Laura is one of our Sassiest Mamas 2016…
UK National Laura is News Anchor for City 7 TV as well as a TV presenter/producer, event MC and mama to a beautiful 2 year old boy Marnix. As striking in looks as she is in personality, Laura has spent years working her way up from being a runner on big budget entertainment shows in the UK to furthering her career in Sydney and Tokyo before taking Dubai by storm! She gives us a very open and honest snapshot of her life as a mama and a career woman, breast-feeding, chocolate cheesecake and all.
Tell us about your business and why you started it.
I’m a part-time TV news anchor for a local network where I produce and read the news 3 times a week on the latest from around the UAE. I started in TV over a decade ago as a runner on big budget entertainment shows at the BBC in London, including the first 2 series of Strictly Come Dancing looking after the presenters Bruce and Tess. I worked my way up to researcher, assistant producer and producer across a number of different TV formats at the BBC and at Endemol, and also did a year in Sydney at Channel 7 and 9 and then a year in Tokyo. It’s been a long and sometimes tough road but an amazing experience. I’m also an event MC where bookings can range from award ceremonies, product launches and global conferences, to high level industry panel discussions. I don’t own my own business but i’m currently building a brand around my profile. In order to get MC jobs I need to create awareness around what I do and the rise of social media has been an absolute godsend to get the word out. I’m also with a top marketing and communications company in Dubai – TishTash – who have been incredibly supportive.
What kind of cake would you order for your birthday?
If we handed you a concert ticket, who would you wish it was for?
Although they will never happen now – Prince or Bob Marley
Present day – Jurassic 5 or Eddie Grant
What colour do you wear the most?
Black and blue
When did you last cry?
Before Marnix i very rarely cried but after having him I now cry in adverts! He’s strangely unleashed some sort of deep emotion. The last time I cried though was saying goodbye to family when leaving London this summer on the way back to Dubai. It was especially hard saying goodbye to my 92 year old nana as it could be the last time.
Im not exactly a goddess in the kitchen but my favourite things to make are Mexican chicken quesadillas with red peppers, mozzarella, lots of coriander and protein tortillas.
Where do you get your hair done?
De La Mer Spa on Jumeirah Beach Road.
What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?
The biggest achievement in my personal life so far has to be my little boy Marnix. To get through pregnancy and the last 2 and a half years of keeping something alive has most certainly been an eye opener. Becoming a mother really makes you feel like you can take on anything! I had an incredibly my tough time breast feeding when he was born as I got the latch wrong, but i battled through the pain with the help of dark chocolate and I managed 8 months in the end. I gave myself a big pat on the back after that one! In my professional life some of my biggest achievements to date include when I was promoted to News Anchor, interviewing former Australian Prime Minister the Honourable Bob Hawke and HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum the CEO of Emirates Airline and Group. I was also very fortunate to host CABSAT this year where I introduced and interviewed some of the biggest CEO’s in the broadcast industry, including the CEO of OSN, CNBC, FOX as well as the CEO of Dreamworks who was flown in from the US.
As a child what did you dream of being when you ‘grew up’?!
A weather girl
If you had 3 wishes what would they be?
For no type of child abuse to ever exist
100 more wishes
What does being a Sassy Mama mean to you?
I’m absolutely ecstatic to be a Sassy Mama! The site is my go-to guide when it comes to what to do as a mother here in Dubai and offers the best advice across every aspect of family life. I’ve been following the site ever since Marnix was born, so to be asked to be a Sassy Mama by something I respect so much is just incredible. I’m sure like other mothers, Im not always 100% sure i’m doing the best job but being up for this is an amazing boost, so thank you.
Jumeirah Sirius gold membership
Tell us about a typical day?
On a typical work day I drop Marnix off at nursery for 8am and get to media city for 9am. During the day I research potential stories for the evening news, write up the interesting ones and edit reporter stories as they come in. I’m then into hair and makeup half an hour before we shoot and then on-set to read the news.
On a mummy day Marnix and I will have an early breakfast (he wakes up at 6am yawn) and then usually hit the pool. After lunch and a nap we then head for a play date with one of Marnix’s chums, either at someone’s house or out and about. Otherwise it’s an afternoon exploring one of the new pop-ups Dubai has to offer as there’s always something new and exciting going on for kids. The winter here is just the best for outdoor activities, and it’s just around the corner!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in your personal life and career?
‘There’s no such thing as failure only feedback’ is my favourite quote. I was also told by a very inspirational person to always go into any situation with the intent to learn regardless of what happens good or bad.
What do you most enjoy doing as a family in Dubai?
Our favourite family day out is at the beach. We are all water babies and enjoy the sunshine, so a day at either JBR or Kite beach means we’re all happy bunnies! The amenities at both beach venues are absolutely first class and there’s a huge variety of restaurants and cafes to chose from.
What is the ‘best-kept’ secret in Dubai, or something fellow mamas should know about?
One of Dubai’s best kept secrets is ‘Read n Enjoy’ which is a toy shop slash library for children. It’s hidden on the plaza level in JBR and we love to pop in for a browse and a sit-down. The selection is wonderful. Another little treat Marnix and I love are the water taxis in the marina, they are usually empty early in the day and a cheap ride if you want to do a round of the marina. There’s also the Puff Baker Cafe in the Golden Mile with a drop-in little chefs area, where kids can make their own main course, milkshakes and desserts. While the kids cook Mums can sit in the cafe and watch on, oh and have a good gossip of course!
If you were on an island and could bring only 3 things (family not included) what would they be?
A massive family luxury yacht, an i-phone with internet access and sunscreen
Describe your style?
I used to live in jeans but with age I’ve slowly developed a semi-formal approach to my style. With news anchoring and MC work Im always in business attire and dresses, as well as black tie gowns for big events. In general I’m a big fan of shorts and stripes. I’m not a big shoe person weirdly (probably one of the only women in Dubai!) which I blame on growing up as a bare foot beach baby in Africa.
Tell us something funny that your little boy has said or done?
At 2.5 Marnix is at the age where he repeats everything (always a worry) and does a fabulous impression of me warning him not to hit his friends. Before a play date I like to remind him that’s it’s not a good idea to hit or push people and in response he puts his index finger right up to his face and gives me a side eye saying ‘no hitting’. I have to bite the sides of my cheeks it’s so cute! He also asked what colour papa’s balls were the other day which was a bit awkward. I told him to ask papa!
How do you juggle work and family?
I’m incredibly lucky to be a part-time news anchor so I have 4 days a week to spend one-on-one time with Marnix and 3 days at work. My MC gigs are usually in the evening a couple of times a month depending on the time of year. I’ve been asked to host the BBC Good Food Awards in November this year which is very exciting!
A huge thank you to Monica Chindalia for the beautiful pictures of Laura and Marnix.
To book a photoshoot visit facebook/monicachindaliaphotography