Executive vice-president, Dubai World Trade Centre
• The Marketing Society, vice-chair of
• Nord Anglia School Dubai, advisory council member
• US Mobile Marketing Association,
• Singapore Business Council (UAE),
• UFI Global Exhibitions Association,
MEA board director
years in current position: 4
years in company: 16
size of department: 200
• Restart Dubai – global restart of large- scale events, the first in the world.
What is your objective in your current role?
I lead in the strategic and creative development of international business and consumer events. My team and I are set on creating meaningful products and building them to last, generating significant economic impact on Dubai, UAE and the region. I want us to move fast from good to great.
Do you have a guiding principle?
Nothing is ever the right decision. Make it your best one. Trust your intuition; data and numbers don’t always add up. Own any challenge that’s given to you; ask for them. These are the best opportunities to be outstanding.
How do you make agency relationships work?
Get real on expectations and alignment. Agencies own the technical competence but you are the subject-matter expert. You know your customers best. Dare to challenge. What works for another one of their clients may not be for you. Proposals may be great on their own technical merits, but do they align with your concept and purpose? More real, less fluff.
What work do you wish you had done?
Celebrating the contribution of hardworking and committed people who actually make things happen for many businesses. Many are under-rated because they are too busy getting the work done. It’s the CNN Heroes inspiration on another measure.
Who inspires you professionally?
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the leader of Dubai. He is tireless, limitless, fearless yet real. Every famous motivational quote he’s ever said is backed up by bold and tangible manifestations. In spite of his larger-than-life presence, he’d taken time to exchange greetings with me and even extend personal appreciation on a few occasions. In his world, I’m of no significance. Yet he remembered and took time. That’s truly humbling.
What is the biggest challenge in marketing at the moment?
Marketing that doesn’t sell. That’s my nemesis right now. Marketers and agencies are not thinking enough for commercial people. There are many wonderful feel-good marketing campaigns but if they don’t drive sales and are not supporting the commercial team, they are meaningless. And big impact does not always equate to big spend.
What is the next big opportunity in marketing?
Marketing has always been a bridesmaid to commercial in many organisations. With the surge in big data and the sophistication in decoding consumer behaviour, the revolution of marketing is propelling the function into leadership opportunities like never before. This is the watershed opportunity for marketers to seize.
What can we expect to see from you and your brand in the next year?
Creating more purposeful events with influential strategic impetus, generating significant impact for businesses, societies and economies. We continue to transform our existing product portfolio to be ranked amongst the best in the world. We don’t imagine possibilities for our stakeholders; we make things happen for them. We are proud to be supporting the UAE Projects of the 50.
Leading Dubai as the first city in the world to restart large-scale in-person international events, hosting 120,000 participants from 162 countries.
Hosting the only in-person tech show in the world, Gitex Global 2020, at the height of the pandemic, successfully securing the participation and support of the most influential tech brands in the world.
Setting the local and global benchmark and reference for health and safety protocols
in live events.
What are you working on?
Who are you following?
What are you craving?
Who are you hiding from?
Kids. They won’t
let me out to go
What are you playing?
What are you listening to?
Beethoven EDM remixed.
What are you reading?
My kids’ Science You Can Eat.
What are you watching?
Falsa Identidad. I binge on cartels.
What is your good habit?
Not texting colleagues before 7 am.
What is your bad habit?
Forgetting that I shouldn’t text before 7 am.
Tara Bakshi, Creative director and founder, OKOKU
In the past 12 months, Trixie, leading her team at Dubai World Trade Centre, has brought back events to the world and made a definite impact. Her vast knowledge of the market and her in-depth understanding of trends make her a rarity in the industry and put her right in the top bracket. She is extremely creative, always thinks out of the box and keeps the customer and their requirements in mind. Her ability to pivot when necessary and her continuous pushing the boundaries make her a leader in her field. Trixie’s bold achievements made Dubai the global reference.
Trixie has been our client for the past five years. Working alongside her has taught me a lot. She’s been a real inspiration for my team and me. I am most proud of Gitex2020 – we worked hard, we met deadlines and did a good job together of bringing the spotlight back to events after the pandemic. We have propelled Gitex to the biggest tech show and Gitex Future Stars is now one of the top three largest startup events in the world.
She has the ability to juggle a dozen things and not compromise on quality. Her eye for detail and storytelling is impeccable. Trixie led the creative conceptualisation and launch of the Emirates’ largest lifestyle events, Dubai Fitness Challenge and Dubai Food Festival, and we had chance to collaborate on not just International business but also large-scale public events with enduring impact on the country.
I have learned to always push the boundaries, never compromise on the calibre of work delivered to clients and always give a project my full attention. Trixie teaches you to make every task a priority, to give it your 100 per cent – no matter how big or small the project.