x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Emirati restaurateur finds her passion

Ahlam Bolooki is a specialist in restaurant marketing at Jumeirah Restaurants, allowing her to enjoy creativity and passion.

Ahlam Bolooki, a specialist in restaurant marketing, says “understanding people is a big part of my everyday job”. Sarah Dea / The National
Ahlam Bolooki, a specialist in restaurant marketing, says “understanding people is a big part of my everyday job”. Sarah Dea / The National

DUBAI // At just 22, Ahlam Bolooki had already accomplished a great deal – she was a restaurant owner and had worked with the pre-opening team at The Ivy in Dubai.

“I had spent a couple of weeks observing the sister restaurant in London,” she said. “I had gone to understand the restaurant operations and history of the brand in its original location.”

Now 24, the Emirati is a specialist in restaurant marketing at Jumeirah Restaurants.

“As much as I love the adrenaline rush of working in a bustling restaurant, I am a visual and literary creative person,” she said.

“Now, I can enjoy both worlds. I still work very closely with the operations of multiple incredible restaurant brands, insanely passionate chefs and restaurateurs, and also get to take that knowledge into communications and nurture my creative muscle.”

Ms Bolooki has learnt a great deal professionally over the past year.

“Understanding people is a big part of my everyday job,” she said. “It is all about communicating to our audience in a way that’s beneficial and relevant. To do so successfully, my job requires me to understand their lifestyles, behaviours and interests.

“Professionally, that’s a lesson that you can never stop learning and is the one that stands out.”

Working in the hospitality business has made her more mature.

“I’ve discovered that, although change can be worrying at times, I have proven to be flexible at adapting to it and life moves forward,” she said.

“I have learnt that communication is everything and to always consider the mindset of the people I communicate with before deriving conclusions, which has also taught me patience.

“Above all, no matter what I do in life, as long as I’m being true to myself, life will lead me exactly where I’m supposed to be.”

Ms Bolooki has also developed a passion for writing.

“I write about all the realisations that come to me as I live my life,” she said.

“I began to write with the mindset that my children and grandchildren will read it one day and go through life with all the difficulties figured out, as I would have stripped the complicated matters down and simplified the core for them.

“My most important realisation in life so far has been to find serenity and gratitude in the now, rather than wasting precious days of our short lives nostalgic about the past or in anticipation of a brighter future. Those two lessons have changed my life.”

cmalek@thenational.ae