women entrepreneurs

Dubai’s Magnificent Mumpreneurs

As we celebrate Mother’s Day in the UAE, we meet 3 fabulous, family-focused entrepreneurs to talk babies, business, and building more than just a brand…

When it comes to entrepreneurship, the UAE has always been a a hotbed of activity – chock-full of incredible women launching their own businesses day in, day out. But with the events of the past year impacting drastically on all aspects of life, more women than ever have before have been encouraged to take firmer control of their career path and start out on their own, juggling the myriad roles of motherhood with nurturing a fledgling business. As we celebrate UAE Mother’s Day, The Gaggler met three of Dubai’s incredible mumpreneurs to find out how they got started as a business owner, what it takes to be your own boss, and why they’ll never go back to the corporate world.

Q&A With Rachel Dowes

Co-Founder, Beyond Wellness

Tell us what you do?

Beyond Wellness offers a 360-degree mind, body, and spirit experience for individuals and corporate entities, including wellness retreats in the UAE, the Maldives, Bali, and beyond – promoting physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.

What came first? The babies or the business?

You could say the business gave birth to the babies! Having worked in the fashion world for many years, I suffered the health consequences of the stress and responsibility of corporate life, and unfortunately during that time, suffered multiple miscarriages. You could say these experiences ‘opened me up’. I said to myself “Something has to give – and what can I do to help others who are struggling?” This is where Beyond Wellness was born, and I made the transition into wellness and the start of my own journey from infertility to having a family of three. I believe that to be a mind, body, spirit philosophy, and something I now teach at our retreats.

How do you manage being a busy mum, wife, and entrepreneur?

As a busy working mum of two boys aged 2 and 5 years (and with a third now on the way) life certainly isn’t slow! With the challenges of Covid on top of this, homeschooling and the like has definitely added an extra layer of stress. Meanwhile, we’ve enjoyed more time together as a family, and I’ve loved having the opportunity to see my children learning and growing as their school teacher would have done. We’re also blessed to have the help of a wonderful nanny at home, so we certainly can’t complain, and with the children going back to school, the light at the end of the tunnel is truly in sight! 

What’s the best thing about being your own boss?

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that time with our children is truly sacred and precious. While I was in the corporate world, I missed out on time with my children – now I can plan my days around them. As a mumpreneur I’m now able to drop them at school, collect them from school and be present with them. This makes me happier and more productive. In addition to that, as a business owner, no day is ever the same, and I get to do what I genuinely love!  

How has your mum influenced you as an entrepreneur?

My mum was a school teacher, and always taught both myself and her students to follow our dreams. When she saw me burning out in the corporate world, she was the one behind me, spurring me on to pursue my passion in women’s wellness. With her support, I qualified in Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychology, all whilst holding down a full time corporate job. Juggling all of those things, I slowly made the transition into founding my own wellness practice. Since then, I haven’t looked back.

Do you think more mums have launched their own business ventures since covid-19 hit?

Absolutely! I’ve seen a number of mums starting up businesses during the pandemic who have been hugely successful in a short time. So despite all the disruption and uncertainty, it certainly isn’t all doom and gloom. Those who can see opportunities, whether by going online or offering services tailored towards stress and anxiety, can reap great financial rewards and personal fulfilment by knowing they are doing their bit to help. For Beyond Wellness, while that meant we had six months where we weren’t able to run retreats, our online business skyrocketed; with demand for one-to-one coaching, meditation and hypnotherapy sessions at an all time high. As well as this, we’ve recently seen huge interest in our short-haul retreats. 

Q&A With Lama Jammal Houssami

Founder, Mamalu Kitchen and Eazy Freezy

What’s the best thing about being your own boss?

Running everything on my own time. And time for me is so precious – so yes I might work until midnight, but then the next day I know I can take my kids to school with no stress, or pick them up because no-one is clock watching me. I also feel it doesn’t limit my creativity, and that’s so important to me – to feel as creatively free as I possibly can be, whenever I want to be. 

What’s the usp of your business?

For Mamalu Kitchen, it would definitely be the interpersonal experience and the energy. It’s really fun – we make cooking fun! We take care of the stuff that you don’t want to worry about when you’re learning to cook, like cleaning your dishes and chopping everything up…you just have to be there and enjoy yourself. For Eazy Freezy, it’s definitely the convenience factor…the fact that we provide great, home-cooked food that’s full of flavour and nutrients and that’s really good for you, but containing no preservatives. 

What’s it like being a mumpreneur in dubai?

It’s amazing to be a mumpreneur in Dubai – I genuinely think it’s the best place in the world to do it, because everything that’s in place here makes the whole process and the journey easier. So you’re able to have your own business, and be a hands-on mom, and be socially active, and work out – I feel that Dubai really facilitates that for you, whereas if you’re in Europe, or somewhere else, it’s a completely different story. It’s all about support. I have an amazing group of female friends that support me, and so that’s like my own tribe, and my husband is the most supportive human in my life.  I’m also a part of EAO – Entrepreneur’s Organization Accelerators, and now I’m a part of the Spinneys Incubators, which is an amazing business support system.

Watch the video: Interviews with Dubai’s magnificent Mumpreneurs

Q&A With Sara Chemmaa

Founder, Citron

How did you first come up with the idea for your business?

My son was always a fussy eater. When I introduced solids at six months, he never wanted to eat, and always refused food, which made it really hard for both him and us. At 18 months, he started nursery, and I had to pack a lunchbox for him. One day when I went to pick him up, his teacher told me that he was really upset because his water bottle had leaked, and got into his food, and he’d refused to eat anything. Very frustrated, I went straight to the stores and looked everywhere for a lunchbox with compartments that didn’t leak, but couldn’t find any, either online or on the shelves. So I spoke with a friend who had been producing goods in China for many years, and asked them to help me make this product that would make mealtimes for mummies and kids be stress-free and fun. And this is how it all started

What’s the USP of your business?

