Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 23 September 2019

Money & Me: Health is the real wealth for Art Marine sales manager

Sales manager Dalia Magdy says the best investment she has ever made is in her own health and fitness.
Dalia Magdy has changed her life dra­mat­ic­ally by investing in her health. Reem Mohammed / The National
Dalia Magdy has changed her life dra­mat­ic­ally by investing in her health. Reem Mohammed / The National

Dalia Magdy is a sales manager for Art Marine, one of the largest yacht brokers in the region. The 32-year-old moved to the UAE five years ago following a career in property in Egypt. After a stint working for a global car brand in Dubai, she moved into the yacht business last year.

How did your upbringing shape your attitude towards money?

The way our parents handle money has a big effect on how we deal with it. In my case, my parents taught me that money is not everything. At some points we didn’t have enough, but my parents always made sure I still went to the best schools and did not grow up not feeling deprived of anything or feel any less than my friends. So I grew up appreciating the value of money, but I valued a loving family who are there for each other more than anything.

How much did you get paid for your first job?

I was a real estate broker in a brokerage company in Cairo. I was paid 2,500 Egyptian pounds (Dh500). Back then, it was considered a very good salary for a fresh graduate.

Are you spender or saver?

I am very much a spender, especially when I was working during the real estate boom. I made good money at a young age and used to spend a lot and never save, which I regret now. But after those first few years, I reevaluated my attitude and learnt that my type of work, which relies on commission, is a very shaky one. It is up one day and down the next, so I learnt the hard way that I should save for those tough days.

Have you ever had a month where you feared you could not pay the bills?

Yes, I have passed through many tough months here in Dubai. The cost of living is very high. When the market is low and I am relying on commission, I can face some tough months. This led me to sell some expensive items I had purchased in the past to pay my rent. At other [difficult] times, my family has supported me.

Where do you save?

In a savings account. Once I have enough I will invest in real estate in Egypt.

Do you prefer paying by credit card or in cash?

I prefer cash or a debit card. I like to be in control of what I am spending and have had my share of getting into debt because of using credit cards. I don’t want to go through it again.

What has been your best investment?

Investing in my health. I have focused on getting healthy and fit over the last two years and my life has changed dramatically as a result. I discovered CrossFit and in Dubai it is not cheap to join a reputable gym and eat healthy organic food. But the results were amazing. I feel strong, I feel empowered, and I feel I can take anything on.

What do you most regret spending money on?

On unnecessarily expensive items like designer bags and shoes. Some of them exceeded US$7,000 and I could have used the money on more beneficial things.

What financial advice would you offer your younger self?

Learn from your mistakes and save for a rainy day. Financial security is crucial nowadays. Also getting on top of managing your money – what comes in and what goes out – is a critical skill for successful single women these days.

Do you have a plan for the future?

Currently my plan is to work on my financial security and hopefully pursue my passion in fitness. I plan to open a small boutique gym for CrossFit in Dubai and Egypt.

If you won Dh1 million, what would you do with it?

First I would help my family with anything they need. I would like to pay them back for what they have done for me. Then, I would like to pursue my dream of having my own business of opening a gym.

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Updated: April 28, 2017 04:00 AM

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