Meet This Young Dubai Based Entrepreneur And Television Host Who Is Changing The Country’s Tourism Industry. An Interview With Nada Badran – GV’s Talk – Blogwithgokul

Hello! Ladies and Gentlemen, I happily welcome you all to GV’s Talk – a series of interview with inspiring people across the globe.

Gokul: Welcome to GV’s Talk, Nada!

Let’s Kickstart the interview. 

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An Abra ride through the Dubai creek.

1) How was the whole idea of Wanderwithnada born? That initial spark?

Nada – I almost always have friends visiting Dubai for vacation or on business travel who I love to show around. We usually wander all over the city exploring all of Dubai’s bucket list experiences and its historic sights which have given the city its own unique flavour. I was always fascinated by the city, and so to watch my friends experiencing countless moments of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ and amazement at the city’s diversity of cultures, this was an eye-opening moment for me. So I worked on finding a way to make those experiences accessible to other culturally curious travellers who travel the world, seeking educational and interactive adventures.

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Nada with her fellow wanderers

2) What makes Wanderwithnada stand out from the rest?

Nada – Wander With Nada is all about creating and capturing moments of culture, people, and authenticity in unexpected places. The tour experiences offered are unique in the way they are designed to be transformative to the traveller. Guests who arrive will see, learn, interact, and later depart with an expanded worldview. This is where the innovation lies, and falls far from the standardized tour offerings which may be targeted towards bulk travellers, and are designed to be more of the ‘point-and-see’ type which is often less informative and less personalized.   

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Some scenes from the bustling souks of Dubai.

3) Your favourite part of the city?

Nada – Dubai is a city brimming with gorgeous sights, architecture and culture spread out in both its old and new districts. I find that its magic is best captured from the heart of the city: the Dubai Creek.

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A staircase of stacked books.

4) How do you see Dubai in the next 20 years?

Nada – It’s hard to even imagine tomorrow let alone the next 20 years. The city’s growth is unrivalled in terms of its gravity and velocity. I often joke around saying that we’re going to be living like The Jetsons in a futuristic city with flying cars and jetpacks, but some of these technologies are actually real and are in development today. So who knows? In 20 years, we could be living our very own actual version of the show.

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Some snaps from Nada’s travel diaries in Europe.

5) Being a woman entrepreneur- How do you feel about it?

Nada – Female entrepreneurs are founding companies at an increasing rate across the world, and the MENA region is no exception. I think that starting the business here in the UAE was an advantage that many others in the industry may not have, simply because of the country’s focus on empowering individuals, whether they are women, men, or youth and ensuring that everyone is treated equally and fairly. That certainly levels the playing field. There are still a few bumps that I experience along the road which I manage to resolve simply because of my perseverance, but some shouldn’t be there in the first place. Hence why dedication is crucial.

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That majesty in architecture! 

6) The biggest challenge that came your way in building Wanderwithnada and how you overcome?

Nada – Challenges come in various shapes and forms. When you’re facing one, it often seems like the biggest thing you’ve ever had to tackle. So looking back, I’d say I’ve had several big challenges which I’ve worked to overcome throughout the different stages of the business. My best advice, in this case, is to not rely exclusively on your own opinions and expertise but to also seek others from more experienced individuals to avoid being blindsided.

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Alps, greenery and some fresh air!

7) The real essence of walking tours?

Nada – There’s nothing like experiencing a city on foot and immersing yourself in the local way of life topped with a dramatic narrative along the way.

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London calling!
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Her wanderers enjoying the Abra ride.

8)  The fairy question! If a fairy grants you a wish. What would you ask for?

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Nada – Ask the fairy never to let me give in to any fears so that I can keep following the yellow brick road.

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At the gateway of the Dubai Hindu temple street in the Old Creek.

 

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9) A message to the upcoming woman entrepreneurs in Dubai? How can they find assistance and guidance?

