Emirati Jewellery designer Noora Shawqi draws inspiration from her love of travelling to create fine jewellery collections that are modern, feminine and effortless. Her collection is primarily made in Dubai, working with local highly skilled artisans.
Her collections are unique and minimal with a focus on the modern woman. Her pieces encourage women to be brilliant, adventurous and unique.
Noora is certified as a Diamond Graduate from the Gemological Institution of America, she has received a Diamond Grader certification from the International Gemological Institute and has completed a course at L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels. These experiences have given the designer an exclusive insight into jewellery manufacturing and designing for diamonds and gemstones, allowing her to utilize these skills and launch the brand in 2018.
Ahead of this year’s Emirati women’s day on August 28th, Jewellery designer Noora Shawqi discusses what the day means to hear.
What does Emirati Women’s Day mean to you?
As a mother and an entrepreneur, this day indicates how well we are represented in our nation. It brings immense joy to have a day dedicated to us that shows how the women of the country are constantly valued for our strength and efforts.
How has your Emirati heritage influenced your choice of career?
My Emirati heritage has instilled certain values and traditions in me that I like to portray through my designs. I grew up admiring the Emirati women’s eye for beauty and love for fine jewellery which influenced the way I see jewellery.
What is something you remember from your childhood that you always keep in your mind?
My fondest childhood memories are going on trips around the UAE to explore all the Emirates in a big group of family and friends.
What is your opinion on the opportunities Emirati women have today?
We are so lucky to be from a country where women are respected and given the same opportunities as men. Our rulers are to thank for always supporting us and providing these opportunities. I am continually inspired by all the high achieving Emirati women, whether it’s business owners, scholars, industry leaders or family makers, there are so many incredible stories to be told.
What inspired you to go into the jewellery industry?
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved jewellery and I knew it was something I wanted to do. To turn this passion into a reality, I undertook a Diamond Graduate course at the Gemological Institute of America and participated in classes when L’ecole Van Cleef (The school of Van Cleef and Arpels) visited Dubai.
What is the motto you live by?
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
What are your thoughts on the jewellery industry in the UAE?
Dubai has always been known as a jewellery destination with a great history. Over the recent years though, I have seen it evolve from embracing traditional designs to adopting a new, contemporary take on jewellery allowing for more modern brands to enter the market.
As a woman, what would you say are your best traits and what is something you would like to improve on?
I would say my best traits are time management. It’s important for me to be organised so that I can balance my work and home life.
My decision-making skills need to be improved on! I can be very indecisive and always second guess my decisions.
What more would you like to see being done in the UAE to support designers and particularly female designers?
I would like to see retailers supporting more local and regional designers.
What can you tell us about your latest Maldives collection?
I was inspired by the Maldives, in particular the turquoise ocean, white sandy beaches and the incredible sunsets. The patterns found on shells are referenced in the collection on delicate pendants, bangles and rings. For this collection, I’ve worked with Mother of Pearl and diamonds to really bring out the essence of the Maldives.
Who is the woman you design for?
A woman who is modern, confident and unique. I like to design for women who choose meaningful jewellery as an everyday companion or to mark a special occasion in their life.
What is something you would still like to achieve with your brand that you haven’t done yet?
I want to see Noora Shawqi grow into an internationally known brand and be available at high-end boutiques around the world.
What is your first memory of jewellery?
One of the first memories I have of jewellery would be going to the mall with my mother and seeing the beautiful Cartier necklace. I will never forget this!
As an entrepreneur what is a message you would give to other women looking to start their own business?
Work hard, do your research and develop a strong brand identity. It’s not easy starting your own business so make sure to surround yourself with people who support you. But above all, don’t be afraid to follow your dreams!
How would you describe your brand in one word?