‘I knew from the time I was very little that I wanted to do something that was against the trend,’ confesses Dubai-based Life Coach, Leila AlMaeena.

Being half-Saudi, half-American, the young trailblazer knew Dubai’s diverse culture would prove a fitting backdrop for her career graph.

Tasting success in the local corporate world, AlMaeena soon realised that her calling lay elsewhere.

Branching out as a certified Life Coach and setting up her practice in Dubai, AlMaeena today attributes her success to her family.

She says: ‘I grew up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and those 16 years were some of the best in my life. That phase taught me so much about diversity and humanity. I was able to take those teachings with me to the States and take things to the next level when I moved to Dubai later.’

Quiz AlMaeena whether her success story also serves as a role model for budding female entrepreneurs and she replies: ‘In today’s world, there are so many opportunities open for women. There is a beautiful reform happening right now that has opened the doors for women empowerment in this region, whereby any Khaleeji woman, can achieve her dreams if she chooses to.’

With stress being the driving force in the world today, AlMaeena says Dubai is following the right formula in embracing the happiness culture.

‘With Dubai positioning itself as the happiest city in the world, it is time to bring this accolade into our everyday lives,’ she advises, adding: ‘Spend time with nature. Learn something new. Nothing heals a tired mind and body better.’