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Raemona 40 over FORTY - Week Four 2024

Welcome to our fourth and final week of the 2024 Raemona Magazine 40 over Forty list.  That’s a lot of fours.  It’s our annual curated list of influential impact makers - all women who happen to be over 40.


Being ‘Renowned’ means being noticed. Making a name for yourself is never easy, keeping it at the forefront of industries, over the years and becoming the ‘go to’ - even less so.  In week four we celebrate those who have not only done that, they keep going - improving and innovating with every year. 


These women continue to inspire across the worlds of fitness, retail, leadership, entertainment, leisure, aesthetics, business, art, and food.


This week marks our last  40 over FORTY for 2024  and we congratulate and stay inspired by another list of forty amazing ladies. But for now, meet this final group of 10  - our ‘Renowned’ women for 2024.


  1. Sarah Lindsay, Founder of ROAR Fitness & 3 X Olympian


Raemona 40 over FORTY - Week Four 2024

Bringing her wildly successful fitness concept ROAR to Dubai in 2023, Sarah Lindsay is a personal trainer who stands out from the crowd with her exceptional achievements and unwavering determination. With a decorated career as a European gold medalist, two-time world silver medalist, and an astonishing ten-time British speed skating champion, Sarah is a three-time Olympian and former speed skater.


Sarah made a name for herself as one of the most recognized celebrity personal trainers in the United Kingdom, with her extensive clientele including  famous faces such as Ellie Goulding, Nick Grimshaw, Mel B, Pixie Lott, Christine Lampard, Professor Green, and Piers Morgan, among many others.


Sarah's journey in the fitness industry began in 2002 when she qualified as a personal trainer. After retiring from professional athletics in 2010, she embarked on a new chapter by establishing a trio of ROAR personal training gyms in London. In early 2023, she expanded her empire to Dubai with the launch of a fourth location. 


Sarah’s unrivalled expertise and success have earned her the title of Britain's body transformation queen, thanks to the awe-inspiring results she achieves with her metabolism-boosting weight training method which focuses on resistance training. Driven by her ability to change lives, Sarah is dedicated to helping her clients become fitter, enhance their overall well-being, and gain confidence both inside and out. She firmly believes that people often underestimate the incredible feeling of physical strength and how it can positively impact all aspects of their lives until they experience it themselves.


2. Donna Benton, Founder of The Entertainer, Caha Capo and The Benton Group


Raemona 40 over FORTY - Week Four 2024

2023 saw Donna Benton make a surprise, but welcome return to her first business venture, The Entertainer, to steer the ship for future success.


Donna’s spirit of adventure brought her from Australia to Dubai in 2000. Barely a year later she identified a market need for providing consumers with dining incentives and enabling restaurants to reach new customers. The Entertainer filled this gap by providing “buy one get one free” offers to the best restaurants, cafes, night spots, and attractions. Word of mouth drove strong book sales and Donna grew the business into different countries using the same model, while also expanding the ‘Entertainer’ product line to include spas, beauty, and hotel accommodations. Consequently, the award-winning Entertainer App was launched in 2013 and transitioned from a print publication to a data-driven technology firm. Under her leadership, the Entertainer contributed US$1.3 billion to the economy and experienced 25 to 30 percent profit growth each year.


Donna went on to establish The Benton Group, an international holding company that consolidates several businesses. Headquartered in Dubai, The Benton Group is a fast-paced, dynamic organisation that focuses on establishing new companies and investing in businesses with the potential to scale. It identifies global trends and business opportunities, with a strong emphasis on innovation, data commercialisation, consumer behavior, and corporate social responsibility.


Donna is an advocate of female empowerment via many public appearances worldwide, emphasising her success principles of achieving anything you want through hard work, an optimistic approach, and most importantly, having fun.


3. Rebecca Treston, Skincare and Laser Expert, Hortman Clinic


Raemona 40 over FORTY - Week Four 2024

Named as Emirates Woman Magazine’s  ‘Woman of the Year’ for 2023, list returnee Rebecca has gone from strength to strength since her last inclusion in the Raemona 40 over Forty. 


For over 25 years, Rebecca Treston has been Dubai’s go-to skincare and laser expert. Her philosophy of utilising energy to naturally transform the structure of the skin has created a loyal client following of both men and women including supermodels, Royalty, global CEOs, top beauty and fashion editors, media personalities, and women seeking non-invasive treatments with dramatic results. At the absolute forefront of innovative skincare technologies, Rebecca’s knowledge and expertise keep her ahead of the curve and her loyal client base coming back month after month.


