PR World Congress comes to Dubai

Diva just got an invite to the PR World Congress….normally I would not be so bothered about it as I have done enough courses and attended enough PR conferences to date but this particular one features speakers I know very well or admire, including the ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia (Anwar Ibrahim) whose house I used to go to to break fast as an International IIU student. I used to love dinners with him and listening to him talk to us young things, telling us we were the future leaders of the Muslim world and we could do great things if we followed our heart. He was very hands on as our patron and took great care of us during the month of Ramadan when we were away from family so dinners at his home was always a regular for expat students.

I must say while I love my life the way it is, I don’t think I’ve done justice in doing things the way he as our University patron would have wanted me to do. I was one of the first PR graduates to work in the UAE beginning of 2000 when the industry was just blossoming here and most of my colleagues were marketing people taking on PR as an added extra. Thankfully UAE has matured tremendously since and PR is an industry in its own right and may I add one of the most successful one at this point in time. Hence my regret that I don’t do enough for this discipline that I love and keep wasting my time in areas that get me nowhere.

So all the prep talks we received from Encik Anwar Ibrahim on being the best in the disciplines we were studying for did sink in but I wish I had taken action and focussed on my talent and dreams more instead of being distracted along the way. It is fine and well to live someone else’s dream or do things they feel you are good at but essentially at some stage you need to take a call and focus on the work that you are cut out to do and excel in.

Nonetheless, I am thrilled about the congress. As a publicity chick perhaps I am a little bias, but I’m always so pleased to read that top-level industry leaders are endorsing public relations as one of the most powerful marketing tools available. Its about time people noticed and respected our work.

PR is incredibly powerful because of the highly trusted third-party endorsements of media organisations of stories that make a difference – in my opinion, you just can’t beat it. For now, I hope I get to attend some of the congress. The last time I tried attending something of significance like this, I was slumbered at my desk doing stuff I should not have been doing in any event so the episode left diva not very impressed. There is a reason why we have support staff to do the mundane stuff. This time round the world can go to pot as my 2012 resolution is to do what I love and PR is my first love above everyone and everything else!

Diva is smiling….HEAPS!!!

Diva in the Mercedes SLK350 convertible

This year I decided to celebrate my birthday one week ahead…..partly because the love of my life NJD is going away on a ski trip to Switzerland on my birthday so my focus will mainly be on her this week…afterall this is her first trip on her own with her friends and at the age of 11, she may be confident about travelling and sliding down an icy mountain with no qualms but this mama is having mini heart attacks every hour as the trip gets closer.

So,,,,after a hectic and heavy week last week that included heaps of mental stress, PMS and warning signs to everyone around me to watch their step if they value their life, I decided to go on a sabbatical….not just any sabbatical but where I would live the life that I have become very accustomed to…in pure luxury.

Thankfully my early birthday presents came in form of experiences – Nick of Daimler reckoned diva needed a HOT car so he arranged for me to have for a few days none other than the top of the range 2 door sports car Mercedes SLK350 which I realised when I signed my life away to him was worth close to US$68,000/- (AED248,000/- roughly). But it was all good when at the touch of a bottom the roof came down and my hair went all sorts. It was an awesome convertible and since I get to drive the most expensive cars as and when I want, it really means that it must be fabulous if I start crooning about it. I don’t normally write entire blogs on cars but this baby deserves a whole piece dedicated to the fabulousness of the SLK….watch this space!

To top it off, Sarah decided that since I was meditating and moping anyway with all the problems my mind and body was going through, why don’t I breeze down to Abu Dhabi in the Merc and she would arrange for me to stay at the Suite in Shangri-la that came with a fabulous balcony, and separate living and dining area. Now most of my Malaysian friends were in Abu Dhabi this Friday so I breezed in, picked little diva up for the weekend and we spent the most amazing time at the Shangri-la suite, spa and I got to catch up with my Malaysian friends on Friday at the ‘Glorious Malaysian Galore’ festival in Mushrif Mall (Amazing stuff every evening until the 3rd of March). Lots of dancing, Malay food & Tim Hortons…what more can a woman want???

So all in all, I had an awesome time Friday night and Saturday thanks to two amazing people plus my Malaysian friends (Sakina & Sally ++) at a time I really needed to wind down. I feel a lot better in terms of being chilled and physically…well….if my PMS gets any worse and if these herbal remedies from Abu Dhabi don’t work their magic, I am seriously thinking of becoming a hermit for a week next month. (I wouldn’t be surprised if all the men in my life have noted the dates down to make sure they disappear during that period…women tend to be a bit more understanding and supply loads of chocolates, luxury holidays, sinful food and sweet & sour snacks instead).

Anyway… Having such a great time has left me smiling heaps…. I can’t wait for Sakina to return again to Dubai as she encourages me to get out of my shell, travel to new areas in UAE and generally have fun. I just hope she gets here while NJD is away cos I will be missing the little tyke heaps when she leaves on the night of my birthday and be away the next 10 days. Or I shall distract myself and write about my 2 nights of living in luxury at Qaryat Al Beri indulging in all sorts of fun stuff.