DUBAI // If you’re a bride-to-be living in Al Ain, it’s safe to say that you have Nadia and Hana Al Karbi on speed dial.
The sisters have made a name for themselves as the go-to people when it comes to helping the women of the Garden City look their very best on their big day. The talented stylists have been working professionally in their home city and around the UAE for two years.
“Ever since we were children, it was our hobby. Mine was make-up and Hana’s was hair. We really complete each other in that sense,” said Nadia. “Even when we had events, we did our own hair and make-up and that of all our family members.”
Born and raised in Al Ain, the sisters, from a Yemeni family, are proud to be examples of how women can reach their goals without having to compromise on their traditions or culture.
Their work often requires them to visit client’s homes and drive long distances, something that initially went against their father’s conservative nature.
“Our parents were supportive, but it took my father a little while to accept the idea of us having to travel long distances to do hair and make-up. My mother finally convinced him of the idea, and she would accompany us,” said Hana.
“He wanted us to open our own salon, but we were not ready for that responsibility then.
“Now, we are looking to open a shop in Abu Dhabi or Dubai and, in the future, hopefully a beauty academy.
“Our parents are very understanding and are always in touch with us to make sure we are safe. We feel like we have already achieved a lot by working in all parts of the UAE.”
Most of the sisters’ clients come through word-of-mouth recommendations or their Instagram accounts, which have more than 17,000 followers.
“Most of our work is at weddings. We offer the full package: hair, make-up, and even bridal dresses,” said Nadia, who travels with her sister and parents to Turkey and Spain and buys wedding dresses that they then rent out.
“We display our dresses on models on our Instagram account Hanadia_Beauty_Bride, and we refer people to it when they ask about our styling,” said Nadia. “Our motto is ‘highlight the details of your beauty’.
“We don’t believe in repainting the face or putting so much make-up that it looks like a mask. Every woman is already beautiful, and the hair and make-up is simply to accentuate that.”
The pair said that with the support of their parents it was relatively easy, although rather expensive, to launch their careers.
“We wanted a really strong launch so we took part in exhibitions, which would cost us between Dh40,000 and Dh60,000,” said Hana.
“We needed to rent out the space, hire models and photographers, and at times it was very costly.
“We are very thankful that we are doing very well and have clients who are local celebrities who also advertise our work.”
Nadia and Hana said that they believe they are part of a new generation of women in the Arab world who are pursuing their dreams to become professionals in their fields.
“You can still be yourself and not have to compromise your morals or culture to reach an international level of success,” said Hana.
“We simply cannot wait to see what else the future holds.”