Leading the Instagram life: UAE-based model and luxury fashion influencer Saim Ali opens up on the risks and rewards

Jul 26, 2023
Leading the Instagram life: UAE-based model and luxury fashion influencer Saim Ali opens up on the risks and rewards

From his new home in Dubai, Khaleej Times chatted with Saim to find out the real man behind the façade of a high-profile fashion and lifestyle influencer.

Saim Ali is not like a typical male model who has fizzled out over time. With an acting and modelling career spanning over a decade, Saim has successfully employed his other talents to keep him glowing on the entertainment firmament, since forever.

After gracing innumerable magazine covers, he successfully ventured into acting, TV hosting, live stage performances and so on. He has also been a part of a reality show and if you are a frequent visitor to the UAE’s exquisite hotels and restaurants, there are high chances that you may end up bumping into him having a blast with his close friends. With his frequent jet setting schedule there is also a possibility of meeting him on board, but only if you fly first class.

But as per Saim, he uses his platform to inspire others by focusing on the joys of being a solo explorer and his ever-growing followers get to experience his excursions, vicariously.

From his new home in Dubai, Khaleej Times chatted with Saim to find out the real man behind the façade of a high-profile fashion and lifestyle influencer.

What do you think are the major challenges for a leading fashion influencer in today’s world?

Its astonishing to see how drastically media has come out from a television screen to your mobiles and how influencers are making a living out of it. Even when I was working 3 shifts a day during my acting days back home, I used to get offered a lot of collaboration opportunities and they were paying me way more than what I was getting from a drama serial. I soon realised that I really must up my game as an influencer to achieve a decent lifestyle. Over time, it has become way more challenging as there is huge competition out there. Influencers around the world are doing such amazing work and we are living in a time where one has to be quick, smart and creative to stay a ahead of the game.

It is said about male models that they have a shorter shelf life. But you have been doing projects for over a decade now. How are you managing that?

Fashion has played a huge role in constructing my identity. I think when your work is your passion than no matter how old you have been in the business it really doesn’t matter as the drive comes from within. Yes, thankfully I have done some good amount of work weather it’s television, print , corporate, stage or digital and continue to do so. I also believe that I have reestablished myself by moving to Dubai as I have made myself available to a newer region and the opportunities and brands here are world class.

Since the beginning of your rise to fame, who has been your support system?

Truly and especially my mother. She has been a motivational figure to all of us at home. I have learnt the art of persistence and to never give up from her. So, I wouldn’t take any credit for the courageous spirit that I have. It’s all in the genes.

What is your greatest strength as a professional?

I would say the will to never give up. This is one quality you must work upon if you wish to go far and further in this industry. No matter how many rejections I have faced and no matter how many doors have been shut in my face, it has never made me bitter, rather it has made me tougher with time. Even today, the struggle is still there but this self-belief will always pick you up when you are low.

You love performing on stage and you have acted in dramas as well, then why dint you pursue films and acting more seriously?

As I said earlier, my heart is into fashion. I used to host a morning show and I picked up acting as the offers were there. Acting came naturally to me so the transition wasn’t tough. Last year, there was a time when three of my projects were on air on three different channels in Pakistan. Then the reality show happened which made me a household name. Despite all that, I knew that my future lies in being an Influencer and the world of fashion is where I truly belong.

With social media invasion, do you think the work of a model, or a fashion influencer has doubled because one has to maintain a certain lifestyle 24/7?

I say this so many times to fans or people I meet on daily basis when specially they comment about my lifestyle or when they think all we do is take a picture from our phones and upload it. Unfortunately, people don’t realize the efforts influencers put in to provide a good quality content on social media or else, why would a five star hotel or a well-known world class airline or these well reputed shoe and clothing brands would pay us that kind of money to market their products.

What are Saim’s career goals over the next five years?

To make more and more engaging content; to work in a good OTT project as an actor; stage is definitely an oxygen for me so I would love to do theatre. My love for dancing has rekindled which you must have seen in my reels; so, I would like to continue doing that as it works as a good stress buster.

Going back to your career as a model, performer or an actor, what would be your proudest achievement?

I think television! I won my 1st award in the UK for my drama serial ‘Jhooti’ with iqra Aziz. Then my morning show that I used to host with Noor Bhukari got the highest TRP’s. I never thought that it would become an indispensable part of my life. I would wake up at 5 in the morning and the recording used to start from 7 and would go until 11, live. When I look back, it was one of the most challenging but rewarding projects.

You are one of the best dressed males in the region, What are your fashion rules and guidelines?

I live for fashion. Dressing up is an art for me. Just like a painter takes time in creating an art, I also give a lot of thought to my look and overall style. I don’t follow many rules besides that I should be comfortable in what I wear and my shoes should shine the brightest in the room. Few months ago I won the award for Fashion icon of the UAE – Male and it was very reassuring that people are taking notice of my work.

Dubai has given you many opportunities to work with artist from India. Can you tell us more about it?

Oh definitely I have been a Bollywood buff all my life. And who isn’t ? I mean coming in the same frame with the legendary Govinda Jee at a perfume launch where I was also present as the collaborator and standing next to him, catching up with him was literally no less than a dream. Then recently I shot with the Pooja Batra for the fabulous Indian fashion designer Rina Dhaka. I would love to mention how Dubai has welcomed me with open arms and has made me a Golden citizen. it definitely is the land of opportunities.

Source: khaleejtimes