x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

My UAE: the multitalented mom Aida Al Busaidy

A profile of the Emirati public speaker, author and mother Aida Al Busaidy.

Aida Al Busaidy juggles her role as a mother with a wide range of professional pursuits. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Aida Al Busaidy juggles her role as a mother with a wide range of professional pursuits. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

For 31-year-old Aida Al Busaidy, life is pretty regimented. It needs to be. With an 18-month-old son to take care of, as well as a demanding job, time is a most precious commodity.

“My routine is that I’m up around six every morning, when I try to spend a bit of bonding time with my son before dropping him off at my mom’s,” she says. “I’m at work by 7.30am and don’t finish until 4.30pm, so I like to spend a couple of hours with him in the evening. I need that balance.”

Al Busaidy works as senior manager for Stakeholder Communications in Dubai and, as the “mom” in her quote above suggests, she studied for her journalism degree in the United States. “My entire family sounds very different, you’d never know we were siblings,” she laughs.

Formerly a part of the team at Masdar in Abu Dhabi, Al Busaidy commuted between her home city of Dubai and the office for five years and seems glad that she doesn’t have to worry about the drive these days. But any time that has been freed up by working more locally has certainly not gone to waste. “I used to write a weekly column for a newspaper but now I’m the developmental editor for a website called Sail eMagazine [www.sailemagazine.com]. I also act as master of ceremonies and host a number of events in the region.”

Despite all that, family life remains vitally important to Al Busaidy, who married her husband, Ahmed, three years ago. “I was an avid user of Twitter but after starting a family I use it less – I do love Instagram, though, and it’s a great way of cataloguing what you get up to in life.”

She’s just submitted a manuscript for her first novel to the Montegrappa competition in this year’s Emirates Festival of Literature. “Even if I don’t win I will finish my book and try to get it published,” she says. With such levels of determination, we believe that she will.

What was the last book you read?

Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin.

What is your favourite part of the UAE and why?

Honestly, it has to be Dubai. I’m not being biased, but it’s my home and every place has a memory attached to it and even though our country has grown so fast, there are still a few places that remind me of the 80s, so I try to hold on to them. Like Safa Park – I take my son there every Friday. As a kid, my mom used to take me there so it’s like reliving the memories of my childhood through my son.

What car do you drive or want to own?

I currently drive a BMW X5, but would love to own the new Range Rover Vogue and the Audi R8 – the sports car is to fuel my adventurous side.

Where did you last go on holiday?

Thailand – it was phenomenal.

What was the last film you saw?

Gravity on Apple TV – everyone should own Apple TV. Sometimes going to the cinema is cool, but I can be myself at home.

Who is your favourite clothes designer?

No one, really. I have a unique sense of style and I love mixing things, but I love Prada and Miu Miu, and my ultimate obsession is with Chanel.

What is your favourite aspect of being a parent?

There is no better feeling or joy than having a little human who represents you and your spouse and calls your name – well, ‘mama’, in his case. I just feel blessed that I was given a chance to be a mother and can provide a safe environment for my son.

What do you do to relax and unwind?

Reading, writing, sleeping, listening to music and spending time with my family.

What is your favourite cuisine?

Mexican and Japanese.


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