Dubai is one of the most exciting places in the world and to find out more about the Middle Eastern city we decided to ask one of the people we look up to from the region. H.H. Sheikha Maitha Al Maktoum, know as Mia Al Maktoum on Instagram is someone who definitely knows beauty, art, travel and fashion. Maitha was kind enough to share with us some of her thoughts regarding the local fashion scene, the best beauty products for hair, the secret places in Dubai and the best abaya brands we need to check for the upcoming Ramadan’s gatherings.
Book f27: Hello Maitha, how are you?
H.H. Sheikha Maitha Al Maktoum: Great, thank you.
f27: As someone born and raised in Dubai how do you see and feel about all the changes you witness happening in the city?
MM: I think it’s amazing how fast we have developed as a country, especially in the last decade. I’m so proud of being an Emirati and how people love visiting Dubai, we have the best of everything that is all thanks to our great rulers and their great visions and unity.
f27: Dubai is an interesting mix of cultures but what is your favorite spot if you want to have a truly Arabian experience? A place where the time stopped…
MM: There is nothing better to me than the desert especially during winter. It’s a place to get away from all the busy roads and malls filled with people. I love the nature and being in an open space, especially during sunset it can be a magical place to unwind and reflect back on life.
f27: How would you describe the city to someone who has never been in Dubai?
MM: I think Dubai is a city for everyone; after all, it is the city where “East meets West.” Any traveler would love being here whatever you are here for an adventure, to relax, to shop or for a family vacation, there is something for everyone. It’s also amazing that there is always something new happening so you never really get bored.
f27: Dubai is your home but is there a place you would love to go back to?
MM: Barcelona, it was filled with art and history and I being an art lover truly enjoyed it. There were so many things to do and places to see, the amazing museums and galleries. Also, it was ideal for shopping. I think it’s a great city for anyone just like Dubai.
f27: Traveling is your thing, what is the next place you would live to visit on your bucket list?
MM: I want to go to Scotland and experience a road trip through the Highlands, I love nature and would like to experience that by visiting various little towns. I feel like it’s such an underrated part of England.
Another two would have to be New Zealand and Canada.
f27: Let’s talk about style. Who is your style muses?
MM: For fashion, I really look up to Queen Rania. I’ve never seen her wearing a bad look. Everything she wears is timeless and elegant. For beauty I look up to Jenifer Lopez – her skin is always glowing, and she really defies age!
f27: The Emirati girls are very traditional regarding their appearance and style. How do you balance between the traditions and the Western fashion trends?
MM: I’m proud of my culture, so I always wear a traditional abaya, but you can always mix the tradition with a bit of western influence by wearing designer handbags or shoes. You can even wear something out of the latest trends we see in Paris, Milan or New York under your abaya and mix both styles together.
f27: What do you think of Dubai fashion scene?
MM: I believe that it’s still developing and have a long way to go to prove itself as a fashion hub, but it still has great potential.
f27: You’ve done collaborations with fashion brands and beauty companies as LASH Dubai for example? Are you more interested in fashion or beauty regarding business?
MM: I think I’ve always loved beauty more than fashion, LASH Dubai is my favorite lash brand, and it was an honor to have a lash named after me. The best thing about LASH Dubai is that they are locally based, and I love supporting local brands. Not to mention it doesn’t hurt the fact that their eyelashes are so comfy to wear on my eyes and is the best quality, which is very important to me when it comes to beauty products.
f27: Favorite makeup brand?
MM: My favorite makeup brand right now is Tom Ford. Their products are very highly pigmented, and the liquid liner is bullet proof.
f27: Favorite perfume scent?
MM: I have so many, but right now Mon Guerlain by Guerlain has been a great refreshing scent for the summer, and it’s my choice for the upcoming months.
f27: Your favorite beauty item right now?
MM: I have two – “Gisou” which is a hair oil derived from bees and honey. I’ve suffered from dry hair for a long time, and this brand has added density to my hair, it has never been healthier or shinier.
Regarding the skin products, I’ve been obsessed with three – PMD (Personal Microdermabrasion) from PMD Beauty which has made my skin amazing. It’s an anti-aging machine that you can use at home, removes pigmentation and basically, clears your skin.
f27: The best advice anyone ever gave you?
MM: Always appreciate whatever comes your way. Good or bad it’s either a blessing or a lesson.
f27: Let’s do a quick quiz.
The breakfast … Cocoa Room
The lunch … Katsuya
The dinner … Catch Dubai
The Burger Spot … By Parkers Dubai Mall
The place for shopping … Mall of the Emirates it’s not as crowded as Dubai mall but still, has everything
The bag … Always Chanel
The shoes … Hermes sandals
The abaya … my favorite brand right now is @ZayCollection
The Hair products … Ouai Repair Hair Mask
The Takeaway: Burger and Lobster
The Hair Salon: Blow Out and Go
The TV shows: The Real Housewives of New York
The music: Ed Sheeran
The movie: The Holiday
f27: Thank you.
Illustration by Mitja Bokun