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Federal Youth Authority Hosts Workshop

by Eddie Rayner

As part of the activities of its summer programme for 2022, the Federal Youth Authority organised a workshop on ‘How to Develop a Successful Business’ with the aim of raising awareness among Emirati youth about the importance of entrepreneurship. The workshop provided the attendees with the knowledge and opportunities to help them become successful entrepreneurs and diversify their sources of income. It would also help them support personal and professional development to create youth role models to be emulated at national, regional, and global levels.

The workshop was moderated by H.E. Saeed Al Nazari, Director General of the Federal Youth Authority. It was an open and inspiring session that attracted more than 300 young men and women to the Dubai Creative Centre, located in Emirates Towers, to learn from successful Emirati entrepreneurs who shared their experiences in entrepreneurship and business.  The speakers included Hind Bin Demaithan Al Qemzi, Founder and Creative Director of Hamzat Wasl Studio; Yousef Alarif, Co-Founder of Padel26; Mohammad Hanif Al Qassim, Managing Partner of The Manor by JA; Ahmed Abdulhakim, CEO of the Lab Holding; and Fatma Al Khoori, Founder & Managing Director at maska.

On this occasion, H.E. Saeed Al Nazari highlighted the focus of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, on the role of UAE youth in achieving success globally. Emirati entrepreneurs have the opportunity to excel and compete on a global level thanks to the infrastructural facilities, policies, and support that enable them to reach great heights. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai has set a benchmark for achieving global success that has impacted millions worldwide. His Excellency also pointed out that our parents and grandparents are honourable and inspiring models of entrepreneurship, who worked hard and dedicated their time and effort to develop projects through which they built various sectors on which the modern-day UAE is based.

The workshop, which was part of the summer camp initiative, was attended by more than 300 people

His Excellency further added: “Entrepreneurship is a top priority for the UAE, and one of the pillars of the 50-year economic plan. It is the responsibility of youth institutions to foster entrepreneurship and nurture a culture of entrepreneurship for future generations. They should also encourage the youth to start small and medium enterprises for the youth. Startups are the pillar of the global and national economy today, therefore, the youth should be encouraged to launch their businesses. The Federal Youth Authority helps young Emiratis to upgrade their skills and capabilities to achieve this vision.”

Al Nazari said that according to the National Agenda for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, the UAE is preparing to be a global entrepreneurial destination by 2031. The country, therefore, is taking several measures such as the launch of incentive packages for Emirati youth. These incentives include accelerators, material facilities, and entrepreneurial funds, to help establish startups capable of contributing to the country’s GDP in the future.

“The UAE ranked first in the Global Entrepreneurship Index, which was announced in February during Expo 2020 Dubai. It is therefore, crucial to focus on the business sector more closely for young Emiratis. This is the reason why we have organised this workshop to discuss ways to develop young people for successful projects.”  

H.E. Saeed Al Nazari added: “The value of the projects which are part of the workshop is estimated at more than AED 370 million, making it a very significant and competent platform. The success stories shared by the speakers will help the young generation manage successful projects in the future and avoid many challenges.”

He concluded by saying that learning from the experiences of successful people lays the foundation for success

The workshop entitled ‘How to Develop a Successful Business’ highlighted seven lessons learned from seven national projects.

Hind Bin Demaithan Al Qemzi, founder and Creative Director of Hamzat Wasl Studio, an art management and design studio that brings together creative minds and skills under one roof, collaborates with government departments, private institutions, and creators in general,  focusing on opportunities and experiences, said: “Experience generates opportunities, and every designer can experience entrepreneurship and contract with institutions from around the world.”

Ahmed Abdulhakim, CEO of The Lab Holding and owner of 3Fils Restaurant, founded in 2016, touched upon the importance of the work of entrepreneurs while managing their projects. Their role involves solving existing problems and adding tangible value to customer experience in order to gain the trust of customers which in turn builds the reputation of their project in the long term. There is a need to create a diverse set of competencies and experiences that help in achieving success, and excellence. Innovative thinking helps envision farther horizons: “Dubai is the ideal destination for doing business and competition in the market increases the quality of services,” he said.

“Dubai is the ideal destination for doing business and competition in the market increases the quality of services”

Mohammad Hanif Al Qassim, Managing Partner of The Manor Hotel and a member of the Global Advisory Board of HFTP Global (Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals) said: “The hospitality sector is full of opportunities. There are global experiences, and now we have an opportunity to lead our Emirati experience. I would advise young people to continue even in the event of a failure and not to abandon the project due to some problems that may be solved over time.”

Fatima Al Khouri, Emirati business leader, and founder and Managing Director of Maska,  launched her company in 2013. She stressed the importance of liquidity for financial security and building a solid base of permanent customers and giving them excellent service. This helps in expanding the base by including a cross-section of customers and including different segments of potential customers by employing services or products to meet their needs. This approach enhances the sustainability of projects “Choosing a place is one of the most important priorities for starting a business. We started with an idea, and soon our business expanded to several locations in the country.”

Yousef Alarif, Emirati entrepreneur and founder of Padel26, commented about the launch of the campaign on Dubai Next: “The focus on quality was the basis for pioneering the development of local facilities for paddle tennis in the UAE. We ensured the facilities met international standards capable of hosting tournaments. Paddle tennis is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world and has a number of training fields in the country. Our project aims not only to offer these sports but also to facilitate community access to them thereby encouraging them to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle. It is true that entrepreneurial projects aim to be profit-making ventures, but the success of a project is also gauged by its ability to engage communities.

“I am very grateful to God as our company started reaping in profits in record time exceeding one million dirhams.”