Rebecca has a loyal following of nearly 15,000 clients. She is often quoted in top tier media outlets such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Mojeh, and Emirates Woman. As a licensed Medical Aesthetician and Laser Specialist, Rebecca has also attained NVQ Level 3 in Beauty Therapy. She is also a member of the American Academy of Anti-Ageing.


4. Dee Sarai, CEO, Al Tayer Insignia


Raemona 40 over FORTY - Week Four 2024

Dee Sarai has over 32 years of experience in luxury retail and real estate. Starting her career with the iconic Selfridges in the UK. With a strong passion for strategy, innovation, business transformation and a proven track record in delivering profitable business results, Dee then went on to successfully solidify the Fashion Avenue at The Dubai Mall as a new global luxury fashion destination. 


Dee is currently CEO of one of the most prestigious regional businesses within luxury boutiques, department stores, and online platforms in the Middle East. Highly experienced in leading the most successful and diverse organization in the region, managing multiple business functions.


Dee also drives brand transformation and strategy as a Non-Executive Director on significant boards across the region.


5. Joelle Mardinian, CEO, Joelle Group


Raemona 40 over FORTY - Week Four 2024

Joelle Mardinian is the famous face of beauty in the Gulf with her role as a beauty business mogul and TV host. Her MBC1 show ‘Just Joelle’ became the longest reigning makeover show in the world, a title still held today with 14 years of successful broadcasting, as well as boasting 21.8 million Instagram followers as of March 2024.


Joelle is the founder of Joelle Group, an umbrella company for Maison de Joelle, Clinica Joelle, Joelle Paris, and EyeCandy. and now the brand new babycare brand, DABDUB, launched in 2023. Opening her first Maison de Joelle beauty salon was a recognised personal achievement for Lebanon  born Joelle before expanding outside of the UAE to major regional outposts. Joelle went on to  open Clinica Joelle, a medical centre, and grew it to  seven branches in only six years and skincare brand  Joelle Paris is now at over 500 locations. 


In 2022, Mardinian launched a new reality TV show called “Joelle Unfiltered” on Shahid VIP, giving an unfiltered look into the life of Joelle, her husband and their three children. She described it as the “biggest show of my life,” as it uncovered a number of things that the public didn’t know about her and her family.


6. Maliha Tabari, Founder, Tabar Artspace


Raemona 40 over FORTY - Week Four 2024

For Tabari Artspace founder, Maliha Tabari, art is a guiding principle and a constant source of enrichment. A collector and creative in her own right, the Palestinian national spent her childhood moving between the Levant and the Gulf before immersing herself in the American cultural scene during the 1990s. The culmination of these experiences was a longstanding and far-reaching engagement with the arts.

 

Bearing witness to a lack of international understanding and representation of MENA culture, Maliha returned to the UAE in 2002 to carve out a space as one of the first gallerists, determined to stimulate cross-cultural dialogue and dismantle social divisions through her work. This mission has seen  her DIFC based gallery, Tabari Artspace, become a space where local and international communities could connect with the artists of the region and where intellectuals and art appreciators convene.

 

Maliha is renowned for the identification and nurturing of emerging talent, which she approaches as a passionate mentor, developing artists and their practice. Maliha has significantly shaped the careers of such masters as Khaled Zaki, Adel El-Siwi, and Hussein Madi, who are now collected by international institutions including the Guggenheim, British Museum, and LACMA.

 

In parallel to her engagement with the gallery, Maliha supports regional artists through her personal collection. Over the years, she has amassed more than 200 modern and contemporary works that tell a story of life in the MENA region from a multitude of perspectives.



7. Samantha Wood, Publisher & Editor, FooDiva


Raemona 40 over FORTY - Week Four 2024

Samantha Wood is a British-Greek-Cypriot resident of Dubai for 25 years who wears a number of hats – a food writer, event organiser and communications consultant with three decades of experience in the UK and the Middle East across a diverse range of industries including food & beverage, hospitality and tourism.


Leaving the corporate PR world to set up her own business in 2011 – a restaurant review website, FooDiva.net, Samantha literally transformed the way the UAE spoke about food and reviewed restaurants publicly, and crucially, impartially. FooDiva has won a steady stream of 12 awards. In 2021, she was honoured with the UAE Golden Visa and also joined the UAE Restaurants Group as Board Advisor.


Samantha has gone on to curate ticketed and bespoke chef-led #ThreeChefsDinner and #DineAroundDubai experiences, whilst also organising events and B2B fam trips for industry trade, chefs, and media. FooDiva has featured prolifically in local and international media including multiple segments on CNN’s travel programmes, France 5 TV, and Dubai TV. 


