November’s – ‘The Timelessness Issue’ – Download Now

UAE-born entrepreneur and Founder of Arcadia, Amna Al Habtoor discusses scaling her fine fragrance brand.

What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine?

My morning does not begin without a cup of black coffee. Once the caffeine hits my system, I’m getting my kids ready for school and I visit all the appointments scheduled for the day.

What is the DNA of Arcadia, its core values?

At the core of Arcadia lies scents that evoke memories, be it good or bad. Through the narrative of fragrance lied emotions and memories that relatable to anyone, regardless of gender, social class, race or ethnicity as Arcadia is for everyone. It’s important to note that Arcadia is unisex, cruelty-free, free from parabens and toxic chemicals.

Arcadia by Amna

How has your Middle Eastern heritage and is based in the UAE positively influenced the brand?

My culture, heritage and upbringing have all influenced the brand and its olfactory creations. The UAE and the wider region are blessed with a variety of unique notes. These oriental notes are commonly used in Arcadia but paired with unusual notes to really give it an international appeal.

How has being based in the UAE supported being able to launch a business and why?

The UAE has established easy business setup procedures that enable us to operate quickly and effectively. There are also countless unique retail spaces across the UAE that attract a wide range of customers within the UAE and beyond. Moreover, the UAE has supported women, in particular, to aspire and achieve greatness.

Arcadia’s flagship store opened this year – can you tell us how you’ve approached scaling the business to date?

Arcadia’s flagship store officially opened on March 5, 2020, in Dar Wasl. The store showcases our full collection with our debut, Edition 1 collection, Edition 2 collection and a number of limited-edition fragrances that were launched. Our most recent collection is a home fragrance line featuring three scented candles. The opening of our flagship store in Dubai not only reinforces our goal to be recognized as one of the leading perfumeries in the region but also reiterates our long-term expansion plans for both regional and international markets.

You’ve grown the offering of Arcadia to scented candles- was this a response to client requests and the success of your fragrance line?

My ultimate goal is to build and establish Arcadia as a lifestyle brand, so it’s only fitting to start by expanding into a home fragrance line with the plans of several product extensions in the coming years.

The UAE encourages and cultivates an environment in which to thrive in business – how have you directly experienced this?

In such a short amount of time, the UAE has established a strong foundation for all types of businesses to set up and grow. Like all brands, we are in need of several vendors to support our business, and here we have an array of options at our disposal. There are a host of businesses within each sector, which keeps all aspects of the market competitive and lucrative.

What have been the challenges to building or scaling a business in the region and how did you overcome them?

I would say the biggest challenge we’ve faced was the pandemic, without a doubt. We opened our store March 2020, just before lockdown. But thankfully, we were able to overcome this challenge through our online shop and international partners who mostly had different responses to the pandemic.


This is The Timelessness issue – what or who is timeless to you?

Memories and emotions are timeless to me. It’s amazing how we can close our eyes, remember a particular moment, go through the exact same emotions that we experienced and relive the memory like no time has passed.

This year we celebrate the UAE’s 50th Anniversary – what makes this region unique to you?

I’ve travelled across the world, stayed in many different countries for weeks on end, but the hospitality we have here, is of an unmatched level. By surpassing the hospitality in hotels, it also extends to what is offered in ones’ home. I truly believe that this is one of our core values that make the UAE and the region so unique to the rest of the world.

This year we celebrate Emirates Woman’s 40th anniversary. How would you now describe the brand and how does it support women in the region and beyond?

Over 40 years, Emirates Woman has been the platform that has highlighted women’s achievements and growth in the region. Its content has been inspirational to women with motivating stories, the latest news and trends.

November’s – ‘The Timelessness Issue’ – Download Now

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Images: Supplied