Serviceplan Group Middle East

The Diary

We’re calling it the Serviceplan Group Middle East Diary: Every week, one of our team members will be sharing what’s currently going on in her or his life at Serviceplan Group Middle East.


Omar Elgamal
Junior Copywriter,
Serviceplan Group Middle East

  • Marhaba!

    I’m Omar, Junior Copywriter at Serviceplan Group Middle East and my day usually consists of working on Arabic campaign copies and content calendars for the team. But there is always something new: Recently, I worked on a really big and fun pitch, which I really enjoyed because it gave me the chance to show off my creativity. Also, brainstorming with my fantastic colleagues is always fun and inspiring.


  • My home is the Egyptian countryside.

    Originally, I am from Al-Menofeya, in the Egyptian countryside where actually all the countries presidents come from. I live in one of the smaller villages and I miss the quietness and everything being close by. But obviously, I miss my mum spoiling me the most and I can’t wait for my next trip in December.

  • What you will find on my desk…

    Are MY SNACKS! I always have snacks and water next to me. Whilst I enjoy nibbling, I let myself be inspired by music. I love sentimental TV and movie soundtracks as it really helps me focus and concentrate.

  • When I’m not working on campaigns, this is how I enjoy my free time:

    You will find me with some popcorn watching the latest movies in the cinema, exploring new cuisines and foods or hanging out with my friends in my free time in the beautiful city of Dubai.

“Don’t take life too seriously.

You will never get out of it alive.”

Elbert Hubbard

Shahid Alattar
Social Media Director,
Serviceplan Group Middle East

  • Hey there, I’m Shahid and where do I start?

    Having recently joined Serviceplan Group Middle East as Head of Social Media, my first week involved a Saturday shoot in which I acted like a drama queen! Besides that, I’m currently working on pitches, pitches and some more pitching – and handovers… a lot of handovers! I guess, I’m having fun 🙂 

  • People and Psychological Thrillers are my inspiration!

    I’m a bubbly people’s person and I feed off of others’ energy. I think there is nothing more inspirational than the internal human journey. Oh, also… psychological thrillers, anything weird and out of the ordinary and foreign horror films (yes, they inspire me).

  • My desk will soon be filled with…

    … memories! I haven’t settled in yet, but in a few weeks, you’ll see my desk bombarded with pictures, mugs (with pictures on them), little knick knacks from all around the world – and did I mention pictures?

  • Emotional feedback keeps me going in my job.

    The best part of my job is seeing weeks of work, brainstorming, arguing and executing coming across in a beautiful campaign that receives an emotional feedback from the consumer. Worst parts? Well… it’s Social Media so it’s always fun!

  • I’m a Nomad!

    I’m an immigrant child/nomad… Home could be Iraq for 5 years, Jordan for 7 years or Canada for 15 years. And I’m gonna go with Canada since it’s where I lived the longest. Did you know that there, Starbucks is nothing? We barely have any and no one ever goes to them! Tim Hortons is the BOMB.

My top tip:

The Old Souk at sunset. The simplicity of the boat mixed with the huge number of birds flying in the beautiful orange sky makes life worthwhile!

Wayne Fernandes
Associate Creative Director (Copy),
Serviceplan Group Middle East

  • I already feel at home in the SPME family.

    Having joined a couple of months ago, my days are filled working on challenging and interesting projects. One example is BMW contemporary – a project we are all very excited about because it’s quite different. Fingers crossed it takes off and lands smoothly!!

  • Passing by my desk you’ll find…

    … a picture of my daughter! But at the moment I don’t have enough desk space. Other than that, you’ll see my black book of ideas.

  • Nom, nom, nom.

    After work and on my weekends, you will find me exploring different cuisines and restaurants in this multicultural city. I am a total foodie and Dubai offers a lot of variety (when it comes to that)!

  • Ideas are what I love about my job!

    I still remember winning my first Cannes Lions – that had to be the best moment of my job! What inspires me the most are ideas and not necessarily just advertising ideas. They give me goosebumps.

  • Originally, I’m from Mumbai.

    My most fun memory about my home country is without a doubt my first agency (McCann-Erickson, Mumbai). What makes it a fun memory, is in general the agency life back in Mumbai… I cannot pinpoint anything specific, just everything about it.

It’s hard work trying to sell bad work. It’s easier to sell GREAT work.
(I like to take the easier way out)

Victor Farias
Associate Creative Director (Art),
Serviceplan Group Middle East

  • Bom dia! I’m Victor the new Associate Creative Director at Serviceplan Group Middle East…

    If you pop by my desk these days you will currently find me working on an exciting project merging automotive with art. Having joined quite recently, my best moment so far was playing a big role developing the art direction and look & feel of a recent pitch.

  • Freedom inspires me in my creative work.

    My inspiration comes from a lot of things, but mainly from music and skateboarding. There’s so much freedom when people do independent music and skateboarding as there are so many different styles and ways of exploring places. I’m always very much intrigued by those kind of free movements by which people can show themselves and the way they are. Hence, I try little by little putting this inspiration into my creative work process.

  • Jazz and Brazilian music are my favorite tunes.

    Grab my headphones and you will hear that I am mostly listening to jazz and Brazilian music. Another must have for me are my sunglasses that are always on my desk so I am ready anytime to go out for a couple of minutes breathing in some proper sunny and hot Dubai air.

  • Beach, Drinks and Food.

    I really enjoy going to the beach – of course only when it’s not too hot in Dubai. 🙂 Apart from that, find me in the coolest bars and restaurants enjoying great food and drinks.

  • Eu sou do Brasil!

    I always remember great times with my family and friends, and of course, I miss a lot the amazing and endless parties back there! But in fact, I enjoy a lot the freedom choosing your lifestyle and the openness to be yourself in Dubai which is making me think twice to live back in Brazil again.

Açaí for life!

Barry Mc Grath
Senior Digital Account Manager,
Plan.Net Middle East

  • I’m Barry, Senior Digital Account Manager, and this is what I do:

    Currently, I am working on two regional campaigns: one is a Pre-Launch campaign for one of our clients and the other one is a fall tactical campaign. In tandem with this I’m working on a number of digital executions across the region and just finished reports for previous campaigns for Automotive and Coffee Clients…

  • My everything at work is…

    I’m nothing without my morning list! This is why my notebook is my absolute everything at work.