Samantha is a member of the global Guild of Food Writers, holds a WSET Level 2 wine and spirits qualification, and is a speaker and industry awards judge on her favourite subjects – food, restaurants, travel and communications. At the start of the pandemic, she launched a pro bono social media campaign, #UAERestaurantsUnite to support the F&B industry which has morphed into a long-term strategy championing the country’s homegrown dining scene.


8. Marisa Peer, Therapist, Speaker & Author


Raemona 40 over FORTY - Week Four 2024

As an award-winning therapist, Marisa has helped to profoundly change the lives of countless people, through her public speaking, therapy training courses, and best-selling books. She has enjoyed three decades of experience treating a client list that includes international superstars, CEOs, Royalty, and Olympic athletes.  Her audiences and clients consistently report dramatic results after working with Marisa.


Marisa developed her therapy method, Rapid Transformational Therapy®️ to revolutionize how to deliver therapy. This method has become world-renowned for its ability to effect lasting change in the room, without the need for ongoing sessions.


Early in her career,  she abandoned training as a child psychologist and instead earned qualifications from the Hypnosis Training Institute of Los Angeles and the Pritikin Longevity Centre. In addition to being an international magazine columnist, she has appeared on major media outlets and television shows including GMTV, Lorraine Kelly, This Morning, Sky News, ITV News, BBC News, Channel 4 News, BBC Radio, Supersize Versus Superskinny, Celebrity Fit Club, Celebrity Big Brother, and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. 


Marisa is now focused on spreading her message and therapy method to as many people as possible, training people to become RTT®️ therapists through the Rapid Transformational Therapy®️ school.


9. Courtney Brandt, Culinary Consultant, Content Creator


Raemona 40 over FORTY - Week Four 2024

Courtney Brandt is an American expat with 15+ years of experience in the Middle East (Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi). From her residence in Dubai, she focuses mainly on fine dining and hospitality and has become the number one ‘go to’ consultant for brands, chefs, concepts and marketers looking to educate the public on their offerings and all things food across the region.


Her largest platform is Google Maps, where she currently has over 114 million views. Courtney’s weekly A to Z newsletter goes out to over 5800 subscribers, including PR, Marketing, and culinary professionals (including C-Suite).


To date, Courtney has been published with Tasting Table, EuroCave, Travel Curator, Vogue Arabia, Fast Company, Destinations of the World, Forbes Middle East, Curiosity Magazine, Elite Daily, The Forward Feed, Food&Wine, and many more.


She has provided global hotel coverage with Northstar Media and was part of The World’s Most Luxurious Hotels program on the BBC. Most recently, she has appeared on EuroNews and DXB Today. She has written commercially for AddMind Hospitality, Dima Ayad Consulting, Spinneys, Sapaad, and Umami Communications. She also regularly contributes to Dubai Eye 103.8 for food and travel.


Courtney was invited by Unilever to attend the Future Trends report in March 2023 and has worked with Louis XIII, Grana Padano, California Wines, Carnistore, Jacob’s Creek, Silver Fern Farms, Unilever, and Dubai Tourism. She was recently appointed a judge in the Deliveroo 2023 Awards.


10. Nina Ubhi, Founder and Creative Director, Nina Ubhi


Raemona 40 over FORTY - Week Four 2024

Nina Ubhi had one mission when she launched her career 16 years ago in London.“To inspire makeup enthusiasts with an artistic, ‘brow-raising’ approach to beauty” The Nina Ubhi brand is now internationally recognised from the Dubai HQ,  where Nina has grown to become one of the region’s most coveted beauty influencers.


With her husband and business partner, Bobby, now spearheading the company, the power duo have grown their business rapidly over the last few years, specifically with the launch of their own cosmetic collection.


As one of the region’s most influential makeup artists, Nina Ubhi’s signature style, meticulous attention to detail and entrepreneurial spirit has built her an international empire.

Nina provides picture-perfect makeup services to an elite, global clientele, and runs expert masterclasses where she reveals her trade secrets and techniques to achieve flawless, iconic looks.


Born in London, Nina grew up with a passion for art and creativity at a young age. Her love for beauty and makeup came later, when she was scouted for a modelling job as a teenager. “I was fascinated by the idea that the face could be painted like an artistic masterpiece. In every shoot though, I was never happy with the final look, so I used to sneak backstage and change things up, adding my own twist on it, perfecting every detail”.


As well as a self-taught and published makeup artist, Nina worked for large beauty brands such as Estee Lauder, Elizabeth Arden and Kanebo and was also a magazine beauty editor where she collaborated with countless brands and celebrities for high fashion editorials. After launching her own brand, she became the official sponsor of one of the UK’s largest bridal shows and grew her business to inspire others to be fearless and forward-thinking with their approach to beauty.

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