We have many, but the main one is that Citron products are designed by mums for mums. We learn from a kid’s experience of the product, and we build on that – every product is designed and tested with the help of our children. We also take great pride in our quality and material we use, ensuring all our products are safe for kids as well as working brilliantly.

What’s the best thing about being your own boss?

Being in charge of your own time! 

How has your mum influenced you as an entrepreneur?

My mum always worked – she started as an employee for a large corporate firm  and switched to entrepreneurship afterwards. She taught me that resilience and not settling for average are the keys to success.

Is there enough support for mums starting out with there own businesses here in the uae? If not, what would you like to see?

We have a wonderful support system in the UAE, and I feel very happy about the number of groups that are popping up to help mumpreneurs grow their business. I’m part of the Female Fusion group, as well as many Whatsapp groups, and I find these to be the best places to get information and guidance from other entrepreneurs. I also have a wonderful support system at home with my incredible husband, and my wonderful nanny, who I wouldn’t be able to do without.

What would be your top tip for any mum considering launching her own business?

Understand your own, personal monthly needs, do a small market study, don’t go for niche products, try it out and then see how it goes – be brave!

*With very special thanks to Tania’s Tea House, Dubai.

Check out the world’s 7th Most Instagrammable cafe at www.taniasteahouse.com


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Remote Work: Empowering UAE Women

Make this trend work for you.

Ladies, it’s time to say goodbye to stressful commutes to the office and hello to more flexible career options! The rise of remote work across geographies and occupations has been noted the world over. Initially a necessary product of the Covid-19 pandemic, the remote working trend is here to stay providing greater autonomy and, the bonus for women, an opportunity to balance work and life better. The result? A happier and more diverse workforce – basically, a game changer.

A Women’s Career Cycle

The traditional 9-to-5 grind simply didn’t work for working women with personal responsibilities such as family and children, creating a dynamic where 50% to 80% of women drop out of the workforce to have families, with only 20% ever returning back to work once their children are older. And, when women return to the workforce after a significant absence, they aren’t easily able to return to the same career level and face the reality of starting at a few pay grade levels lower than when they left. For women who do return to work, they often struggle to balance their careers with family life, social obligations, and personal interests. But with the rise of remote work, women now have more flexibility to work from the comfort of their own homes, on modified schedules, and without the stress and hassle of commuting to and from a physical office.

Benefits of Remote Working

Companies have recognised the benefits of having a remote workforce. Not only does it save on office space and overhead costs, but it also allows businesses to tap into a larger pool of talent, regardless of location. But it’s not just the employers who benefit from remote work.

Women, in particular, have found that it gives them the flexibility they need to manage their work and personal lives more effectively. A Harvard Business Review study found that women who remote work from home are often more productive and satisfied than those who work in an office. They also have more time to take care of their families, pursue hobbies, and engage in other activities that are important to them.

Of course, remote work isn’t without its challenges. Here, we share some easy-to-implement tips to make the remote working experience a more positive and fulfilling one for any woman.

Top Tips for Remote Work 

Set healthy boundaries: It’s important to have clear and healthy boundaries for yourself and others you work with, particularly in a remote working situation. Simple hacks like designating a workspace that’s just for work, communicating clear working hours to colleagues and family members and sticking to them, and establishing work routines at home that you’d typically observe at the office, are all ways to create a healthy remote working experience.

Connect with your team: Working remotely can be isolating and drastically reduce social interactions that come so easily in an office environment. Frequent communication via email, instant messaging or video conferencing is, therefore, quite important.

Take breaks: Take short, frequent breaks to stretch and recharge during the workday. Breaks help keep you motivated when working from home. And don’t forget to incorporate some self-care during breaks or after working hours!

Pursue hobbies: Remote work gives you back time that you’d otherwise spend commuting. Looked at from a different perspective, it also gives you the freedom to schedule new hobbies, pursue interests and explore passions with all that extra time saved, without sacrificing your career. This also creates that healthy separation between ‘work’ and ‘life’ even when the physical separation between the two no longer exists.

With these tips, you’ll save yourself from burnout!

The Fun in Remote Work

Set your space: Create a workspace that inspires creativity and productivity (hint: no, you can’t use your bed).

Tech like a boss: Invest in the best equipment and high-speed WiFi (no more video call freeze frames or angry laptops – or their owners – throwing a tantrum).

Move it, shake it: We’ve already emphasised the importance of taking breaks to shake off stagnant energy – dance breaks are highly encouraged (bonus points if you bust a move on a conference call).

Coffee, tea & me: If coffee isn’t your jam, keep your mug filled with our natural and organic teas. A sip here, a sip there and you are having the break we’ve already mentioned. Yes, it’s so important to take breaks that we’ve mentioned it 3 times!

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Remote Work Essentials


Energised Essential Oil

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Green Tea Energy Drink

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Rose Quartz Crystal Water Bottle

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The Good Mood Cookie

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The Energy Cookie

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The Brownie Bossbabe

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Lavender & Eucalyptus Candle

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Ylang Ylang Pure Essential Oil

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Aroma Diffuser

AED 70.00

So if you’re a woman who is looking to take control of your career and your life, consider exploring the world of remote work. Doing so may help add the flexibility, autonomy, and balance you’ve been craving for so long in your professional life. You might just find that it’s the perfect fit for you!

The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will, too.


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