Five Minutes With Ashley Roberts, Event Director, Life & Style Show UAE - Gulf Business
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Five Minutes With Ashley Roberts, Event Director, Life & Style Show UAE

Five Minutes With Ashley Roberts, Event Director, Life & Style Show UAE

Winning Expo 2020 will hugely benefit the UAE’s events industry, says Roberts.

Can you give us an overview of the events industry in the UAE?

In comparison to the rest of the GCC, the UAE is relatively well established offering a wide spectrum of events from conferences, exhibitions, sport events to concerts, all delivered at world class venues. However if you compare this to the West it has huge scope for growth and a solid base to run both domestic and international events.

What are the main challenges it faces?

Many people do not realise just what the UAE has to offer to the global events industry and how this can benefit their businesses. In addition, there still is still a perception amongst western audiences that the region is unsafe and unstable which could not be further from the truth.

How can these issues be addressed?

Over recent years the UAE has invested vast sums of money, resources and time in raising awareness about the country’s events industry and its world-class capabilities. Global events such as the Etihad Grand Prix, the Race to Dubai, the Dubai World Cup through to big-name concerts and exhibitions including the Big 5 help have helped generate global awareness about the buoyant events industry in the UAE.

What are the industry’s current growth areas?

Through the unrest that the Arab Spring has caused across the Middle East, the UAE offers a safe and stable base to stage international events while also offering international visitors a true destination which acts as a real draw. Established events within the UAE also have real potential for growth, taking advantage of the geographical location and the increase in airlines that choose to use the UAE as a major hub for their routes.

Will Dubai winning the Expo have a major impact on the events industry?

Yes. Expo 2020 will have a very positive impact on the events industry in the UAE not only in the short term but also well beyond 2020. In the short term it will help attract new talent to the region and increase investment into infrastructure such as venues and transport. In the long term, the investment made and events itself in 2020 will help attract more event’s organisers to the region and foreign and national investment.

Can you share details about your new upcoming show?

The Life & Style Show UAE is a brand new show for the UAE and Middle East being held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (ADNEC) on the 5th-7th December. The show consists of six separate events that will take place at the same time which will collectively form the largest lifestyle event in the Middle East. The six events are Speed & Power, Sports & Leisure, Gizmos, Gadgets & Tech, Toys, Hobbies & Games, Fashion & Beauty and Home & Living.

What is the main objective of the Life & Style Show UAE?

From the outset we have placed the visitor experience as the single most important aspect of the show itself. Across the overall show there are 20 feature areas from the SONY PlayStation Gaming Stage, the KidZania Village, Beauty Advice by Joelle, Catwalk shows, Celebrity Cooking demonstrations featuring chefs such as Gary Rhodes, a full sized demo home showcasing aspirational living through to the UAE’s Best Dressed car.

How will the show stand out from similar events in the UAE?

Through the vast amount of exhibitors on board and our feature areas, we promise that there will be something for the whole family, from children, teenagers through to adults. Not only entertaining them but also educating them in areas that they are interested in, such as cookery and fashion advice as well as beauty tips. Visitors will also have the opportunity to take part in an array of features such as browsing and purchasing products from hundreds of exhibitors.

All of the 20 feature areas and access across the six different shows cost Dhs25 for advance tickets or Dhs50 for tickets on the doors which is huge value for money.

What’s your leadership style?

Lead by example.

Three tips for becoming the boss…

Always be willing to aid others in their career, understand the needs of individuals and always be supportive through both the good and bad.

What makes the perfect employee?

An individual who is loyal, eager to learn, willing to tackle challenges head-on, but most of all, hard working.

Define success in five words…

Results, happiness, wealth and prosperity, progression and legacy.

When I’m not at work I like to…

Cook, although not always with much success and watch a good film.


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