New Brand Manager joins Think Liquorice

Think Liquorice has appointed Mila Zafirovic to the role of Brand Manager. Having graduated with a degree in Arts, Culture and Media from the University of Groningen, Mila most recently worked with Vertigo Consultancy as Digital Marketing Specialist. In her new role, she will support the Think Liquorice team by providing brand-building strategies, managing the clients needs and securing strong relationships with the media.

“It’s a great opportunity to begin working with such talented and driven professionals,” says Mila. “I look forward to adding a different perspective and continuing Think Liquorice’s legacy of building secure relationships with clients and the media in the UAE.”

Think Liquorice makes new appointment

Think Liquorice has welcomed Raaziqa Hassen to the role of Senior Brand Manager. With experience in the PR industry, Raaziqa previously worked with Press Room in South Africa as Senior PR Account Manager, where she worked across international brands such as H&M, Red Bull and Billabong. In her new role, she will lead the team on accounts and projects, working closely with clients through a strategic and creative approach.

“I’m excited to welcome another member to the team,” says Zahirah Variawa, Managing Director, Think Liquorice. “Raaziqa brings great experience to Think Liquorice, that I know our clients and future clients will benefit from.”

Felicity Stokes joins AW Rostamani

AW Rostamani Group has appointed Felicity Stokes to the role of Communications Marketing Manager. With experience in the PR and communications industry, Felicity previously worked with Think Liquorice as Account Manager, where she managed public relations, events, social media and developed brand strategies. In her new role, she will report to the company’s Head of Marketing and Communications, Mustafa Dada and work across internal and external communications as well as marketing efforts. She will also lead events for the company’s subsidiaries by managing media relations, building executive advertisement strategies, creating campaign concepts and assisting with the launch of their social media platforms.

“AW Rostamani is an impressive and innovative corporation with a strong business message towards ‘enriching the lives’ of their consumers,” says Felicity. “I am very excited to work with the company’s industry-leading brands in automotive, lifestyle, technology and property development to develop the AW Rostamani Group brand identity, with a highly intelligent and ambitious team.”

Twenty Four Seven – Zahirah Variawa

Team TMN walks in the shoes of Zahirah Variawa, Managing Director at Think Liquorice, to catch a glimpse into her day…

“Bathroom changes from day to night are very common during the peak season!”

Name: Zahirah Variawa

Title: Managing Director, Think Liquorice

What time does your alarm go off?

It varies – usually at around 6:30am.

What is the first thing you do when your feet hit the ground?

The kitties usually chase me to feed them the minute I wake up, and then I turn on my laptop to slowly start prepping for the day.

How does your morning usually pan out?

BBC is usually always on in the mornings, while I pop on the washing machine for my first load of laundry. My breakfast is usually a bowl of cereal that I eat while catching up on social media and planning the rest of the day.

How do you keep up with the news and happenings?

I stay updated by keeping in touch with all platforms – social media in the mornings definitely plays a key role in keeping me on top of things, as well as my morning dose of BBC.

What time do you head to the office?

I start working the minute my eyes open! Depending on my day, I get to the office anytime between 8:30am and lunchtime. On some days, I bounce between meetings and client venues and don’t get to the office at all.

How do you start your workday?

I usually kick off my day through a team-phone call in which we confirm our plan for the day. I then check up on client social media accounts and the team’s daily work plan, following which I reconfirm all meetings scheduled for the day before heading out.

What would you say is the most productive time of your day and why?

Early mornings and late nights – minimal distraction from phone calls, meetings and emails that need to be urgently attended to and a major part of my day goes into working with the team on their queries or requests.

Do you have a nearby coffee or snack favourite that you run to just to take a break from the office?

Our office is really well located with incredible lounge spaces, the marina on our doorstep and a mall next door – there’s always a spot to escape to.

How is your afternoon and evening normally structured?

Every day is different to the next. There are some days when meetings run along steadily all day and the afternoon meshes into the evening before I even know it. I try to schedule a bulk of my meetings in the first part of the day but this isn’t always possible.

What time do you leave the office?

It depends on how busy our day is – it could be as early as 3pm or as late at 10pm.

Do you go home straight after work?

I try to go straight home after a workday, but during the busy season I sometimes head to events or social gatherings before getting home. Bathroom changes from day to night are very common during the peak season!

Do you attend many industry events?

I try to attend the ones that make sense. The events calendar in Dubai is so busy – you could be out every night if you wanted to. Over the years, I’ve started to be a bit more selective about the ones I go to – the ones that make sense to me. I also love supporting brands and people that have constantly supported me and Think Liquorice over the years, and always make an effort to attend their events.

What do you usually do once you’ve wrapped up at work and events?

I try to get to the gym with my husband, sneak in a few minutes of ‘nothing’ on the couch and try to get a head start on the next day. I’m making a very determined effort towards a better work-home balance. I love my job for the thrills and excitement I get from it, but my family, home and me-time needs to always be a priority too.

Do you continue to work when you’re out of the office?

I am always working. As long as I have a phone, I’m working – holiday, honeymoon, travel, gym – always. But I love what I do and it’s part of who I am.

How many hours of sleep do you need for a productive next day?

How many hours of sleep do I need? 22!!!

At what time do you head to bed?

On a non-event night, I catch up on emails before bed to clear the way for the next day and finalise the week’s schedule and eventually hit the bed by 11pm. I’m up by about 6:30am – my husband works very different hours as compared to me (early mornings) so I tend to wake up closer to the time he does. In a busy spell, I can go with very little sleep as my brain struggles to switch off anyway – but it does catch up with me eventually.

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