About me

Layelle Saad is a senior media and communications specialist working in the media industry since 2004.

As an American and native English speaker, Layelle spent her formative years in the US, where she pursued her two passions: Journalism and International Relations, having received a Bachelor’s degree in both fields from the University of South Florida.

Later, she secured an internship which turned into her first job as a news producer in Washington, D.C. at a news television station which covered US politics.

Brushing arms with senior US officials, Layelle began developing a keen interest in US policy in the Middle East, through her coverage of White House, State Department and Pentagon briefings during the tenuous years of the Iraq War.

She decided to pursue a Master’s Degree from George Washington University in Middle East Studies and graduated in 2008.

Her passion for the Middle East led her to travel to Dubai shortly after her graduation, where she ended up landing a job at Gulf News as a deputy editor. She excelled in this position where she learned all the intricacies of the geopolitical landscape of the UAE and the region and was promoted within six months of her arrival to Middle East Editor.

During her long 12-year tenure at Gulf News, Layelle managed a team of journalists on daily and long-term assignments. She also mentored junior staff and interns, teaching them the ins and outs of print and digital journalism.

She regularly participated in Page 1 meetings with the Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief, where her news judgements were encouraged and regularly implemented. She was also internally recognized and rewarded for several star pieces of journalism she produced throughout her tenure—in particular, her coverage of the 50-year anniversary of Israeli occupation of Palestine, where she spoke to Palestinian youth living in the diaspora about how their lives had been affected by the decades-old tragedy. Additionally, she was recognized for her coverage on the 2017 Kurdish referendum in Iraq, where she spoke to Kurds about their horrific experiences escaping the regime of Saddam Hussain as children.

Covering the Middle East region during the pivotal years of the Arab Spring Movement and subsequent wars in Yemen, Syria and Libya, Layelle gained a wealth of knowledge and insight into the region. Her expertise was sought out on numerous occasions by news networks. She appeared several times on the Al Arabiya News Channel to offer her political insights and views on developments in the Middle East, as well as the United States.

On the technical side, Gulf News invested in Layelle’s transformation towards the digitization of journalism. Over the years, she received extensive training and gained experience in SEO-friendly headlines, publishing stories on CMS and the promotion of content on social media channels.

Additionally, because of Layelle’s strong public speaking skills and expertise of the UAE media landscape, she was asked to moderate several important panel discussions at the UAE-India Economic Forum, the Private Wealth Institute as well as the Arab Women in Business and Leadership Summit.

Layelle’s next step in her career led her to the world of Corporate Communications, where she was headhunted by DAMAC—one of the biggest and best-established real estate developers in the UAE and abroad. Her journalistic background was viewed as an asset in her role as Senior Communications Manager. Layelle quickly found her feet in the corporate setting—and away from her comfort zone of the journalism newsroom. Her ability to adapt and draw on her established skills, while quickly learning new skills such as project management and gaining business and real estate expertise, is a testament to her ability to excel in any role. 

Layelle considers herself, first and foremost, a journalist, but believes she can add value in any role relating to Corporate Commnications, Public Policy, Political Commentary, Panel Moderation and Public Speaking. At her core, Layelle is a driven and hardworking professional that has a genuine passion for delivering accurate and engaging reporting and work.