Nada – With any entrepreneur, I think the best way to find assistance and guidance is to seek a mentor(s) who is from outside your usual circle. Target individuals who have skills that you seek and spend time learning from them. Keep in mind that they’re not there to give you answers and solutions to the problems that you may be experiencing, but to share their expertise and even play the devil’s advocate and encourage you to become curious along every step of the way.

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Wanderers trying out the traditional Arabic dress on her tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10) Wanderwithnada – Future expectations?

Nada – Being in this industry and city, the word ‘future’ isn’t 3 or 5 years down the line. It’s tomorrow. So I see the next day as an opportunity for growth. My growth plan centres on my vision for the company which is to provide immersive cultural experiences. This entails capturing a wider share of the market, offering a wider variety of local experiences, expanding the brand’s footprint into other emirates, and investing in a wider portfolio of services that are a part of the tourism industry.

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The beauty of the Dubai skyline.

Thank you so much for having your time Kristin. Wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Blogwithgokul©

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You can follow Nada on her Instagram handle.

Instagram: Wander With Nada

Don’t forget to watch her mini travel series telecasted on CNN Arabic named ‘Tajawal Ma’a Nada’.


To book walking tours with Wander With Nada in Dubai !! Just head onto this website: http://wanderwithnada.com/


Hola! So keep reading as I bring new guests to the hot seat of GV’s Talk. You can also write to me on gokulvijay484@gmail.com for business inquiries and suggestions.

Make sure you also follow me on my Instagram, Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.

This Monsoon Vacation Escape Into A Tranquil Tree-House Hideout In Munnar, Kerala- Ela Ecoland Nature Retreat.

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Blossoms along the way to munnar.

Thinking about a quick trip to do on your short vacation for a week? Is your Indian blue humble passport holding you back from your plans to travel to International destinations?

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The lovely curve roads for a perfect drive.

I have often felt lost for myself trying to figure out the visa procedures for a quick escape and have looked upon my fellow mates who hold the US, UK passports jump onto Skyscanner and book tickets and fly the next day. Well, there is nothing we can do about rather get yourself in a tour package spending a lot of money or dedicating an entire day at the embassy.

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That lush greenery

But I have wondered, it could be because we have a world within us.

Spreading from Andaman & Nicobar Islands to Kashmir & Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh exhibit a whole lot of difference in culture and language.

Kerala- a land blessed with coastal and hill ranges have never disappointed its visitors. In this blog, I am introducing Ela Ecoland, a quick hideout in the Hill ranges of Munnar that I visited last summer.

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Enjoying my evening on the balcony of the tree house.

Ela Ecoland is a nature retreat than a resort. I found the retreat to be so close to nature that I did not find anything artificial or non-biodegradable used in its premises.

Ela Ecoland offers three types of accommodation.

  • Rock house rooms
  • Luxury Tents
  • Treehouse

Treehouse stay is unique in his style. They aren’t many treehouses in Munnar only a couple of few countable on fingers. I was lucky enough to stay in one among them.

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Getting my works done on a tree house in the woods.

Golden tip: If you’re interested in Treehouse then book them at least one week in advance and to be noted Treehouse is couple friendly which accommodates two comfortably.

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The view of the tree house from below.

The view from the Treehouse is stunning that it overlooks a small pond with falls and to add to the natural beauty they have a bamboo raft which can be used to move around in the pond.

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The bamboo raft 

As the sun goes down begins the chirping of the birds that you feel you are totally lost in the jungle having nothing to worry about your chaotic life and is best if you want to disconnect yourself from the hectic life you have back in the city.

The stream flows by that adds to the beauty and serene environment. Imagine laying on your cosy bed in the cool weather where the temperature drops to as low as 15 °C listening to the chirping of the birds and stream, reading your favourite book. Perfecto!

If you want to stay connected then internet wifi facility is available at the reception. Mobile networks go on and off. Idea and Bsnl networks often work but are not stable.

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Benjamin with his friend.

