Nominated by Ray Eglington, group managing director, Four MENA
“Shaimaa has been a consistent star performer since joining us in 2015 and is a core driver of our success in the Abu Dhabi market. She played a key role in our successful Department of Culture and Tourism tender, one of many wins this year. She has embraced our integrated offer, widening the scope of work for New York University Abu Dhabi, for example, to cover digital, social, paid social and event support, in addition to the core communications brief.  She is a regular award-winner – from MEPRA Young Communicator to client campaigns to regular Four awards – but approaches everything in a humble, modest manner which belies these achievements. A joy to work with!”

Career path
“I started as a media relations executive in a boutique agency in Cairo, Egypt. I then moved in-house to focus on social entrepreneurship, where I helped craft communications for start-ups for social good and conducted field work in rural areas around Cairo – which fulfilled my passion. In parallel, I was a freelance writer, covering political and entrepreneurship news for two years. I moved to the UAE in 2013 and worked with Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, before I joined Four Communications two months later. I was awarded Young Communicator of the Year 2016 by the Middle East Public Relations Association. I was promoted to the MENA management group in late 2018.”

Guiding principles
I learned the “duck rule”: it is about how to maintain your calmness and positive attitude no matter how hard you are paddling under water to keep swimming. I also learned to ask, ask again, and then keep asking. Never take on a task unless you are sure 100 per cent you are fully aware of what is requested and you have a clear brief. Lastly, across my nine years of experience, I learned to enjoy what I do, and spread this vibe among my colleagues and work environment.