Building the change, one step at a time


September 19, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau

Isobel Abulhoul, Co-Founder, Magrudy’s

Isobel Abulhoul OBE was born and educated in Cambridge, UK.  She moved to Dubai in
1968 and as a mission to celebrate books and encourage a culture of reading, she co-
founded Magrudy’s in 1975. Her vision was to build a retail brand that would get known by
its reputation for customer service, product quality and to let as many people as possible
discover the joy that is contained between the covers of books. For 47 years, Abulhoul has
worked tirelessly not only to grow the Magrudy’s brand but also to ensure a positive impact
on the community.

Keeping a customer-first attitude alive, Magrudy’s wants to build a community of book
lovers. However, in doing this Abulhoul is fastidious in adapting to new trends and tools.
Technology plays a key role in every aspect of the company and Abulhoul and her team
holds data at the heart of all decision-making processes. She proudly notes that through the
last four decades and more Magrudy’s has become a central part of Dubai life. Although
their flagship shops in Jumeirah remain the ‘spiritual home’ of Magrudy’s and is still visited
by the same customers who shopped with the brand as children, the brand has branched
out in the UAE currently operating in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah while keeping the
same essence alive.

Magrudy’s footprint
● During 2022 and 2023 Magrudy’s opened three new shops and underwent a
complete renovation of their three flagship shops that anchor the Magrudy’s
Shopping Mall in Jumeirah.
● The brand has experienced approximately 40% increase in retail sales year-on-year
and a 20% increase in net profits.
● Magrudy’s has built a strong team with 240+ people.

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