  • Music is my ultimate inspiration!

    I am mostly inspired by music, this is why you will hear me singing my favorite jams on a daily basis. Apart from that, I draw inspiration from a lot of different places, like my friends and family, as well as colleagues and seeing how a team pulls together to bring something great to life!

  • Where you can find Barry on the weekend:

    As breakfast is the most amazing meal of the day, on my weekends you can find me brunching or swimming in the pool with the beautiful weather that Dubai offers compared to rainy Ireland. Other than that, reading a book is what I enjoy in my free time!

  • Pubs are what I miss most about my home country…

    I’m Irish and the first thing that comes into my mind (thinking about my home country) are Pints! Right now as I make my way back home, I am already struggling to combine all the pint invitations from my friends and family under one roof ;).

Never give up!

Ahmed Taha
Social Media Manager,
Plan.Net Middle East

  • Ahmed Taha is the name and Social Media is the game!

    As a Social Media Manager, I handle the Social Accounts of XLine, Red Vault and Granarolo which basically sums me up as an adrenaline and gaming junkie who loves food. 🙂

    Previously, I covered big events such as RedBull Car Park Drift, RedBull Air Race and Coldplay’s New Year’s concert. That’s when I learned to enjoy the rush of creating content.

  • On my desk you will find….

    …my coffee and my music. These two things define how active I get during my day in work – I am usually the person who has the cookie stash (but shhhhh don’t tell anyone!)

  • Unfortunately, the day only has 24 hours…

    I try to live life to the fullest by making the most of it by experiencing new activities and talking to people. Apart from that, my life revolves around football. Therefore, if you can’t find me in a pitch playing, I’d be home watching a match or having a heated discussion about why Arsenal is the greatest team.

  • Carrying the Arabic values and the African swag.

    I’m from the country where the Nile merges and becomes one, a place where you will be treated as a family at first sight – I am proud to represent Sudan at Serviceplan Group Middle East! Come visit one day – I might also have some cookies there for you! 🙂

‘Small aim is a crime;
have great aim.’

Virginia Krieger
Business Development Executive,
Serviceplan Group Middle East

  • A day in the work life of Virginia is quite unpredictable

    there might be a presentation, Social Media management, database work, article writing or also event organization. One thing is for sure with anything I am doing: I am freezing in the AC!

  • Healthy cereals, light lunch, an apple, detox tea…

    unfortunately this is not how a typical day turns out to be…Kinder chocolate, dates, Matcha Latte and milk cake sessions – that sounds more like reality.

    But I’m happy I can share this with my foodie neighbour Claudia whilst daydreaming about our German cuisine.

  • Did you know you should always ‘High Five’ somebody 3 times in a row so that it does not mean bad luck?

    It’s kind of made up by myself but it’s what I do with a couple of colleagues every day and I take it really seriously.

  • No matter what happens, I always tell myself to stay positive!

    There is no problem – there might be a challenge and I freak out for one minute, but everything always turns out to be fine! I like reminding myself about how blessed we are being able to live on such a beautiful planet.

  • New places are my ultimate inspiration

    Whether it is from the people you get to meet, the culture, food and the environment. Having lived in Germany, New Zealand, the UK and the UAE I’m in love with creating new experiences in different places. I especially fell for Dubai – the sun, the desert and beach… it is such a fast-moving place on this planet and within one week as much happens as in one month somewhere else.

‘Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.’

You know what? Tomorrow, I will not eat any sweets at all!

Dani Akkawi
Social Media Manager,
Plan.Net Middle East

  • Don’t be jealous that playing PS4 is part of my work!

    One of my clients is Red Vault, a brand that distributes the best video games in the market. Long story short, I get to play PS4 during working hours, and it’s very much considered ‘work’. Who am I? I am Dani Akkawi, Social Media Manager in the Haus der Kommunikation.

  • From sports to bank clients – I (nearly) have it all!

    Overall, I work with a variety of brands that speak totally different business dialects, from extreme sports, to a bank, to a truck company, my daily working life is what you can call ‘unpredictable’.

  • In a different way ‘unpredictable’: My desk!

    My desk looks like a mini tornado… I keep my stuff all over the place. Some people consider it ‘messiness’, but I call it ‘creative chaos’. I believe if you need to look for something really hard to find it, and you do, then you will never forget its contents. It’s a surreal concept really, but it works for me.

  • I’m from Jordan, and this is what you should do there…

    I’ll drown you with ‘Mansaf’, and you will never need another calorie in your life. Jordan is the hub of funny people, men and women, as opposed to popular belief, which states Jordanians are angry frowny people. You’re more than welcome to visit the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea, and stand under one of the 7 wonders of the World, the Petra.

  • Friends, talks, instruments and travelling are the things I enjoy in my free time.

    You can find me somewhere, with a friend or two, maybe with a glass of wine or two, talking about a profound subject or two, playing an instrument or two. There is never a regular place to find me in, but I would like to find myself travelling all the time, to get to know life on a deeper level.

I can imagine it might get too deep now here, which means I will leave you alone for now. Nevertheless, with a deep quote of one of my favorite stand-up comedian:

‘I have a lot of beliefs, but I live by none of them, they’re just my little beliefies.’

Rawan Chahrour
Social Media Executive,
Plan.Net Middle East

  • Being on time every morning is my thing!

    That’s why I’m already here in the office – 8:45am sharp. I enjoy being at work before the hustle and bustle of daily life starts. It gives me time to go through my emails and work on things like this text for the SPME Diary.

    I’m Rawan, and I recently joined the Haus der Kommunikation as a Social Media Executive, and really enjoy my days in the office.

  • You will always find a bottle of water and my phone on my desk…

    Even though I don’t like reminding myself to drink, I believe that the last thing you want is suffer from dryness in a desert city like Dubai.  And there is always my phone that has everything: My calendar, to do lists, notes, reminders…

  • Quality time with my family is the best thing to me!

    Apart from hanging out with my friends, my recent favorite thing is to look for new activities with my baby: Playgrounds, beaches, development and swimming classes are on the top list for the coming weekends! It may sound boring for some but I get super excited when I spend time with my small family.

  • Satisfied clients make me love my job!

    Yes, this is absolutely true – I love my job the most, when the client is satisfied after a long and hard-working journey! My biggest personal challenge is a lack of inspiration to come up with new ideas. In this case: Coffee is my absolute savior!

