Digital Co-Lab

Fabulous at 50: Nicole Rodrigues

Nicole Rodrigues is the founder and CEO of the Dubai-based Diva Group of Companies. She launched Diva Modelling and Events in 2003. After the success of her modelling agency, the company branched out into real estate by starting Diva Holdings. In 2010, the company established NM Investments and further expanded its horizons by venturing into consulting and accounting services.
Dress: SANA SAPRA @worldoffolklore, Shoes: DOLCE&GABBANA, Jewelry: Model owned.

L'Officiel Arabia: Apart from running a successful modeling and events agency - Diva, tell us about your other multiple business ventures in UAE?

Nicole Rodrigues: Due to her profound love of learning, and completing the Harvard Business School’s Management program in Boston, she was able to deepen her understanding of business and strategy. Through this journey, she established well-known companies known today, such as Diva Modelling and Events. Diva Group of Companies is a dynamic company with a diverse range of businesses and a forward-thinking approach to growth and innovation. Nicole set up Diva Holdings, Diva Development, Diva Modeling & Events, Diva Salon, Diva Laundry, and a comprehensive accounting service, further establishing herself as a leader in the industry.

As an entrepreneur, running a successful business can be an exhilarating experience, especially when you take pride in your work. Diva Development is a company that specializes in renovating high-net-worth houses in Palm Jumeirah. The process of finding properties that need some love and care, then transforming them into beautiful homes that families can cherish, is an art in itself. It requires skill, patience, and creativity, as well as a deep understanding of the local market and trends.

In addition to its established businesses, the company has its sights set on the future and is exploring new opportunities in the luxury, hospitality, and retail sectors. The company is also looking to bring more environmentally friendly solutions to the region and is considering expanding into Africa to focus on sustainable housing initiatives. The goal is to build a diverse and well-rounded portfolio of businesses that can continue to drive growth and success for the company.

These ventures, combined with her talent agency, have solidified her place as a successful entrepreneur and have helped her to create a diverse and thriving business empire. Through her hard work and determination, Nicole continues to lead by example and inspire others.

Dress: CAROLINA HERRERA, Jewelry: Model owned.

L'O A: You have been a long-time UAE resident. How has the UAE helped you shape your career?

NR: I’ve been here for 20 years. UAE is the best place for business with transparency and systems that evolve and are updated at lightning speed. The government has been extremely supportive of female empowerment from the beginning. The safety and security of the region have made it easy for several to succeed in business in the region. Being a woman, I was helped a lot more with opportunities and growth.

As an entrepreneur, Nicole has demonstrated a strong understanding of the business world and had a keen eye for Dubai, where she first started her journey as a model. Nicole's experience as a model gave her a unique perspective on the industry, and she eventually transitioned from being in front of the camera to behind it.

In 2003, she founded her talent agency, using her knowledge and connections to help launch the careers of new models. Her eye for talent and passion for the industry quickly made her agency one of the most respected and sought-after in the region.

In 2004, Nicole expanded her business ventures even further with the creation of Diva Holdings. Through this company, she established a brand for high-end luxury real estate, offering top-notch services and properties to her clients. This was a successful venture that lasted from 2003 to 2007. Determined to continue growing as a business leader, Nicole decided to turn her ideas into reality, leveraging her industry connections and expertise to build a thriving company.


Despite the challenges and obstacles that come with starting a business, Nicole remains focused and dedicated to her mission. Her company offers innovative products or services that have quickly gained popularity, and she has attracted a loyal customer base. Through her leadership and strategic planning, she has created a positive workplace culture and assembled talented team members. Nicole's entrepreneurial journey is a testament to her drive, determination, and ability to turn her vision into a successful reality. She continues to lead her company with passion and purpose, always looking for new ways to grow and expand.

