The Last Word: Laura Buckwell

In the television industry for over a decade, Laura has worked on prime-time shows in the UK and Australia before relocating to Dubai – via a short stint in Tokyo – to work as an anchor on the City 7 station. Laura has interviewed many high-profile figures such as CEO of Emirates HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, six-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt and former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

When was the last time you felt incredibly nervous?
A couple of weeks ago, just before I walked on stage to host the CABSAT Content Congress 2016. I introduced and moderated panel discussions over two days in the presence of film and TV industry leaders, such as the CEO of OSN, CNBC Arabia, Fox, Channel 4 and the co-head of DreamWorks Animation. I read the news on a weekly basis, but I still get nervous before I go on. Knowing how to control and use that nervous energy makes for a great presentation.

What was the last breaking news story you were particularly proud of?
Well, the most memorable this year has to be The Address Downtown fire on New Year’s Eve. The event really did shock the nation, and the civil defense and fire teams did the most fantastic job in controlling the blaze. I thought Dubai was very brave to continue the Burj Khalifa fireworks display afterwards; as if to tell the world not to worry, everything is under control.

What was the last memorable meal you ate?
It was at Al Qasr Hotel in Madinat Jumeriah when my parents were here a week ago. As a child, big family meals were very important and it was so lovely to have everyone around the table together again.

What was your last major retail splurge?
It was just before a big event I had to attend last week. I wanted to make sure I looked smart and presentable and I found a beautiful black lace-sleeved dress by British fashion designer Julien Macdonald, which fell just below the knee.

What was your last Dubai discovery?
My most recent Dubai secret find is the Monte Carlo Stars restaurant in Dubai Marina. There’s a huge Formula 1 car that cuts in through the ceiling and all the tables are glass cabinets filled with motor racing memorabilia. My two-year-old boy absolutely loves it and we all love getting the water taxi there. We’ll be going back for sure.

When was the last time you felt homesick?
When my parents left after their recent visit. Seeing their faces again reminded me of home in Richmond, London.

What was the last holiday you went on?
It was a staycation here in Dubai at the Anantara, The Palm. We were very lucky to stay in one of the lagoon apartments, where you can glide straight into the water from the balcony. The weekend was an absolute dream, from the beautiful Thai theme of the resort to all the fun activities. There was even a “mist guru” who sprays a light jet of air on you when you’re sunbathing.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?
I stayed at the Palazzo Versace hotel for the first time, which is beautifully understated. The lobby entrance boasts thousands of small tiles that have been flown in from Italy and Versace’s Medusa head has been recreated to welcome visitors. It’s stunning.

What was the last piece of really great advice you heard?
To go into every situation with the intent to learn something from it. They were the wise words of Denis Murphy who is a development coach and energy medicine practitioner here in Dubai. I saw him for a session recently on the recommendation of a close friend and he really puts life into perspective.

Who was the last person you interviewed who really inspired you?
I interviewed the co-head of DreamWorks Animation at CABSAT a few weeks ago and he was incredibly inspiring. To have created such a huge entertainment empire and be so down to earth and humble about it was very refreshing.

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