The Reception


Must see


Q&A: Natalie Shardan

After earning her Bachelor of Arts, she joined BBDO Dubai in 2005. Natalie has since worked for Y&R, JWT, Mullen Lowe MENA and Nomads, where she worked as a Client Servicing Director before she joined Serviceplan in 2018. Natalie now has more than 13 years of experience in the advertising industry. What’s your golden rule? Be brave and get out of your comfort zone more often. If you don’t try new things you won’t develop or learn. Challenge yourself to do better every day and do it with passion. Who has been your biggest influence? It’s places and people. Starting with my parents that have always been brave and pushed me to do things differently and supported me all the way. Dubai, as a diverse city that has people from different walks of life. Living in this city has opened my mind and influenced the way I think.

'Be bold and brave'

“Bravo, my baby!” words I say to my 2-year old everyday, who is excited to wake up, test limits, try options, find smarter ways to play and play some more, ask WHY every five minutes and in the process, learn and find happiness every step of the way. I worry that this bravery will be restricted as he navigates and grows in the system. I am part of the system. And so, I introduce him to superheroes, princes and princesses, witches and wizards, scientists and warriors, athletes and world leaders to keep that light burning. I have never introduced him to a marketeer. I have never introduced him to a brave marketeer. And I can change that now. Omar Nour told us that if dreams don’t scare you, you are not dreaming enough. Hiding behind failures and excuses, not learning from them, is contagious and all around us. However, it is our responsibility to find that inspiration, that moment, hold on to it to turn it around, make it work, make it better, live with passion.

'Do the brave thing'

As 2018 prepares to shuffle off to Bedfordshire, ‘tis the season for the world of Marketing leadership to shine brighter and braver. And ‘world’ is no exaggeration as this occasion saw the Marcomms Great and Good gather on the very same day across LON, NYC, HKG & DXB (trademark of Dubai Airports, BTW.)  Our Dubai Venue? VOX Cinemas in Mall of the Emirates. I know what you’re thinking…shrieking brats, gummy carpets and arctic aircon: brave, indeed…But it was worth every sticky step as a veritable Top of the VOX Pops was assembled to take us on a romp through the many meanings of ‘bravery’ in the modern era, constantly posing the question ‘what’s your brave’?

Q&A with Omar Nour

Ahead of our Dubai Braver Conference we caught up with speaker, professional triathlete Omar Nour. How can marketers be braver? Being braver is all about pushing the limits and pushing the limits is all about being comfortable being uncomfortable!  With that comes the possibility of failure and failure is how we, as human beings, learn. I see failure as an integral part of the process to success as opposed to its antonym. I never look at it as in a negative light.  To accomplish something great, limits must be pushed and, by definition, risks taken. Playing it safe seldom yields incredible results. Failure should not be a deterrent but rather a motivator to keep on trying until the desired outcome is reached. I encourage all marketers to push the label, take risks, learn from their failures, be resilient, and keep on tweaking their ideas and concepts in their relentless pursuit of excellence.  

The brighter the light

“The brighter the light, the darker the shadow: tackling the stigma around mental health” We all know how immensely powerful stories are and the role they can play in engaging audiences and creating movements to address some of the major issues facing us as business leaders in today’s world. I heard two stories this week which not only changed the individual’s lives but have had a huge ripple effect on tackling the stigma around mental health. The stories were showcased at a breakfast session by The Marketing Society’s Dubai chapter as part of its Brave leadership agenda to drive business leaders to have uncomfortable conversations around previously taboo topics that are having a major impact not only on our health and happiness but also on business performance.

Upcoming Events


This event has now passed STEP started out as a series of workshops and

Join us for a chat with Just Eat's newly appointed chief customer officer.

A whisky evening with Edrington-Beam Suntory UK

Editor's choice

Accepting neurodiversity requires great generosity

'Perhaps you are sitting at your desk with a strong cup of tea, you’ve finally found 5 minutes for yourself. A moment to reflect and think about the office environment and the team’s neurological differences,' writes Tribal Worldwide's Jade Tomlin.


Use direct response copywriting to start selling more stuff, now

Having just read a book on how to improve your persuasive copywriting skills, I’m now supposed to write an entertaining, informative review that will have all you Marketing Society members clicking through to read it. No pressure then? Giles Lury reviews Glenn Fisher's new book.

Book club

Convenience v security: why no one should have to put their keys in the freezer!

'Are we jeopardising our personal security just to make our lives more convenient? I recently had my car stolen by someone who was seemingly able to hack their way into it.' A cautionary tale from Your Favourite Story's Rachel Faber.