GQ Middle East announces launch Editor

With GQ Middle East due to launch this September, ITP Media Group has announced the appointment of Adam Baidawi to the role of Editor-in-Chief. With a wealth of experience, Adam previously worked with GQ Australia as a writer and photographer, where he profiled celebrities, athletes and politicians, and wrote feature stories from Colombia, Iraq, the United States and North Korea for the magazine. He most recently worked with the New York Times where he held the role of Australia correspondent.

Born in Abu Dhabi but raised in Australia, at the age of 28 Adam joins GQ Middle East as the youngest Editor of the global brand. In his new role, he will oversee the editorial direction of the brand across various platforms including a bi-lingual website, social media platforms and a monthly magazine.

“GQ has been an integral part of my life for nearly a decade,” says Adam. “It’s a huge honour to be chosen to launch the brand into the region where I was born. We’re looking forward to creating a magazine that’s relentlessly smart and stylish – and also something that will start and support important conversations in the region.” 

Five Minute Focus – Megan Hess

Team TMN chat with Zahirah Variawa, Managing Director of Think Liquorice, to talk about the launch of Megan Hess’s new book, New York: Through A Fashion Eye

Tell us a bit about Megan Hess?

Megan Hess was destined to draw. Her initial career as a graphic designer led to her employment as an Art Director at some of the world’s leading design agencies. In 2008, Megan illustrated Candace Bushnell’s New York Times bestseller; Sex and the City. She has since illustrated portraits for Vanity Fair and Time magazine, as well as created iconic works of art for Cartier of Paris and decorated the windows of Bergdorf Goodman in New York. Megan also channels this signature style into her bespoke range of silk scarves and limited edition prints, which are sold around the globe. Her illustrious clients include; Chanel, Dior, Tiffany & Co., Yves Saint Laurent, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Ladurée, Sephora and the Ritz Hotel in Paris. When she’s not working in her studio, Megan is usually hiding in a coffee shop, secretly sketching those around her and looking for that perfectly dressed person.

This is her fourth book following Fashion House, The Dress and Coco Chanel: The Illustrated World of a Fashion. Megan’s portfolio has been bursting at the seams with bigger and better projects being added every year. Since her last visit, she has launched a collaborative sleepwear and footwear collection and traveled the globe with leading luxury brands and numerous other projects in the pipeline.

Tell us about the concept behind the launch for Megan’s latest book

With New York: Through A Fashion Eye, Megan Hess will take you on a fashion adventure through this iconic city and allow you to discover her favourite places to shop, eat, sleep and play – all through her fashion eye. Megan’s signature style of fashion illustration has made her a favourite with international fashion labels, making her the perfect in-the-know guide for the reader. In her inimitable elegant way, she shines a light on the vast array of fashion-themed restaurants, hotels, parks, famous shops, galleries and sites to visit, as well as her own favourite places. This is an uber stylish travel guide that highlights all the famous spots and will serve as a special keepsake for your trip. For armchair travellers it’s a stunningly, gorgeous and inspiring snapshot of the city. New York: Through A Fashion Eye is full of Megan’s absolutely, beautiful, full-colour bespoke artworks that bring the New York streetscapes to life. This is a must-have insider’s guide to New York for any fashionista.

 What makes this event unique to previous launches you have held for Megan?

Each year we work very hard to try and create a concept that is unique, creative and true to the city with the brands who have partnered with us along the journey so far such as Fairmont The Palm. This year we wanted to celebrate the launch of the New York themed book, but still stay true to our city of Dubai. We’ve come up with something we consider to be the perfect marriage of the two cities – both incredible in their own right. We’re bringing a New York inspired sunset soiree to the Seaview Garden of Fairmont The Palm. Without giving too much away ahead of our VIP event – New York City will come to life in a very Dubai-esque style!

How will you make the Dubai launch stand out from its international counterparts?

Megan’s book tour travels across most of the major fashion capitals in the world and with all of these talented teams behind each event, it is always hard to stand out. What we take advantage of here is the beautiful weather and the outdoor setting we have. Dubai stands out as the only city on the tour that offers guests beautiful, warm weather with a skyline sunset and the luxury of hosting the event as a glamorous high tea.

Can anyone attend the launch?

The launch takes place in two events. The first is an invite-only event taking place in the Seaview Garden and the second is open to all and is a meet and greet that will take place in the Mashrabiya Lounge at 7pm. Both events will take place on Thursday, November 3, 2016

Could you tell us more about what media can expect to see at this event?

Megan Hess, in a small and intimate setting so they will have the opportunity to interact with her in luxury and comfort. A beautiful food and beverage service all uniquely themed to the event by the wonderful team at Fairmont The Palm. A New York inspired setting with a very special (secret) feature that we are very excited about. A Think Liquorice style event – small, intimate and enjoyable with loads of attention to detail.

Will there be opportunities for brand partnerships?

Yes, we are open to partners and sponsors for the event if confirmed fairly soon. Ideally this needs to be brands that fit the level of the Megan Hess brand and add value to the guests and event.

How can PR’s/brands get involved with this event?

Get in touch with Team Think Liqourice. We are always open to ideas and partners on any event and this one is particularly exciting as the brand association is extremely significant. Interested brands can reach out through email to

In The Hot Seat – Sara Hamdan

Sara Hamdan, Founder of the newly-launched, talks to TMN about her experience in media within the UAE and what has inspired her new travel and style blog…

Name: Sara Hamdan                           

From: US   

Current Job Title: Founder of I am also working part time on a content project at Google and contributing to the New York Times. 

