The Dubai Connection

The Creativity Workshop Alumni Stories
by David Berliner

Dubai has the world’s tallest building, ancient markets and bare deserts sitting side by side. We are featuring 4 past participants, with careers and personalities as diverse as the landscape, who are all linked to this city by The Creativity Workshop.

Naureen AcquilNaureen Acquil, Marketing and Promotions, Gulf News in Dubai.
She says that The Creativity Workshop in Florence helped her expand her creative potential. Exploring Florence and the surrounding Tuscan towns with other participants was also a highlight of her Workshop experience.

“I believe that creativity is not only stimulating but fun,” says Naureen, “and we need more creative leaders in the corporate world. These are two of the reasons I wanted to attend this class. The Creativity Workshop in Florence was transformative both professionally and personally. It will remain a high point of my life. I needed that ‘creative nudge’ to realize that I I have it within me. I love using all the creative tools I learned at the Workshop.”

Bassel DeiryBassel Deiry, an educator from Dubai, attended the The Creativity Workshop in New York City. “People from 14 different countries and many different professions were in the class and that really added to the excitement and learning.” Bassel is the Teaching & Learning Coordinator and a Mathematics Teacher in Dubai.

“I came back with new techniques for enhancing creativity, innovation and collaboration. Shelley and Alejandro allowed us to explore a universe of thoughts, strategies, and rivers of energy. They did not try to change our raw creative side, but gave us tools to develop it with our unique voices.”

Nathalie HabibNathalie Habib, also from Dubai, chose to attend the Creativity Workshop in Florence. “I was burned-out at work and wanted both a relaxing vacation and a way to stimulate my creativity. When I saw this workshop on-line I said: ‘this is it! Florence is full of the things I love—wonderful art, beautiful landscapes, and that very special Italian spirit. After attending the Workshop, I felt rejuvenated. It was as if my creativity knew no bounds.”

Nathalie is the General Manager and Executive Producer in Dubai for Blink Studios, a highly successful animation company that is creating animations for an international audience. With a TV series in development and many other projects in the works, Habib’s re-energized creativity has enabled her to achieve great professional results. “It has also been incredibly important to my personal growth. I now start my day full of ideas and imagination and end it, still hungry and determined to achieve the impossible.“

Hana AlsyeadHana Alsyead is the Vice President of Communications for Olayan, a Saudi Arabia company that is a major participant in the field of global investing. She is also a budding writer. She was drawn to the The Creativity Workshop in Dubai because its focus on process over product felt right to her. Just as importantly, the class was taking place in her beloved ‘second home’ -Dubai. “With its international energy and beautiful beaches, Dubai always inspires me.”

Hana applies the techniques that she learned in the workshop to her job, such as “free writing,” which she uses to quickly get her thoughts out on paper so she can see their full scope, before honing them. “The Workshop made me much more conscious about pushing through the fear and shame that stunt creativity and catching those nasty culprits in the act and dealing with them. I learned how to nourish the artist in me who has been neglected for too long. Most importantly, I learned new ways in engaging creativity in my everyday life, making it richer. more rewarding, and much more fun.


With creativity flowing through all of our veins, sometimes it just takes the right push to help us realize its full effect. For many people, whether they take it in New York, Prague, Dubai or some of our other international location, The Creativity Workshop is that magical force which brings their creativity alive.



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