One of the company's latest projects, a luxurious villa priced at 140 million, was launched on December 15th, showcasing the company's commitment to excellence. At Diva Holdings, the focus is not only on luxury but also on creating spaces that feel like home and allow for a deeper connection to the environment. The definition of luxury has evolved, and the company goes to great lengths to ensure that every detail is considered, from the direction of the sun and wind to the placement of sculptures, paintings, and other art pieces. Quality, affordability, and service were the three key tenets around which Diva Group of Companies was built, and it takes great satisfaction in upholding these tenets on a daily basis. Every Diva Group Of Companies – The Game Changer “It all began with a dream of starting something completely new.” Diva Group of Companies is a business committed to locating innovative solutions and offering top-notch services, achieving a high degree of client satisfaction with its many offerings is the main objective in all company choices. At Diva Development, we believe that every home has the potential to be transformed into something beautiful focusing on high-end luxury for UHNIs in Palm Jumeirah and waterfront assets. Our team of experts has a keen eye for design, and we work tirelessly to ensure that every detail is perfect. From the color of the walls to the selection of furniture, we strive to create a home that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Since its inception in 2003, this straightforward yet efficient strategy has driven the company’s growth, and it will do so for years to come. One of the core segments of Nicole's company, Diva Holdings, is the ultrahigh-end luxury real estate market, particularly in the Palm Jumeirah area. The company specializes in creating breathtaking waterfront properties for ultra-high-net-worth individuals who demand the best in quality and design.

Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint-hearted. It requires a lot of hard work, determination, and perseverance. However, with the right mindset and dedication, it is possible to achieve great things. In the UAE, there are rules and regulations that every business owner must follow, and it is crucial to adhere to them.

I firmly believe that my success is a result of our commitment to following the rules and regulations set by the government. We always make sure that we are compliant with the latest laws and regulations, and we strive to maintain a good relationship with our clients and stakeholders.

Skirt: VERSACE, Jacket: JUST CAVALLI, Jewelry: Model owned.

L'O A: Who has inspired you the most in your life?

NR: As a Mother, my children are my greatest source of inspiration. They remind me of the importance of never giving up and always striving to be the best version of myself. Watching them grow and learn has been a humbling experience, and it has taught me the value of hard work and perseverance.

Another inspiration of mine is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He is the epitome of great leadership and Phenomenal visions. He is the doer! and from him, I learned to stop talking and start doing. His leadership skills are derived from great parenting where the people of UAE are like his children – expats included.

Suit: GUCCI, Shoes: CESARE PACIOTTI, Jewelry: Model owned.

L'O A: Age is just a number. Do you agree?

NR: Age truly is just a number. Whether you're young or old, success is within reach as long as you have the determination and drive to pursue it. At Diva, we value experience and expertise, but we also believe in giving young talent a chance to prove themselves. We understand that everyone has something unique to offer, regardless of their age or background.

We encourage our team members to take on new challenges and to learn from their mistakes. We believe that every setback is an opportunity to learn and grow, and we strive to create an environment where everyone feels empowered to take risks and push themselves to new heights.


L'O A: Where do you see the new growth areas in your industry? What's next for Nicole?

NR: As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, it is essential to stay ahead of the curve. At Diva, we are always looking for ways to integrate the latest technology into our operations. Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool that can help us streamline our processes, improve efficiency, and enhance the customer experience.

We believe that AI has the potential to revolutionize the real estate industry, and we are committed to exploring its possibilities. From using machine learning algorithms to analyze market trends to create virtual reality tours of our properties, we are excited about the possibilities that AI can bring to our businesses.

In addition, we are looking closely at the energy sector and have some investments in the Hydrogen & waste management space. The group focuses on real estate (providing high-end luxury), energy, gold, media, and real estate, whilst also planning to add healthcare, beauty, wellness, and longevity to the group.

In conclusion, Diva is a company that is dedicated to providing high-quality homes to families in Palm Jumeirah. We believe in hard work, determination, and perseverance, and we strive to create a family-oriented environment where everyone feels valued and appreciated. As technology continues to evolve, we are committed to staying ahead of the curve and exploring new ways to improve our operations. Consistency and good financial recordings are very important to us when advancing the organization.



Model: Nicole Rodrigues @nicolerodriguesdiva

Photographer: Anastasia Panjinskaya @anastasia_panjinskaya

Stylist: Anna @divadubaimodels

Stylist Assistant: Patience @divadubaiproductions

Hairstylist: Anjali Pandya@angelmakeover_31

Makeup Artist: Naila @nailaby_makeup_artist

Location: Palm Jumeriah