Ladies Track Day with Lexus

Nestled in Al Wusail, is the Lusail International Circuit, a world class motorsports track and is the only circuit in the region to be awarded the highest rating by FIA (International Automobile Federation) and the FIM (International Motorcycling Federation).


The circuit is 5,380m long with 16 turns; 6 left and 10 right, a width of 12m and a clock-wise direction. Furthermore, floodlighting can be utilized to provide daylight conditions at night


At the invitation of Grazia Magazine & Lexus, I attended one of their Female Track Days, an initiative by the Lusail International Circuit.

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No stranger to this venue, I immediately accepted the invitation, as it was an opportunity to be on the track instead of the usual, watching the MotoGP riders racing on this very track.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by friendly familiar faces.

“Our aim today is to provide our female guests a unique and amazing driving experience where they will push our vehicles to their limits.” Said Firas Mufti – Senior Marketing Manager Lexus


Picture1In the welcome area, the Lexus ES350 Hybrid was on display. a sport sedan, that doesn’t abandon luxury: The interior is fairly roomy  and the seats are comfy, offering a smooth ride and a cabin that is generally quiet and well-ventilated.

Once all the formalities were completed, we were presented with four models for testing on the track including the RC-F, GS-F, LC Hybrid and IS-F Sport. A co-driver was assigned to each car to guide and assist the driver on the safety measures of the track and the technological attributes of the vehicle.

My first test vehicle was a Lexus IS-F Sport, a fine and sporty sedan that looks good and offers a heap of driving enjoyment. It dives into corners willingly and exits them in a composed manner;  the interior of the IS, is a comfy place to be while sporting snazzy touches.

My second test drive was the Lexus RC-F. Designed for optimum high-speed stability to support outstanding performance, I definitely felt a better connection with the steering wheel, and a lot more confident when maneuvering my way through the circuit. With its superb styling, design and unprecedented power and handling capabilities,                    the RC-F opens up a new era for women on wheels.

Unfortunately due to prior engagements, I was unable to stay longer and test drive the other vehicles.

Thank you to the team of Lusail International Circuit, Grazia Magazine and Lexus for a pleasant Saturday afternoon driving experience.


For more information follow :




What are your thoughts on Ladies Track Day?

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Local Designers at the Jewellery & Watch Exhibition


The last 8 months have definitely been a rollercoaster ride. I shall not bore you with too many details, suffice to say, work amongst other activities (will be sharing them with you briefly) have kept me away from my blog.

Let’s Talk Jewellery… 

Last month, we saw the 16th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition 

 With more than 27,000 visits over the six days, an Indian Pavillions (as part of the Qatar-India Year of culture – 2019) and a charity auction (with proceeds to Education Above All Foundation) , the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) 2019, concluded on a high note, making this year’s exhibition the largest in terms of participation, with more than 500 brands from over 10 countries covering an areas of 29,000 square metres.

The 16th edition saw the participation of the Young Qatari Designers (YQD) initiative for the third year in a row, where a special pavilion was dedicated to the 12 young Qatari designers, under the patronage of Prime Minister of Qatar and Minister of Interior H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Here are some of the designers, whom I had the privilege of meeting.

Leila Issam Abuissa

“Anything Art” A motto Leila Issam has held dear to her heart at a very young age. During a time when children exhibit signs of whether they will grow into appreciators of Art or its architects, Leila clearly had the qualities of the latter.

With a Baccalaureate in French Literature and Philosophy; a combination she felt necessary in order to better understand the discipline that continues today in her thinking process of creating luxury products. She then moved to Paris to study art and design where she experimented with different fine art techniques, as well as design in all its forms be it conceptual or interior.

it was only after she moved to Florence did the Jewellery world strike her from every angle, thus began a quest for an Art form she would take on as her own.

Hissa & Jawaher Al Mannai.

It all started out as our past time when the two sisters repurposed their mother’s unwanted accessories and recreated new designs from it. Using their creativity, they went on to create fashionable necklaces and bracelets made of crystals, marbles, ropes, elastic and ribbons. They began their private collection and sometimes adding other accessories and vintage pieces, with this a dream was born, to create their own masterpieces, Their fascination and passion for jewellery saw them travelling extensively, this was necessary for them to establish Ghand – derived from the sugar crystals and how they look exactly like diamonds

“Our philosophy is to be imaginative and creative in our designs; our signature pieces are versatile”. Their personalities are so evident in their creation, a combination of Hissa’s taste for the bold and Jawaher’s preference for simplicity.

