If there’s a woman in the Middle East leading the way when it comes to building your personal brand through social media, it’s Taim AlFalasi.
With 1.8 million followers on Instagram, close to 100,000 on Twitter and a mind-blowing 60 million views of her YouTube channel, the Dubai resident identified a niche – the need for a strong, female Arabic voice – and filled it, much to her father’s early disapproval.
“When I was eight years old, my dad threw the newspaper away when I showed him an advert asking for children to be TV presenters. But now he buys every single publication that I’m featured in, and he watches all my interviews on TV,” she smiles.
Inspired by the English-language radio shows she listened to, such as On Air with Ryan Seacrest, Taim’s online version – The Taim Show – was launched three years ago in Arabic, with a sprinkling of English, and rather than Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, the songs she played were Khaliji style. The show debuted to more than 40,000 listeners.
When she’s not racking up more social media followers, Taim is indulging in her other passion – collecting sunglasses. “I have more than 70 pairs,” she says, “around 20 of which are Dior.”
You’ll also see her wearing her Perlée Signature bracelet from Van Cleef & Arpels – a gift to herself “when I signed my first big contract with a leading company in the UAE.”
Citing Kylie Jenner as her style icon (“I like her simple, everyday outfits, as well as the dresses she wears to festivals and events”), Taim – who was ranked 33 among the most powerful Arab women in 2015 and made the list of the 100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40 by Arabian Business magazine – insists that style needs to be all of your own, not something you take from someone else. “Get inspired, be yourself and this will become your own style,” she says.
When she’s not shopping up a storm in Dubai, where favourites include Level Shoe District, H&M, Chanel and Dior, Taim hits the streets of London. “I love to shop on Oxford Street, everywhere from Primark and Topshop to Urban Outfitters, Harrods and Selfridges.” And while she’s shopping, she’s reminding herself of her personal style mantra: that it’s not about your body, it’s not about your budget, it’s about your taste.
Between building her empire, ensuring she’s gaining more followers and remaining at the forefront of style, it’s no wonder Taim has little spare time. But when she does, she’s looking for somewhere new to visit and get inspired. “I’m so passionate about learning new cultures and meeting new people around the world. It’s important to never stop learning.”
Photography: Richard Hall. Styling: Charlotte Blair. Words: Kerri Simon-Lawrence. Location: Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach