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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nada663


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 Malayalee Couple Vlogger Is Set Out To Explore Dubai- An Interview with Midhun and Vasu -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 Midhun and Vasu!

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

Midhun- We live in the United Arab Emirates lately. We are natives of Kerala, The beautiful south Indian state of India. We grew up there and after marriage, we moved to Dubai.  That is when the idea of vlogging struck right into our minds. I tried my luck and people seem to like it. Yes, that’s why we are here now!

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‘Vloggers’ The term that could describe you both. Right? How did your journey as a vlogger begin?

Midhun- I am a persistent viewer of Mo Vlogs. I watch that almost all day. Then I started to watch Casey Niestat Vlogs. I admired their way of presentation and editing. I understood that it would be quite popular and accepted by the English viewers but was doubtful about the regional viewers. After a while, I came across the videos of vloggers from Kerala. So, that’s when we thought it’s time to start vlogging and the journey begun. 

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Vlogging could be tough I assume especially when you’re in the middle of the street and when people stare at you while speaking to the camera. Is it true? If yes, how do you tackle it? 

Midhun- Anybody can buy a camera and edit videos without much prior knowledge in them but I guess the real challenge that arises is the one you said ‘dealing with the people around you’. Not only in the Middle East but in India as well when you walk around the streets talking to your camera they are chances that people get offended especially if it’s a woman near you. They might think that you are trying to capture them, they wouldn’t know if your a vlogger or a youtuber. I make flights reviews often and it’s an absolute challenge to record video in a confined space without spoiling the privacy of other passengers. I mostly turn my camera towards the window and shoot.

Vasu- For me overcoming the fear and shyness was the major challenge. Initially, I felt really awkward to talk to a camera which was a non-living thing, I felt weird but later I got accustomed to it. I was a person who had stage fears and whenever we had a stranger on the vlog I prefer to be silent but now things have changed after our 90th video. I am more comfortable to interact with people and talk to our travel companion which is our little camera.

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‘A turning point’, one vlog that you could mention that just blew your expectation? 

Midhun- Well the turning point was, While I was vlogging all the way to India from Dubai Actress Swetha Menon was in my same flight and I met her and told that I am vlogging and requested her to say ‘Hi’ to my subscribers and then a thumbnail for my video. The video just went viral crossing 1 lakh views. That was the video which made me realise that even I can achieve one lakh views being a regional language video creator, it was unbelievable. If Shwetha Menon reads this blog we both take this opportunity to thank her from our heart. Thank You Swethaji!

I went through your vlogs on YouTube and when I scrutinized through the comments. Most of them are so eager to know about this and have asked ‘Midhun and Vasu! What are your jobs?’ Haha. Yes, what do you do for the living? Full-time vloggers? 

Midhun- Yes! I Think it is one of the questions which I get often asked. Most of the Youtubers from Kerala like Sujith Bhakthan, Ebadu and so on would have answered this about them almost every month. I have income through three sources presently. I run a start-up company in Dubai, then I also work as a director for a US-based company.

Vasu- I work for a travel company.

Midhun- We have also started to earn quite a sum of money through Youtube recently as well.

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Vasu it’s your turn first. What makes Midhun a good travel companion? And then Midhun how about you?

Vasu- Actually, whatever I say he listens…

Midhun- Hey! When in Kerala, Whenever I ask her to hang out she jumps onto the bike and keeps blabbering throughout the journey. Haha! A chatterbox in short.

Vasu- See it works like this, I believe that one should be talkative and other should be silent. So, I belong to the former one while chettan (Midhun) belongs to the latter one.
He keeps listening to me throughout our travels. I think that’s what makes him a good companion. Haha! Thanks for bearing me.

MidhunOurs was a love marriage but even then we never talked or imagined that we will turn into vloggers. All we wished is to buy a house and get settled in a peaceful place and lead a good family life. I would say Vasu is the backbone for me. She became really familiar with vlogging and she is the one who insisted me to buy Canon G7X when I said I will go with something that is cheaper and would do the job now. Her attentiveness makes her a good companion.

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‘Vloggers On Rise’. Young generation looks to you on YouTube. How can you impact the society being an influencer? 

Midhun- Let me not narrow down into vloggers alone. I believe the social media itself has influenced the young generation a lot. In the forms of trolls, vlogs, blogs, memes, live streams and more people are being aware of the happenings without spending time reading newspapers. Each persons opinion matters. So imagine each person voice their stance through online platforms and then the overall voices play a very important role in the end, it could be an issue that is political or social. Moreover, Sharing of information has improved rapidly. Networking takes place in a blink of an eye. You are able to connect people of similar likes and beliefs. Be a part of initiatives, connect to eminent personalities and this itself is a great example being a part of GV’s Talk by you Gokul. I believe India is going to witness a massive change by 2019 elections and social media influencers will be a great part of it.

Vasu- I would say just like the young generation, people in their old age too are viewers of Youtube. Living all their lives and being in the retirement age and when young people bring out something different to watch they seemed to be curious. I wanted to influence them in a way that saving money, building a house or buying a car is all a necessity but above all, we have to travel, see things that are new to us, learn about other customs and tradition.

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Tips for upcoming young vloggers? 

Midhun- My suggestion would be I think almost all of you should have a youtube channel. Earlier days advertisement was done through local media and newspaper but now most ads are through google and facebook and its reach is on a global level. Money circulates through the global market so if we can cluster it in our market it would be a huge revenue. Create a channel and start promoting your business or whatever. Bring positive contents.