Fajr Al Attiya,

For Fajr, it all began with designing bags, however her love for beautiful aesthetics took her one step further into the world of precious metals and gems. Inspired by nature’s most beautiful creations, Fajr set out to cast the beautiful sites into eternal jewelry pieces that will be treasured. This led to the birth of Trifoglio in 2015 and the launch of her first collection in early 2016 followed by her first range of luxury leather good.


The popular The DJWE Forum, returned for the second year, with the participation of Qatari and international experts, designers and professors of history and arts in the jewellery and watches industry. The most prominent of these were Mr. Alex Popov, President of the Moscow Diamond Exchange, Geoffroy Ader of Artcurial, and Melvyn Kirtley, senior gemmologist at Tiffany & Co.

The sessions included discussions on Qatar’s rich heritage and the history of jewellery and pearls in Qatar. Among the distinguished academic speakers at the forum were Dr. Najla Ismail and Dr. Jochen Sokoly,

The prestigious French watchmakers Objectif Horlogerie presented free “Discover Watchmaking” workshops for all, and renowned expert Geoffroy Ader presented daily high-level educational talks, with the Qatar Watch Club in cooperation with the Turkish Watches Club. Jewellery workshops were held, dealing with precious stones, and providing advice on the evaluation of diamonds.

This was definitely an opportunity to feat your eyes on exquisite pieces of jewellery and watches.

For more information on the designers:

Follow Leila Issam Abuissa @leilaabuissa

Follow: Hissa & Jawaher @ghand_jewellery

Follow: Fajr  @trifoglio_qatar


What did you enjoy most about the DJWE2019?


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Together for 10 Million

New York – USA, Doha – Qatar, May 2018:

The Qatari designer Nada Al-Sulaiti, founder of Hairaat Jewellery revealed the special piece ‘Together for 10 Million’ that was specifically designed for the celebrations of Education Above All foundation, recently took place in New York marking the reaching out to 10 Million out of school children.

The final design of the jewellery as created following hours of meetings, consultations and redesigns, to finally present this one of a kind piece in its current charm.

Hairaat firmly believes in EAA mission and vision that considers quality education a human right and will result in a better, prosperous and fulfilled future for alL



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The Round Brooch set in  gold  with  a  center  stone  of  specially   clear  rock  crystal specially  cut  for  this  piece, with 4.97  carat  Round  Brilliant  Diamond  and 3.82 carat   of  Alex-andrite.  It is designed as a circular brooch  that  can  be  worn  in  four  different  ways.

The jewellery embodies the values and mission of Education Above All in embracing vulnerable children and provide them with protection and support for better future. The jewellery captured the minds and hearts of the audience who praised the designer and appreciated the hard work of Hairaat in presenting a special piece that delvers noble messages.

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The final design of the jewellery as created following hours of meetings, consultations and redesigns, to finally present this one of a kind piece in its current charm.

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“HAIRAAT is extremely proud to be a part of this event, and present one of a kind jewellery that is designed especially for EAA celebration of supporting 10 million vulnerable children around the globe. We are here to support this noble cause and our country’s effort to deliver this human message to the world. This reiterates the role of art in supporting social causes, and reflects our commitments as Qataris in supporting our leadership vision”. said Nada Al-Sulaiti

“We would like to thank Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser for her wise vision, and are grateful to EAA for giving me this opportunity to present this jewellery that reflects the core values of EAA of supporting education and reaching out to all vulnerable children’, she continued

The jewellery was presented during the celebration of Education Above All celebrations in reaching out to 10 Million children and provide them with quality education through 65 projects in 50 countries. In partnership with the UNICEF, the event took place on 17th of April at New York Public Library.

Nada Bint Khamis Al-Sulaiti  is  a  Qatari  designer who is passionate for design. She established Hairaat in 2011, to bring a  new  concept  for  creative  luxury  in  the  jewellery  world.      Hairaat’s pieces radiate Qatar’s rich  culture  to  the  world  through  jewels  blending  it  with  International  appeal,  Creating  unique  statement  pieces.    Hairaat integrates  honesty,  integrity  and  ethics  into  all  aspects  of  its  business.  Hairaat, which  is  an  original  Qatari  concept,  will  grow  through  continued  creativity  and  innovation.