  • You are all my ‘Habibi’….

    My home country is Lebanon, and if I know you or not you’ll hear me calling you my “Habibi”. Literally Habibi means my darling or my love, but in Lebanon we use it for every single person and in any situation.

So, thank you for reading, Habibi! 🙂

Suparshv Adarsh Chopra
Digital Media Director,
Mediaplus Espresso

  • Who can’t live without his blue notebook and his fountain pen?

    Have you ever met a Digital Media Director who can’t live without his blue notebook and fountain pen? Well, that’s me – Suparshv. I have to admit, that this might sound ironical given my line of job but as digital savvy as I might get, I still prefer writing down my notes and my daily task. This helps me remember things much better :).

  • A work day in the life of Suparshv…

    My typical working day is mainly filled with handling clients and the digital media team. But I will share some top secret with you: currently, I am working on a very interesting project that will expand the scope of House of Communications’ digital media offering by leaps & bounds. I Can’t wait to share the result with you!

  • Learn in everything you do!

    When you ask what inspires me the most I would answer that learn in everything you do! Both in my personal and professional life I make sure that whatever I do, I learn from it – even if it’s a mistake. The keenness to learn, inspires me to take up new challenges every day!

  • Did you know that the game ‘Snakes and Ladders’ was invented in my home country?

    You want to know a funny fact about my home country? Then let me tell you that the game ‘Snakes and Ladders’ was invented in India in the 14th century by a poet Saint Gyandev. The ladders represent the virtues while the snakes indicate vices. The game was designed on the basis of the concept that good deeds take you to heaven while bad deeds take you to hell.
  • Nature is my Number 1 in my free time!

    My relaxation therapy after a week-long hectic work schedule is spending time on Dubai’s beautiful beaches. Dubai is one of the most amazing and remarkable travel destinations, enclosed by the towering skyscrapers, stunning islands, seven star hotels and the extravagant malls… but my personal favorite will still stay close to the sea and sand since it relaxes me the most.

Learn – Unlearn – Relearn

Sara Hasan Abdelaziz Dibajeh
Digital Account Manager,
Plan.Net Middle East

  • Sticky notes, notebook and my mug are my must-haves.

    Hi, I’m Sara Dibajeh and I’ve recently joined the Serviceplan Group Middle East family as a Digital Account Manager.

  • I love cars and racing!

    I’ve only been working at Serviceplan for two months now. One of the reasons I enjoy being a Digital Account Manager for three automotive clients is my love for cars and racing. Also exiting for me is that I am responsible for a FMCG client for the first time.

  • I’m in love with the wild city of Dubai!

    It’s been my favorite place for the past 25 years!
    But what I love about it the most is that you will make lifelong friends because you all share similar experiences of living and working in this exciting yet challenging, truly foreign environment through which you learn a lot about the world.

  • Spoilt for choice!

    I enjoy the wide variety Dubai has to offer: from theme parks to private beach clubs, from incredibly opulent shopping malls to cinema complexes and an abundance of restaurants. From indoor snowboarding to the most remarkable music and food festivals Dubai really does have it all – it never gets boring for me and there is always something new to discover!

  • The top tip from my home country Jordan:

    I guarantee that you don’t know what hummus is until you’ve had it at Hashim, an open-air falafel place in Amman’s old downtown.

My mantra:

Listen, smile, agree and then do whatever you were going to do anyway.”

Leomerish Leyco
Junior Art Director,
Plan.Net Middle East

  • My 2nd day at work was quite a welcome!

    … at 5am my boss brought me to a BMW shoot in the desert. It was the first time for me being at a shoot with such a huge production and seeing how brand films come to life. There are so many people working hard in the background just to get that perfect shot. I learned a lot and really came to love the industry I’m in after that day.

  • The digital world is my world.

    This is why I couldn’t live without my phone! As my focus is on Social Media, being up to date with trends people are talking about is mandatory to use it to our advantage. The digital world is ever changing. And my phone does everything for me – when I need to jot down quick ideas, create artworks, research something, and capture moments.

  • What it is like being a creative?

    Just to mention one example, currently I’m being involved with the Social Media Account Executives in coming up with content ideas for the brands that they manage. We keep each others’ eyes and ears open for new ideas and see with which brand we can use it creatively.

  • I’m from a country with more than 7.107 islands.

    The Philippines! I just recently came back from home spending it wakeboarding, surfing, rock climbing, island hopping, all the water works! My recommendation for you is a free-dive for 15 seconds and you emerge in a cave lagoon. An almost neon blue water greets you and you swim in it, it is magnificent. You will probably never run out of new things to discover there!

  • People are my inspiration.

    It’s by listening to other people’s stories I learn about them and in the process, I learn about myself too. There’s a quote by Bill Nye, “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.”

  • Work and play at d3.

    Our office is located in Dubai Design District. Which means most of the art shows, events, and interesting talks are always happening here. I feel like I’m in the center of everything art-related.

“I did it by doing the things I was afraid of doing so that I would no longer be afraid.”

-this quote by Sandra Cisneros helped me transitioning aka choosing life in Dubai. Everything’s a learning process and continuously doing things you’re afraid keeps you growing. (I suggest picking up her book, “The House on Mango Street.”)

Brett Cameron
Managing Director,
Serviceplan Experience

  • Did you hear of the Tim Tam Slam before?

    If you want to get a bit of the Australian experience, you should definitely try it! G’Day from the groups’ Aussie, Brett Cameron.

  • My team can proudly look back working on great projects

    in our first 18 months: for instance, we have just begun a B2B Activation program for Nespresso in five test markets. It started out as social media campaign by our Plan.Net team, then evolved into a content generating opportunity by way of the Nespresso Professional MAV (Mobile Activation Vehicle). Serviceplan Experience was responsible for the design, coordination and quality control of the MAVs, and now delivers strategic services selecting business locations around their respective cities… The response, which has been awesome so far, is generating good social coverage, data collection and immediate sales!

  • Born and having spent 25 of my life in Australia,

    I have since lived in Asia for over 20 years before moving to Dubai three years ago. In my free time, you will see me wakeboarding around the Palm Jumeirah, coaching my son’s junior rugby team and watching the Australian Wallabies National Rugby Team at the pub. Otherwise, I enjoy pretty much any sport, with indoor snow skiing in the desert a crazy highlight!

  • I am proud to call myself a Singapore National!

