Sabine Heller, the CEO of the original social network, A Small World was recently in Dubai. ASW is not your ordinary Social Network – it’s exclusive, luxe, engaging and invitational. Heller is a chic business woman who travels the world, so I made sure to sit down with her during her trip to Dubai and talk about her involvement, jet lag and the cities we should be visiting.
A Small World has been everywhere recently, I feel like I know you…
How does it feel to be in Dubai?
Great, Great… It feels very orderly, very peaceful, clean, very international. It’s my third time here… I just came from Mumbai. I was at Arts night and was blown away by how International it was… It felt like the most international place I’ve really ever been. It also felt like it was a community too.
How did you get involved with A Small World?
It started in 2004, ten years ago when it was the original social network. It was most people’s first experience with social networking, it was widely popular as it was around the invitational phenomenon. Media were comparing it to Facebook and Myspace, which isn’t really the case. It’s much more of someone from Tokyo exchanging travel advice with someone from Istanbul. It’s really about people exchanging ideas and meeting others rather than something like Facebook where you keep in touch with people that you do know. It’s a referral recommendation kind of thing, and travel & social club as well as a community.
How would you describe the members?
Our members are international, citizens of the world. They tend to discover cultures through it’s people and they’re trusting & trusted. They tend to open their lives to each other.
You are a traveler like me… What are your travel tips?
1) Do the research, a little bit of research goes a long way. Don’t google, ask people from the place or A Small World.
2) Work at finding locals. Find a few people that are from there, who can show you around or invite you into their home. Getting invited home is great… Cultures happen in the privacy of people’s homes.
What about curing jet lag?
I’m always jet lagged… Stick to a sleep cycle or pull an all nighter!
Which cities myfashdiary readers should visit in 2014?
Rio in December/January, Mumbai is always a great place to travel around October-January after the monsoons. Tokyo – such an amazing city.
What are your carry on essentials?
Not enough… ha. Face cream, I lather my face with cream when I fly as it gets dehydrated, a tooth brush, my chargers (everyone forgets about it!), and it’s good to pack a change of clothes.