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The Sassiest Mama: Zeina Abdalla

Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life - Post Category - That MamaThat Mama

 Zeina is one of our Sassiest Mamas 2016…

Mama of 2 boys aged 2 and 3 months, Zeina always knew she’d be an entrepreneur. While planning her wedding she spotted an opportunity and founded fabulous photo-booth concept fishfayce, the first of its kind in the region. With clients including Chanel and Sephora, fishfayce has grown into a much-sought after event addition and social-networking tool – no mean feat in today’s world! Zeina loves to make Shakshouka for breakfast, takes her youngest along to meetings and is a big fan of crisp white shirts.


Tell us about your business and why you started it.

fishfayce was born when I was planning my wedding and brainstorming for alternatives to traditional photography. I wanted an interactive photo booth where guests could photograph themselves and instantly project the photos on screens throughout the reception venue, for all to see. Frustrated that no product on the market met my needs, I contacted several tech-savvy friends who helped design the first ever fishfayce photobooth, which debuted at my wedding. When enthralled guests started asking how they could have the technology at their own events, I knew I had a business model on my hands. fishfayce has grown not only to be a conversation-starting attraction at weddings and corporate events, but also as a valuable viral marketing and social networking tool, reaching far beyond the initial photobooth concept.

What kind of cake would you order for your birthday?

I would probably order a rich chocolate cake.


If we handed you a concert ticket, who would you wish it was for?

I love Julio Iglesias and have always wanted to watch him perform live.

What colour do you wear the most?

I wear white a lot. I seem to be attracted to crisp white shirts.

When did you last cry?

I last cried at the birth of my second son. He is now 3 months old and the cutest thing ever.

What’s the best thing you can cook?

I love cooking so this is a hard question. My favourite meal of the day is breakfast. For breakfast, I love making shakshouka and crispy waffles. For dinner, I’m known for my lasagna.

Where do you get your hair done?

I usually go to jet set or salon ink for a cut or call blow out and go to come to my house.

What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?

For my personal life, I still have so much to accomplish. For my career, starting a business 6 years ago and having a strong reputation. That being said, I have so many plans and hope to grow it further.


As a child what did you dream of being when you ‘grew up’?!

I always knew I was going to be an entrepreneur. It’s in me.

If you had 3 wishes what would they be? For my family to live in the same city, for my family and myself to be healthy and to take one year off to travel the world.

What does being a Sassy Mama mean to you?

It means breaking boundaries, stereotypes and being the modern mom.

Guilty pleasure?

Since I’ve given birth a few months ago, I’m on the mission to get back in shape so everything seems to be a guilty pleasure. The first thing that comes to mind is waffles and chicken from Clinton Street Bakery.

Tell us about a typical day?

My day starts off with dropping off my 2 year old son to nursery. I then go straight home to feed my newborn and put him down for a nap. I usually have 4 hours where I can catch up on work and run errands. At 1:30pm I pick up my son from nursery and bring him home to take a nap and I continue to work for a couple of hours before he wakes up. Once he is up, I spend time with him and then start preparing dinner. Once I have fed my son, I give my kids a bath and put them to bed. Once they are a sleep I usually have dinner with my husband or go to an event.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in your personal life and career?

To have a work life balance. It seems very straightforward but it is one of the hardest things to master.


What do you most enjoy doing as a family in Dubai?

We love going to the clubhouse in the golf course by our house and going for a swim and having lunch there. We love spending our Saturday afternoons there when the weather is nice.

What is the ‘best-kept’ secret in Dubai, or something fellow mamas should know about?

I love The Journey on Kite Beach. It’s great for kids to explore and be free.

If you were on an island and could bring only 3 things (family not included) what would they be?

I would bring a compass, book and binoculars.

Describe your style?

I’m practical and classic. I do follow trends from time to time but I like to stick to the basics and buy classic pieces as opposed to things that will go out of fashion the following season.

Tell us something funny that your kids have said or done?

My 2 year old is just starting to talk and what makes us crack up is when he starts singing not knowing the words. Another time was when my first born was 4 months old, I was giving him a bath and was talking and entertaining him and I blurted out ‘yabadabadoo’ from the Flintstones and for some reason, that made him cry hysterically. I was trying to hide my laughter but couldn’t help my self. I felt very guilty for laughing at him but it was so cute.

How do you juggle work and family?

It’s all about time management. I’ve put both kids on a schedule so that I can still get work done. Since my newborn is still very young, I don’t leave him at home yet so I take him wherever I go. Yes, even to meetings!



A huge thank you to Monica Chindalia for the beautiful pictures of Zeina and her family.
To book a photoshoot visit facebook/monicachindaliaphotography

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