Run by these two nature lovers Benjamin and his friend would never leave you disappointed. So, this monsoon vacation head to Ela!

Excuse me! Don’t forget to take your camera with you! You may come across some beautiful spots to capture nature photographs.

You can also watch my Youtube video on Ela Ecoland for some visuals.

Do visit to get connected to the nature retreat to book your stay through this website.

Happy Vacation!

Blogwithgokul©

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For Nature retreat website: www.elaecoland.com

For booking call: +91 9400946800


Make sure you also follow me on my Instagram, Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.

Make sure you also follow Benjamin on his Instagram YouTube Channel.

A Young Artist and A Social Media Fame: An Interview with Akhilshah-Blogwithgokul (GV’s Talk)

Hello! Ladies and Gentlemen, I happily welcome you all to GV’s Talk – a series of interview with inspiring people across the globe.

Gokul: Welcome to GV’s Talk Mr Akhilshah!

Let’s Kickstart the interview. Tell us about yourself.

Akhilshah: I’m Akhilshah. My friends call me Akku. Well, I come from the Perinthalmanna district of Kerala. A high school graduate and all set to begin a college life. I’m so passionate about arts and love to sketch portraits of people. I make dubsmash videos which made me popular on the social media. Yeah! That’s why I am here! Haha.

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Akhilshah with the portrait of Malayalam Actor Jayasurya

Let’s talk about art first. Okay. Who was the first person who found your talent to become an artist?

Finding out the talent in me. Yes, I would say my parents are the one who found my talent in arts. My mom, she always encouraged me to pursue my interest in arts from a very young age.

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His galore of art collections

Have you had any formal training in arts?

No, I haven’t. I could say I always loved drawing on papers and that is how I grew a passion for it. Like the more you practice the more perfect you get. I figured out the ways in which one can create a great art. During school days, We have an hour dedicated to the arts. My school art teacher helped me during that hour giving me certain guidelines.

A young man who graduated from high school. Right? What are your plans for the future?

Yes, graduated from high school. I wanted to be an Architect. That’s my ambition. I have taken NATA exam to qualify for Architecture colleges in India. Yea, waiting for the allotments to be published. I would definitely work on creating more sketches.

Akhil at this young age you were able to meet a lot of celebrities but tell us how many celebrity sketches have you done so far?

I have sketched a lot of celebrities portraits, I haven’t taken the count but in person, I got the opportunity to create portraits for nine celebrities. They include actress Sruthi Lakshmi, Nyla Usha, Surabhi, Abhirami, Rimi Tomy, Bhama, Honey Rose, Mamta Mohandas & Chakochan (Kunchako Boban).

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Akhilshah with Mamta Mohandas and Kunchako Boban

Who is the dream person that you want to present a sketch for?

I have been a hardcore fan of our ‘Master Blaster’ Sachin Tendulkar since childhood. I would love to meet him and gift him one. If it happens I would be in cloud 9.

Recently I saw your performance on the television in which you created an art within the limited time period of a song! Which is absolutely mind-blowing. How challenging was it?

Yes, I drew the sketch of Lalettan. It’s called stencil art. It was my first time performing on stage, I was very nervous as well. The audience was so supportive that I completed it on time. I hope I did my best.

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Presenting an art to actress Surabi

Amazing talent in acting as well. Do you wish to try your luck in the film industry?Yea I love to act in films. It’s been one of my dreams from childhood. I am not much into lead roles in a movie but I would love to play a role of a supporting character in which I can explore more in acting. Yes, I love to, let’s see wants in stock for me. Haha.

Which was the video that led to your popularity?

My first video that went viral was the one I did from the Malayalam sitcom M80 Moosa. I enacted the characters of Pathu and Moosa in a double role. When I posted it on Facebook I realised that it was gaining many views in a short span of time. Later, it started circulating on Whatsapp and Youtube. The lead Actress Surabhi who plays the role of Pathu, Indian National award winner by chance saw the video and shared it on her fan page.

