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Nada Badran -AKA- Wander With Nada

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October 26, 8:15am • • part of a series on Transit

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Going Beyond Expectations with David Craig.

Last month’s CreativeMornings in Dubai was a lesson in sticking with the things you do well.  

We find it interesting how so many people have unusual trajectories to where they are today and their success.

David had many great stories and was inspiring.

The take home, stick with your dreams!

All roads lead to CreativeMornings.

How do you know you are onto something, smiles at 9:30.

James and David.

That face is another good sign!

And this is where it begins!

How often do you get to sit down with the Editors-in-Chiefs of Women’s and Men’s Health in the Middle East, never.

Here is a look at Yi-Hwa and Carlin’s CreativeMornings talk on the theme TABOO.

A great look at the room and our speakers.

What we love about CreativeMornings is the opportunity for a one-on-one after the talk.

Icebreaker tags rock!

Always great to catch up with old friends!

Carlin and Yi-Hwa rock!

Happy to take questions!

And we always have time for questions.

By Haeley Ahn

On Thursday, February 16th, Dale Nichols spoke on the theme of Sound and Moments. Nichols is a musician and explorer who collaborates with filmmakers, artists, and storytellers from around the world.

Nichols emphasized that in such a fast paced world, it is important to take the time and reflect on the moments we experience in life. From these moments, we are able to find meaning, and ultimately connect with our environment.

To reinforce his idea, he showed a video commissioned by Mercedes Benz Middle East in 2015, of which he created the soundtrack. The video seeks to celebrate UAE National Day by following the Emirati photographer Ammar Al Attar. Nichols suggested that Al Attar’s art is able to tell stories because Al Attar purposely stops to consider what exactly he is photographing.

Nichols advised students who are still in search of “moments” to keep exploring, as you never know what you are going to find. He especially emphasized that talking to new people can be a moment in itself.

Finally, to those who are in the workforce, Nichols advised that to fully indulge in “moments,” people should try to unify “exploration” with their job, instead of dichotomizing the two aspect of their lives.

Photo by James Piecowye

By Haeley Ahn

On January 19th, Andrew Thomas spoke on the theme of Mystery. Thomas is known as a ‘Digital Jedi’ and his job is to help businesses utilize technology to its full potential.

Thomas began his presentation by observing that, because technological developments occur so rapidly in today’s world, many people view digital media as a cloud of mystery. He noted that before, new products used to come with a handbook or an instruction manual, but these days, apps are released with no such specific guidelines. However, Thomas encourages people to explore the mystery of technology instead of walking away from it.

He then gave an example of an interesting app from China: WeChat. WeChat is a combination of everything people need on their phones — instant messaging, a search engine, reservation services, and more. Facebook is moving towards developing such an all-encompassing application for the Western World, which proves that technology is never stagnant.

Thomas suggested that in general, people seem to fear technology mostly because of its jargons, such as the many digital acronyms. However, specifically for people in Dubai, he thinks that the lack of regular exposure to new technology intensifies the feeling of mystery surrounding new developments.

For example, recently in the United States, Amazon opened its first “Amazon Go,” a technology-based superstore with no checkout lines. The New York Times also began to offer VR services for its news articles. Thomas concluded that if people in Dubai were exposed to services like these, they would be able to approach technology much easily.

Andrew Thomas has 19 years of experience in the GCC and has spent the last 14 years in the UAE. When it comes to demystifying the digital media landscape Andrew has both in-depth knowledge and practical experience.

Over the past few years Andrew’s focus, as a digital Jedi, has been helping people ‘go digital’.

Andrew has a passion for helping business’ embrace new technologies to leverage the power they can bring.



Photo by André Rijo.

A morning of fantasy and sound

By Haeley Ahn

On December 8th, CreativeMornings Dubai combined the November and December themes — Fantasy and Sound — to feature three speakers: Arafaat Ali Khan, Joshua F. Williams, and Abbo.

Arafaat is the Director of Communications at The Alliance, a public events and exhibitions company. In his presentation, he talked about his experience with co-founding the Comic Con in the Middle East. According to Arafaat, the idea for Comic Con in the Middle East first came up in a playful conversation between him and his friends. Soon, he began pitching his ideas to potential investors, but unfortunately he had to host the first Comic Con in 2012 with no sponsors. However, the event was a huge success and attracted around 15,000 people — looking back, Arafaat thinks he took a risk that was definitely worth it. Arafaat is motivated by a desire to make other people’s dreams become a reality; to many, Comic Con is a method of escape, from their daily lives into a realm of fantasy.

Joshua F. Williams is a record producer/recording engineer and Abbo is a singer and songwriter. The duo talked about establishing the local music community into what it is today. At first, they relate that it was very difficult to find any music scene whatsoever in Dubai. Although there were many talented, promising musicians, there lacked a community for these artists to interact or advertise themselves within. The duo’s initial goal was to make albums to showcase regional talent. Thanks to their efforts, the underground music scene in Dubai has grown exponentially, to the extent that many new companies have arose, making Dubai an attractive site for rookie musicians. Currently, the two have moved on to focusing on fostering the raw talent of younger, teenage musicians.

Andrew Thomas, the digital Jedi, will be joining us for a wild ride along the digital highway.

Part hitchhikers guide to the internet and part Muskrat Love by the Carpenters get ready to dance to a new beat or at the least wonder why you aren’t.

Thursday, 8am!

 See you Thursday!