Taking the leap to become an entrepreneur can be an incredibly rewarding one, but also a risk. It takes grit and determination to succeed in creating a successful business, something that Marwa Al Mansoori knows all too well.
Having studied at Edinburgh University in the UK, receiving her bachelor’s degree in tourism management and human resources management, Mansoori went on to work in various strategic and tourism roles across the UAE.
After securing two impressive networks in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai in both the government and private sector, Mansoori realised in 2018 she wanted to start creating her “own blocks”. For her, she realised this block was in the aesthetic and medical industry which is worth billions.
“The aesthetic and medical industry has been potentially projected to reach $26.53 billion (Dhs97.4 billion) by 2024,” Mansoori tells Emirates Woman. “Why not create a solution that can triple that amount utilizing the latest technologies? So, this is what started the journey of Malena.”
The Malena app founded by Mansoori acts as a virtual influencer, guru and guide to Dubai’s cosmetic, aesthetic and beauty scene, providing links between aesthetic service providers and people wanting their services.
The app compares prices for hundreds of cosmetic procedures including teeth whitening, facials and even plastic surgery from clinics across the UAE.
The user-friendly layout makes booking appointments easy and also compares prices of new procedures – both non-invasive and invasive – on offer, as well as notifying users when new cosmetic surgeons are in the country.
The programme allows users to compare prices of hundreds of procedures, from teeth whitening and skin exfoliation to nose jobs, at hundreds of UAE clinics.
Appointments can be booked with a click of a button and customers are also notified when leading plastic surgeons fly into the country or if new discounted procedures are offered.
The launch of Mansoori’s venture was supported by the Khalifa Fund – an organisation founded in 2007 to help local enterprises in Abu Dhabi and across the UAE.
“The Khalifa fund supported us in making us feel we have a hand to guide us through our challenging times – I am sure all entrepreneurs do understand what stage I am talking about,” she says. “The stage where you are still questioning yourself ‘Is my idea good?’. The Khalifa Fund team really will work with you as they are a part of your company and make sure to guide you through the hard times until you know your product has a unique value proposition and you have the right target audience.”
This Emirati Women’s Day, Mansoori discusses what it took for her to create her own business, what it means to her to be an Emirati woman and what she believes has changed for women in the UAE over the years.
Launching her own business…
To be frank its days of 3 hours sleep, heavy load on your back, responsibilities and aches. But in the end, it’s worth it all. Looking back and knowing what you have accomplished. An idea does not have to be great to succeed. You just have to take that idea and make it unique with ongoing commitment in making the idea flourish step by step. Your business should also be flexible in adapting to changing situations. If you’re one of those brave individuals willing to take the chance, there are substantial rewards to be gained from diving into this endeavour.
What being an Emirati woman means to her…
An Emirati woman to me is a symbol of aspiration, it is an indication of the progressive leadership, being an Emirati woman does not just play a role within the UAE. However, even if we are miles away in other countries, we are recognized as strong independent women from the UAE. The UAE has left a positive footprint all over the world, now it’s time for us to maintain these footsteps and be a part of spreading it around people all over the world.
we have in the United Arab Emirates and the country’s continuous support of providing women with ample opportunities, accepting their various contributions to society, and acknowledging their achievements.
The United Arab Emirates and its leadership has flourished us, Emirati woman, to be committed in carrying our traditions, culture, peace and love wherever we go.
How the UAE has changed over the years…
“From desert to skyscrapers”, the rapid pace of the UAE development is something I am really not shocked about, our leadership has always taught us that nothing is impossible and if you put your head and effort to it you will not just achieve the impossible you will also be the first to achieve it.
The most important thing to her as an Emirati woman…
The most important thing for me is to carry my beloved UAE name across the globe, whether it’s in business, technology, mentoring, or even as simple as to draw a smile on individuals all over the world. Me as Marwa, I would want to build the same devotion I have towards my leadership and country to the upcoming generations in the UAE and internationally.
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