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    Vision and Voice: TikTok unlocks social media evolution and innovation potential

    What drives the future of social media? Emirates Woman taps TikTok General Manager of Operations – Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Pakistan and South Asia, Kinda Ibrahim, to unlock social media’s evolution and innovation potential. What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine? I start my day at 6am with a quick coffee, followed by a morning exercise routine that I like to switch up every once in a while. Afterward, I go back home for a nutritious breakfast while catching up on the news. This routine not only energises me but also sets a positive tone for a productive workday. Tell us how you got your start in the industry. From the outset, my passion for technology was evident. Supported with an undergraduate degree in computer science, I embarked on a career in programming and development. While pursuing my MBA, I seamlessly transitioned into the realm of business, maintaining a strong connection with technology. My journey led me through diverse roles in analytics, project management, business operations, and partnerships within prominent tech companies across North America and the Middle East – including influential names like IMS Health, Yahoo, Microsoft, Twitter, and most recently, TikTok. How does your role impact innovation and tech at TikTok? The region is a vibrant hub of creativity, and TikTok’s phenomenal success in the market mirrors the enthusiastic embrace of a platform that provides a unique and positively engaging space for creativity. Since assuming the role of General Manager, I’ve been inspired by the incredible diversity, innovation, and expansive reach of TikTok in the region. In my role, I spearhead the localisation and implementation of our cutting-edge features that resonate with the diverse user base in the Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Pakistan, and South Asia. By collaborating with partners and talents, understanding regional cultural nuances, and fostering partnerships with key stakeholders, I ensure that TikTok remains at the forefront of technological advancements in the region. I am thrilled to lead a dynamic team as we continue to enhance and evolve TikTok’s presence in the region. How has the Middle East region changed in terms of interacting with TikTok – has there been a shift in the way content is consumed? The Middle East region has witnessed a notable transformation in its interaction with TikTok, reflecting a shift in content consumption patterns. Short-form content has become increasingly popular, with a focus on engaging elements such as humour, personal anecdotes, and emotional resonance, offering a more immersive and entertaining experience for users. There has been a discernible surge in content consumption across diverse categories including Entertainment, Lifestyle, Education, Music, Sports, and Gaming. Users are actively engaging with content formats like recommendations and reviews, daily life snippets, tips and tricks, as well as the creation and sharing of memes and skits. This evolving landscape underscores the platform’s versatility and its ability to cater to a wide range of interests, making TikTok a dynamic hub for diverse and engaging content experiences in the Middle East. “Our commitment is to continually illustrate how TikTok is revolutionising the content landscape and democratising content creation by tapping into the strength of its diverse and authentic community.” How do you aim to drive the platform forward in the region? TikTok’s remarkable success in the region motivates me to further cultivate and enhance this achievement. With more than 1 billion people around the world who now come to TikTok every month to be entertained, TikTok has become a go-to platform for entertainment. Our commitment is to continually illustrate how TikTok is revolutionising the content landscape and democratising content creation by tapping into the strength of its diverse and authentic community. Functioning as a dynamic cultural hub, the platform connects individuals from various backgrounds, experiences, and communities. TikTok not only facilitates creative expression but also propels global discovery, empowering creators on a worldwide scale. What distinguishes TikTok is its unique ability to provide entertainment while nurturing a gratifying sense of community. Through its inventive strategies, TikTok has reshaped the global and inclusive dimensions of entertainment consumption. A prime example is TikTok’s role as a central hub for originating viral cultural trends, spanning music, fashion, beauty, comedy sketches, recipes, and the discovery of emerging talents. TikTok holds the power to propel these trends into the mainstream, opening doors for opportunities in the entertainment industry for regional talents. Community is at the core of TikTok. How does the company approach innovation to ensure the content is fresh and engaging? The TikTok community is at the heart of everything we do, and we are keen to constantly provide them with opportunities to amplify their voices and enable them to be a positive force of change in society. We are a platform that nurtures creative, authentic and positive content communities which are diverse in age, culture and geography, and allows everyone to have a voice. The beauty of TikTok is that there are trends and communities emerging constantly, such as #BookTok where users share reviews and recommendations of their favourite books, #WhereToVisit acting as personalised city tour guide from the TikTok community, #WhatToWatch an Entertainment Hub featuring recommendations, reviews and their reactions on the top movies and series from our community and leading streaming platforms, #TikTokCookbook for our at-home chefs. We also have a robust localisation strategy to encourage users to create content relevant to their local cultures and trends. Our operations teams ensure TikTok provides the best community support for creativity and discovery for our local users in Arabic. How do you view the future of TikTok and how do you see the use of social media evolve in the next 5 to 10 years? With the world constantly changing and the rapid evolution of technology, it’s hard to say how digital platforms and social media will evolve in the coming years. However, it is certain that TikTok will persist in reshaping the landscape of entertainment by leveraging the strength of its diverse and authentic community. Through its innovative strategies, TikTok has revolutionised the global and inclusive nature of entertainment consumption, a trend that is poised to strengthen further. The platform’s influence extends to mainstream recognition, offering significant opportunities for creators in the entertainment industry. With social media use at an all-time high, what type of content stands out to you? For me, content that really stands out to me is authentic. The TikTok community has created a new global language around video and sound, not just text, by sharing authentic stories, thoughts and experiences with each other. The creativity and authenticity that lives on TikTok cannot be replicated or found anywhere else. This is The Tech Issue – what technology has been a game changer in your life and how so? The game changer in my life has undoubtedly been the integration of smartphones and connectivity, along with the subsequent rise of online platforms. This technological duo has transformed the way we access information, democratising content consumption and providing a voice to everyone. The instant availability of information on our smartphones has reshaped communication dynamics, turning these devices into gateways to a vast digital world. Online platforms, in turn, have broken down traditional barriers, allowing individuals from diverse backgrounds to share their perspectives and contribute to a more inclusive and interconnected global conversation. This seamless integration of technology has not only accelerated information flow but has empowered individuals to actively shape the narrative, marking a significant shift in how we interact with and contribute to the world around us. February’s – The Tech Issue with Christiana Maxion  – Download Now – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram Images: Supplied More

