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Walk, Talk, Network: Dubai's New Wave of Female Empowerment
article NATALIYA VAITKEVICH/PEXELS
by Sarah Haddad 3-minute read December 13, 2023

It's time to take your Hot Girl walks to the next level.

article

NETWALK; network while we walk.

Farah Enayeh
article @GIRLSWHOWALKDUBAI

Picture this: Kite Beach, Jumeirah, bathed in the golden glow of a Sunday evening. As the sun dips below the horizon, a diverse assembly of women, clad in tights and sneakers, gather not just for a stroll but for a rendezvous with empowerment, camaraderie, and a touch of networking magic. Welcome to 'Girls Who Walk Dubai,' where fitness meets friendship, and every step paves the way for new connections in the bustling metropolis.

But this is no ordinary walking club. It's the brainchild of a dynamic new mom, Farah Enayeh, determined to break the mold. Inspired by the 'City Girls Who Walk' movement that sprouted its roots in the streets of New York, Farah has brought the trend to Dubai, transforming Kite Beach into a runway for empowered women on a mission.

FARAH ENAYEH | GIRLS WHO WALK

In an interview with Farah, we unearthed the inspiring origins of this transformative movement. Farah, a former employee of Careem, made a bold decision to step away from her job after giving birth, seeking a connection with other women and mothers in a city that often demands significant commitments. Dissatisfied with the inflexibility of traditional networking events, particularly with the challenges of managing a newborn, Farah discovered solace in the simple act of walking.

"I left my job after giving birth. It was a very tough decision for me to make, but I decided to stay with my newborn. And as a result, I felt very disconnected and overwhelmed, especially as a new mother. So, I wanted to meet other women and other mothers. I went to a couple of networking events in Dubai, but I felt like they were very inflexible in terms of me going with my baby. You have to make a big commitment, financially and with your time. I realized that it was hard to do those networking events with a newborn."

Farah's journey began with casual strolls around her house, noticing other mothers and women exercising but finding no platform to bring them together. "I was trying to get back into feeling better mentally and physically; I started walking around the house. I would see other mothers with their strollers and women exercising, but there was nothing that would group us together. I searched for local clubs, and there were none. We could only find biking clubs and running clubs in Dubai. So I said, 'you know what, I would love to get us all connected'."

@GIRLSWHOWALKDUBAI

Fueled by the desire to forge connections, she initiated a WhatsApp group, starting with 60 women, a mix of friends and acquaintances. The inaugural Sunday walk saw just one participant, but the seed was planted. Farah then expanded her reach by creating an Instagram page in January 2023, attracting new women to the events, and began posting regularly to embed the concept in the community's consciousness.

The movement gained momentum, with the second walk drawing two participants and a gradual increase in attendance over subsequent weeks. During Women's Week in March, Farah elevated the experience by inviting a friend with a perfume business to share her journey while walking. This marked the inception of inviting diverse women to share their stories during the walks, turning 'Girls Who Walk' into a unique blend of networking and physical activity. 

Farah's proactive outreach extended to professionals in various fields, from nutritionists to baby sleep experts, business entrepreneurs, and more. Despite initial skepticism, many embraced the concept, viewing it as a chance to support women's empowerment and networking. Farah aptly dubbed the initiative "LinkedIn on Legs" and introduced the term "netwalk" to encapsulate the essence of networking while walking.

@GIRLSWHOWALKDUBAI

Investing in a videographer, social ads, and maintaining a consistent learning experience, Farah witnessed positive outcomes. Stories emerged of job opportunities, business collaborations, and lasting friendships born from these walks. "I saw that people loved the idea, and the group kept on growing; it kept me motivated. I kept hearing very positive feedback like, a girl got a job through one of the connections she made from Girls Who Walk." The weekly gatherings, held every Sunday, became a platform for women to share their journeys, offer advice, and network — all while taking a leisurely 40-minute stroll on Kite Beach.

'Girls Who Walk' defies traditional networking norms by providing a flexible, casual, and free space where mothers can participate with their kids, eliminating formalities and fostering genuine connections. Farah's dedication to the cause stems from her enjoyment of the experience, the tangible results she witnesses, and the doors it opens for women in Dubai.

@GIRLSWHOWALKDUBAI

As the movement continues to grow, attracting newcomers and facilitating opportunities, 'Girls Who Walk' stands as a testament to the power of motivated women coming together, not just for fitness but to ignite inspiration, promote businesses, and build meaningful friendships. Farah's vision goes beyond casual strolls — it's a dynamic journey of empowerment where women support each other, inspired by a common motivation to help and uplift one another.

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