with a pistol . If time and schedule allows, then I take a quick trip abroad for change of air and weather.

Tell us something no one knows about Manaal?

Hmmm… I guess everybody pretty much knows me through my instagram posts but if there is something I would mention is that unlike my posts, I on a daily bases would be found in a t-shirt dress, sneakers and absolutely no make up all, over Dubai getting work done all by myself because that’s how boss women are!

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Manaal stocks exclusively at The Fashion Vault in Sunset Mall. You can follow her on her instagram page @manaalalhammadi 

xoxo

Waheeba