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Who’s That Dubai Girl?

Hint: you can sit with us.

This last year has undoubtedly been the strangest one yet – a rollercoaster combination of time dragging hideously slowly, then rocketing at breakneck speed. Like seriously, how is it almost June when it seems like January was yesterday? 

But in those mad few months since the pandemic took hold, forcing the world to adapt to new ways of doing absolutely everything, the UAE’s entrepreneurial spirit has never been more alive. With new start-ups emerging as one of the few silver linings of the COVID-19 crisis and social media exploding like never before, That Dubai Girl – a Facebook community group created by Kirsty Campbell in June 2020 to connect, support, and champion women across the city – has become one of the country’s most talked-about success stories. 

With 2,500+ active members on the That Dubai Girl app, more than 12,500 members on Facebook, and over 11,000 Instagram followers, Kirsty’s goal of building a community of women who genuinely have one another’s backs has developed into a brand that not only advises and supports female entrepreneurs, but also local businesses looking to start, build, grow and connect with other like-minded individuals in the UAE. 

Here to make an impact, work closely with talented local entrepreneurs to ensure they have a platform that showcases their business, and create a safe place for women to share information and ideas, That Dubai Girl now offers a variety of services, including the hugely popular Urban Market and monthly friendship events. They’re all designed to perpetuate a ‘good vibes only’ ethos in what can often be a social media minefield of ‘Mean Girl’ style cattiness and mindless trolling. As Kirsty celebrates the first anniversary of That Dubai Girl with her team, The Gaggler meets the woman for whom championing girl power is not a marketing gimmick – it’s a way of life.

Q

That Dubai Girl’s social media presence grew very quickly. What tips can you give to other women who want to expand their business through social media?

A

It’s important to develop a consistent messaging style. That means delivering engaging and relatable content – essentially knowing your audience. Always think: what value am I offering with this post? If it isn’t entertaining, emotive, eye-catching, or informative, it shouldn’t be posted. Using sponsored adverts with the correct targeting is a great way to help build your following, too. 

Giving our members exclusive offers and discounts has definitely helped our social channels grow as quickly as they have. In Dubai, we all have super busy and fast-paced lives, so everyone’s always looking for the most convenient and cost-effective way to spend their hard-earned money.

Q

What makes That Dubai Girl different from other community groups in Dubai? 

A

We’re an inclusive community that strives to embrace and celebrate cultural differences. The only requirement we have is that members must be women over the age of 18 who are based in the UAE (or soon to be). One of our core values is supporting small local businesses, and we aim to give them a platform to promote themselves through our online community, exclusive members app, and our events portfolio, including The Urban Market, which has already hosted over 2,000 visitors despite launching in April 2021.

The UAE is home to such a wide variety of cultures and nationalities, and that inevitably results in vibrant, diverse businesses that add so much to this economy. We work closely with some hugely talented and ambitious entrepreneurs and aspire to give them a platform to show what they’ve got to offer. 

Q

That Dubai Girl started as a Facebook community group. Why did you decide to branch out into organising events, including your now well-known pop-up markets?

A

We’re always looking at ways we can grow and evolve as a business, as well as how we can support our members. We have a huge number of business owners as part of our community, so creating physical events that complement our online following seemed to be a natural progression of the brand. That Dubai Girl represents bringing people together, both physically and digitally.

Q

Why is supporting female-owned businesses so important?

A

Supporting female-owned businesses does so much good – empowerment of women is a huge driver of economic growth as well as social equality. We live in a country that supports female empowerment, and that’s something we should take full advantage of. That Dubai Girl was established as a community that would support, not undermine, women. I want that ethos to transfer across our community and events. 

It doesn’t take a huge effort to support women entrepreneurs. Aside from actually buying products or services, you can help support local businesses for free in so many ways – even something as simple as liking or sharing a social media post, tagging a friend to broaden someone’s network, or telling a friend. All these things add up and can make a difference to someone’s business. 

Q

That Dubai Girl has expanded exponentially in the last 12 months. What are some of the roadblocks you’ve faced, and how did you overcome them?

A

We’ve had some events that have worked fantastically, and others that have not been as successful, but everything is a learning experience. We always look at what worked well, but more importantly, what we could’ve done better so we can continue to improve and grow as a brand – and make our next event a success! We’re still a new business, learning each and every day, so we always encourage constructive feedback.

Q

Creating a business in Dubai is a journey. What tips can you give to women trying to create a business?

A

Take the opportunity and go for it! You never know if you will get the chance to give it a go again. Expand your network, talk to people, and do as much learning as possible. We definitely recommend doing your research and having some sort of social media strategy because this is really important. There really isn’t a need to hire experts and spend loads on graphics – we know lots of ladies who have built everything, including their websites, from scratch themselves! Canva is also a brilliant tool for creating solid social content.

Q

Tell us more about the upcoming Small Business & Entrepreneurs Networking Event and why all potential entrepreneurs in Dubai should attend?

A

We know just how overwhelming it can be to start your own business and how difficult it can be to find answers to the simplest questions. This event gives everyone the opportunity to find out information from industry experts on licensing, bank accounts, payment portals, social media, and so much more. They’ll be short Q&A sessions featuring all our guest speakers to assist you with any challenges you may be facing. There will also be a networking dinner, which is a great opportunity to have discussions with other business owners and expand your business network. 

Q

What’s next for That Dubai Girl?

A

We’re just about to launch a new pop-up concept store! More information about this will be explained via our Instagram account soon, but it’s another opportunity for us to showcase the amazing creative talents and small businesses we have in Dubai. We have so many exciting ideas for the next few months… watch this space!

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