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    9 of the most delicious desserts to try in Dubai

    Life by Sarah Joseph 42 mins ago It’s a proven fact, that there’s always space available even after a heavy meal for desserts. Hence, it’s time to end the year on a sweet note. From innovative giant fortune cookies to delectable freshly made gelatos, there’s no lack of unique desserts in this emirate. So, if you’re on the lookout for some mother-watering desserts after a meal in Dubai, we’ve curated the perfect editor-approved guide of all the tried-and-tested desserts that we simply can’t get enough of. – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram Feature Image: Instagram @domsli22 More

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    Is Sheikha Mahra having a baby girl? Take a look at her gender reveal

    Life by Ruman Baig 1 hour ago During an intimate birthday celebration for herself, Her highness Sheikha Mahra did a subtle gender reveal for her to-be born baby and it’s a *drum rolls* girl! Sheikh Mana and Sheikha Mahra are expecting a baby girl. While the due-date has not been made public, the Royal Princess of Dubai could be ready to deliver any time soon, as the couple announcement back in October 2023. On the occasion of the 30th birthday (February 26), an intimate celebration was organized for the daughter of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Orchestrated by her husband Sheikh Mana and her mother Zoe Grigorakos, the pink-themed party was a dual celebration for Sheikha Mahra and her baby girl to-be. Back in April 2023, Her Highness Sheikha Mahra Al Maktoum and her then fiancé Sheikh Mana Al Maktoum signed the marriage contract and shared this news through their respective Instagram accounts. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s daughter Sheikha Mahra got engaged to Sheikh Mana Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Bin Mana Al Maktoum in March. On 5th April 2023, both Sheikha Mahra and Sheikh Mana shared that they celebrated their Katb Al-Kitaab — the official marriage ceremony and signing of the marriage contract through social media. With the Royal Couple soon completing their first year of marital bliss, along with the amazing news of welcoming a baby, we wish them all the happiness in the world. – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram Images: Instagram @hhshmahra  More

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    9 products to add to your wellness routine for a complete detox

    Beauty

    by Sarah Joseph
    3 hours ago

    Has your body lately been in overdrive with non-stop phone calls, longer hours at the office and unfathomable deadlines?
    If you are looking for a way to transform your body with a healthy boost, then certain products can help enhance the process.
    From hair to skin, each product aims to help individuals to feel better both inside and out. Overall, It’s a tradition we revisit every January not only because it helps us reset, but because it sets the intention for the rest of the year.
    So swipe through the guide to see all the editor-approved picks that has so many of us are turning to detox products to recharge.

