Jelena Jakovljevic Bin Drai
The renowned UAE businesswoman who's being recognised internationally for her charity work
© ITP Images
• I was honoured to receive an award for Humanitarian of the Year in Serbia in 2015. I’ve always believed that you don’t need a reason to help others, and I started my charity work many years ago and enjoy being involved with these different organisations.
• The moment I open my door and enter my home, all my office work is left behind. I’ve only recently learned to do this and I wish I’d separated my professional and personal life earlier, but then smooth seas never made a skilful sailor.
• I have to say that fashion guru and TV presenter Rosemin Manji is one of my top influences in Dubai. She’s strong, sophisticated, hardworking, knowledgeable and a great human being. She’s dedicated to her profession and is great role model in every sense.
• I’ve decided to become fluent in both Russian and Arabic – it’s my ‘language’ year and I’ve set aside time to do this.
• I love the security that we have in the UAE – it’s given me the opportunity to build the life I always dreamt about. Women in the UAE are encouraged to work and chase their dreams, and their worth and capability is considered equal to that of any man.