Welcome to our next 10 fabulous females over forty. We say 10, this week it’s actually 15… With another formidable duo we could not part and a ‘collective’ of amazing women working in the same space. From media, community outreach, entertainment, healthcare, parenting, pre and postnatal support, construction, food, HR and fashion, our next formidable 10 have all made their mark on the UAE and continue to influence and advocate across the Emirates.
1. Louise Jacobson
Managing Partner, Brazen MENA
Louise Jacobson is the Managing Partner of Brazen MENA, a MEPRA and PRCA MENA Small Consultancy of the year 2019 and 2020, and 2022. Louise has 18 years of experience across all sectors of PR and has worked in Europe and The Middle East. Louise is a MEPRA Strategy Board member, Global Women in PR MENA member and industry awards judge. Louise will be taking part in the UK based ‘ Girls Out Loud’ advocacy campaign, coming to the UAE in 2022, a ‘ big sister’ mentoring programme for teenage girls aged 12 to 13 at Dubai College. Starting with Brazen’s UK agency in 2005, Louise brought Brazen to the UAE in 2015 and has built the agency into the award-winning consultancy it is today. Louise is a huge advocate for mental, physical and spiritual growth – something that is part of the Brazen company DNA.
2. Bubs Felix
Dubai Mums Helping Hands, Sports and Media Lawyer
Based in Dubai since 2008, Bubs is a sports and media lawyer who has become known for her relentless work volunteering with Dubai Mums Helping Hands (DMHH). Originally founded by Stephanie Sutherland, Bubs took the lead when Stephanie re-located back to her native USA.
Dubai Mums Helping Hands has evolved with the support of kind-hearted people who wish to aid positive change in Dubai. It is a group of people who seek to make the world a better place by spreading love and resources wherever they can find them, to those who need it most. The mission is to support both men and women in our labour community, and the service people who make Dubai the place we know and love.
DMHH is a grassroots organization. It takes no money and relies solely on donations of time and resources from other residents and organisations. No volunteers or sponsors are paid; “the smiles, thank you’s, and hugs we receive along the way are enough to keep us here”
Bubs has been able to organise partnerships with businesses where they support the donation drives, and always ensures everything is above board in terms of policies, permissions and licenses.
“In a world where everyone looks out for themselves, Bubs always looks out for others. She sees the men and women in the community that many people don't, and she just wants them to feel valued and included. She understands how the simple act of even saying hello, or offering a drink helps these men to feel connected to the community. She understands their situation, and how much a small act of kindness can brighten anyone's day.”
3. Maxine English
Partner, Park Lane Live
Maxine was awarded one of the very first ‘UAE Golden Visa’s’ for her long term dedication to the arts and culture scene across the Emirates. Over 22 years Maxine has overseen productions across the country at iconic venues such as Yas Island, Adnec, Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre and the QE2. As a partner at Park Lane Live, Maxine is responsible for creating and producing so much of the live entertainment scene across venues and hotels in the UAE and beyond. Maxine's experience in entertainment and theatre management is unparalleled in the region, with a unique and diverse skill set featuring everything from government events and theatrical production to “Triple A “artists' rock and pop showcase concerts.
4. Dr Elsa de Menezes Fernandes
Obs/Gyn Specialist, Dubai Healthcare City
Dr Elsa is well known as one of the favourite Obs/Gyn specialists in the UAE. WithUniversity training in Goa, India, Dr Elsa then worked across London hospitals and completed her post-graduate training whilst there. In Dubai since 2008, Dr Elsa worked as a Consultant with Mediclinic before setting up her own clinic in 2015.
Dr Elsa focuses her work on maternal medicine and works with high-risk obstetric patients and is experienced in both open and laparoscopic surgery and Gynaecological Oncology.
Dr Elsa has built a reputation for providing a positive pregnancy experience by supporting women's choices around birth. Elsa's work has been published in medical journals and she is a member of the British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society. She was awarded CCT (on the Specialist Register) in the UK.
5. Elaine Jones
Founder - Asteco Property Management
Elaine Jones is one of today’s leading experts in the Emirates Real Estate market. With an unprecedented 41 years of regional experience, Elaine pioneered office leasing in Dubai, she often lectures and has published extensively throughout the Middle East.
In 1985, Elaine founded Asteco Property Management, a multi-disciplinary Real Estate practice, which has grown considerably over the years. Asset Management, Valuation & Consultancy and Transactional Services are the main strength of the business. Elaine has been instrumental in the development of ‘new Dubai’ and plays a significant role in the regulatory framework of the industry. Elaine was elected as an Eminent Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in September 2012, the first eminent member in the region. In 2020 she was placed 84 on the Forbes Middle East Power Businesswomen List.
