By Muhammad Riaz Usman Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Fashion entrepreneur Reem Al Zarouni shares her experiences as a female entrepreneur in Dubai.
Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
With a background in fashion designing, the dynamic Emirati entrepreneur Reem Al Zarouni has forged a strong link with the world of fashion and lifestyle.
After launching her abaya brand, R Style, she has now moved on to marketing and event management ventures. Reem has also been actively involved in organising the Modern Woman Show, which was launched in November 2015.
The success of R Style gave her an understanding about the demands of fashion and lifestyle in the lives of today's woman. This knowledge has been instrumental in coordinating the Modern Woman Show.
"Dubai is known for its fashion, style and beauty quotient where women take their looks and grooming seriously. But in this competitive environment, industry retailers need constant exposure to customers and a meeting place for like-minded individuals, both retailers and end-users. Moreover, we needed a platform where the local fashion industry could hobnob with its international counterparts," she says.
Understanding the need, Reem, along with Sumansa Exhibitions, conceptualised the Modern Woman Show.
"The show is an amalgamation of Emirati, regional and other international exhibitors working in the fashion and personal care industry, jewellery and accessories and even hand-made confectionery. We wanted to create a platform that would allow women across all sections of society to come together for a direct interaction with their retailer," Reem tells Khaleej Times.
"On the other side, it is also important for retailers since such shows provide a great leg up for budding entrepreneurs and help new businesses find their feet in an incredibly competitive UAE fashion and beauty industry," she says.
The second edition of the Modern Woman Show will be held at Za'abeel Hall 4 in Dubai World Trade Centre from April 20 to 22.
"We have a bigger show as many international brands from the GCC, India, South Africa and Indonesia are participating. We plan to take the event to other parts of the GCC and Europe as well in due course," Reem says.
Coming from a business-oriented family, Reem is engaged in the business community with the aim to help other women thrive and grow.
She says her first source of funding was her saving and family. "My father Mohamed Al Zarouni and my brother Adel Al Zarouni have been my greatest source of inspiration. I admire their ambitious and go-getting spirit," she observes.
Reem says the UAE ecosystem is very conducive for helping start-ups, especially for women.
"The government has played a vital role in pushing the ecosystem in the right direction. Dubai is an ideal market to start a business of one's own. Being a woman, I can say that we receive a lot of support from the government. I have seen the way my friends and family have flourished in their respective businesses," she adds.
Reem says the UAE ecosystem gives entrepreneurs the confidence to move ahead.
"We have seen entrepreneurs from the across the world come to the UAE and build a profitable business. That speaks highly of our fertile start-up ecosystem," she says. She urged young entrepreneurs to never underestimate their talents and skills.
"One should have faith in the community and do the best one can. Success doesn't come easily and requires unstinted hard work. If you have a dream, don't be afraid to chase it and be patient," she concludes.