You know that friend you have who knows how crazy you truly are? The one who doesn’t judge but acts more as an accomplice along the way? She makes me feel more like myself when we are together. That’s Carla. She’s fun, entertaining, a hustler when it comes to business and currently taking over Dubai. We’ve traveled the world together and most recently I had the chance to visit her in her new city. Here she sits with Bombette to share the do’s and don’ts of everything Dubai. B: How long have you lived in Dubai, what brought you there? CD: I first came to Dubai in 2005 while working in Los Angeles for a movie studio in film financing. I was appointed on a project to work with the Dubai government to bring one of our Hollywood movies to be premiered at the opening of the Dubai International Film Festival. After that trip I knew I wanted to live there one day. I maintained a good network of friends for those next 8 years and always looked for ways to cross market synergies between Dubai and the U.S. so continued traveling to the region whether it was for filming or making introductions for groups that wanted exposure in Dubai. I’ve now been living here for the last year and I love seeing the growth and different opportunities this region has to offer. B: Who is your favorite designer? CD: I am a big fan of Balmain, Stella McCartney, Antonio Berardi, Victoria Beckham and of course Tom Ford for men. At the moment, for my casual look, I can’t live without my Frame Denim jeans and a Helmut Lang top. B: How would you describe your style? CD: I would say sexy but sophisticated and very monochromatic with very little color. I definitely enjoy getting glam and although I love seeing all the new trends, it doesn’t always cater to my body type, so I try to stay with what is most flattering. My staple items are a good blazer and a high waisted skirt. B: What was the hardest thing to get used to in the middle east? CD: The hardest thing to adapt to was definitely the time difference and keeping up with the other side of the world. It can prove to be challenging at times when you have calls with the U.S. that take place between 10pm and midnight here. Another thing I would say that has been difficult in Dubai is there are no physical addresses. Everywhere you go you’re always explaining how to get there, for example, a typical text with directions to someone’s home address could read, “My villa is the 4th right about 2 blocks up once you pass the subway and then enter the first service street to the right, passed the post office but before the next roundabout.” B: Where are your favorite places to shop? CD: My favorite place in Dubai to shop is called Rania’s Corner which is actually a pop-up shop open just once a month. It has the best pieces and is very exclusive! There’s also a shoe palace in Dubai Mall called LEVEL which is heaven. They carry every designer and any shoe you’ve ever wanted can be found there. B: Are there any places a Bombette should avoid when visiting? CD: Definitely avoid visiting during June – August, the weather can reach to almost 120 degrees with extreme heat and pure humidity. During those times I like to be back in Los Angeles or the South of France. B: What is the must-have fashion item in Dubai? CD: Black Amex and a cool license plate. B: Worst fashion item in Dubai? CD: I would say the term less is more does NOT apply here! B: 5 places a Bombette HAS to go while visiting? CD: 1. Burj Khalifa – The tallest building in the world. There is a great view from Atmosphere Restaurant. 2. Dubai Safari – Baba Shams is a great tour to take. 3. Abu Dhabi – Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a must see. Such a beautiful landmark with the best architecture. 4. La Petite Maison aka LPM – My favorite restaurant in the world! 5. If you like a good adrenaline rush then I would definitely recommend SkyDIVE Dubai. B: Most embarrassing moment in Dubai? CD: People in Dubai greet each other in different ways whether just a handshake, or a kiss on the cheek either 2-3 times and you can never really gauge what one will do. I arrived at lunch with a big group and went to say hello to a friend who was wearing the traditional Kandura (all white national dress), I ended up getting make up all over the shoulder of his pure white national dress. I was beyond mortified. Now lets just say I stick to handshakes ONLY here.