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Diva Modelling, Balancing Culture and Fashion

Diva Modelling, Balancing Culture and Fashion

Diva Modelling and Events owner Nicole Rodrigues is an industry pioneer in Dubai with her agency launching some new trends in Dubai’s modelling and hosting scene.

Beginning her business in 2003, Ms. Rodrigues has now expanded to a number of other industries but the core of her company remains the Diva Modelling agency.

She has received regional and local recognition for her successful business after becoming a finalist at the Gulf Capital SME Info Awards while Diva Modelling was also named as one of the top 100 SME’s operating in Dubai by Dubai SME, the government agency responsible for the growth of the emirate’s SME industry.

Ms. Rodrigues’ firm today has operations in real estate, salon, laundry, and accounting services but the core remains her modelling agency.

The modelling agency’s annual turnover last year was AED 15 million contributing 24% to the total revenues of the Diva Group of Companies.

Speaking in an exclusive interview to The National Ms. Rodrigues spoke about the changes she has overseen in the emirate’s modelling industry.

She said that it was rare to find an agency with transparent finances in the emirate as well as protection of the rights of both clients and models.

Introducing both of them as well as developing stringent guidelines for models was her key to success as she tried to steer away the image of modelling as an exploitative industry.

Models working for Diva Modelling have to follow strict guidelines.

They are not allowed to exchange numbers with clients or discuss budgets while an agency representative is always present during fashion shoots to ensure the safety of models.

The company also does not do beach parties while lingerie shoots are a strict no-no.

With 14,000 models on her books, Ms. Rodrigues says that such restrictions are necessary.

“I am an Indian and I know the culture of the region. I will not do anything that goes against it.”

Emirati models are also part of the agency with 85 locals working for Diva modelling out of which 12% are women.

Ms. Rodrigues speaking about her diverse businesses said:

“The businesses are not directly interlinked but support each other like branches in a tree.”

Adding further she said:

“After 10 years of growing we still have not touched the plateau. You keep adding divisions, you keep pushing the graph up.”

Ms. Rodrigues is aiming to expand her business into regional countries over the next few years and her ambitions have no boundaries.

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