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Posted by Karen Thornalley

Linda Darai



What brought you to Dubai? I arrived in Dubai 32 years ago. The plan was to stay for six months, save some money and then travel the world - but Dubai had other plans for me. I had always wanted to get into media and advertising and I was given the opportunity to work alongside the founder of Connector magazine which was only two years old at the time. Due to my previous varied work experience I was able to be involved in all aspects of the business from selling advertising, designing the adverts, writing and editing, doing the accounts and admin to even distributing the magazines myself. At that point Connector was very small with a circulation of around 500 copies - now we distribute 30,000 plus a month! At the beginning of 1997, I was given the opportunity to take Connector over, which is what I have been doing ever since.

How did you get into this profession? I had always wanted to be in this industry and had gained a lot of experience in other industries which complemented the skills I needed to work for a magazine. With Dubai being very much the land of opportunity, it was a combination of hard work and determination and being in the right place at the right time. When I was given the opportunity of taking Connector over it became a one women business venture and I ran the company almost single-handedly in the early years. We now have 20 full time staff on our team.

What is the best thing about your job? I love that every day is different and interesting. We’re always in the know, and have the latest information at our fingertips. Certainly one of the best things is the great sense of accomplishment I feel each month when the magazine is published. Actually being able to see and feel a completed product at the end of each month gives a great sense of achievement. Also for many newcomers to Dubai, Connector is their first source of information so it’s good to make a positive impact on their life in Dubai and keeping them connected. Receiving the constant positive feedback and recognition from our advertisers is also very rewarding.

What are the stand out moments in your career? I am very proud that Connector magazine has been voted by Superbrands as one of the top 50 most recognised brands in the UAE for the last ten consecutive years. Another successful moment in my career was establishing Connector Publishing and the launch of our websites, loyalty card, e-magazines and Discover Dubai magazine, which was the first comprehensive tourist guide in Dubai - all of which have proven to be extremely popular with both residents and tourists.

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