x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Money and a workforce get you far in business. Passion and dedication get you further. That’s the world according to 27-year-old UAE-based entrepreneur Mac Far, whose Alchemy Project will host "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth" that runs from Wednesday to November 9.

Spike Lee, left, director of
Spike Lee, left, director of "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth," and Mike Tyson. Chris Pizzello / Invision /AP

Money and a workforce get you far in business. Passion and dedication get you further. At least that’s the world according to 27-year-old UAE-based entrepreneur Mac Far.

This month in Dubai, Mr Far’s Alchemy Project, which organises the Atelier music festival, will host Mike Tyson and the Oscar nominated movie director Spike Lee for the former world heavyweight champion boxer’s one-man show, which has taken America my storm.

Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth runs from Wednesday to November 9. Mr Far says it will be the first time the production will be seen outside the United States.

“It was offered to me by one of the biggest show directors in the market and given my background in sport it was a very interesting option for me,” he says.

“The perception of sporting legends, especially one with a background as colourful as his, will make people curious,” says Mr Far. “It brings drama, regret, failure and glory to the same stage.”

According to the former model and professional football player, Mr Far and his twin brother, Sia, saw a gap in the Dubai market for their entertainment agency.

“It [Dubai] holds so much potential and that was key,” says Mac Far. “The growth rate and diverse community make it an attractive place for many reasons. We could establish our qualities faster because of the high international standards in entertainment.”

However, Mr Far says not bagging maximum profit from each event has been the key to success. “It’s a very competitive section of the market,” he says. “The barriers of entry are low, however, success is extremely hard to achieve.”

Mr Far believes that most entertainment agencies in Middle East make little or no profit due to a lack of an objective business model.

“Long-term brand is more important than the figure you make from one event. Continued profitability, consistence of operations, successful choice of campaigns and upward growth all come from not being greedy,” he says.

“Entertainment companies pop up and disappear almost as quickly,” he adds. “Failure leaves a negative effect on the industry. Collaboration among local business could work in favour of new entities and regulate a healthy market.”

After three years, Mr Far can boast a list of shows including Swan Lake by the Russian Ballet, The Illusionists, Leona Lewis, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Natasha Bedingfield, Skylar Grey, Craig David and Taio Cruz.

“Its hard to accept youngsters with passion,” says Mr Far. “People tend to associate the passion of their actions with strong emotion rather than logic. That made it difficult to get big accounts and big players to trust us.

“The hardest lesson for me has been despite all the success, there are always people who try to bring you down,” he says. “There’s no logic or understanding. I believe my biggest failure has been not being able to get the best out of a few people and activate their potential in the time they wanted.”

The first Atelier event was planned and launched in seven days, he says. “That is one of our strongest attributes. From decision making to execution is not more than 24 hours.”

His company is growing, with events in Istanbul and Sao Paulo next, closely followed by Tokyo, Moscow and South Africa.

An Atelier restaurant is scheduled to open in Brazil before Christmas followed by outlets in Dubai, Istanbul and Beirut next year.


Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth runs from November 6-9 at the Sheikh Rashid Hall, Dubai World Trade Centre. Tickets, from Dh195-2,495, are available at www.miketysondxb.com