For more info:











“How to Be an Ironman” Qatari author, Nasser Al-Mohannadi, at FNAC Store

April 2016 – Dr. Nasser Saqer Al-Mohannadi became one of the first Qataris ever to complete a full Ironman race. He swam 3.8km, biked 180km and ran 42.2km  in port Elizabeth – South Africa,  one of the most difficult Ironman courses in the world. It was the fulfillment of a childhood dream and the climax of 28 years of preparation and training.


March 3rd, 2018 marked another milestone for Al-Mohannadi: his book detailing his life’s experiences titled, How to Be an Ironman, published by Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press), launched to a packed audience at FNAC store at Doha Festival City’s branch.

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Al-Mohannadi, who is also the adjunct professor at Texas A&M, Senior Advisor at Qatar Petroleum, board member of Qatar Science and Technology Park and Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation, in addition to being a renowned athlete, was inspired to write this book for many reasons.

“I wrote this book to share my experiences, my trials and tribulations,” explains Al-Mohannadi, “and to build awareness and share my knowledge on how to acquire the mental skills needed to overcome any physical or mental obstacle which ultimately supports human development.”

In How to Be an Ironman, Al-Mohannadi describes how he overcame childhood fears, cultural misunderstanding and physical injuries to reach his goal. Through careful planning, persistence and learning through mistakes, he achieved what seemed impossible.

“This book is about the journey of every individual. We all face our Ironman race, either because we want to achieve a dream or because we are confronted with difficult circumstances in our lives” – Al Mohannadi



Not only is this book a milestone for Al-Mohannadi, but it marks another important achievement the first of many collaborations to come between HBKU Press and FNAC in an effort to engage the local population to participate in literary events as well as highlight local talents in Qatar.

Mr. Bader Abdullah Al-Darwish, Chairman and Managing Director of Darwish Holding, commented: “Supporting local talents and investing time, effort and resources in nurturing them is an ethos instilled in FNAC’s DNA. Such talents will define the future and will build upon our ancestors’ heritage and steer our country forward.

Get your copy at your nearest fnac







“We eat watermelon, upcycle, recycle and relove” – Alleine Nadal Khalifa

A freelance Art Director at the Film House, a former Al Jazeera English Media Manager, wife and mother to two gorgeous little girls.

All the way from Cavite- Phillipines.  Alleine  has a BA in Mass Communications and a string of other qualifications in Fine Arts and Art Directing in Film , she moved to Qatar in 2006 to join Al Jazeera English where she remained for almost 10 years.

US: Do you come from an artistic family?

AK: Indeed I do, both my parents are equally artistic and my sibling is also in the news/film industry here in Qatar.

US: How has art impacted your life?

AK: Art has manifested in my life from as early as I can recall –  my parents have  contributed a big part of who and what I am today.


US: Who is your inspiration?

AK: My husband, a film director/producer Omar Khalifa is the greatest part of my inspiration. He’s my number one supporter.


Their passion for the arts has led them to start their company Watermelon Ink.

US: Tell us a little bit about Watermelon Ink.

Why Watermelon?

AK: We love everything watermelon. And in the spirit of such a flexible fruit, we want to bring you just as many diverse, fun and appealing products, so, we eat watermelon, upcycle, recycle and relove.

Our eclectic brains are sprinkled with a passion for the arts. We paint and make films in our day jobs, which keeps us keen to be colourful and curious with our endeavours.


We love to make things, repurposing by using salvaged chairs to side-road pallet wood, or empty baby milk cans to second-hand trinkets from the souq. The result is a varied range of carefully crafted products that will hopefully put a big watermelon smile on your face.

From our craft shop, you can find DIY projects to make your own spaces more creative, vibrant and memorable for the whole family.

One of our main objectives is to help and  collaborate, in particular, with other expats in Qatar from all walks of life. So know that the riyals you spend with Watermelon Ink go to the people who need it most.


We welcome any collaboration opportunities here in Qatar and abroad.

For those of you who don’t know Alleine, she offers the following workshops:


For more information on Watermelon Ink.

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IG: alleinenadalkhalifa

IG: watermelonink_qatar

FB: Watermelon ink.