When did you first arrive in Dubai?
I arrived in 2005 – pre-Atlantis, Burj Khalifa and Mall of the Emirates!

Where did you work prior?
I’ve been writing for the New York Times based in Dubai since 2010. I was Deputy Editor of VIVA magazine, a monthly columnist at Stylist Arabia and editor of Dubai Magazine (the official quarterly title of Dubai Tourism Board). I am currently working on a part time content project at Google alongside running

What were your first impressions of the media industry in the Middle East?
I thought it was young and superficial, but then so was I ten years ago! Dubai in particular has become a great media hub and I feel so blessed to have worked with some of the best titles in the city – from CNN and Rolling Stone tothe New York Times and VIVA.

Has your opinion changed much?
There’s nowhere else in the MENA region that offers the kind of media activity that you can find here. The best international and local media outlets have a presence here today as well.

Is blogging your full time job or a part time passion?
Currently it’s a part time passion, but at the rate it’s growing, ask me again at the end of the year and we’ll see!

Tell us about your blog… is a luxury hotel review site with a section on what to pack. You can directly click and buy the items displayed. I curate some of the outfits from online stores like net-a-porter and also get input from some amazing fashion consultants. I will also feature friends who are inspirational – hotels reviewed by them and a section on how to get their look. The Instagram account @holidaysinheels has managed to pick up 1,000 followers in just one month and already has a sponsor – the retailer Bmore Bugatti that houses Tom Ford, Roberto Cavalli and dozens of other brands in the region, so I’m really excited to see where we go next!

What’s the most rewarding part of blogging? is my way of continuing to write about luxury hotels and fashion – and I get to directly connect with readers. It also means that I get to relive my best holidays by writing about them. 

Which international Bloggers inspire you?
I really like and – both make for unpretentious and fun reading. 

What advice would you offer to someone looking to start a blog?
Don’t overthink it, just begin and ask for help where you need it. When I decided to start, I contacted my very talented friend Tarik Kaddoumi, who built the website for me so it looked just how I had hoped.

What do you think of the quality of media publications in the region?
There is such a diverse range of titles. I’m quite partial to VIVA because I used to work there and the Editor, Anita Quade, is such an inspiration to me!

How do you find PRs in the region?
Helpful and determined! I’ve had amazing experiences with agencies such as Think Liquorice, TishTash and Toh PR, who have great relationships with brands and know how to pitch the right stories at the right time. The Think Liquorice team – Zahirah Variawa and Felicity Stokes – beautifully handled the launch of my blog at the Fashion Weekend event in Souk Madinat Jumeirah along with talented celebrity stylist Kelly Lundberg.

What’s your pet PR peeve?
Getting totally irrelevant, mass emails.

Do you accept press material from PRs?
Yes, it’s a great way to brainstorm new story ideas as well as discover new hotels and products. I particularly like those shining a light on regional designers and hotel chains.

How would you rather be contacted at work
Email please! 

Describe yourself in five words…
Creative, ambitious, bookworm, beach-lover and chocoholic.

How do you see online journalism/blogging changing in the UAE in the coming years?
The internet is a big place and as this blogging/online journalism space becomes more popular, quality content should continue to stand out. 

What would be the next step for you as a blogger (would you look to launching a publication, collaborating with any brands/media etc.)?
It’s only been 8 weeks and I’ve already got a celebrity stylist who will collaborate on the #WhatToPack outfits and an amazing sponsor in BMore Bugatti – it’s crazy! I’d love to have a regular column in a lifestyle publication, like the monthly column I used to write at Stylist Arabia and I would love to work with brands that are interested in the same target audience: for example, a promo code for online shopping or a car-booking app. Stay tuned!

Sara Hamdan launches

Journalist Sara Hamdan has launched, a luxury hotel review site with a section dedicated to packing. Sara has been writing for the New York Times from Dubai since 2010, she has previously worked for publications such as VIVA, Stylist Arabia and Dubai Magazine, she is also currently working on a part-time project with Google. was launched as a result of her passion for escapism and the curated styles featured on the site will be displayed in a way that allows readers to click and buy outfits directly from online stores such as Retailer Bmore Bugatti, that stocks Tom Ford, Roberto Cavalli and other designer brands in the region, is currently sponsoring

“I chose to launch this site because travel, fashion and books provide the ultimate escapism for me,” says Sara. “I used to be in charge of the food and travel sections at VIVA and continued to write on these topics at Stylist Arabia and Dubai Magazine. I figured, why not write about topics I love for myself this time?”

Sara Hamdan joins Motivate Publishing

Sara Hamdan has joined Motivate Publishing as Editor of Dubai Magazine – a lifestyle quarterly, produced on behalf of Dubai Department of Tourism. Previously Deputy Editor at Viva magazine, and currently still contributor to the international New York Times in Dubai, Sara will cover the best restaurants, hotels, culture hotspots and activities Dubai has to offer.

“After over a decade of living in Dubai, I continue to be inspired every day by this dynamic city,” says Sara. “I am so excited about working with an all-star team at Dubai Tourism Dept to show tourists the best that Dubai has to offer.”