Livin’ Busy Lovin It – Rola Hamdan

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A busy career leaves little time for cultivating an effective beauty regimen. These women have the most erratic working hours and don many roles in their lives, but that never comes in their way of indulging in some me-time. We find out how these powerful personalities keep the balance in their lives

Rola Hamdan

Investment Banker

Rola Hamdan is not your average woman. She started out as an investment banker in 1996. A Masters in money and banking from the American University of Beirut, Rola, today, is the board member and the Managing Director of the Gulf Merchant Bank since its inception in 2005. She also is the founding member of the bankers group (UAE) and the first Vice President of the Rotary club of Dubai. The mother of two has a packed day. Her day starts at 6.30am with getting her daughters ready for school and then preparing for work. At the office, her day is mainly filled with meetings and brainstorming sessions with her team. She manages to sneak in a workout either before or after working hours depending on the meetings scheduled. At home, Rola supervises and helps her children with their homework and makes sure she has dinner with her family. If the week requires her to be at social or business events, then the day tends to be longer than usual.

“I never wanted a boring job”, she says. People perceive finance to be complicated and boring but she believes that if you love numbers and the high its results can bring, there is nothing better than investment banking.

Most people have a preconceived notion of women in investment banking. Most of those who meet her, at first, think she’s from the media industry and are often surprised to learn that she’s a banker. “People expect bankers to look boring and dull. It is assumed that only men rule the field and although in the recent years the number of female investment bankers have increased, the common assumption would be that they are probably too serious for anything. Gradually, more and more women are entering the area of investment banking in the region but the financial world still, sometimes, questions that decision.”

Rola also takes the time out for some philanthropy. Being the board member and a Vice President to the Rotary Club, she takes part in a lot of local charities and raising funds for projects such as the water project in Lebanon and helping the refugees in the region.

However beauty doesn’t take a backseat. For the makeup meltdowns during the harsh summer, she advises a SPF primer for the fix. Her favourite beauty heroes are Monica Bellucci for her sensual beauty and Grace Kelly with her fresh and subtle look but it’s Angeline Jolie who she admires the most. “Beauty, brains, and a big heart! Not only is she absolutely stunning, also her humanitarian work is quite inspiring.” Rola smiles.

To de-stress she treats herself to some spa rituals, practices yoga and meditates. “One must always find time to look after your own self. Every woman owes that me-time to herself. My regime consists of a healthy lifestyle, which means eating the right food, drinking enough water, exercising and getting a good night’s sleep. I supplement all this by a skincare routine of cleansing, toning and moisturizing.” She states that she can’t do without her sunscreen, moisturizer and mascara and her brands that she’s loyal to are La Prairie, YSL, Chanel and Shiseido. But if she had to choose her favourite beauty treat, it would have to be a relaxing facial or a massage.

Rola Hamdan has it all. A balanced life with a successful career. “The main challenge for any woman in any field is maintaining a work- life balance. Embrace and love yourself for who you are and stay true to yourself, you will always get what you want.”

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