Paper Quilling with Anum Kamran

A mother of two beautiful little girls, turns paper quilling art into something to behold.

Anum Kamran hails from Karachi-Pakistan, holds a Masters degree in Microbiology, began her married life in Doha just a little over 5 years.

Her choice to be a stay at home mum has allowed her to pursue and develop her creativity.

June 2016, marked the beginning of something new for her, a hobby that turned into absolute passion, Paper Quilling Art, also known as paper filigree, it employs the technique of rolling, coiling, crimping, and fringing paper strips using a quilling tool, it is then glued together, creating masterpieces that make for great conversational pieces regardless of where you chose to place them

An extraordinary paper craft beneficial, to our mind, body and heart, engaging both sides of the brain, enhancing motor and cognitive skills, although time consuming, it a great stress/anxiety reliever, not to mention that it heightens your ability to focus and teaches you patience.


With simple materials such as Paper Quilling strips, Slotted tool, pointed needle, pointed tweezer, white craft glue, mini mold, border buddy, scissor, Stencils scale, crimper, quilling coach and comb, Anum creates one masterpiece at a time.

Anum’s favourite creation:


Below Anum illustrates the various steps on placing the elements of an beginners design:


Be sure to view some of her art on:


IG: @anum.kamren





Excellence, Imagination and refinement with Peter Langner at Per lei Couture

I had the pleasure of meeting The Peter Langner, at Per Lei Couture Doha, a multi brand boutique based in the Pearl Qatar.


“our customer is not specifically running after fashion trends – i need to feel good, i need to feel right”

Peter Langner, the designer who, at the young age of twenty-four, left his home in Hanover (Germany) to attend school in Paris at the world renowned Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale to follow his passion to become a great couturier.


Completing his studies with distinction, he went directly to work and learn from the masters at the famous design houses of Christian Dior, Emanuel Ungaro, Guy Laroche and Christian Lacroix.


1991 saw the opening of his own workroom in Rome.  2015 saw his move to Milan. Soon after he moved his Headquarters as well, giving his label the TRUE MEANING OF “MADE IN ITALY”

Langner assembled an amazing staff of artisan. With their rare capabilities and their master craftmanship, they turn Langner’s designs into reality. Every dress designed, sewn and beaded in the workroom in Milan uses the most exceptional fabrics from Italy and France as well as the finest crystals.

Each fabric cutter, seamstress and embroider are asked daily to test their limits, to move forward into a new dimension. The team continuously attempts new forms of fabric manipulation or even creating their own sequins; a continuous search for something new, to go beyond the conventional. In doing so, Peter Langner’s artisans never relinquish the goal of perfection or abandon their commitment to the highest quality.

Accustomed to Langner’s ability to transform fabrics into unique works of art, his clientele wears each piece as an extension and expression of who they truly are.

His client base hails from Japan, Korea, America, Italy, England and the Middle East.  His clientele, is one who is knowledgeable about style, a discerning shopper, recognizes quality, confident in her own skin, knows exactly what she wants and understands her body.  In his words, “my clients do not necessarily follow fashion trends but wants to feel beautiful in what she wears.


Per Lei Couture is an exclusive boutique that showcases a selection of well-known international and regional brands.




For more information on per lei Couture ”





Expressing your individuality with Noora Al Ansari

Papillon Jewelry is a Qatari Concept born from the passion of Noora Al Ansari, a woman who believes in the beauty that comes from the simplicity of natural elements like precious stones.

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Noora’s philosophy is to offer her clients jewelry that best expresses one’s personality.

US: When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a jewelry designer?

NA: It was back in 2009, when I was studying for my MBA. It somehow triggered in me that I want to do a kind of  business related to fashion, luxury or something but it should be unique and different from others who are into abayas, jalabia etc.  It was then that I thought of being involved in the jewellery business using my creativity to designing jewellery pieces that reflects the culture and taste of Qatari women.

US: Who have been your biggest mentors in this industry and what is the best advice they have ever given you?

NA: One of my biggest mentors was Mr. Ravi Rakyan.  Mr. Ravi has been in the jewelry business for more than 30 years which he inherited from his great grandfather.  It’s a family business that they started back in the 19th century. When I first met him at one of the jewelry exhibitions, he provided me inspiration of the jewelry business from the way that he was dealing with the customer, the quality of his products and how different he was from his competitors.  He listened to them carefully and calmly.  He was patient, sincere and honest in his approach, telling them clearly whether he can or cannot make what they are requesting for. So, Mr. Ravi taught me about how precious a piece of jewelry is, how to appreciate the work and, at the same time, how to gain trust from the customer by treating them with respect. And, if they like your creation, be happy and if they don’t like it, it is still ok; it doesn’t mean it is the end of the world.

