Your Go-To Blogger in Dubai, an Interview with Lavina Israni
If you are a budding hobbyist and an enthusiastic adventurer, look no further than the exciting scenic family vacation spots and top film recommendations this Dubai-based blogger has to offer!
Lavina Israni, the inspirational Dubai-based blogger, was an incredible guest to interview. Her vision, passion and ability to craft a wide range of travel guides, tips and cooking techniques spanning the continents cater to the lovers of a plethora of cuisines. Visit her website at www.lavinaisrani.com and prepare your eyes and palettes for Israni’s creative content.
During the interview, Israni discussed how she looks to diversify her content and learn new content-creation techniques. In her line of work, where the needs of the youth are often not met, she acts as a mentor and role model to the youth in the UAE. However, since she developed the benchmark of what lifestyle blogging and influencing in Dubai could bring to the community, the number of passionate food bloggers actively posting and sharing their work has slowly been picking up. Essentially, blogging was previously an untapped market; when she began her journey back in 2015. Thus, the newly-emerged creative personality figure sparked a new trend in the nation, as people began to showcase interest in connecting their stories with others.
The innovative blogger recognised that the UAE was full of great places to eat and knew that not much coverage acknowledged how important food was as part of the UAE’s culture. Thus the gap in content stemmed her breakthrough as one of the first food and lifestyle bloggers. Israni shared: “I love eating and reading about food and the origins of where it came from, and it’s just fascinating for me that a bunch of ingredients met with a spatula and some heat can turn into a cake!”
A proud resident of the UAE and the emirate of Dubai, the Dubai-born blogger, is well versed in the subject of hidden gems and convenient locations to grab a bite. With quality recommendations listed for all first-timers, intelligently mapped out on her official blog and website, Israni features dedicated sections covering healthy recipes and cooking habits under everything food-related. Accompanying the mouthwatering descriptions are captivating images of iconic locations presented in the travel section of her blog. While the entertainment section contains film reviews, gift ideas, health and wellbeing content, and consumer technology trends.
The gastronome wants her followers to think of her as a friend, as she takes the voices of her audience seriously. Inspirationally, the blogger describes the importance of having a lasting impact on people, which is often lacking in the needs of the youth: “For me, it’s beyond the numbers, the shares, the clicks, the likes; this is like a service. This is community service that we are doing for others.”
The digital content creator and food enthusiast has also touched upon the common misconceptions about the lifestyle of a blogger and the amount of work put in behind the scenes of her content. Israni emphasised that she spends almost a day, at least, planning out content for the rest of the week.
Shortlisted for Best Asian Blogger at the Masala Awards, Israni’s work ethic and focus on aesthetics do not go unnoticed. Every piece that is posted is written from the heart, and every photograph tells a part of her story and journey. The blog’s appeal speaks for itself. The blogger initially experimented with different combinations, shades of blue and green then found a tertiary colour code utilised to complement the calming, soothing, and pleasant ambience on her website. In the end, the intuitive blogger decided on a turquoise look after extensive research on colour and emotional impact. The blogger taught herself various skills, including photography, video editing, interviewing, as well as brand marketing, after completing her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Advertising from the American University in Dubai.
Israni lets her work do the talking. The ever-impressive blogger offers something for everyone to enjoy on her platform. Discussing further her creative side, she traces her creative flair to her early days: “Honestly, all of these things are me, as a person, I was always that child interested in art and photography during my time at school and university. I would be that kid carrying the camera and taking random pictures of the scenery.”
She describes her talent as a natural part of who she is as a person, sharing, “It was an inbuilt passion, something that you are born and ingrained with, and it’s interesting that my blog gave me the opportunity to display all of this.” Adding to her creative journey, Israni stresses the game-changing advice she received in her early years: “I was taught at a young age that half the game is marketing; how you present yourself and sell yourself is everything.” Furthermore, leading her initial blog design and layout, Israni identifies that, “The core values of my blog have been aesthetics; thus, I actually put an effort to make my blog look the way that it does; it’s no coincidence.”
The artistically-gifted bloggers’ work strongly represents her mantra: ‘‘Be better than what you’ve been so far; you are your only competition!’’ This is consistently represented in all the handcrafted recipes she shares, as well as the strong approach towards learning and evolving she maintains throughout. Being recognised as an up-and-coming food and lifestyle blogger, she is well known for creating partnerships and collaborations with fellow budding influencers and food/travel enthusiasts. Currently, Israni is ranked as one of the most influential Indian UAE-based bloggers and changemakers in the Food and Beverages Industry. Taking inspiration from well-known magazines such as Time Out Dubai, she took to Instagram to visually communicate stories that would enrich the lives of others.
“I had a choice when I started out my blog, whether or not to focus on a niche which would be focusing on one aspect of living in Dubai. This was food initially, but down the line, I realised I wanted to diversify my content as much as possible and show that there was a real person behind the posts.” During the interview, she made clear that emotional connectivity with the audience is key: “It is gratifying when you see people adopting something that you share on Instagram, as I do believe in these times, we do lack a voice,” she shared.
Israni’s blogging focuses on healthy living and offers beneficial and easy-to-incorporate exercise tips, low-carb diets, as well as quick and easy recipes to keep you in shape. Moreover, she believes in continuous growth and enjoys helping people find their purpose in the community.
In terms of a brand plan for the next five years, Israni discussed the prospects of a subscriber system, such as on Youtube, and the aims of becoming Dubai’s Official Hidden Gem Guide. Encouragingly, the avid blogger looks to offer much-needed guidance and support in terms of travel options, hoping to meet people and run the first-of-its-kind tourism platform in Dubai. Keeping her work consistent with her own passion and vision, Israni admits, “I don’t want the whole bubble of being an influencer affecting my vision. For me, my work ethic is that; when I wake up, I want to give it my best shot, like it’s my first day.” When touching on her progress and achievements, she remains humble: “I just like feeding myself and the people around me, which is why I keep cooking and creating things at home, and eventually you get good at it.”
A down to earth person, Israni adapts her content well to cultural trends, which involve sharing videos as Instagram posts and offering her audience a chance to learn healthy cooking tricks as well. The volume of her work is impressive, with her portfolio stretching across a colourful and diverse range of content. If you have never been to Korea, worry not, as Israni provides an enriching 101 on Korean food, showcasing all the common Hallyu or Korean Wave of culinary influence, making you feel as if you were eating meals fresh off the praised Korean street markets! That is the power of her content, pinpointed during our interview.
Making an impression as a universal culinary blogger, she touches on her belief in creating joy through sharing some of her favourite films via quizzes, music and dishes with the community. Always exploring the art of social media, the blogger created a quarantine philosophy of giving, wherein she highlights that “Even giving the smallest gift or doing something fun, for instance, playing a game and a follower getting lucky – you would get something delivered to your house like a Chinese meal or a box of cookies – puts such a smile on people’s faces, which I think helps me get more followers as well.” So, if you’re looking for a new dish to try your hand at cooking or want a boost of serotonin throughout your day, I highly encourage you to give her blog a visit!