For those living in the UAE family is everything but for many expats, being away from family makes it even more important to spend precious moments with loved ones, and for Emiratis whose families reside in the UAE, family is at the heart of their lives, with all of life’s key moments centred around their loved ones.
All clothing and shoes by FENDI All Bags, FENDI Peekaboo
One of those key moments in the lives of Emirati families is the UAE National Day, which is celebrated each year on the 2nd of December. This year marks the 51st National Day celebration. This is traditionally one of the biggest days of the year to celebrate the founding of the country and its leaders. Like all families, Noor Altamimi is planning to spend the occasion with her loved ones.
As a successful Emirati businesswoman Noor Altamini is a true inspiration. Alongside her three sisters, Bodour, Dana and Sara, she founded Bedashing Beauty in 2008. With a mission of empowering women by making them feel and look their best, it became one of the most successful beauty chains in the UAE and soon had nine branches across the Emirates. Noor hadn’t always planned to work in the beauty industry. While running her own interior design company she began to consider what her future would be. Her vision was to build an empire that could continue for generations. This coupled with her passion for empowering and building confidence in women led her to start Bedashing Beauty, and being a company focused on female empowerment it only seemed fitting that it was also run by women. Working with her sisters allowed the Altamimi family to become some of the most successful businesswomen in the UAE. In 2021, the sisters decided it was time for another venture and they sold the Bedashing brand to pursue other opportunities in the field of women’s empowerment. This marked a new, exciting chapter in their lives and a world of opportunity lies ahead.
While establishing herself as a successful businesswoman Noor also had the blessing and challenge of bringing up five daughters; Farah, 23, Dana, 22, Ameera, 18, Jojo, 22 and Salma, 9. As a close-knit family, the girls try to spend as much time together as they can while enforcing their own careers and paths. Each with her own goals, vision and style, when they come together it’s very clear that family is the most important thing to them all. For this shoot, we brought all six ladies together at Noor’s home in Dubai. Spending a day with the family, you could immediately feel the love and respect they have for each other, but also the fun and happiness when they all gather.
Family is one of the key values that defines the Italian fashion house Fendi. As one of the few luxury houses that still have the founding family at the heart of the brand, you can feel these family values in everything they do. It was for this very reason we decided to tie up with Noor and her daughters for this project, celebrating the common codes between the brand and this Italian fashion house. As the ladies got ready for their high fashion moment, we talked to Noor Altamimi about business, life and the importance of family.
What does family mean to you?
All of us are unique in our personalities, in the way we look, the way we act and with our attitude, Family means accepting each other, respecting each other for who they are and helping each other to flourish in life. It is acceptance, unconditional love, and unconditional support. I am always there for my family.
We will soon be celebrating the 51st UAE National Day – what does this day mean to you?
Although I do it every day, the UAE National Day is an opportunity to stop and think and express gratitude for being part of and living in this country. I am truly grateful to be born Emirati, this is such a blessing that I thank God for every day. Would I be who I am today if I wasn’t Emirati or living in the UAE? I don’t think so. And now, I get to appreciate even more living in this fabulous country when I see how most of the world stopped where they were before the pandemic, but we continue to grow and evolve, and we are now far ahead of most countries. I am very grateful to be living in this wonderful country, I’m grateful to our father His Highness Sheikh Zayed for bringing the Emirates together and forming this country. I’m grateful forever and this is the day when I can stop and think of the blessing, I’m currently living in.
How do you celebrate with your family?
We usually gather with extended family and have a meal together, and we love to participate in the parade that takes place on the streets.
What is your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement is for sure my family. My five lovely daughters. I sometimes wondered if it was the best thing to have kids at a very early age, but now I feel very blessed because I’m still young and enjoying the company of my children.
What is something your favourite thing to do as a family?
My favourite thing to do is to simply hang out at home with my kids, prepare meals together, have a movie night, eat popcorn, and play card games. Travelling with my kids is also really fun, especially when we go to a beach. We all have different interests and are different ages, but we share our love for the beach, so this is something we like to do together. A hobby that I enjoy is diving. I love to dive, and I took an advanced licence in diving. I travel with friends to nearby countries, and we dive together in amazing places.
What is the biggest challenge you currently face?
I’m currently dealing with empty nest syndrome! My two eldest daughters are working in another city and so I only see them during the weekends, and my third daughter is now studying abroad. So I’m at home with just two of my kids, and I find it a bit difficult to deal with as I’m used to a very crowded house!
We know you have parted ways with Bedashing – what are you currently working on?
Empowering women is something I am extremely passionate about, and this was one of the purposes of Bedashing. It was about spreading confidence amongst women by helping them look and feel their best and encouraging them to be independent. This is still my passion, and all my current and future projects rotate around empowering women. So, this is what I will continue to do moving forward.
What is the vision for your next chapter?
I’m working on several projects right now and female-led ventures will be my area of focus for the coming future. I don’t have details that I can share yet but stay tuned and you will learn more very soon.
What are some of the values you feel you and your family share with a brand like Fendi?
Fendi has a very sophisticated approach to fashion with a trendy twist that makes it interesting. I believe this also summarises us as a family and there are many common codes between me and my daughters.
How would you describe your style?
My style is sophisticated, linear, and symmetric with a fashionable and sometimes daring twist.
What is the one item you can’t live without?
It’s always lovely to surround yourself with luxury items when you can afford them. But is there any single item I can’t live without? No, I can definitely live without material items, what I can’t live without are my values and the love I have towards my family.
Can you tell us what you carry in your handbag?
I’m all about keeping things very neat and simple so I don’t carry too many things in my handbag. I try as much as possible to keep only the necessary items with me. My mobile phone is very important, my tinted lip balm, my credit cards my ID, my car key, a pack of tissues and lipstick – that’s it!
What is the professional motto that you live by?
Continuous self-development and progress is the motto that I live by. Noor in 2022 should be much better than Noor in 2021 and so on. I focus on how to continuously progress. I don’t compare myself to others, I compare myself to the older version of myself. Each year I set a personal goal and I work hard to achieve that. It can be something very simple, but I put all my efforts into reaching that goal and when I achieve it, I feel very grateful.
What is a message or lesson you would hope that your daughters will carry with them throughout their lives?
The main message that I would like to share with my kids, is that although I believe that our capabilities as human beings are unlimited, we are however limited by the time we have. We do not have control over past moments or the future, but we have full control of the current moment we are in, and at that moment you can do whatever you can. So do the best with every moment you have and in no time, you will reach the highest heights.
Photography: Žiga Mihelčič
Styling & Direction: Lindsay Judge
Hair and makeup: Aiza, Marie and Arina at Signature Element
With thanks to Noor Altamimi and family.