The second biggest mentor, of course, is my husband. He taught me the technical aspects of business, about budget planning, accounting and also looking at things from a different perspective because in jewelry, you have the beautiful (emotional) side and the business side. Sometimes, I may feel that we need to do this, we need to buy this or we need to buy this piece but he, sometimes, try to control me. He knows that I am excited to buy but he explained to me to stop and to ask myself questions – why do I want to buy it? Why I think it is beautiful and what will make a customer be attracted to this piece?  How is it related to our concept as a Papillon?  Which customer would buy it? So, they are 2 biggest mentors for me.


US: What was the most valuable thing you learned from your MBA course?

NA: If I compare my MBA course against my work experience, I learned that customer service and creating trust between myself and the customer are very important.  When the customer trust my way of working, the product that I offer and the service I am providing, then it will help develop a good relationship.  But, it takes time and one needs to be patient to establish and develop relationships. Because people are different, some are very easy to convince while others are not.  If you convince someone then ok, if you don’t convince people, it’s fine.  Because at the end, it’s all a matter of the taste.  This is the most valuable thing that I learned from MBA.  My research for my MBA program was about the relationship between customer service and customer expectations and how they are related to each other. It gave me an insight on how to deal people and to manage their expectations.  And, it’s very important that if you cannot do it, just say I cannot do it.  It is also very important not to make promises; if you know you cannot make it, just be honest and say I cannot make it.  And, if you can produce it in a certain time, then say I can deliver it in 3 weeks, even if the customer doesn’t like to hear 3 weeks or 1 month.  But it’s the reality, they can either accept it or not.  Because we use outside suppliers and our work depends on their work and delivery, we can try and improve our delivery.  If they need time to deliver product or something we can sit down and discuss and try to make it work, whenever possible.

What I also learned from my MBA is that if we want to do business, first of all, it’s very important to study the market, to study the people and who are the targeted customers.  You need to make a plan for your business – financial plan or marketing plan, all aspects in building the business and once you are sure about your plans and the place where it is visible and practical, then look into how to go about doing it.

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US: What is your favourite part about being a jewellery designer?

NA: When the idea comes to you, it’s a very nice feeling…like oh I can do this and then you take a piece paper and you start to draw something, you start to call people that you know, I want to do this. Is it possible that we create something like this piece?  This part of this idea is very interesting and the excitement that comes when you know that it’s a special piece and then followed by the hard work of communicating with the supplier and the final drawings. At the same time, you will start thinking of the marketing of the piece. To produce the piece, you need to sit down, brain storm and it’s not the end. It’s nice to involve yourself with people…those who are close to me or with customers I have.  And, when the final product becomes a reality, when you touch it, when you see it, when you tried on and then it establishes a connection that you made it from scratch and it’s like “done”.

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US: How do you decide what elements to include in you designs?

NA: I would usually brainstorm with my sister even before I start producing my pieces sharing my designs with her and then getting her opinion in terms of color, size, materials to be used – white, yellow or rose gold, kinds of stones.  I do brain storming because you think up the idea, you have the taste but, sometimes when you are involving yourself in the work heavily, you forget many elements. So, brainstorming with people, keeps on reminding you of these elements that you may have forgotten in the excitement of designing a unique creation. And, filling the missing parts and accepting the ideas, creating a design and sharing with people close to me or the customer that you trust. There are certain people with certain pieces for certain things, so i would speak about serving customer that I know that may be trusted in this piece or want this kind of idea and design or they can help more because they also go and meet with other people and they may speak about jewellery. They keep hearing ideas from others that they can share with you.

US: What was the first commission you landed?

NA: Seriously speaking, with some suppliers that I know from previous exhibition I attended. And then started with the small collections.  After I graduated, I started to speak with Mr. Ravi more seriously. After my MBA, I thought I needed to change my career.  So we started with the royal collection, followed by elegant everyday collection, then we came up with papillon signature collection and then papillon collection.

