Beachroad Magazine talks to The Bikini Society founder Amanda Rushforth an avid travel fan, aspiring yogi and all-round adventure seeker! As Amanda says "The grass is always greener underneath a coconut tree".
Hey Amanda, What is your take on Dubai as a City and its rapid growth? //
I think Dubai is a city full of opportunity! There’s nowhere else in the world I’ve lived that I can get up, wake surf, head to work and then head out with such ease. We really have got it good here, even if we do take it for granted and grumble occasionally, from
What inspired you to start The Bikini Society and any challenges along the way? //
I had so many friends who were doing amazing things at the time I started TBS and I wanted to help shout about them a little louder. TBS is really a simplified way of describing my lifestyle here in Dubai, with a real emphasis on living near the sea and spending a lot of time in it! There’s always room for diversity in writing, so I don’t feel there’s been too many challenges as yet here.
How long have you been in Dubai and where were you previously? //
I’ve lived in the Middle East for over 20 years, with over 10 in Dubai alone. I grew up in Saudi Arabia and used to travel back and forth between the UK and Jeddah. A lot of people ask me what it was like to grow up there and are pleasantly surprised to hear it was a lot of time spent outdoors being active and actually really fun!
Your 5 hot spots to eat/shop around Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim and Al Wasl areas? //
I’ve just moved to Jumeirah Beach road and I feel like I’ve found the holy grail of apartments. It’s midway between downtown and the marina, I can bike to Starbucks in the morning and cross the road for a quick SUP at sunset! There’s plenty of hidden gems too, food wise – Culinary Kitchen is cool, Heat café is great too, but the best has to be the old school Arabic ones like Al Reef bakery and Reem al Bawadi. Shopping wise, I’m a big fan of Garderobe!
What are your 5 nightlife hotspots in Dubai? //
Nightlife is a tricky one, I feel like we’re doing more and more BBQ’s at home nowadays than going out, now that the weather is easing. I love anything on the beach, so Beach Bar & Grill at the Royal mirage and Fish Dubai at the Westin are both some of my favourite dining & wine-ing hotspots at the moment.
Your favourite Dubai beaches? //
You can’t beach Dubai's natural beaches. I’m over beach clubs and their exorbitant prices so it’s back to basics for me! I just walk across the road and I’m beachside, where I feel the water is much less salty and there’s much more of a current than down near the marina.
Any future plans that you can share with us? //
The Bikini Society is going on an adventure to Azerbaijan this month! It’s somewhere that’s been on my list for a long time, so I’m excited to see what’s there. As much as I love the fitness and wellness side that TBS gives me, I also have a soft side for motorsport thanks to a certain someone, so I’ll be heading to a fair few races next year to support Dubai based race-team GPXtreme! What are next… bikinis and helmets?
AMANDA ANSWERS THE BEACHROAD MAGAZINE Q&A
NAME? // Amanda Rushforth.
YOUR FIRST JOB? // Waitress in a café.
YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION? // Digital Consultant.
YOUR GREATEST LOVE? // Elephants.
YOUR GREATEST FEAR? // Spiders.
IF YOU COULD HAVE A MEAL WITH ANYONE ALIVE OR DEAD WHO WOULD IT BE? // Lenny Kravitz.
WHO IS YOUR FASHION / DESIGN HERO? // Local brands like Sapia Simone.
WHAT DOES DUBAI MEAN TO YOU? // Opportunity.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY? // Swinging too high (I’m far too competitive).
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY? // Angelina Jolie – I respect her efforts to help draw attention to those who aren’t in the spotlight.
WHAT WAS THE LAST GIFT YOU GAVE SOMEONE? // A handbag.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE CHILDREN? // Live offline.
YOUR WORST TRAIT? // Competitive.
THE WORST TRAIT IN OTHERS THAT GETS YOU MAD? // Dropping litter.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR PART IN A MOVIE? // Mila Kunis.
FAVOURITE MUSIC? // Florence & the Machine.
LAST RECORD OR DOWNLOAD YOU BOUGHT? // Drake.
FAVOURITE BOOK? // Harry Potter.
LAST BOOK YOU BOUGHT? // Harry Potter and the cursed child.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU? // Seeing people helping people.
THE CLOSEST YOU HAVE COME TO DEATH? // Every time I fly in an airplane.
FAVOURITE DESTINATION? // South Africa – Madikwe Safari.
LEAST FAVOURITE DESTINATION? // Kuwait.
HOW DO YOU RELAX? // Yoga.
WHY DUBAI? // It’s the centre of the world!.
ARE YOU SPORTY? // Yes!
BEACH OR DESERT? // Beach.
URBAN OR RURAL? // Urban.
CATS OR DOGS? // Dogs.
COFFEE OR TEA? // Tea.
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? // Animal videos.
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY? // Animal videos.
YOUR MESSAGE? // The world is a big place, it’s there for us to enjoy it, but also to look after it.