Elaine acts as an Advisor to Asteco Property Management and has been appointed to The Board of Provis (Aldar Estates) which has the mission and vision to be the largest real estate services provider in the region.
As an investor in and Chairman of Direct Debit Systems Elaine is now focusing on the use of payment technology in promoting ease, speed and cost-effectiveness across the UAE.
6. Halima Jumani
Kibsons Online Home Delivery Service
Halima Jumani, part of the founding family of Kibsons Online Home Delivery Service, which focuses on distributing fresh, healthy food directly from ‘market to door’ for thousands of UAE residents, is
known for creating a business and brand recognized for its quality, transparency, support towards the community and that truly cares, Halima paved the way in bringing these values and mission to life. Aside from creating a number of sustainability initiatives to allow customers to make a real difference to the environment, Halima also created 400 new jobs, increased pay for her employees and gave a 40% bonus for the overtime hours worked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Halima is a huge advocate for CSR and charity initiatives, having raised over $100,000 for Gulf for Good and Red Cross Lebanon and continues to support and build awareness via her ongoing philanthropic efforts.
7. Lucy and Camilla d’Abo
Sisters Lucy and Camilla d’Abo founded their eponymous PR agency in Dubai in 2004. In 2015 the wholly independent Dabo & Co was acquired by global agency Edelman, becoming Edelman Dabo and creating the largest agency in the region. Lucy and Camilla exited Edelman Dabo in 2017. After working separately at global agency networks, In late 2021, the sisters, alongside Chris Shaw launched a consultancy focused on inspiring brands to "make culture their superpower” .
The new venture, Together, aims to help CEOs and directors "achieve business performance through culture, driving purpose and delivering successful organisational people results". Its services will include strategic planning, culture transformation, internal comms, values and behaviours, people development and managing change for future purpose.
Lucy d’Abo says: “I strongly believe that there is a need in the Middle East for a regional workplace consultancy that has first-hand experience and truly knows what it means to build, manage and perform in the business world with culture at the core.”
8. Samar Alshorafa
Founding CEO , She is Arab
Samar is the Founding CEO of She is Arab, the first dedicated platform for Arab women in the world which is on a mission to amplify the voice of professional Arab women in the public sphere through personal branding, professional development and peer networks; Samar works to break stereotypes about Arab women and increase their representation in business leadership, in the media and at speaking events.
Samar has been recognised for her work by being selected as one of the 10 #LinkedInTopVoices on their first list in MENA celebrating International Women’s Day 2022. She was also awarded the prestigious 'Vital Voices Grow Fellowship 2021' as one of 50 global women leaders driving a business with social impact, and was recognized on the 'Arab Power List 2021' which included 100 business leaders who have had a significant impact on life in the MENA region by Arabian Business.
9. Suman Manning, Lala Langtry White, Cassie Destino and Emma Belle
Supporting women tirelessly through fertility, pregnancy, birth and beyond
Suman Manning is the founder of Twins Plus Arabia, the UAE’s only support network for parents of multiples. Known as a tireless advocate for larger families, the Twins Plus platform helps parents navigate through pre and postnatal challenges as well as practical recommendations and peer-led support.
Lala Langtry White is a Dubai based doula and is renowned for her cross support and collaborations across various support groups and networks in the UAE. Lala believes that the need for caring, sensitive and knowledgeable support during pregnancy and birth is becoming more apparent and valuable than ever. “I see every pregnancy and birth as individual and feel honoured to be able to contribute my expertise and support to women and families encouraging them to make choices that feel right for them”
Cassie Destino is a ‘Fertility Doula’ and a passionate supporter of women and couples who are looking to expand their families through fertility treatment. In 2016 Cassie founded IVF Support UAE in Dubai after her own successful IVF experience and it has grown to be the largest support network for fertility services in the UAE. “It is my honour and my pleasure to have helped hundreds of women on their journeys to motherhood”
Emma Belle is a recovery mentor, podcast host and founder of the IVF after loss support network. Emma is the constant public voice for support of parents going through trauma after loss, IVF challenges and TFMR and the ‘love through loss’ collaborative, including Lala Langtry White which offers support for grieving parents.
10. Caroline Labouchere
Model, Athlete and Performance Coach
Dubai based Caroline started her modelling career at the age of 53, and has led full-page campaigns in eight editions of British Vogue, and in Tatler, Hello and White Magazines and regularly represents the over fifties all over the world as a brand ambassador and featured face. Caroline has a strong fashion and fitness following on social media and a broad portfolio in diverse formats appealing to a wide age demographic. Caroline communicates a message of finding your potential, by inviting others into her life to see how she made her transformation. A mother of grown-up children and happily married for over 30 years, Caroline encourages all women to realise their potential. Through all her platforms, Caroline shares her happiness and energy for life. Her work has an ageless quality which inspires us all.