A look at 22 inspiring stories from 2022


December 30, 2022 | By Rupkatha B

As we head towards the end of another eventful year, here’s a look back at some of our inspiring stories covering a range of topics from sustainability, innovation, talent, technology, data, design and DEI [diversity, equity, inclusion].

We had the privilege of interviewing several inspiring leaders. We wrote about foremost regional retail conglomerates as well as global brands. With a focus on the thriving entrepreneurial landscape in the region we wrote about numerous promising home-grown businesses.

Here’s a look at 22 inspiring stories from 2022:

Almost half a century of fuelling UAE’s literary landscape

Home-grown bookstore chain Magrudy’s co-founded by Isobel Abulhoul 47 years ago continues to be a happy place for many families.

Lulu Group moving ahead with planned IPO in 2023

Abu Dhabi-based leading supermarket chain Lulu Group has appointed investment bankers Moelis & Co as advisor for the planned IPO next year.

How Colm McLoughlin took Dubai Duty Free from $20 million to $2 billion

“We are currently 92% better than last year and have budgeted AED5.1 billion for this year but we think we will finish this year with AED6 billion sales.”

Kamal Osman Jamjoom turns private labels to powerhouse brands

The Group plans to focus its major investments on its people, customer experience in-store and online, data-driven technologies and private label product innovation.

How Mohammad A. Baker restructured the GMG family business

“We are a family business and family businesses need to grow at a certain rate to expand and sustain for the future.”

‘Returnships’, MENA retail’s evolution, and e-commerce trends

An advocate of women’s evolving roles in the workforce, a believer of purpose-driven businesses and an innovator, Nisreen Shocair has always chosen companies that align with her principles.

He said ‘Yas’ to celebrities, technologies & events

Propelling the region to become the fastest growing theme park destination in the world, Yas Island is certainly putting Abu Dhabi on the global leisure and entertainment map.

‘Servant leadership’ strategies beckon a new era of grocery retail in the GCC

“The pandemic taught us many things, especially about the importance of individuals, human behaviour and how important the soft-skill side of our business is.”

Old-style brick and mortar F&B will never “die”

Old-style brick-and-mortar F&B will never die although the model will need to be adapted and tweaked it will remain an integral part of any business building effort in the sector.

What’s driving the billion-dollar retail industry forward?

Rebounding business confidence due to reopening of borders, easing of travel restrictions and increase in tourist arrivals, vaccination strategy, rise in hydrocarbon revenues, coupled with rising population and high concentration of expatriates and HNWIs are factors driving the billion-dollar retail industry forward.

Navigating supply chain conundrums

The importance of efficient supply chain management can’t be stressed enough especially when businesses are to operate in a world faced with geopolitical issues, rising costs, bottlenecks due to shipping congestion, global shortages.

Amazon “obsessed” about quick fulfilment

As shoppers demand quick fulfilment, even during peak sale periods, Amazon is “obsessed” about quick fulfilment all-year round.

Hybrid growth is the way ahead for French brand Sandro

For Sandro Middle East “2022 has been a significant year of growth and development through multiple channels.”

We want to be where the customers are: Flying Tiger Copenhangen

“The opening of the first three markets in Middle East has been a big success and we want to expand further in the region while building our presence further in the Asian region.”

Level Shoes: An inspiring feat

A brand that’s discerning about local habits, attentive to global trends. A brand built in the UAE that’s inspiring the world.

Balancing sustainability and profitability

The Giving Movement’s purpose-driven approach, homegrown manufacturing coupled with its donation model has proved to be a “winning combination.”

UAE’s F5 Global: For The Youth, By The Youth

A 16-year-old started a brand as part of a school project, which then grew into a full-blown sustainable fashion business with an online store that sells sustainable, ethically produced athleisure garments.

Tech transformation and sustainability are key focus areas for Coveti

Investing in tech transformation through AI, automation and bringing more sustainable products to the market will be some key focus areas for Coveti.

Not just Burgers, She says

From an on-demand service to dine-in venues Emirati home-grown brand She Burger, brainchild of Shaikha Eissa Lutfi, has come a long way.

Floward continues to flourish

Founded by Abdulaziz B. Al Loughani and Mohammed Al Arifi Floward online flowers and gifting destination Floward has plans to go public in the next two years.

Emirati perfumer pays homage to her roots with new collection

Amna Sultan Al Habtoor, founder of niche fragrance brand Arcadia has launched a new fragrance collection that pays homage to the UAE and underscores her love for the country.

Two years on Baaqah continues to grow

Over 7,000 bouquets sold, 40+ partners onboard, year-to-year growth of 44% – that’s the Baaqah story. An e-commerce platform for flower-shops launched in 2020.

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