    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Supplied & Feature Image: Instagram @haileybieber More

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    9 new must-visit restaurants in Dubai to book ASAP

    Life by Sarah Joseph 40 mins ago VIEW GALLERY/ 9 IMAGES As the world embraces a new year, so is Dubai with all its new culinary hotspots that have opened its doors for tourists and residents. From sophisticated ambiences to dishes prepared with an innate attention to detail, be prepared to be astounded with the best served on a plate. Be it the finest caviar or the most indulgent tiramisu, these restaurants have it all. No matter what the cuisine of preference is, this emirate is never short of culinary havens. So if you’re looking to make a booking and try something new, swipe through our guide of editor-approved restaurants to experience in Dubai. – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram Images: Supplied & Feature Image: Instagram @wendyswan More

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    5 interesting myths busted about the UAE

    Life by Sarah Joseph 51 mins ago Ever travelled to another country and say you live in Dubai, to only be showered with multiple questions of what the city entails. Home to 9.97 million residents, the UAE has a large expat community that have now made this country their base for numerous years. With so much evolved in the country over the years, it’s time to learn what’s true in the country. So if you want to double-check the rules before booking your flight to Dubai and fact-check certain myths then you might have thought are true, you’re in the right place. So, if you’re on a mission to learn more about the UAE and expand your knowledge, see what you can learn about this one-of-a-kind haven as a whole and what statements to debunk. There is no culture or history After unifying in 1971, the UAE has come a long way and there are several spots that mark its rich heritage. In Dubai itself, there are many sites that display the nation’s history and pay homage to where it all began. As an ode to the UAE’s long-standing cultural heritage, Emirates Woman has curated a guide with seven renowned sites to visit in Dubai including the Coffee Museum, Etihad Museum, Dubai Museum and more. The UAE is always hot While this might be partially true, the rest of the year from November to March remains cool with temperatures evening dropping to -1 degree celcius in Jebel Jais, with both hail and snow. There’s barely any nature The UAE is famous for nature-fuelled trek, expansive mangroves and deep sea diving for adrenaline junkies. From camping sites to newly opened glamping spots both tourists and residents can absorb it all. From Abu Dhabi’s Liwa Oasis to Al Barari, the UAE has various dense spots with natural greenery. The National animal of the UAE is a camel While most people might think the national animal of the country is a camel, the UAE’s national animal is an Arabian Oryx which can also be seen printed on the 50 Dirham currency note. You need to be fully covered While there are some religious sites and public areas where you need to be mindful of the clothing. So While the city is quite liberal compared to other parts of the Middle East, it’s important to dress modestly in public spaces and religious sites. For men and women alike, clothing that covers shoulders and knees is generally acceptable. Overall, you’ll see a wide range of clothing, from bikinis to sundresses, in tourist areas, beaches, and many hotels. – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram Images: Supplied & Feature Image: Instagram @visitdubai @oktagon More

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    6 minimal cafés you probably didn’t know existed in Dubai

    Life

    by Sarah Joseph
    3 hours ago

    VIEW GALLERY/ 6 IMAGES
    If you’re on the lookout for Dubai’s best kept secrets, you’re in the right place.
    With a host of cultural enclaves, this emirate has a myriad of hidden coffee shops and cafés waiting to be discovered.
    Infused with boho-chic elements, each café is a zen-inspired oasis for guests to unplug and reset during the weekend or weekend.
    Be it a conscious eatery or a hidden villa in the heart of Jumeirah, Dubai is never short of aesthetic gems where you can work from or simply catch up with friends.
    For a complete guide on the unique hidden cafés in Dubai, swipe through our editor-approved guide.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Instagram & Feature Image: Instagram @chiclebelle More

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    20 of the best gifts to buy your Mum for Mother’s Day 2024

    Life by Sarah Joseph 57 mins ago A small loving gesture always goes a long way especially for our mums. Celebrated on March 21, 2024, this special day is observed to value motherhood and all the memorable bonds that accompany it. Whether you’re on the lookout for something sentimental or wish to honour her with a timeless piece of jewellery, there are plenty of options to ensure the day is cherished for a lifetime. Every mother deserves to be showered with presents and Mother’s Day is the perfect occasion to express how much she means to you. If finding the perfect present is almost near to impossible, Emirates Woman has got you covered with an array of gifts, to ensure you’re not a last-minute shopper this year. – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram Images: Supplied & Feature Image: Instagram @cindycrawford More