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Five winners for the second edition of the Trophies for French people in the Middle East - 2022 edition

[Translate to Anglais:], a media outlet for French people around the world, has organised the 2nd edition of the Trophées des Français du Moyen-Orient to highlight the initiatives and commitment of five expatriates in the Middle East. "We are keen to highlight the projects of these entrepreneurial French people, whatever their field. They all deserve our admiration for the courage they show despite the constraints and uncertainties, far from the clichés that sometimes surround expatriation", Hervé Heyraud, president and founder of The awards ceremony will take place on November 17, 2022, in the exceptional Residence of France in Dubai.

Launched by, these awards highlight the commitment and encourage the projects and initiatives of French expatriates in the Middle East, true ambassadors of French excellence. Entrepreneurship, culture, solidarity, innovation and environment... each project reveals the potential and audacity of the selected winners. For this edition, the winners will be honoured on November 17, 2022, in the exceptional setting of the Residence of France in Dubai, thanks to the support of the Consulate of France in the United Arab Emirates, Mrs Nathalie Kennedy.

Five Trophies for the French in the Middle East

This year, five trophies will be awarded to reward the exceptional careers of French people abroad. Among them, Stéphanie Reichenbach, Nasser Hadjab, Jaufre Rouanet, Laurent Rigaud and Nathalie Van de Vrede. These winners will be received at the Residence of France in Dubai on 17 November 2022, during a prestigious evening and a gala dinner. Mr. Hervé Heyraud, President and founder of, as well as our various partners, will present these Trophées des Français de l'étranger in front of a hundred people (political representatives, institutions, decision-makers).

Entrepreneur winner, sponsored by EDHEC Business School

Stéphanie Reichenbach, founder of Nara Desert Escape and Sonara Camp

Stéphanie Reichenbach was awarded the Entrepreneur Trophy, sponsored by EDHEC Business School, for her company Nara Sert Escape. This mother of four children founded Nara Desert Escape and Sonara Camp four years ago, after working for 18 years as a private banker for Citibank and Barclays. Nara has quickly grown to become Dubai's most unique desert getaway and is recognised by luxury brands as their preferred venue for hosting the UAE's most famous events.

Innovation winner, sponsored by ZappTax 

Nasser Hadjab, founder of SMARTODNA

Living in Bahrain since 2015, Nasser Hadjab has fallen in love with the region. He confides: "The hospitality of the Bahrainis as well as the serenity of expatriates from all over the world immerse you very quickly in a priceless tranquility".  Arriving in the middle of summer 2015, Nasser is alarmed by the temperatures, "a real furnace! The confinements linked to the Covid-19 health crisis made him realise the consequences of climate change. However, far from being fatalistic, the young entrepreneur has launched an innovative and contemporary business. In 2021, Nasser Hadjab founded SMARTODNA "in order to allow as many people as possible to have access to healthy, fresh vegetables, produced without pesticides, and without pollution linked to transport or packaging." The concept of SMARTODNA? To offer customers an intelligent indoor farm, using hydroponics, allowing them to grow their own fresh vegetables at home.

Environment winner, sponsored by Véolia

Jaufre Rouanet, founder of Hawa Water

Selling cloud water in supermarkets? This is the futuristic challenge taken up by the company Hawa Water. Its co-founder, Jaufre Rouanet, an expatriate in Dubai since 2011, along with Gregory Sauvage and Nabil Hamade, has been offering this new concept for three years. The idea is none other than to respond to the new challenges linked to global warming and particularly to water shortages. The future is therefore in the air, and seems bright for HawaWater, which produces its fresh or sparkling water in Ras Al Khaima, in the United Arab Emirates. Jaufre confides: "The goal is total food independence for the Emirates, but also for all countries, and this requires independence in terms of drinking water resources.

Social and Humanitarian winner, sponsored by the Caisse des Français de l'étranger

Laurent Rigaud, co-director of Enfants du Levant

An expatriate for thirty years, Laurent Rigaud has lived in nearly ten countries. It was in Lebanon that he co-founded the association "Les Enfants du Levant" in 2014. This association provides humanitarian aid to children in Lebanon and Syria, affected by economic crises and conflicts. With Fabienne Blineau, consular representative in Lebanon, Laurent Rigaud organises collections of toys, clothes and medicines from the French community in the United Arab Emirates, where he has lived since 2008. The association cooperates with French-speaking religious communities in Syria and Lebanon, who share the needs of the children they educate. The association's volunteers in Syria and abroad are working hard to help the inhabitants. Laurent Rigaud, inspired by Mother Teresa, repeats his credo: "There is not much we can do: nothing but little things with a lot of love".


Created in 2001 by Hervé Heyraud, an expatriate journalist in Mexico, now offers a mix of general and local news in 71 cities around the world.
Totally free and independent, this website is THE media for the French expatriate community. 1.2 million unique visitors consult more than 1.9 million pages on our site each month. Our audience is mainly made up of French people (expatriate executives and their families, business leaders/artisans, diplomats, members of the cultural network, V.I.E/V.I.A, exchange students...) and a French-speaking public. 

Mr. Hervé Heyraud and our partners are available for any interview requests.

Press contact: Hélène Burrus – 056 144 9005





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