I found that people in Doha also wants to see branded jewellery.  So, I started studying each brand, why I should have this brand and this brand and then, Alhamdulillah, I succeeded in speaking to them, because they saw the passion that I have. And this was what Adolfo Courrier, Ferrari Firenze and even Cosia saw in me. They all agreed and started telling me that when they saw me  and said even you are new in this business but we can see passion is driving you to be successful and they asked us, the same question, why we should go with you instead of an established company? My answer was, we are new and are taking care of our jewelry and we will be also able to take care of your jewelry. As we are promoting our collection, we will also promoting you. For example Adolfo Courrier, we are growing together. Cosia pearl is established long time ago, and also Mr.Ravi. So the growing opportunity for all of us is there. We are learning from each other.  That’s why they are excited that we will be their Ambassador of their line in Doha.

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US: If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?

 NA: I don’t regret what I started. I wish that I have started earlier and I would not committed to other things. I had more focus on it. But I have learned from my career when I graduated with my degree that I was lucky to be in the place and I learned how to deal with the people. It’s not easy because you are speaking with people with different mind-set, with different characters and different attitude. It was kind of studying psychology in practice rather than in theory. So it taught me how to deal with people, how to gain their trust and learn how to provide the best customer service from them.

US: What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?

NA: My biggest fear is people’s acceptance and establishing a Qatari brand.  It is a very sensitive thing. It is not abaya or other normal items. It’s made of gold and precious stone. So how you will bring your vision, your dream, your line to be accepted by people because here we still have people who believe in brands, like Italian brands, high end brands because they feel comfortable to buy from them and they relate brands to their look and to their style. Like, if I am stylish, if I am beautiful then I should buy something branded. For us to come and introduce our brand or our line and convince people that this is a brand and it is no less beautiful that the high end brand or whatever brands they like. This was one of my biggest fear. I know how much I need to spent to explain to them to be convinced that this is also beautiful jewellery and this is unique. If you wear people will come and ask where did you get this from if not necessary I am feeling to wear something that has the brand  name so people from far will recognize that she’s wearing this brand its more enjoyable if they like it and they  come to you and ask where did you buy from. There you can feel that you are unique because you choose a piece that is beautiful and I am not saying 10 people but even 1, 2 or 3 people will ask you where did you buy this from it gives you different feelings like happiness and the same time when she call me and say well this piece, I did marketing for you. This is the difficult part of bringing this to the people and convince them or like encourage them that this is also high brand they shouldn’t hesitate because when they may think that what she studied about diamond. How that she know that the supplier or the people that she is working with to do with this pieces are really trustworthy, because we are telling people this quality if VVS or VS. So they will say where you learned about diamonds you will know this is really…. But when you go to the brand they already trust the brand they used this kind of standard quality shouldn’t even will ask.


US: What advice would you give to young people who look to you and want to enter a career in jewelry design?

NA: I would encourage them. If you believe in yourself, if you believe in your talent and you believe that you can bring something different, then just go ahead and don’t be scared from other competitors. Learn from them and do something different. This is the important thing how you make something different. Don’t do something that the same as them.  Yes, I know the kind of pieces that is in fashion, it’s ok that you make fashion piece but with your own touch. This is how you can say it’s different or you can say then after a time you will be like encourage or going into upper level where you can feel that I can introduce something totally different on what is the fashion now.  And people will like it, that you create fashion. And I want to be able to do this. This is my goal – to make a piece that is ahead of the trend and everyone will come and say new trend. This what i want to achieve really. This piece is known by Papillon. I really want this in the future.

US: How important is DJWE for you?

NA: It’s important because it’s an opportunity for me and for other jewellers to go to many place and present our jewellery and our passion.  But, at the same time not all people will know us because we are spending a lot of time and effort on instagram, snapchat although it has been here from past 2 and half years. Some people come and say this is the first time for them to see us here. So it’s more important is that it is an opportunity for us to be there, to be visible, and, of course, to see VIPs, Emir Sheikh Tamim, Sheikh Hamad,  Sheikha Moza, to come and see the talent and the passion of the Qatari. And how education is important because the country spent a lot of money to give the best education to the best people. Alhamdulillah, I am very proud of being Qatari, I am very proud of what the State of Qatar is giving to us as opportunity to grow. So if there’s an opportunity to us to go and grow and plan for our future then why not. Like a small return to our country to show the appreciation of this.

