Amanda Rushforth

Azraq: Board Director and Ambassador Coordinator
Passionate, Loyal, Dedicated. Home has never been just one place for Amanda Rushforth. Born in the UK, Rushforth moved to Jeddah with her family early on and was raised there until she moved back to England for boarding school. Rushforth moved back to the Middle East in 2006, after a ten-year stint in Saudi Arabia and relocated to Dubai. 

In 2012, Rushforth received a BA Hons in Fashion Promotion, Fashion and Textile Design from Southampton University, England. After which, the warmer weather called to her, and she returned to the Gulf to work in public relations with both large and small scale corporate brands such as Pink Caravan, Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) and Gulftainer, to name a few. Channelling her passion for marketing and love for social media, Rushforth later moved on to become Media Content Manager, working with global brands such as Reebok, Adidas and Perrier at LIGHTBLUE, LLC, Dubai, before moving into a freelance role to allow her more time for travel and adventure. Now, Rushforth donates her time and expertise in content creation, marketing and event planning to a variety of brands, from international projects to independent local start-ups, something she is passionate about. Including Positive Planet, headquartered in Paris and locally based Azraq within the not-for-profit sector. 

Growing up by the Red Sea in Jeddah, Rushforth developed a deep passion for the ocean, specifically watersports and marine life. Having seen first-hand the deterioration of the shorelines due to plastic pollution, Rushforth has become an advocate for plastic-free oceans, wardrobes and food chains. A lover of all things sustainable, she has since been plastic water bottle free for years and pushes to maintain a plastic-free household as much as possible.

A big believer in the saying “surround yourself with the right people”, Rushforth employs this notion in everything from her personal to professional life, aligning herself with like-minded people and brands to drive forward her professional work and personal growth. This shined through in her recent capsule collection launch in November 2020 with the sustainable homegrown brand, BY M.A.R.Y. 

A lover of the ocean and a fervent supporter of its preservation, Rushforth had worked with Natalie Banks, a fellow ocean warrior and the founder of Azraq, a volunteer-run not-for-profit entity in the UAE for years in an unofficial capacity, before joining the organization as a member of the Board of Directors in January 2020. Founded in September 2018, Azraq, which is registered with the Community Development Authority, has been on the front lines of ocean conservation in the United Arab Emirates with exceptional groundwork and education of the community, actively involved in beach and ocean clean-ups and mangrove tree planting days as a part of the organization’s fight for cleaner oceans. Rushforth believes that Azraq has the ability to become the leading authority on marine conservation in the region, providing credible commitments that bring about real change. She works closely with the team to help with promotion through social media, as well as engaging with local ambassadors and encouraging and challenges perceptions through local talks and webinars.

Rushforth currently works with a variety of FMCG, fashion and luxury brands, helping with content creation, advertising, marketing strategies, social campaigns, influencer outreach and events. Rushforth also loves sharing her insights on sustainability and how to live consciously, with several opinion and sustainable guide pieces published in regional publications such as Emirates Woman magazine and Women’s Health Middle East, of which she graced the cover back in February 2018.