Salua Daghay is a Belgian Moroccan quantum physicist and travel enthusiast. After working several years in Physics Research at the Engineering Department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel as well as the Royal Observatory of Belgium, she followed her heart and moved to the UAE in 2009 together with her husband, who as a marine biologist and coastal environmentalist, was assigned on several projects in Abu Dhabi and afterwards in Dubai.
Her first job was at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was held in 2009, where she created a bespoke behind the scenes guided tour of the F1 complex and started promoting the Venue Tour at the F1 circuit in 2010, a tour which is still running till this day.
Afterwards, she created the first guided visit in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, focusing on sustainability and urban development and in 2012 she discovered the need for quality and specialized thematic tour designs in the UAE tourism industry in general.
Because of this, she created Unveil Arabia and since then she has been designing and delivering many specialized tours and round trips across the Emirates for extensive clients.
How many people do you employ?
Our team consists of passionate scientists & academics working closely together with our meticulous selection of tour guides and operators, venues, hotels and services and combining them into unique high quality 'recipes' which make perfect sense for
and surpass the expectations and the interests of our demanding customers.
What does your metier mean to you? What impact do you think it can have?
Unveil Arabia was established when it became clear that the UAE travel industry was very much focused on the mainstream tourism industry, offering standard city and desert tours and often lacking in-depth information and quality. The founders also found that a lot of prejudice and wrong ideas existed among citizens in their home country, Belgium, with many not aware of the level of advances of the UAE and the myriad and diversity of locations and experiences the country has to offer.
It became Unveil Arabia's mission to break down cultural barriers and prejudices and surprise customers with how progressive the UAE is, and how infinitely much more the nation has to offer than is often known across the world by creating unique and thematic travel experiences.
What do you consider to be the biggest strength of your company?
Everyone in the office who works on product development is also a guide themselves. We look at each request as a project, for which we use our experience in designing tours, roundtrips and experiences in the UAE combined with our creativity to make a program that makes sense and feels like a storyline waiting to be told. We never sell anything we haven’t experienced ourselves and continue testing the quality of our suppliers. Depending on the field of interest or expertise of our customers we design the travel experiences using our in-house expert knowledge or working with local experts in each field.
Moreover, most of the team is Belgian and/or multilingual and well-travelled so we know exactly what Belgian customers want and are looking for. This eases communication both before as during the trip.
What exactly will you be doing for the Belgian pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai?
Since Unveil Arabia has many Belgian delegations visiting the UAE and Expo2020 this year, we are proud to bring them to visit and experience the Belgian Pavilion and continue to promote our country. As the flagship Belgian DMC in the UAE, we will also assist Belgian delegations with their trip to the UAE and take them on our bespoke tours and excursions. We will function as the bridge between their country of origin and the UAE, our new home since 2009.
What projects do you have for the future?
To continue expanding our team of professional guides and design more unique tours to Unveil the UAE, as well as the sultanate of Oman.
What are the biggest challenges you face regarding your work?
There is always something to do and something new to explore, so our job is never-ending. It’s very hard to find a balance between work and life since we consider our work as part of our life.
What are the values and objectives that you bring to your work?
To make you wonder through new perspectives is our mantra.
We know we are doing something right when our itineraries and tours evoke feelings of amazement and spark renewed interest in the region with not only our visitors but also with customers who have lived in the region for many years. We provide our clients with an entirely new and refreshing perspective on the region. How did water play a role in creating the landscape? How did this vibrant region develop as a hub connecting East to West, North to South? We will make you want to come back with your friends and family!
Giving you real value and office support is our passion
Our team of dedicated and passionate academics understands your needs and interests. Our vast experience in the local travel sector, our deep knowledge of the region and our careful selection of accommodations, activities and suppliers enable us to create well-flowing travel itineraries and tours. We continuously improve our back-office systems and procedures to provide you with our travel itinerary proposal in time and providing you with the best value for your budget. As our client, you will continuously enjoy the real-time support of our dedicated team, which is located at the destination.
Our multi-lingual specialized guides are our strength
We pride ourselves in our multi-lingual tour guides as they represent the face of Unveil Arabia. Each of our guides has a unique background in different scientific and societal domains, making it possible to provide you with a much higher level of knowledge than what mainstream travel providers do. Specializations range from the natural environment to Arabic culture, societal sciences, architecture or even fashion. Our guides do not simply take you along a list of landmarks but instead embark you along a well-flowing adventure, which will enhance your knowledge and understanding!
How has the current pandemic affected your work?
During the pandemic, we were not able to receive most of our Belgian and foreign travellers. Therefore we designed a new tour that gave the opportunity to the residents of the UAE to continue exploring the country they live in.
We have created a new safe self-drive guided visit by 4WD so families and friends could feel comfortable to explore the UAE while in the safety of their own vehicle and since this Journey to the Heart of the Emirates is off the beaten track, we avoided crowds and inside gatherings. The journey leads our explorers across 5 Emirates and a wide variety of landscapes, from deserts and ancient riverbeds, across vast alluvial plains that feel like Africa, to the winding wadis of the Hajar Mountain chain. During the drive, the stops and mini hikes along the route, our guides share a treasure trove of knowledge about the magnificent geological and natural history of the Emirates, about adaptations of the encountered plant and animal life to the climate conditions and our visitors learn how water has defined nearly every aspect of life in this magnificent country. More info on www.unveilarabia.com.
Do you have any advice for others who want to start off on the same adventure as you?
Continue following your heart and work on the projects you really want to achieve. Make sure you do what you love, what you’re passionate about and focus on what you excel in. Find the right team who complements your strengths and weaknesses so you can keep a balance between your awesome project and your health and family!