    When I was living in Singapore, I was designing everything from Formula 1 race experiences to theme parks, museums, traveling exhibitions and launch events, and being fortunate enough to pick up a number of awards along the way. Many people ask why I would leave such an awesome city as Singapore. The question and the answer is ‘why?’. This word constantly pushes me to keep moving forward in all I do. If my reason for staying in one spot isn’t a compelling answer to this question then it’s time for something new.

  • I am sure, you are still wondering about the Tim Tam Slam…

    It’s a little unsophisticated, but very unforgettable and I reckon this is a lot like Aussies and Australia. Take a Tim Tam and a cup of hot chocolate, bite the ends off the Tim Tam and then suck the hot chocolate through the open ends of the Tim Tam like a straw. The Tim Tam explodes into this deliciously decadent molten chocolate experience. You’re welcome!

So if you try it or not, I leave you now with my favorite words: 

Treat people as you wish to be treated!

Rob McGovern
Digital Account Manager,
Serviceplan Middle East

  • Hi, I’m Rob!

    I’m originally from Ireland but have been living in Dubai for almost 7 years. I started at Serviceplan Middle East one year ago this week although it feels like much longer than that. I joined just as we were making our move to the new office in Dubai Design District, which was a pretty exciting time for the agency.

  • I am part of the digital team

    and work on everything from websites and digital display campaigns, to content creation, apps and other digital concepts for clients like Danone Nutricia, BMW, DIFC and MAN Truck. We’re currently working on a set of Facebook Messenger chatbots for one of our clients too which is really interesting!

  • I’m crazy about tech

    and a sucker for gadgets. I’m passionate about how technology is changing our world, as well as how it can facilitate creative marketing and I’m always looking for the next big thing and for how we can make our clients first-movers. I send out an internal digital newsletter every week to make sure everyone is up-to-date on all the exciting new tech possibilities to get people’s creative juices flowing.

  • I love reading and try to get through a book every week or two.

    It’s actually such a good way of disconnecting from the always-on life that most of us live these days hooked up to our smartphones and laptops. I love writing too and try to keep my own blog updated as well as writing the occasional piece for the Serviceplan blog and a couple of magazines in the industry. I also love playing video games and am crazy about football, including a pretty heavy obsession with Manchester United.

Roy Kamsanee
Strategic Account Director,
Serviceplan Experience

  • It is all about telling a story!

    That is my passion in life – but also at work. So, let me tell you my story: Hi! I am Roy Kamsanee, Strategic Account Director at Serviceplan Experience.

  • As you may know, at Serviceplan Experience we want to create brand-living experiences

    by telling engaging stories. Brands in spaces. That’s what I do! I love to unveil the stories of clients by developing a strategic program that uses customer-centric moments to develop connection and content that heightens the brand value both immediately to the individual, and through social media to a broader audience.

  • At the moment, we are telling the story of Nespresso Professional

    – in Turkey, Morocco, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The project is giving me enough caffeine, to meet tight deadlines of other exciting projects like a tailor made mobile showroom design for our client to reach multiple cities throughout China without the heavy investment of a network of showrooms. Actually… Not the caffeine, it is more the exuberant team, which is the secret ingredient for me – love you team!

  • What I love even more,

    is doing any kind of activities together with my beautiful wife and my children. It doesn’t matter if we go for a swim, dance, play golf, make music together or spend some time with good friends. These are the best moments in life.

  • Another special moment for me

    was watching Yusuf Islan/Cat Steven’s 50th Year Anniversary Acoustic Tour Concert in Glasgow, UK last November. I still get goosebumps when I think of this gig – after all these years of singing the songs of the legendary superstar in the bathroom. How cool is it, to have him as one of our valuable clients? I bet you’re jealous now! 🙂

  • Although I have been in Dubai for over 10 years,

    I still appreciate being back home in Singapore – it has some things in common with Dubai, like the multicultural society, but what is outstanding: it is such a food paradise! I can’t wait to go back some time soon, together with my family.

I have to make a move – guess to where? Of course to the airport! Client is calling! Although some travels are long and some stories are not easy to tell, don’t forget:

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift… that’s why they call it present.” – Master Oogway

Chinyere Hope Ezumbe
Serviceplan Middle East

  • Hi, I am Chinyere or ChiChi,

    your first point of contact when arriving at the Serviceplan Middle East offices. I like to consider myself the face of SPME – lol. Apart from welcoming you on arrival, fulfilling admin duties and serving delicious coffee, I take care of all my colleagues’ needs in the office.

  • I am a proud Nigerian - The Giant of Africa!

    So, I hope you don’t mind me telling you a tiny little bit about my country: We are one of the largest producers of crude oil and the most populous country in Africa. We boast of more than 250 ethnic groups and home to the largest diversity of butterflies in the world. One thing that sets us apart is our diverse culture, our mouth-watering delicacies (Jollof rice) and the love of Afrobeat music (Fela Kuti). Aside from having immense love for fashion (Editor’s note: exhibit A – ChiChi!), Nigerians are well known for being very hospitable, happy and resilient – which ties into my day to day work.

  • So what is a day at the office like for me?

    Everyday comes with a different set of tasks but it  has to start with a cup of coffee – thank goodness I have a machine right by my desk. Throughout the day, I multitask between administrative and HR duties, taking 20-30 calls from clients, customers and marketers and diverting calls to the appropriate recipient. I also take care of walk-in guests and ensure they leave with a pleasant memory of the office. I handle all employee leave applications, coordinate travel arrangements which include flights and hotel bookings. I also help colleagues resolve issues related to IT, visa applications, insurance applications and ensure the general welfare of everyone at SPME.

  • Good relationships motivate me the most.

    Going out of my way to make other people happy and being kind inspires me. I enjoy the time I spend with my colleagues at work, I feel like a member of a hard-working team, it makes me happy and motivated to work hard. I could also say that success is my biggest motivator. I love putting my all into everything I do and getting the job done right.

  • I also believe in “work hard and play hard”.

    So on the weekend, you will find me at the beach jet skiing or laying in the sun soaking up the heat while reading a fiction novel or fashion magazine. I go to church every Friday morning. I come from a religious family and I love God. I am a fashion fanatic so you will most likely bump into me at the mall shopping, trying out new dresses or going to see a movie at the cinema. You might also find me playing snooker or hanging out with friends at Kiza (one of my favorite African Restaurant in Dubai).