US: What can we expect to see in the upcoming DJWE 2018?

NA: We will be featuring the following:

  • Papillon, Royal, Signature, Elegant Everyday Collections,
  • Firenze Italia Collection
  • Italian brands like Adolfo Courrier, Ferarri Firenze, Casato, Coscia, Novecentonoventanove, Reho.

We will also be bringing exclusively made gold collection from Pakistan and Oman.

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US: What are your plans for the future?

NA: To expand another branch in one of the luxury world here in Doha and at the same time I also want to create a new collection. We already have a few collections but I am working on the collection that will be recognized by people. When they see any item, people knows it came from Papillon whether it is Signature collection or Papillion collection. I want to reach this level where they will know us in terms of design, quality and trust.

US: Would you look at collaboration with other designers?

 NA: I don’t mind working with other designers, especially Qataris. Why don’t we do some kind of collaboration? I don’t mind even if they want to build the kind of a community or society.  We are very few in Doha anyway.  If speaking about Qatari designer, we are very few. I don’t mind to collaborate. In the end, competition should be understood in a different way. It just because some people may understand that if you are with me in the same business you are my enemy. They don’t take it in a way that we can work together because if we are working together then we are, evolving or building ourselves together as well to creating one line because then my customer will know them and their customer know me and I think we will get more progress by doing so.  To do something for the first time where I work with another Qatari designer to come up with the collection or line we should be proud to have such thing and I think people will be amazed that we could do this because even the brands like Cartier collaborate with Van Cleef. They are different because they are now big names but we are in a society, community or a small country we can make something different why not, I don’t mind.

US: Your message for 2018?

 NA: I really wish that we get more support from locals and they believe in us. I mean they shouldn’t go behind only names but they should believe in us as Papillon, then we can make this piece for them as per their wish. This is what i want especially now with the blockade, they cannot go and buy jewelry from outside so I think we are now a source here to buy jewelry from and people need to change their perception about jewelry in Doha is very expensive. Because for us, we are bringing them the best quality with very reasonable price. If I am speaking about our quality in other jewelry places, it will be very expensive but for us no.

Papillon also has a great selection of gifts for every occasion and according to the season, the age of each woman, and the traditional celebrations that take place in Qatar. There is nothing left to chance in this beautiful store, even the signature packaging of the boutique is part of the amazing journey that starts in this garden of luxuriousness and diamonds.

For more information on Papillon Jewelry




The shoe that tells a story – with Hissa Haddad

Over a casual coffee, I had the opportunity to get to know fellow shoe-addict and designer, Hissa Haddad. Miss Haddad is known to put her best- and most fashionable foot forward- in the world of glitz and glamour. Hissa was recently selected by the British Fashion Council to participate in the London Fashion Week, after a successful run at Paris Fashion Week last October and showcasing in Doha this year in January.
An engineer in her own right, Haddad translates her unwavering passion for design and the determination to share her expression of her culture into her beautiful shoe collection.


In partnership with the Italian Chamber in Qatar, Hissa curated her first shoe collectin from all-things-Italian, from the materials used to working with a well-known Italian manufacturer. Hissa produced her debut collection using her favorite medium- satin. While the workmanship was of Italian origin, her shoes were made with Qatari-love, expressing her culture as a source of inspiration. Cuts of the shoes were inspired by Islamic architecture, bringing in some structural influence from her academic career. Pearls were a sign of her Qatari heritage, being a well-known item of trade in Qatari history. Gold and gems are used, symbolizing their importance in fashion and beauty in the Arab- and more specifically, Qatari- world. Haddad’s personal love for satin, adds her own unique touch to the collection, which was marketed under the umbrella of other well-known brands.

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Hissa explains, ” My love for design began at a very young age, inspired by my father’s engineering sketches and my mother’s ability to effortlessly customize clothing.” The ability to customize and improvise, all the while adding personal flavour and touch, is an art that should be nurtured and developed, so that it can be expressed and promoted.


When asked about how shoe design stepped out from her engineering career, she says, ”The perception and expectation of achieving a career do not include creativity, but just achieving something “clever”, hence my decision to pursue shoe designing and manufacturing after the completion of my Masters in Engineering.”

Hissa reveals that she loves shoe brands that tell a real story, such as Salvatore Ferragamo, who was considered a visionary.