In most of your Dubsmash videos, your sister had a huge involvement? How fun is it to make videos with her? What does she do?

Haha! Yes, We always fight each other and the only time we stand cheek by jowl is when making a dubsmash video. She is in 5th grade and I love collaborating with her. She has a whole lot of a humour in her and the positive vibe we get when we spend time with kids is boundless.

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With his sister during the making of a dubsmash video

To watch dubsmash click here: Dubsmash

Who is your biggest support or the backbone who drives you to move forward creating videos or draw sketches?

I have to thank my parents first for helping me pursue my passion along with my studies. Then comes friends. I have to mention my uncle, he has been a constant support, encouraging me to do more arts and videos. He is always there for me.

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A portrait of Neymar and Messi

Before we wind up the talk Akhil what do you have to tell to the people who supported you by sharing your videos and made it a great hit?

When I did my first video I never imagined that people would appreciate and promote it. I am so grateful to everyone who helped me come to the limelight.  Thank you so much and I wish to have them in the future as well. 

Thank you so much for having your time. Wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Blogwithgokul©

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You can follow Akhilshah on his social media handles:

Facebook: Akhilshah


Hola! So keep reading as I bring new guests to the hot seat of GV’s Talk. You can also write to me on gokulvijay484@gmail.com for business inquiries and suggestions.

Make sure you also follow me on my Instagram, Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.

Insight Into a Travel Vlogger’s Life: An Interview with Sujith Bhakthan – Blogwithgokul (GV’sTalk)

Hello! Ladies and Gentlemen, I happily welcome you all to GV’s Talk – a series of interview with inspiring people across the globe.

Gokul: Welcome to GV’s Talk Mr Sujith Bhakthan!

Let’s Kickstart the interview. Tell us about yourself.

Sujith: I’m Sujith Bhakthan. I grew up in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. I am a graduate in Engineering. I started blogging in 2008 and have been a full-time travel blogger for about 10 years. I own the channel  Tech Travel Eat on YouTube. It’s all about the latest trends in social media, technology, travel & food. Yes, a social media freak!

‘Kerala’s own travel vlogger’ What goes through your mind when someone addresses you in that way?

I would be extremely happy! Malayalees have always been a regular audience of prime travelogues namely like ‘Sancharam‘. I aimed out to bring something different from the conventional travelogues by introducing the concept of vlogging. Initially, people compare my videos with Sancharam and give a lot of criticism like ‘we really don’t want to see you talking on screen rather we would love to see the beauty of the place’. Now it has changed and people have accepted vlogging. Yes of course, who wouldn’t love being addressed that way! I’m honoured.

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Feeding the tiger in Thailand. Astonishing.

Vlogging as a whole hasn’t been that long since it bloomed among the Indian audience. How far has YouTube been popular among people?

I would say Youtube has become more popular after the launch of JIO services, It revolutionised the Indian market when the internet began to be available even to a common man for no cost. I assume that earlier people logged onto Youtube to watch movie trailers, gossip videos and so on. Now, they appreciate and spend the time to watch videos of content creators and are viewers of YouTube just like the national television. The massive number of viewers from a small community like the ‘Malayali’ itself is a great example of Youtube gaining popularity.

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Paragliding in Kullu Manali, India

Congratulations on crossing 2 lakh subscribers on YouTube. Looking back into your journey how do you feel?

Thank you, GV. It’s actually on Facebook that I crossed 2 lakh followers and on Youtube, I crossed 1.3 lakh subscribers. As far as a Youtuber is concerned achieving 1 lakh subscribers is a milestone in his career. The target was to acquire one million subscribers in a year but I had to spend almost 1.5 years. I’m still figuring out why people are reluctant to hit the subscribe button. Haha! Well, the fact is I gain a good amount of watch time on YouTube, in actuality the number of loyal subscribers matters. For instance, if you have ten thousand subscribers for your channel and around six thousand are your fans then you’re a winner!