And with that, I will leave you with my favourite quote:

“Trust yourself. You know more
than you think you do.” – 
Dr. Benjamin Spock

Alba Arteaga
Senior Account Manager,
Serviceplan Middle East

  • You won’t experience boring days with this brand!

    I’m talking about MINI, my new client. I’ve joined Serviceplan only a few weeks ago and took over MINI from Nadja, who went back to Germany in order to start a new adventure. But I already feel like I’ve known MINI for a long time. I’m very excited about the upcoming projects… But let’s take a step back.

  • Hola, I am Alba.

    I’ve joined Serviceplan in August as the new Senior Account Manager for MINI. What I like the most so far about my working days is the amount of new things I get to know day by day. The team made me feel like I have been here forever since the day I joined – I cannot emphasize on how great the team is. Thank you, team!

  • Diving and kitesurfing are things I enjoy doing when I’m not at work.

    I love being active and even though it is Dubai – which is very hot most of the time – I try to do outdoor activities as much as possible. As long as the sea is not getting too warm, water sports are just perfect in the heat!

  • I am originally from Spain,

    which explains my love for hiking and cooking. As you may know, there are not many possibilities going for a hike in Dubai – but have you ever been on a hiking trip to Hatta in the UAE or Salalah in Oman?! Give it a try – it is very exciting (but of course not comparable to the mountains back home)!

  • To simply open the window in the morning

    and fill your lungs with fresh air – this is what I miss the most from home. I really love my home country in so many aspects: food, lifestyle and of course Spanish people J

  • Luckily, I can feel a little bit more at home with the Serviceplan team!

    I love chatting in Spanish to my colleagues from Argentina and Colombia from time to time. Nevertheless, experiencing something new is always a good idea – whether by living in the desert, joining a new team or trying something new. So always keep in mind:

If it doesn’t challenge you,
it won’t change you!

Jay Morales
Graphic Designer,
Mediaplus Espresso

  • I started studying photography in 2008 to pursue my love for capturing moments.

    Then it became my hobby and passion which led me to where I am today – Graphic Designer at Mediaplus Espresso. Rewind four and a half years, I was actually a part of the Serviceplan Middle East team before moving across Mediaplus Espresso, six months ago.

  • So when I am not looking at life through a lens,

    I am responsible for finalizing artwork for our clients. I have just completed jobs for Marriot Al Forsan in Abu Dhabi and been briefed on a couple of print ads and social media assets for City Properties. My work involves a lot of editing, color correction and other technical things that are far from boring.

  • I am from the Philippines which comprises of 7,107 islands!

    Living on one island is already fun but having that many in one place allows endless travel and adventure with the family. Every year I go home and do some island hoping with my family. I have two kids – a son who is in high school and a daughter who recently graduated college with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia. I am really proud of her and to see all my hard work abroad has helped her achieve her dreams really brings a smile to my face.

  • A little inside information, I am behind many of the images taken here at Serviceplan Group Middle East.

    I love that I have been able to incorporate my job and passion which inspired me to start studying videography. On weekends, I am out and about shooting and editing everyday life and putting into practice what I am learning. Hopefully one day, it can be part of my job as well.

  • Living in Dubai has been a whirlwind

    and has given me the opportunity to develop creatively both at work and outside of work. I am motivated by practicing and applying all that I have learnt from my colleagues and the courses I have been studying.

I will leave you with my favorite quote:

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” – Zig Zigla

Stefania Luque Diaz
Video Content Producer,
Serviceplan Middle East

  • “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wildness of your intuition.”

    A few months ago I made the decision to leave my life in London and start a new one in Dubai. I arrived just in time for Ramadan and the desert summer heat which has been an experience to say the least.

  • Hi, I am Stefania the new Video Content Producer at Serviceplan Middle East.

    Originally from Barcelona Spain, I lived and worked in London for 7 years before making the big jump to the desert.

  • My day to day for the last 2 months has consisted of working on various video and animation creations

    for our clients including BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and Apta Advice. I am always excited to learn new things so this has been quite an exciting period in my work life and getting used to working with Arabic copy. I work with a great creative team; we have immense fun brainstorming ideas that either become simple or complex animations, or video edits that I create.

  • I have also spent time getting my head around the craziness that is Dubai in general.

    A very surprising thing to me is to hear that people don’t close the door of their houses! I have now picked up this bad habit as my flat mates recently pointed out to me – oops! Luckily my sister and her family are close by in Abu Dhabi and I get to spend time with my gorgeous twin nieces and I have found brilliant Bikram yoga studios to keep me Zen, especially right now as we are knee deep in an exciting digital pitch for a client.

  • I miss Barcelona – the vibe of the city, my parents, friends and the food.

    It doesn’t get better than Mediterranean food. I am however looking forward to discovering more of Dubai once the heat and humidity dies down. I did however attend my first Suhoor a few weeks after moving here. For those who don’t know, Suhoor is the meal before the days fasting. It was weird eating that late at night but it was a fun evening and a great way to get to know my new colleagues at SPME.

Hasta pronto,
this BMW launch documentation video won’t get itself done!

Meena Ikram
Account Executive,
Serviceplan Middle East

  • They say time flies when you are having fun and I have just completed three wonderful years at Serviceplan Middle East. What do I do here you ask?

  • I am an Account Executive.

    I serve as the direct link between the creatives and the client and manage day-to-day affairs and ensuring everything is delivered on time. I work on four BMW Middle East Group markets, a local hotel group and anything else that comes my way – if you need anything for offline, I am your person.

  • Enough about work,

    now let’s talk about what I like to do in my spare time. I have been in Dubai for 8 years and I was planning to move from here after completing my Bachelor’s degree LOL! Now I have a Master’s degree and married. So Dubai has become home for me and slowly I have fallen in love with it.

  • So yeah, I recently got married

    and had a 7-day wedding! Yup 7 days – not a typo! I am from Pakistan and this is how we do wedding. It was amazing and exhausting at the same time and the wonderful vacation we took to Sri Lanka after it was just what the doctor ordered. Some of my Serviceplan colleagues attended one of the receptions and they can tell you what an experience it was.

  • I love trying new things.

    It can be as simple as trying a new cuisine or a new game. This is why I love Dubai, as there is always something new and tasty to sink your teeth into J I have also taken up chess, which has proven slightly more challenging to learn than I expected but practice makes perfect and I am determined to get better, till then my husband can enjoy winning.

