Dalia grew up in the UAE, started her career in banking and is now one of the region’s most respected fashion designers as well as being a mama to 2 beautiful children. We caught up with Dalia at one of her favourite spots on the beach and chatted about everything from her tips for balancing work and kids to the city’s best date night and family friendly dining spots.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your career?
I grew up in the UAE so I consider myself a dubian more than anything else – and I have my own line of ready to wear called Dee by Dalia which I have had since end of 2013.
Can you talk us through your career pre and post babies? How did you get back into the swing of things after having children?
I was an investment banker and a stock broker before i had kids but working started to become harder especially as my nanny left me so i had to make a decision (also I got pregnant again when my little one was only 10 months old)
My husband and I decided that i should take a break for 2 years until the kids grew older. After the two years passed I realised that I wasn’t interested in banking anymore and the stressful investment banking targets, so I decided to do some styling jobs and then decided to take courses in fashion design at London college of fashion and start my own line and here I now am!
How do you balance work and motherhood?
I usually do all my meetings and events in the morning when the kids are at school or at night when they are sleeping. While the whole afternoon I spend with them in activities and trying to do homework!
Do you have any tips for aspiring “mamapreneurs” and other working mamas in Dubai?
It’s very simple you need to prioritise and plan right. If you have an organised schedule it will never affect your kids and if you have a passion go for it !! My kids are so proud that am a working mum too.
Favourite activity with your kids in Dubai?
Beach Day is the best way we spend our family day together and cycling around the community is one of our favorite activities
Favourite kid-friendly restaurants in Dubai?
I would say Reform grill in The Lakes
Favourite family-friendly holiday spot?
Spain is one of the best super friendly places to kids especially Marbella. The Maldives for sure is fun with all the kids activities in the kids club. In the UAE We love Sir bani yas island the kids go crazy because of all the animals on the island – it’s a pure safari experience.
Do you have any tips for keeping the romance alive in your relationship?
Do a couples trip every year at least once, it’s so healthy to have your alone time with no kids around.
What is your favourite date-night restaurant?
I love Le Petit Maison its so romantic and the food is great!!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a parent?
Do what is good for you and your kids and ignore any negative vibes around you
Give us your essential new mama advice that might never occur to other women.
Don’t stress about am i doing the right thing or the right way your child will grow and be healthy its just the way all of us grew up so try to live as if its the last day of your life and things will get easier .
As a mama I wish I were better at…
cooking hahaha am not great at that
My most humbling mama moment was…
When I delivered my elder son Rakan and held him in my hands – I knew that this is real love and the strongest power in the world
One thing I won’t sacrifice as a mama is…
To always be available for my children when they need me and my support – family comes first
I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about…
work ..I have to say having your own business has alot of advantages but one of its disadvantages you can never stop thinking of work
Even when my children have families of their own, I’ll still…
be there and hug them and kiss them as if they are one year old hahaha i think am going to be one annoying mother in law
My favourite moment of the day is…
When we all wake up and have breakfast together and go cycling on the weekends
I always feel saner after…
After exercising for sure or going to the Spa talking to my girlfriends gives me a lot of power too
I wish I had more time for…
Traveling as my work needs me to travel more but I try to keep it for only extremely important trips
Bedtime is always smoother when…
We read a story they just love it when I hug them and read a bed time story
Thanks to our fab photographer Monica Chindalia for these beautiful snaps of Dalia and her family! Check out her website here.
Dee by Dalia was created by Dalia El Ali who is from Lebanese -Palestinian origins, Dalia El Ali grew up in the United Arab Emirates. The designer always had a passion for fashion and decided to follow her dream and study Fashion Design in London College of Fashion in 2013.