As expats, National Day is a chance to reflect on what our adopted home means to us. With the UAE celebrating it’s 44th National Day on December 2, Emirates Woman spoke to some of the UAE’s leading ladies in the communications field to find out what the holiday means to them.



“Living and working in the UAE has provided me with professional prospects and a quality of life that I couldn’t have experienced anywhere else. From a work perspective, there is a sense that one can achieve almost anything, and that encourages both business development and personal growth.

“Communications in the UAE is maturing as private and public sectors increasingly appreciate the need for professional expertise. The outlook is extremely positive, as there seems to be plenty of development opportunities for agencies of all sizes.

“I’m celebrating my 16th UAE National Day, and it gives me an opportunity to reflect on the tremendous opportunities that life in the Emirates has provided me with.”



“I don’t look at myself as an expat, but I’m also not a local. I feel this is the one place were your nationality is not what binds you to the country. Rather, it’s who you are as an individual, and how you choose to create your future.

“The communications industry has come a long way in the past few years, and I would say it is now at an international level. The field has seen a shift to a more creative approach to communication, mainly as a result of increased competition.

“For me, National Day is a celebration of how far the country has come in such a short time and how it is one of the few places in the world where you have the opportunity to play a part in ‘the making’, rather than just fitting in an existing mould.”



“Dubai and the UAE have given me such wonderful opportunities. I grew up with friends belonging to all sorts of nationalities and religions and I think that’s the biggest gift. The UAE has given me the chance to be open to different cultures and perspectives. I have taken that attitude and applied it to my business.

“Expose-Communications consists of a team of women of seven different nationalities and it’s amazing how much you can learn from being in such surroundings. Women here are so open-minded and they express this with their fashion, attitude, lifestyle, ambition, and family. The UAE has created a bubble for us to feel safe in and be ourselves.

“The PR and communications industry in the UAE is exciting. There’s so much going on here that there’s never a dull moment. It’s incredibly hectic but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”


Camilla d’Abo and Lucy d’Abo MANAGING PARTNERS OF DABO & CO

Camilla: “Living and working in an established market has its benefits, but being in an emerging market such as the UAE means that you can help make history. Dubai has not let us down – nearly 10 years after launching DABO & CO we have a team of 50 people, more than 20 industry awards under our belt and are working with some of the world’s leading and local brands. We have a lot to thank the UAE for and a lot to be proud of.”

Lucy: “For us National Day is about celebrating entrepreneurialism and achieving the seemingly unachievable! Dubai’s growth from a small fishing village into a sprawling metropolis is something we’re extremely privileged to have witnessed. I feel that I have grown up alongside Dubai.”


Photography: Vikram Gawde | Stylist: Angela Beitz