'Be ambitious and strive for greatness'

Be ambitious and strive for greatness

Amna Al Habtoor, founder of Arcadia, on the experiences that taught her not to back down from her dreams

Published: Thu 14 Nov 2019, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 24 Nov 2019, 9:20 AM

Your best childhood memory?
I always remember having the most wonderful time with my family while on vacation. My first time in Disneyland Paris was particularly memorable, thanks to the magical atmosphere. I have been blessed with the opportunity to enjoy many trips with my family. And each of them brings a smile to my face.

If you could move anywhere in the world for free, what place would that be?
Definitely Tokyo, Japan. It's an amazing country steeped in history, heritage and culture. I love the juxtaposition of the ultramodern skyscrapers and the historical temples. I also love the fashion and style in the city - it's very unique and bold.

The biggest learning point or experience in your life.
When I launched my brand, I was a little apprehensive. I was proud of the perfumes I'd created, but wasn't sure how they would be received by others and if the stories behind the scent would resonate with the public. The results have been fantastic, which taught me to believe in myself and commit to something I was so passionate about.  

What advice would you give your younger self, if you could?
Be confident in your own ability, be ambitious, strive for greatness and never give up on your dreams.

A skill you'd love to learn?
I would love to learn how to play the piano; it is a beautiful instrument. I'm always blown away when I see videos of people stepping up to a public piano in a train station or airport and playing incredible music. Hopefully, it's not too late for me.  

If you could go back to any era in time, which one would it be?
My perfumes are based on the traditions of the region, so to go back in time and witness first-hand the way of life and how the scents have developed over time would be an incredible experience.

What is your greatest fear?
I've always had a fear of falling and heights, which might be somewhat surprising given the height of some of the towers in Dubai - not to mention the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.

If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day, who would it be and why?
For one day, and perhaps one day only, I would love to trade places with Kris Jenner. For all of the drama that surrounds the family, she manages to keep everything together and develop the brand they have created over the years, while also being a mother to a very close-knit family.

If you were President of your country, what would you do?
I've been fortunate to witness first-hand the leadership of The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, so I would replicate and continue his vision for the UAE. Leading a country is an incredible responsibility so I'd count on those who've provided me with direction throughout my life: my family.

Favourite movie character of all time - and why.
Without a doubt, Macaulay Culkin's character in Home Alone, Kevin McCallister. Not only has the film gone on to become a classic with very entertaining sequels, it also holds fond memories of my childhood and spending time with my siblings and the rest of the family.
- Staff reporter

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