What could be the hurdles that can come across to a person while vlogging? Any situation to remember as such?

 When I started vlogging sometimes as I walked along the streets talking to the camera people used to laugh, tease and I have even overheard people say that I am mad. It was quite embarrassing. Later, I found a solution to it. I realised that it could be overcome by boosting up one’s self-confidence. Other than that would be restrictions in certain places for videography. I haven’t faced anything else so far. Now, I am all set to vlog in any situation in the best possible way I can. 

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Snow sledging with his brother.

The one video which turned out to fuel up your success rate as a Youtuber?

A resort named Rainforest Ayurcounty that rain for 365 days in Kottayam district of Kerala was the first video that became popular. It was an experimental video that I vlogged. Then I think the video about Kochi metro and T3 international terminal in Cochin airport were the turning point in my career. These videos reached the viewers profoundly. 

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Roadtrip to Goa, India. 

What would be the proudest moment in your life that vlogging as brought you?

I had the golden opportunity to meet the French President Emmanuel Macron on an invite. The unbelievable thing is that I got the permission to capture a selfie video with him. I would always cherish that moment. Furthermore, I get extremely happy when I come to know that people had an amazing experience and express their words of gratitude for suggesting resorts and new destinations through my vlogs. I feel contented.

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French President meet in Bikaner, India.

How can a vlogger influence the society? How impactful can one be?

Yes, Uhhmm… This is how it works. People are keen observers. Even if I have a scare or bruise on my face or body they notice it very quickly and you can see many commenting them on my video. This is certainly the case with the outfit I wear for vlogging, the types of equipment I use, the accessories and even the objects on the screen is been scrutinized and observed closely by the viewers. These are the reasons why companies consider us as influencers and approach for various marketing strategies. A Youtuber can certainly influence a society in many ways be it political or so on and it’s certainly up to the person. Yes, they are quite impactful.

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Dabbling with some scorpions in East Asia.

What made your transition from a blogger to a vlogger? Is it because people are more keen towards watching rather than reading these days?

Yes, the number of readers have dwindled in the recent years. It’s a fact. People are more towards videos these days. We need to catch up with the trends right? I think It’s already late when I started to vlog. I should have started off earlier but nevertheless, I believe it’s Ok. Furthermore, I am too lazy to write blogs now. Haha! I feel that I am able to establish an intimate connection with my viewers through visuals and express much more than words. This is absolutely an added advantage than blogging. 

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Time for some adventure.

‘Tech Travel Eat’ What are your dreams and expectations?

I wanted to travel to many places and explore different cultures, traditions, document visuals and reach them out for my viewers. Apart from that, I need to work on to have a consistent revenue model than now. ‘Travel with Sujith Bhakthan’ is on its way. It’s a long-term dream I have and I’m working hard for it. 

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Travel with Sujith Bhakthan

A large portion of your followers is from Kerala. What do you have to tell them before we wind up the conversation?

Wherever you go around the world you would definitely stumble upon a Malayali. Haha! Malayalees are passionate about travelling to places. It is always wise to travel around when you’re younger and healthy. There is no point in saving a lot of money when younger and keeping your savings aside to see the world at an older age. That is the time when you realise that your health doesn’t catch up with your passion. So, travel when your healthy and explore this amazing world as much as you can!

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At a press meet for promoting positive and informative content on the internet.

“Travel the world when your healthy and explore as much as you can” – Sujith Bhakthan

That’s a pretty good advice! Sujith.

Thank you so much for having your time. Wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Blogwithgokul©

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You can follow Sujith Bhakthan on his social media handles:

FacebookTech Travel Eat by Sujith Bhakthan

Instagramtechtraveleat

YouTube:   Tech Travel Eat


Hola! So keep reading as I bring new guests to the hot seat of GV’s Talk. You can also write to me on gokulvijay484@gmail.com for business inquiries and suggestions.

Make sure you also follow me on my Instagram, Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.