May Spotlight: Maria Haggo Little Miss Wellness Dubai

1.Tell us about you, your experience and time in the Middle East?

I graduated from École hôtelière de Lausanne 17 years ago, and I have focused my work in the spa and wellness industry across multiple continents through a variety of luxury brands like the Jumeirah Group, Renaissance Hotels & Resorts, and The Ritz-Carlton. I have always loved the creative aspect of running a business with total out-of-the-box concepts and unique sales & marketing strategies and have had a lot of fun over the years with this kind of thinking.  Over the last six or seven years I have become increasingly passionate about spreading wellness education to our communities.  I launched my UAE Wellness Week at the Ritz-Carlton in 2014 in an effort to help people find the right support and I have been running these regularly ever since, all over Dubai.

It was this desire for bringing wellness to the world that led me to launch Little Miss Wellness in 2016.  LMW is a consulting concept where I drive workplace and community wellness through supporting and designing wellness programs throughout the UAE and the world. My projects have included providing support to the UAE Ministry of Happiness. I also work with new and existing wellness businesses to provide tailor-made solutions to training, finance, marketing, sales, concept development and more. The main criteria for me is that the project owner is as wholehearted in their approach and intended result as I am. That their vision is genuine and focused on benefitting their customers to become heathier and happier.

I believe that wellness is the path to wellbeing and being well is not just a goal but a birth right for every human being. Through the support of the experts in our communities we are able to bring the awareness of healthy and balanced living to everyone around us. The wellness programs are designed to open up this exchange of tools and knowledge and to lead the people in need to the people who have the expertise to support them on this journey. Wellness is not a trend or an overused term; it is the foundation of life and an essential part of living in health and happiness.

I absolutely love being based in a country that truly supports health and happiness and that has an incredible vision for the future.  I am looking forward to many more years in doing my part to making the UAE an even better place and to helping others do the same.

2. How would you describe the culture of your business?

Little Miss Wellness is focused on supporting our communities and celebrating local talent.  We base all our projection strong collaborations with the peers in our industry, sharing ideas and our strengths with each other.

3. What are the biggest challenges in the next 5 years?

Our economic landscape around the world is built on a perpetual need for growth and I think this is starting to create challenges in all areas. A more sustainable solution must be the focus for all industries operating in this realm.  We will also see an ever-increasing divide between the pro AI and the anti AI and as times goes by we will inevitably see many changes in the loss of the human factor and we will need to learn to cope with these changes.

4. What are the skills and competencies that you would need to train in order to meet the region’s talent requirements?

There are so many opportunities to be found everywhere.  My recommendation is always to find what speaks to you on a heart and soul level and then find a way to make it work.  It is not necessarily down to a specific skill.

5. What is your Philosophy?

My philosophy is really to live with passion for the things that are important to you and the world around you, make a difference, stay grounded, not taking life too seriously, focus on the moment (not the ticking clock) and keep things in perspective.  I could get all philosophical here but to keep it simple I like to live my life for the things that make me excited and that I feel are making a positive difference in someone’s life.  I love the newly coined term of the future billionaire not being someone who has accumulated a billion dollars but rather being someone who touches a billion lives.  That’s my goal, one step at a time.



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