Lina Husri is a public relations professional who came to Dubai in 2007 after having graduated from the Aleppo University in Syria and in 2009 joined Joelle Mardinian, TV personality, leading make-up artist and beauty expert in the Middle East as PR Manager. Lina has gone on to position Joelle as one of the most influential businesswomen in the region and she recently established her own PR company, THINK SMART, to handle PR for all Joelle’s brands in addition to taking on other beauty and fashion accounts. Lina is passionate about the value of corporate social responsibility and she runs her own weekly sessions to empower women.
“…In the UAE, women get lots of respect and support, specifically when you are a visionary and you’ve got an idea…”
Falling in love with Dubai
I’m originally from Aleppo – Syria. I came to Dubai in 2007 after my graduation as a biologist. I was visiting my sister here in Dubai, I fell in love with the city and I started my career as a PR professional with a company called O2 Marketing Communications.
Working with Joelle
I worked in O2 for three years, then one of my media contacts asked me to call Joelle Mardinian as she was looking for a PR professional. So I just met with Joelle, we got talking and we agreed to work together. It was as straightforward as that! What makes me so happy to work with Joelle is that I’m a believer; I believe in her and in her talent.
There have been so many positive outcomes from all the PR opportunities I have created for her. We have achieved so many things together. She is one of the most influential women in the region; a successful businesswoman who owned one salon in Dubai and then went on to set up seven beauty salons in the region and a cosmetic clinic.
Making a difference and giving back to society
I always like to give back to society and I practice that through Corporate Social Responsibility. I enjoy PR for CSR activities, so for example I connected Joelle with lots of charities and awareness campaigns with the Dubai Municipality such as the “No Smoking Women” campaign. I also engaged her business with several charities.
The beauty industry in the Arab world – always something new
There are many beauty brands in the Arab World and the women are well educated in the beauty industry. The biggest challenge that there is no loyalty for brands, there is always something new here and people keep following different trends.
Deciding to start my own PR company
After working with Joelle for seven years, I feel so satisfied with my achievements. I still remember when I had to pitch for Joelle to get magazine coverage; whereas today I receive many requests from media approaching us to get chance to talk to Joelle. I felt I needed a new challenge and to spread my experience, so, with the support and encouragement of my fiancée, Haitham Obaid, I decided to set up my own PR company.
UAE – “The land of opportunities”- respect and support for visionaries with ideas
I call the United Arab Emirates “the land of opportunities”! Here people like me who have been working for several years can afford to open their own company. I know lots of stories of successful entrepreneurs.
In the UAE, women get lots of respect and support, specifically when you are a visionary and you’ve got an idea, there are guides here to help you start a business. It was easy for me when I proposed my business plan to open my new company. They just checked my history and my idea and they give me the full support to put together all the legal papers.
Setting up my own women’s group: Energising ourselves with positivity and clarity
I practiced and I learned lots of yoga and meditation in India and Dubai. I always like to live stress free, empowering myself and other women, so we do have a weekly gathering where we encourage each other and release stress and energise ourselves with positivity and clarity to move on in our life.
Plans for my business moving forward
Now I’m working to get the right PR personalities to work with me as those are the biggest asset in any company, as well as having loyal people and who are passionate about what they are doing. I’m seeing THINK SMART not only in UAE but supporting all business women here to reach other markets in UK, France, Italy and the USA. Watch this space..!