  • So back to my 9-6,

    right now I am busy rebranding most of the client showrooms as Ramadan and Eid are over and we need to replace all the layouts. Also the first ever BMW 5 Series PHEV is about to be launched so I am working on a launch campaign and event for it for one of the markets. This is exciting and I love the thrill of seeing a concept come to life. It is not always easy but where would the fun be if it weren’t a bit of a challenge right?

Talk to you guys later,
need to release an OOH Bye!!

Moe Jawhar
Executive Creative Director,
Serviceplan Middle East

  • I’m always amused

    when people come to Dubai and tell me they only want to stay for one or two years. In 2006 I said the same… And see! I am still here! You’ll question now why somebody would stay that long in this city? It is a hate-love. I love its convenience. I love the cultural mix and the Arabic traditions that are still very much part of our modern lives.

  • Originally I’m from Lebanon.

    I was raised the “Arab way” and schooled in French. At home we spoke a mix of French and Arabic. I taught myself to speak English through Rap Songs. I was luckily growing up while Rap “Gods” where having their best years. I still know lots of their lyrics by heart and go to Rap concerts whenever and wherever I can.

  • Travelling is one of the things I enjoy doing when I’m not at work.

    My Lebanese passport is quite challenging from time to time, but there was no country so far which did not let me in! My next travels (after Lebanon) will be South Africa, Mexico and Cuba – Insha’Allah the embassy is accepting my application.

  • All in all I don’t consider myself being the super sample Arab.

    Dubai is changing everybody to a more open-minded and more international oriented person – at least this is what I think. Although my name is Mohamad – the most Arab name you’ll ever find – it’s also changed me. The pace of this city helped me grow my experience pretty fast, so did my career. I’m one of a handful of “Serviceplan Middle East” pioneers, who have been with the agency from the beginning. After we’ve defined work processes and built up the agency, I’m now leading the creative team through pitches and clients briefs.

  • I’m inspired by the simplicity of thought in creative ideation and conceptualization,

    but driven by a great deal of passion and devotion when it comes to the actual craft poured into an idea. With passion for creativity and my growing team I try to follow my routine through the working day. Depending on the amount and complexity of projects I follow my routine or I spend the day solving challenges.

  • I don’t say this often, but I’m really proud of my team.

    We are the perfect mix of people coming from different backgrounds, different cultures and different ways of showing creativity. Each of them is adding a special value to the team – I simply love all of them!

And if you don’t know, now you know.
(by Notorious B.I.G.)

Sarah Taha
Social Media Manager,
Serviceplan Middle East

  • Ahlan or hi, I am Sarah Taha - Social Media Manager at Serviceplan Middle East.

    As you can see from my picture, pink is my favorite colour and I love flowers, so I actually wear pinkish flowery outfits a lot. I moved to Dubai exactly one year ago and joined SPME in August 2016! I mainly work with BMW Group and Danone, managing their social media channels, of course with the help of the fantastic social media team.

  • Things are a bit quiet after Ramadan.

    The last two months have been crazy with client Ramadan campaigns running across the agency – finishing layouts, copy and engaging ideas. It was an exciting and busy time but we are very happy with the end result of all our social campaigns.

  • Currently the team and I are busy working on implementing news social strategies

    for BMW & MINI Middle East with new content topics and visual direction. We have been working closely with the client to create this and we are in the final stages of development, looking forward to the new direction, which we will then introduce to the importers too.

  • I have a great passion for social media marketing

    and this is what makes me wake up every morning. I am always online! You will find me taking a selfie, documenting the moment with a photo or sending WhatsApp voice notes to my sister or mum – whom I am very close to. It is my first year in Dubai and I miss my family and friends back home in Egypt, but I am really happy that I get to see them this month as I will be going for my brother’s wedding.

  • Apart from BMW

    I also enjoy working on the Danone account [Apta Advice and Bebecare] as I get to come up with new ideas to engage their female audience. It also helps in preparing me to be a successful future mom!

  • I am a bit of a social butterfly and on weekends,

    you will find me hanging out with friends, shopping or pizza and movies with my husband. I am a big Minions fan – I have a minion toy on my desk, a Minion’s poster hung in my home. Yeah true in my home! I am so excited that today I am going to the cinema to watch the new minion movie ‘’Despicable me 3’’ with my team.

Gotta go, time for today’s selfie! Can’t keep my followers waiting…

Tom Morris
Lead Designer, Serviceplan Experience

  • When you’re exposed to so many events, brand experiences, shows, exhibitions every day you rarely see anything that’s new or really stands out. It’s rare to come across something that really wows me but I take this as a challenge.

  • Hello, I’m Tom Morris, Lead Designer at Serviceplan Experience

    and my job is creating unique brand experiences that will wow consumers! Journey… I have always ended up going on a journey, even if I never thought I would, and coming back with a story to share. Which is probably how I ended up in this particular job.

  • West to East to Middle East... Born and raised in the English countryside (keeping it picturesque).

    I contemplated working in London after university, it’s a good three-and-a-half-hour journey so I thought that’s a big enough of an adventure. However come graduation I found myself sat on a plane heading to work 85 miles from the equator in Singapore. After making great friends, learning the odd bit of Singlish, and tucking into some great Asian food – you can pass me a bowl of Ramen or a steamer of Dim Sum any day of the week – I found myself on another journey to the Middle East.

  • With any journey its the people you met along the way that leave an impression.

    Which all leads to my day to day work; designing ways of telling our clients stories through engaging experiences. Connecting with people and taking them on a journey, experiencing the good and not so-good, yet all producing the desired story which people will share and remember. Finding the right method or journey to communicate the story is all part of the fun.

  • We have just completed an exciting rollout for a retail client in Dubai which saw many of the team navigating Dubai’s traffic to 5 different locations.

    I am also involved in quite a few activations for clients from the Middle East to South East Asia. This is what I love about my work, the endless variety of experiences and the people you meet along the way. This includes presenting to a Sultan on his front porch in a full suit and 32 degree heat and accepting an award from a President for a project telling the stories of people separated by distance yet united through photography.

  • My love for good food continues to Dubai, trying out new places and hangouts with friends.

