Name: Faten Issa Alsarraf
Company: Final Fix LLC.
Position within company: Managing Director
. Tell us a little about your background
I completed my BSc. degree in Architecture from Baghdad University in Iraq on 1989, I studied Master degree in Architecture from the same university on 1996. Started working for the government on 1989 where I was engaged in many important projects such as Baghdad tower/ the highest tower in the region at that time, as well as being part of the consultancy team assigned for re building Iraq after 1991 war.
In 1995 I established my own company in Baghdad being the only female contractor in the country, I completed many residential & retail projects as well as the restoration of 15 stories Bank that was bombed during the war.
In 1999 I left Iraq and worked for a year with the Royal Family of Jordan in Amman, then I moved to UAE/ Dubai. I joined 2 companies in Dubai provided Interior design & fit out services for hotels & palaces before I joined the Engineers Office of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE AND Ruler of Dubai, as a Managing Director of The Interiors Department, for 5 years I was in charge of the projects related to the Royal Family of Dubai managing a team of 600 staff.
In 2009 I established Final Fix LLC company in Dubai, and in 2012 we opened 2 branches in Kurdistan Region of Iraq in Erbil & Suleimaniya cities. We have completed many projects providing Interior design & complete fit out services in UAE & Iraq. Our main projects are high end residential & hospitality projects.
. How would you describe your own personal style?
I am a simple person, passionate, I love to take challenges and dream big, I believe that nothing is impossible, we can reach what we aim to by believing in ourselves & our ability.
. Where does your inspiration come from?
I always wanted to be an Architect, I was raised in a traditional house that was built 100 years before I was born, every detail in this house made me appreciate architecture & heritage that we have in Iraq. my Mother encouraged me to attend the architecture school despite the difficulty I faced at that time during Iran-Iraq war. When I started my work in UAE, my husband supported me in every step and he is still giving me all the support I need. I am glad to have a wonderful husband and twin daughters (11 years old) who are always by my side even when I have to spend long hours at work or travelling without them for my projects that I run in Iraq.
. In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
With all the new technology we have these days, the Architects and Interior Designers can create any concept without worrying about the way that will be implemented. Recently and for sure in the future, the technology provides us with unlimited options to create special projects that were difficult to achieve during the past century.
. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to development projects, what would it be?
Listen to your client, get a proper brief of their needs, and try to educate them, sometimes the clients are not sure of what they need, spending more time with them will give you an opportunity on how to reach their requirements through your design.
. How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
It is a very important award to me and my company, being recognized by such an important award will open more opportunities for us in the future and it will expand our network internationally.
. What projects are you currently working on?
We are currently working on 3 important Palaces in UAE, and we are also working on phase 2 of a Luxury Villa (extension building) in Iraq after we completed the first phase (the main villa) successfully few months ago.
. What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
We are always trying to satisfy our clients, and we will continue working with passion to introduce new ideas, our aim is to expand internationally to cover more countries in addition to UAE & Iraq.
. Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession? My family (my husband & twins)
Your favourite holiday destination? Italy
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar? Buddha Bar – Atlantis The Palm Hotel
Your favourite book / film / song?
My favourite book(s) are all the books written by Gabriel Garcia
Marquez, especially his book (One Hundred Years of Solitude).
My favourite song is: No Regrets for Edith Piaf.
My Favourite film is: Doctor Zhivago for Omar Sharif.
Your favourite food and drink? I love Sea food, and Turkish Coffee
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
I love reading, I always find some time to read a book, even if I am very busy. I read books in English & Arabic, and I have very good books from all around the world.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I always wanted to be a designer, but if I have to select another career , I would be a Journalist.
Anything else interesting?
I just want to share with others, that if your life taken a lot from you, you should fight to get what you need. Life is not easy, but if you have the desire to fight, you will reach what you dream of.