Welcome to the Emirates Woman weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths that led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome.

This week we chat with Sufeena Hussain, Head of Middle East and North Africa for global fashion brand PrettyLittleThing. Having made its mark around the globe, PLT launched its Arabic version of the platform last year, which has seen huge success in the region. With a burgeoning fashion scene in the region, Hussain is the eyes on the ground in the Middle East and North Africa for PLT staying on the pulse of trends here in the UAE and the wider Arab region. 

Emirates Woman sat down with Hussain to find out more about her career and PLT’s expansion in the region.

What was your favourite subject at school?

Classical Studies & Drama.

What was your first job?

My first job was at 16 working at Mcdonald’s.

What brought you to Dubai?

The first time I came to the UAE was in 2001 for a family holiday to Fujairah we then came again to Dubai a few years later and I just stayed.

What inspired you to enter the fashion space?

My CEO Umar Kamani is a visionary so definitely, the opportunity to work with him was a motivating factor but mainly because of the brand PrettyLittletThing. PLT is such an exciting, diverse brand and to be a part of the journey to introduce it to the Middle East market… the decision was made for me.

Talk us through PrettyLittleThing’s expansion in the MENA region.

We launched the Arabic version of the platform last year which has been very exciting, especially seeing how well it has been received and we are constantly developing and growing our modest segment. For us, the UAE reflects so many different women that PrettyLittleThing speaks to and this can be seen in our categories on our website catering to everything from different body types to dressing preferences – from tall, petite, plus size and modest. The growth of the UAE has been inspirational and Dubai is such a cosmopolitan city, it aligned perfectly with our brand.

What sets the fashion industry in this region apart from other places in the world?

The fashion industry in the Middle East is booming it’s always been very fashion conscious. Middle Eastern culture places high importance on appearances and there is so much diversity here it has become a hub for creativity & innovation.

What are the key elements of your role?

Overseeing all elements of the business related to the Middle East & North Africa & coordinating with all key stakeholders and agencies.


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Talk us through your daily routine.

My daily routine starts with walking & feeding my dog. I have a hot water and lemon, meditate and then I pull out my phone for emails, texts and head into work mode.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?

Believe in yourself first, work hard and the rest will follow.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

It’s simple but I always try to be mindful of this, my mother always said to be kind you don’t know what another person is going through and to always be grateful for what you have.

And what is the worst?

Follow your heart.

What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

Keeping up to date and adapting to new technologies.

What are the future plans for PLT in this region?

PLT has so many exciting collaborations and projects in the pipeline and with MENA being a growing market for the brand the opportunities are endless! We want to continue to speak to the women here through our campaigns, product offerings and brand moments.

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Images: Supplied