How do you manage to travel frequently? Do you take a day off for vlogging

MidhunIt’s not possible to travel around for 365 days a year while working but certainly you can have a balance between both. Keep aside a day in a week for travelling and that is enough for vlogging. It need not be a trip to a foreign country it could be a walk to an open market down the streets.

Most of your followers are from Kerala. What do you guys have to tell them at this moment? 

Midhun Let me thank everyone for supporting us so far. Please keep supporting.

Vasu- Live your life, keep your worries aside and create some memorable moments so that once you reach your old age you will have something to cherish about always. Keep supporting us.

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

Blogwithgokul©

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You can subscribe to Midhun V Sankar & Vasu’s Youtube channel.

Youtube channel: Midhun V Sankar


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.

A Stay At The Best 3-Star Luxury Hotel At Dalhousie – Hotel Mongas.

Dalhousie, A Hill-Station situated above the 5 hills in the district of Chamba, Himachel Pradesh. Often referred to as the Mini-Switzerland of India. The mild cold afternoons with rays of sun falling on to your skin, the chilly mornings and the opportunity to stroll out into to the Tibetan markets for shopping during evenings makes Dalhousie a perfect holiday destination for Families and Honeymooners.

Every vacation turns out to be a memorable one if you find a perfect place to stay especially when you are planning a trip with your family. Let me share my experience with this hotel that I found out in Dalhousie.

Hotel Mongas, Creatively furnished and maintained 3-Star hotel was truly a perfect choice.

The hotel resides on a beautiful location overlooking the hill station giving a magnificent view of Dalhousie once you step out into your balcony from your room.

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Way To Reception

The room is so cozy and comfortable with all the basic amenities including toiletries, blankets, coffee makers and hot water which are the facilities most travelers look for on trips to hill stations.

They have wide range of room categories starting from Deluxe rooms to Maharaja Family rooms & Honeymoon special rooms.

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My Attic with private sit-out Room

Once you wake up in the morning the view  room offers is astonishing, the mist coming down the mountain peaks is so magical to see.

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A View From My Balcony!

The walkaways of the hotel are crafted with flower hangings and are clean and well maintained adding to the aesthetic beauty.

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Walk ways

The hotel also arranges a musical evening which is amazing to listen while your sipping a hot chocolate or having a beer. Which no other hotels provide.

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Musical Night

The restaurant posses a multi continental cuisines ranging from South-Indian to Chinese on a buffet system so you can eat your heart out!

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The Restaurant

The hotel as got great accessibility to the Gandhi Chowk  Market and the Tibetan Market in a walk-able distance. Hence making the stay more convenient .

My overall ratings would be:

  • Comfort: 8.5/10
  • Value For Money: 8:5/10
  • Cleanliness: 9/10
  • Services: 9/10
  • Dinning: 9.5/10
  • Location: 10/10
  • WiFi: 8/10

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Ratings
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Great Ambiance
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Coffee, Mist and Cold a perfect combination.
For Contact: 

MONGAS
THE MALL
Gandhi Chowk, Dalhousie,
Himachal Pradesh,
Pin Code -176304
India

Contact Numbers:

+91-9418180000,+91-9418180101,+91-9418010927 ,+91-01899-240581

Reservations At:

info@hotelmongas.com
hotelmongas@gmail.com
reservations@hotelmongas.com

PS: The ratings are based on my personal experience.

Thanks,

Gokul Vijayan

(Travel Blogger)

 

Bedouin Market (Nairiyah)

Bedouin Market (Nairiyah)

After a long 7 hours drive all the way from Ad Dammam (740 Kms app) it was a great relief to reach our destination.The land actually surprised me,as we came closer and closer the deserts started to disappear and then come the short bushes arising from the soil beneath.When your cruising at a speed of 110 Km/hr it could be wonderful to see this transformation.Slowly it started to get higher and higher and the wind became cooler and cooler…… then what i saw was hays and vast farms spreading over acres of land,turning my concept of the kingdom upside down.I never knew the kingdom could have this much of greenery !!

Posing beside an antique… :)

Posing beside an antique... :)

The Cochin muziris biennale have made this charming land completely alive. The day and morning seems to be the same during the Muziris festival by the flow of the foreigners as well as the citizens. Got to know many things about my own place ,its history, culture so on which i was totally unaware. Although Biennele took a great attention among the people there were controversies. Many of eminent artists in Kerala raised concern over the alleged lack of transparency in the way the funds were spend by Kochi-Muziris Biennale foundation. At the same time many known contemporary artists of the state of Kerala had come out in support of the event as it could help in enhancing the image of Kochi.Many snaps taken…….will be publishing in my future posts.

Through The Deserts……

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As you move along the deserts you could see piles of sands one above the other spread to the infinity. The movement of the sands is very pleasant to see, nobody could ever make them as the landmarks because they keep moving from one place to other or even disappear.  The wind would be very strong on the highways , you could here the whooshing sound of the wind from inside the cabin of the car with is entirely closed and air-conditioned.You could even hear the pieces of sand hitting on the car’s body making a rattling sound.Due to this it is very advisable to wax your car for desert drives.The mirages actually gives us a feeling of driving into a water source which would disappear without leaving a sign of it as you approach them.It is really cool to take the snaps of the deserts as well as the small oasis. We are pacing at 140 Km/hr which is actually above the speed limit.The speed limit across the kingdom is 120 Km/hr but still you can find when the car moving towards one side….driver as to be very cautioned………..