    Yet another chance to share the weekly stories of my first week of driving in Dubai (with a steering wheel on the wrong side of the car) to a random man offering a falcon to my best friend in the middle of the desert!

I am really looking forward to the next journey…

  • The irony!

    I’m working on strategic directions for our clients day in and day out, but when it comes to time management, even with just my daily commute to work from Marina to d3, my own strategy lets me down every time.

  • But then again, there’s nothing a good ‘cuppa coffee can’t fix.

    So yes, my day literally starts with a grind! First order of the day is to scoop a good amount of coffee beans – specialty coffee beans, mind you – for hand grinding in my trusty Hario, then for brewing in my 6-cup Chemex. Then, and only then, can the day start.

Frances Bonifacio
Director Strategic Planning

  • Nothing of my day is fixed, really.

    I have no routine as I have to keep myself flexible for both scheduled and unscheduled meetings – from briefings to debriefs, and from brainstorming sessions to grilling sessions. Positioning brands as well as planning physical and virtual consumer engagements is honestly not a walk in the park. It usually involves a lot of ground work and digging to uncover insights to define strategic directions, only to be challenged and compelled to rework the groundwork all over again.

  • Oh, but the rudeness of me.

    Of course, let me introduce myself: I am Frances Bonifacio – an accidental yet passionate strategist inside and outside of work! I was a communications pioneer with three of the biggest car brands in the market before I stumbled upon my passion for strategy and insighting. My career in marketing and communications began in the Philippines, and some 8 years ago, the door to the Middle East was opened with the establishment of Serviceplan Middle East.

  • I’m one of the pioneers of Serviceplan in Dubai.

    Along with the other “seniors,” I’ve helped define the working processes and the current “collaborative” atmosphere in the agency. Right now I am focused on a couple of big pitches, while helping creatives shape Ramadan campaigns for our highly discriminating clients. Ramadan is a critical season for the region, so we start the planning phase a few months early.

  • My passions outside of work relate to my passions at work.

    If you don’t see me buried in a sea of books, you’re more than welcome to challenge me to a strategy board game (Dominion Intrigue, ftw!) Hanging out with my 19 year old son is another joy of mine. We share a lot of similar interests including photography and binging Netflix. I have yet to get him excited over analogue or old-school film photography, though.

  • Anyone in the office will tell you how much I enjoy my coffee and you will always see me with a coffee mug. Lucky for me this region now has a burgeoning range of specialy coffee-shops which means my weekends are spent trying the newest third place concept in town.

Talking about coffee – who took my coffee muuuuuuuuuuuuug?!

Shahbaz Ahmed
Head of Activations, Mediaplus Espresso

  • For the last couple of weeks, I have been commuting between Dubai and Abu Dhabi for the opening of the highly anticipated Marriott Hotel Al Forsan in Abu Dhabi.

  • It has been a very busy 2 months, for myself and the Mediaplus Espresso team but I live for the adrenaline of seeing a project come to life. We have been working with Marriot to create all the branding for the new 5 Star hotel – this ranges from menu layouts to event opening. For me there is no greater sense of pride than seeing months of hard work become a reality.

  • Originally, from Pakistan, I have been in Dubai for the last 16 years. Back then, I lived in Gardens and I could see the beach from my balcony – there weren’t as many tall buildings then! I came to Dubai with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to open their Middle East office. I worked there for several years before joining Espresso, which went on to become Mediaplus Espresso, a part of the Serviceplan Group Middle East late 2016.

  • One of our teams more luxurious activations is our on-going work on the VIP terminal at Dubai South – which offers VIP customers a seamless travel experience. We have created a unique space to maximize and revolutionize the customer experience by offering luxury product placements, experiential advertising, discreet promotions, limited editions, bespoke and specially curated products.

  • Right now we are busy with a new coffee house concept called “Lavender House of Coffee” as well as an exciting new lifestyle hotel in Downtown Dubai which is part of the Marriot brand – Renaissance Downtown Hotel set to open this summer.

  • As the Head of Activations, I am heavily involved in each step of a project – from creating an identity for each activation, naming, collateral and execution. I am constantly on the go, including weekends as a lot of activations take place then, which at the same time doesn’t leave much down time for me..

…but I love the endless adrenaline of getting a job done.

  • Please roll out the red carpet. I’m Merna, Digital Account Executive at Serviceplan Middle East.

    I started out at Serviceplan Middle East as an intern doing all the “fun stuff” that interns do – opening jobs, creating quotations and so forth and after 6 months I become a Digital Account Executive. While the day to day tasks of opening jobs and creating quotations have not disappeared, I have been able to be work on some really exciting campaigns. Right now am finalizing the M digital campaign for BMW Regional. I have been working closely with our creative team from concept to implementation and am really excited about the video banners we have created for this campaign.

Merna Girgis
Junior Account Executive Digital

  • This time of the month also means putting together the monthly marketing newsletters for the BMW importers within the region.

    The newsletter is a way of providing the importers with the latest information from Regional Office and highlighting any exciting upcoming events in the region – right now it’s all about the launch of the all-new BMW 5 Series, which most of the agency has been working tirelessly on for the last couple of weeks.

  • Outside of banners, websites and EDMs I am the proud mother of Ouzzo – a Yorkshire terrier, wife, clean freak and food lover.

    I have recently returned from another amazing culinary adventure in Italy My brother lives there  so I go there every year but this time my family flew in from Egypt for a great big delicious Christmas. The cold weather didn’t stop us from exploring the beauty of Italy either and I would definitely recommend going to Como – so much beauty and history all in one place.

  • While no day is the same at Serviceplan Middle East,

    what excites me the most about what I do is creating something from scratch, the endless creative ideas and constant innovation. I‘ve always wanted work in advertising. It’s been a year and 4 months now and I come every day to work looking forward to a new project and learn from my amazing managers, creatives and all at Serviceplan Middle East.

Oh, I forgot to send a report. Bye!

Anoop Asok
User Interface Designer

  • The all-new BMW 5 Series has been following me for the past few weeks.

    Not literally, of course. I’m a User Interface (UI) Designer at Serviceplan Middle East. And I’ve been creating all kinds of digital ads for the new BMW model. Web banners – expandable, static, animated, rich media… You name it. For some people, it might sound boring, but I really like my job. Especially when you have interesting clients to work on.

  • Last December BMW invited me and two colleagues to Munich where we had a digital POS training.

