Today, we're in conversation with Zunira Riaz Malik, a Pakistani entrepreneur, founder and face of 'Whats up Doha'. Born and raised in Qatar, she is married with three beautiful children, and likes to call herself the 'mompreneur', which is a befitting name for a dynamic young woman who has learnt to balance her home life and work life, without any disruptions.
Zunira loves Qatar; to her, Qatar is home and the country that has nurtured her from the time she was born till today, when her dreams have been fulfilled and she is a successful female entrepreneur whose 'Whats Up Doha' has become a household name!
Let's get to know more about Zunira, the person, and the face behind 'Whats Up Doha'. (By the way, she has even interviewed Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon, ILQ's very own founder and CEO).
Although I’m a Pakistani, but it is Doha that I lovingly call my first home. I was born and brought up in Qatar. My family has lived in Qatar for 45 years now. I have grown seeing this country evolve into such a fascinating global hub. There were times when you wouldn’t find a mall or a place to chill or hang out with friends and family. I’m lucky to witness Doha develop into a place where you have so much to look forward to in terms of recreation, sports, cultural events, festivals, etc.
I would best call me a child trapped in an adult's body. But, at the same, I’m really aware that being an adult means I have some sort of social responsibility of spreading positivity wherever I can. And that’s what I try to bring out through 'Whats up Doha'. I love mixing my unique ideas with fun and honesty to bring out positive awareness and adding value within the society.
I’m a mother of three beautiful kids, working my way to strike a balance between my responsibilities and passion for my work. Oh, one more thing just to let you know ! I’m a huge bollywood buff!
Yes, I definitely have a list of goals to accomplish. And I’m extremely thankful to Allah that I have been able to fulfill many of them. But still a long way to go! One of my major goals in life is to have His Highness (H.H.) The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani or Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser (or maybe both) come on my 'Whatsup Doha' show. InshaAllah! (There is no harm in dreaming).
I want to be known as one of the leading expat residents who shows and creates a great image of Qatar. It’s like the more I praise this country the less it is, because it has blessed us with major life facilities like education and medical facilities, which is quite important for any expat living here. Thus, I would love to give back to my country (Qatar) in any way possible. A small token of love, I can say! I want to be remembered for my work even after I die.
For me, a successful person is someone who shows gratitude towards life. Someone who takes one day at a time, and lives it to the fullest with contentment. Someone who chooses to learn from their failure and grow as a stronger person. And lastly, someone who adds value to the society, where others are benefitted from their existence.
We promote, we advertise, we market and then we create our own
content videos with social awareness. We host free workshops for ladies
attending 'Breakfast with Zunira' with one specialist who gives a
motivational talk to our ladies attending it. We have talk shows where
we bring guest celebrities having an inspiring journey. We work for social causes like silent messages.
My talk shows are very interesting and aim to provide you with some
great life lessons. I mostly bring self-made personalities because I
know they have lived a journey full of experience that people should
It started with my idea to bring awareness within the expat community of Qatar through my talk show. And then a little later, when we hit a great number of followers, a few of retail people approached us for their marketing. And, it turned out to be a hit as a lot of people were thankful to us for promoting ongoing events and deals happening across Doha. Now it's a digital marketing portal as well. And at the end, everything consumes money and time and in order to keep the business running.
Our Ramadan series is that one project that I am really proud of. And I have got a few more to launch soon this Ramadan.
Yes. The major obstacle was the acceptance of the audience here. It took them a long while to understand the concept of digital media back in 2015 as there were no other web channel like ours. The next issue was to get the right people in our team with the same passion to create good content. It was all new to us - social media management, production videos - all these dynamics we learned with time as we were not experienced, but because we were passionate about this project, we made it work.
It has helped in many ways. I am majorly working on social segments through which I am spreading awareness like my shows 'Wonder Women of Doha' where I bring some great influencers who add value in the community like Kim Wyatt working hard on the cause of food wastage here in Qatar. Then, Polly a thyroid cancer survivor came on the show and discussed how courageously she took the challenge on and won the battle.
My other show 'Breakfast with Zunira' is completely for newbies here. I invite these these ladies to come, mingle and discuss their thoughts openly on some serious matters. 'Breakfast with Zunira' is a free women's workshop with one specialist guest speaker who shares their knowledge with the attendees. Both are unique in there own way and have made a mark in the community. I get praise from women on some of my shows, like the one I did on breast cancer awareness, the one I did in Ramadan with Dr. Bilal Philips, and then, the one I did with the epidural specialist. It feels great to see how the community in Qatar is connected to me and keeps interacting with me on real life issues. Before bringing any specialist on my talk show, I ask my followers to send me their most concerned queries so that I ask those questions to the specialist who then provides the answers.
Then, of course, we do update our followers on what's happening around Doha, where to eat, when and where to shop, etc.
I always supported the community here when ever any positive campaigns take place. I Support the Pink Day (breast cancer awareness), International Women's Day and women empowerment with my platform. I have got the power of social media behind me which I make sure is used in the most constructive way always.
My journey has been great; from a small little girl to becoming a mother, then an entrepreneur. Well, I call myself more like a 'mompreneur'. I am very grateful to Allah and this country where I have spent all my life.
The best part about living in Qatar is that you are spoiled with the luxury of living here. Life is very private and you can pursue your career or passion in things that you love doing. You can work on your dream and with hard work, you can also make it come true. Doha is a small country, so to grab and learn about the market here is very easy.
We feel secure here, especially after the blockade, and we love it even more. We are really blessed to have an Amir like H.H. Sheikh Tamim; lots of prayers and best wishes for him always.
Believe in yourself and always trust your gut. And, as Oprah Winfrey put it: "Don't worry about being successful, but work towards being significant and the success will follow naturally."
If you want to get in touch with Zunira or know more about her and 'Whats Up Doha', click on the links below:
What did you think about this interview? Do you know 'Whats Up Doha? Did we help shed some more light on Zunira and 'Whats Up Doha'? Do let us know your thoughts in our comments section. Like and share the article - it keeps us going!
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