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Photographs & Memories - Mona Faraj: When camels try climbing stairs

When war broke out in Lebanon in 1990 our next memory maker had to abandon her course in banking and moved to Abu Dhabi where she entered a hotel management programme. Mona Faraj recounts the time she took her team on an incentive trip to the desert in the middle of summer and unexpectedly got hit by floods - explaining why you should never curse her.

As Mona prepares to fly with her dog Milo, she reflects on the changes in the industry and what got her to where she is today, “I’m one of the most privileged executives that ever worked in the ME region…the time invested in me was phenomenal.” She also shares the best memory of her life walking the desert as part of Women’s Heritage and the inspiration from people encouraging her.

We hear the love she has of the Middle East and the business culture where nothing is impossible - “If you set your mind to something, you are able to achieve it.’

Mona tells of her love of food, her father’s influence, and the two souvenirs she always returns home with. In Mona’s hilarious Fawlty Tower moment, the camel is causing chaos as the GM tries to outdo himself. “Camels don’t go up staircases, and cannot walk on marble”
Mona is a true business activist; with a far-reaching industry network. Her entrepreneurial journey started in 2007 with the launch of her consultancy - Insight Out  - following a successful hotel career with Hilton and Rotana.

Mona actively develops the industry in her role of Managing Director of HSMAI for the Middle East Region and is co-founder of ExploreTECH the first digital marketplace in the Middle East and Africa. Among her many accolades, Mona is a Market Analyst & Manager for Phocuswright.

Each episode we invite an industry professional to share 2 photographs and a treasured souvenir from their travels representing moments particularly important to them. Join us as we go on a journey through time to explore the significance of each.


A Travel Market Life series, a Haynes MarComs production. Hosted and sponsored by Atomize.

For more episodes and details of the series, visit Photographs & Memories.

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