    It was the first time for me to travel outside of the UAE – apart from my trips to Kerala (India), where I’m from. I loved it – the food, the people, the weather… Unfortunately, it didn’t snow when I was there. But it was really cold. We spent most of the time at the main BMW office tower, but we had time in the evening to visit the Christmas market and nice restaurants.

  • Currently, I also work quite a lot on Danone.

    It’s a brand I can relate to – I’ve got a 3-year old daughter, Janki. I’m reading a lot about the different stages of children’s development while I’m working on their nutrition and grow-up milk jobs. I’m glad that my wife is taking care of our daughter. 😉 But when I’m at home, I do like to play a lot with Janki. Together with my wife we like to explore new places on the weekends. Even though we’ve been in Dubai for 9 years now it’s never getting boring. And in case I do get bored I still have my Playstation. My wife keeps telling me to stop playing – but this is how I relax from work, I’m a techy after all. J

  • On October 18th this year, my brother Aneesh is getting married in India.

    Many of my SPME colleagues know him. I’d like to invite the whole agency to join the celebration – it would be really great to see them all at my home.

Colleagues, if you read this –
come visit me in India!

Folarin Akinmade & Cristiano Signore 
Junior Copywriter & Junior Art Director

  • Meet Folarin our junior copywriter from London, England. Cristiano our junior art director from San Carlos de Bariloche, Patagonia (the place in Argentina, not the outdoor clothing brand).

    They have opinions, which they will be sharing regularly in our newsletter. So we thought ahead of their “Who cares what they say” debut, we’d let you get to know them a little better…

Folarin Akinmade, Junior Copywriter

Cristiano Signore, Junior Art Director

  • Settling into life in Dubai

    was relatively easy. No matter the underlying character of a city, globalisation ensures that there is always something familiar to soften the blow of finding one’s self in a new place. Life at Serviceplan, however is something else entirely. The only constant is that every day is different. Which is exactly the reason I got into advertising, so it’s all worked out quite well for me.

  • The past few weeks

    have been a flurry of activity, with most of my time taken up with the MINI Go With Your Gut campaign, which has been an incredible example of user-generated content, with people submitting stories of times they went with their gut.

  • Inspired by all of the amazing stories,

    I finally decided to venture out into the music scene of Dubai, and signed up to Freshly Ground Sounds. I had a successful first performance with them, at Toil & Tinker’s Christmas pop-up special. As well as getting a chance to play in public again, I saw some incredible art, and spoke to some very talented illustrators and artists.

  • All in all, things are going swimmingly.

  • At first I was a bit skeptical

    about moving to d3. I had finally gotten used to the local cuisine in media city when they announced the move! But then I remembered that moving to a new place meant new experiences, culinary and otherwise. Anyone who knows me, and my family knows that we love new experiences, and so I decided to take a bite out of every experience d3 had to offer (literally).

  • I haven’t been disappointed.

  • There some fantastic restaurants

    in d3 and every week, there’s some new event happening. Just the other day, I was exposed to urban culture in Dubai at the Sole DXB event, where I was lucky enough to catch a set from BJ the Chicago Kid.

  • Since we’re all very busy

    at the end of the year, it has been great having these events to recharge and get inspired. I’m ready to kick off the new year with a bang!

Thanks guys! Be sure to check out “Who cares what they say” in our newsletter.

Mohannad Alseman
Account Manager

  • Hi! I am Mohannad,

    Account Manager at Serviceplan Middle East. My daily mantra is simple – YOLO, you only live once. I am all about making the most of life. You can usually find me dancing, munching on Cinnabon, at the beach or trying out new cuisines or restaurants because food is life!

  • When I’m not bringing joy and fabulousness to those around me, I work on the Rolls-Royce account. As the account manager, I am the link between the client and the agency, mainly the creative department.

    Right now, things are a little mad as we are preparing for the opening of a really extraordinary new Rolls-Royce Showroom, launch events for a brand-new Rolls-Royce model as well as campaigns for existing models.


    When I know my seniors are happy with my performance. That always fills me with a sense of satisfaction and pride in what I do.


    My headphones for sure – I can’t live without music; it always keeps me going, and dancing. Right now am very into James Blunt, Ed Sheeran and Norah Jones. Creatively I am also inspired by fashion and art and I do a bit of sketching in my spare time.


    I leave you with some wise words from Kahlil Gibran “Work is love made visible.”


Rubie Grace Garcia
Social Media Executive

  • Hello friends, followers and colleagues!

    I’m happy I was selected to kick off our new series  “Serviceplan Middle East Diaries”. And since I’m working in the social media department it kind of does make sense, no?

  • I’m Rubie

    from Manila, Philippines. I spent my early years in Egypt and Cuba before I settled in my home country. I recently (or should I say accidently) moved to Dubai early this year. I came to visit my friends and ended up getting a job offer at SPME. Quite lucky, right?

  • Working at SPME

    is one crazy and amazing ride. I get to work on a lot of fun and exciting jobs – currently my team and I are preparing a really cool activity for MINI. But since social media is a fast moving media the deadlines are often tight. Thank God I work with a great team! Being part of the social media means I should always be on my toes, so the pressure is really on.

    Right now I am busy with various social media campaigns for October. Many people underestimate the job we’re doing. We’re not just posting random photos and content. All content plans are worked out down to the smallest detail and in advance. But of course, we still have to keep them flexible enough so we can refer to current events if needed.

    So it’s a busy time for me. I would not be able to survive without my laptop, phone and my collection of toys from Kinder Surprise eggs that take up a bit of space on my desk.

  • Outside of work,

    aside from the cliché answer “God, family, and friends”, I easily get inspired by kind people, happy environment, and bucket lists. Right now my bucket list includes skydiving, parasailing, hiking, and other outdoor adventures. I just need the Dubai weather to cool down a bit before I head out and tick off my list.

  • What do I miss about the Philippines?

    Well, everyone back home of course! And oh, street food and beaches. So I really can’t wait to get a ticket to Manila! For now, I shall explore the beauty of Dubai. ♥



The whole idea kicked off with our newsletter in September 2016. The slot was usually reserved for our ‘Talk’ with guests, friends or clients. But we decided to feature someone from among our own ranks that time because we are growing and like to introduce some of our colleagues to you.
Rami Hmadeh, Managing Director, Serviceplan Middle East, first shared his thoughts with the world. And many more are up to follow.