x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

GR8! women recognised on eve of International Women's Day

Another awards ceremony held on the eve of International Women's Day feted 18 UAE residents and others from the region.

DUBAI // Another awards ceremony held on the eve of International Women's Day feted 18 UAE residents and others from the region.

Honorees at the GR8! Women Awards, many self-proclaimed workaholics, shared their inspiration for success.

Svetlana Al Neyadi, 46, a Russian ballerina who married a local and moved here in 1989, has trained more than 1,000 students.

Ms Al Neyadi teaches six hours a day, practises, and creates the costumes and choreography for performances.

Dance moves come to her whenever she listens to music, in the car or during class. And because she never writes them down, she often calls impromptu rehearsals later that day.

"Most of our favourite numbers happen this way," Ms Al Neyadi said.

The Emirati artist and fashion designer Summayah Al Suwaidi, 31, said she drew ideas from daily life.

She rarely took time off, she said, calling her office her second home.

"My art is about the incidents that I go through and I take them out on my art," Ms Al Suwaidi said. "It's like a diary for me. Instead of writing in a book, I paint."

Uma Ghosh Deshpande, 36, the Indian producer and host of the TV show High Life Dubai, broadcast by the Sony Entertainment Channel, stressed the need to work hard.

It took three weeks to produce half an hour of material and an hour and a half of exercise every day to look good on camera, Ms Deshpande said.

She also said she stayed awake from midnight until 3am each night dreaming up new shows.

"That's the time I get all my ideas," she said. "Everything that has evolved and become what it is today has happened in those three hours."

* Carol Huang