Haddad also recognizes the vast amount of talent in Qatar and added, “I would love to be an inspiration to all those women and I would love to tell them they can do whatever they want… I have always wanted to launch a Qatari brand. We do have lots of women here who are extremely creative but perhaps, didn’t go all the way to take their brands to the international arena. My advice would be for them is to believe and do it”.


If you never try, you’ll never know.


For more information on HH collection:



In conversation with Ghada Al Buainain

GHADA AL BUAINAIN is a fine jewelry brand specially created by young Qatari designer Ghada Rashid Al Buainain who believes in the power of jewelry, and the transformative quality it has on any outfit. The brand aims to create a distinctive urban design drawn from ideas emanating from the region.


Ghada looks at jewelry from very different perspectives.  Her perception of jewelry makes the brand unique.  Combining her ideas with the shapes of unconventional material resulted in the brand’s first collection “Pipe In Gold”.



Ghada started designing jewelry in 2012.  Within two years, she had designed her first collection, based on a mechanical character, made up of four main pieces. She then began refining her interest in jewelry by reading, taking online courses and persistent training and application.  She then went on to add new pieces to her collection, some smaller pieces that can be substituted depending on the individual’s preferences, called “fittings”.

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“My thoughts are inspired from the environment around me, I love transferring the feelings that I get when I see the beauty of everyday objects and transform them to touchable pieces” said Ghada.  Aptly, her next collection was called Digital Garden.

US: When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a jewelry designer?

GB: I was in my early 20s when I realized that I wanted to pursue a career as a jewelry designer. I loved making random stuff using my hands and from there began my love in making jewelry.

US:: Who have been your mentors in this industry and what is the best advice they have ever given you?

GB: My best mentor is my best friend.  We used to talk about fashion and jewelry since we were teens. She is a fashion designer, she began really early and her experience with clients was really helpful.

US: : What is your favorite part about being a jewelry designer?

GB: That I am able to create pieces of jewelry that tell stories. Another thing is seeing my creation on my customers and seeing the happy to use it.

US: What materials do you work with and what do you find so appealing about using them?

GB: I prefer using solid gold in most of the pieces I designed.  I find it appealing because of its shine and it really complements the “industrial” style of my jewelry.

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US: What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?

GB: I was afraid that people will not like my design creations.

US: Where do you go for inspiration when working on a new line?

GB: Some people travel for inspiration.  I go to the hardware store for inspiration. I have not changed the store since I began designing, and every time, I visit it, I find something new.

US: : How do you want women to feel when wearing your jewelry?

GB: My jewelry is made with the contemporary women in mind. I want them to feel empowered, strong and confident.

US: What advice would you give to young people who look up to you and want to embark on a career in jewelry design?

GB: I want to tell them to trust and believe in themselves and not to be afraid to ask for advice when they need it.

US : How important is Doha Jewelry & Watches Exhibition (DJWE) for you?

GB: Participating in DJWE is important for my brand because of the exposure that it provides to individual designer. Another thing is being able to meet new customers in the right environment.

US: What have DJWE 2017 given you?

GB: I was able to present my collections to a huge number of new clients and, with the media coverage, my brand received a lot of attention. This helped to promote my jewelry brand for the rest of the year.

US: Do you think that these kind of initiatives give you support in your field?

GB: Yes, it provided a big push for my brand as stated above. The support we received during the last DJWE helped us to reach more organizations in Qatar and improve our brand for Qatar.

US: How did your participation at DJWE 2017 reflect on your work?

GB: I received a huge number of new clients.  Some of them did not have the chance to get jewelry during DJWE but they got themselves some after the event. Our sales increased by 20%.

US: What can we expect to see in the upcoming DJWE2018?

GB: I expect that this DJWE will be a very special one, because of what Qatar is going through this year. I believe that the DJWE young Qatari initiative on its second edition will be stronger, and from my end, I will make sure to do all I can to make it a success.

US: What are your plans for the future? Would you look at collaboration with other designers?

GB: My plan for near future is to set up a small boutique in Qatar. Also, I might look towards working with other designers or artists.

US: Your message for 2018?

GB: My message is directed to my brand and my small group of employees – Never stop dreaming and keep working towards achieving our goals.


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For more information about Ghada Al Buainain:


Mobile: +974 55052041


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