Meet Michelle: Entrepreneur starting Dubai’s newest Social Club



Michelle McDonald is just about to host the first event of Gooseberry, members-only networking club for like-minded professionals. She is not a newcomer to Dubai, neither to the marketing industry, nor to networking.

If you love to socialize and spend time with people alike enjoying dinners, concerts, golf days, boating events and more, you should meet Michelle and learn more about her latest venture. In an exclusive interview for she reveals brief details:

Q.: Tell us a little about yourself. Since how many years you live in Dubai? What is your educational background? Are you building a long-term career in UAE or venturing as entrepreneur in different business fields?

A.: I arrived in Dubai in September 2007 from Lincolnshire in the UK, and am still completely smitten with the city! I can’t see myself living anywhere else for many years to come. I have a marketing career spanning 12 years and have organised a wide range of events from exhibitions, to gala dinners to boat trips and desert safari’s.

Q: How did you come up with the idea of setting up Have you been a member of such club elsewhere or have you read about the concept?

A.: My passions are food and socialising, so gooseberry is the perfect club for me to set up! The concept is successful world wide and I thought it would be an especially good fit for Dubai as even long-standing residents are always looking increase their social networks, and of course new people are arriving daily!

Q.: Please, highlight for our readers the pros and cons of joining your club?

A.: The benefits of joining gooseberry include: meeting new like-minded people in a relaxed social setting and developing friendships and business contacts, dining at places you may not have been to before, experiencing fun days out such as safari’s and music concerts etc.

Q.: Developing such concept and tailor-made service surely require dedicated personal approach. Do you have people working with you in a team and if “Yes” how do you delegate the tasks?

A.: I have a 100% personal commitment to gooseberry and I meet all potential members myself so that I can get a handle on events that will be suitable for them. I am also on hand at the beginning of an event to ensure there is a face members recognise! and to introduce attendees to one another and make sure everyone is comfortable.

Q.: What are your near term future plans? You started just recently, but are you planning to expand fast or to limit the membership?

A.: Yes, gooseberry is a new company, and I expect to see a dramatic increase in numbers after the summer. As there is no set time limit on when the 8 events which form the membership package must be taken, I don’t forsee a limitaiton to member numbers. From time to time there will be a large scale event and indeed, more events will be added as membership continues to grow.

Q.: Can you describe only in few words the expatriates in Dubai? Have you noticed some unique characteristics that can generalize foreigners coming to UAE?

A.: I think expats in Dubai are open minded and willing to try a multitude of new experiences to capitalise on everything this unique city has to offer. They are very friendly as everyone is a “newbie” when they arrive, but as we all work so hard, it can be hard to make new friendships, hence the launch of gooseberry!

To learn more about the exiting affair, you may contact Michelle and join gooseberry.


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