by HH Sheikha Mariam bint Khalifa bin Saif Al Nahyan
  • 3 minute read
  • June 14, 2020
Her Highness Sheikha Mariam Bint Khalifa Bin Saif Al Nahyan Shares Her Recipe For Positivitea

The world we knew has changed in recent months. The simple things we once took for granted now seem to be out of our collective reach. In these uncertain times, it’s understandable to feel scared, anxious and overwhelmed. With a 24-hour, bad-news cycle about the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s increasingly important to seek light in what appears to be darkness. It’s essential to self-reflect and discover our inner strength, as we try to find the positives among a sea of negativity. As the owner of MKS Jewellery and artisanal tea company Steep, I’ve adopted a few uplifting practices that I’d like to share with you all. So, if you’re struggling to find your light, read on.  

Make plans

If you run your own business like me, it’s important to use this time to focus on it. Under regular circumstances, there are a million things to do on a daily basis, but this situation isn’t normal at all. I’ve been using this time to work on my upcoming and future collections, and a brand-new exciting initiative. It’s important to stay busy and focused, especially in these difficult economic times. Even if you’re only at the planning stages of your business, this is a great time to act on your ideas and make your dreams come true. Let your creative juices flow.

Stay positive

I know it’s easier said than done, but maintaining a positive outlook is integral for your mental health. I’m not saying ignore the bad news, but it’s crucial to keep it in perspective and acknowledge that good things will come out of this crisis. Whether you’ve started on that stack of books you promised you’d read, returned the emails that had been sitting in your inbox, or learned a new skill, these are all fantastic achievements and you should be proud that you’ve taken the time to accomplish them. The next step? Keep at it.

Stay connected

As we reduce social interaction and keep away from gatherings during this time, it’s more important than ever to virtually stay connected with friends and family. When you can’t be physically together, there are other ways to bridge the gap. Of course, we can call and text, but being able to see them, even if it’s only on a screen, is the next best thing. Video conferencing is a simple (and free) way to connect and maintain our relationships when we need them the most.

Make time for tea

Those of you who follow me on Instagram (@Mariamks) will be more than aware of my love for chai haleeb, or milk tea. It’s not just because I love drinking it, but also because it’s a great opportunity for me to regain my sense of presence and mindfulness. My favorite time of the day to drink tea is late afternoon. It helps me to take time out to center myself and gather my thoughts, as I sip my freshly brewed cup of tea. I know what you’re wondering, what’s the secret to a great cup of chai haleeb? Well it’s this… (but don’t tell anyone).

 Chai haleeb or milk tea


  • 165ml water
  • 1 or 2 teabags (Depending on how strong you want your tea)
  • Sweetener, to taste (Sugar or honey)
  • Evaporated or fresh milk
  • Spices you might enjoy (Saffron, cardamom, cinnamon or star anise)


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the water and sweetener (if you’re using sugar, add it at the end).
  2. Bring the water to a boil and add the teabags or tea leaves.  
  3. Add milk and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Pour the tea into a cup through a fine-mesh sieve.
  5. Discard the leaves and spices. Enjoy!

HH Sheikha Mariam bint Khalifa bin Saif Al Nahyan is the founder of MKS Jewellery and artisanal tea company Steep. As the granddaughter of the UAE’s President, HH Sheikha Mariam stands as an ambassador for Emirati woman and her homeland. MKS launched its debut jewelry collection in January 2013 and has since grown to house fine fragrances and leather accessories. HH Sheikha Mariam is an avid activist and continues to support various causes, foundations and charities. Through her patronage, she also supports local charities and events in the UAE. Visit and follow @Mariamks, @Mksjewellery and on Instagram.

 Cover image illustration by Alicia Goveas and images courtesy of

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