Week in the life: Shuaib Al Sulaimani explains how every day is a new adventure
The young entrepreneur has a ferociously busy working routine
Shuaib Al Sulaimani is a very busy man.
At 24 years old, he is the chief executive of Transworld Group, a family business conglomerate with 800 employees worldwide and 15 companies operating in the aviation, oil and gas, maintenance, security and travel and tourism sectors. He is also in the process of opening a network of boutique gyms across the UAE after buying the master franchisee rights to the Portuguese brand Personal20. Here, Mr Al Sulaimani, who is from Oman but has lived in the UAE all his life, tells The National about a typically busy week in his working life juggling responsibilities at Transworld Group and Personal20 gyms.
I spend time at Transworld Aviation. I have to go through all the approvals and tenders with staff because we deal with 85 governments, so we have to follow procedures. Transworld Group has been present for over 30 years in the UAE. Being the only son in the family, I have been heavily involved in the company and have the responsibility of taking it over. I have been working in our companies since I was 16 years old. When I was younger I had the opportunity to become a professional footballer, but I gave that up because I wanted to lead the family business into new horizons. That’s actually where Personal20 also came in. I saw that everyone was investing heavily into the fitness market here in Dubai. I am the master franchisee of
Personal20. I have sold two rights so far, one in Abu Dhabi and one in Silicon Oasis. The one in Silicon Oasis is open. But the goal is I am going to control the market in Dubai, so I am not going to sell any more franchise rights in Dubai. I have one that I own already in Jumeirah, which is having its soft opening this month, and then within the next five to six years I am going to target 10 in Dubai. I am going to sell the rights only in Abu Dhabi.
I go to our maintenance company, Nitty Gritty Technical Services and Contracting. We maintain villas, buildings and all these types of places. So on this day I visit all the projects, the sites and make sure we are interacting with all the suppliers. I also have to sit with the staff of the company and make sure we are meeting the needs and requirements of our customers. After that I go to Personal20. We specialise in pre and post-natal exercise. According to a study we conducted, there are many women who suffer, especially post-natally after they give birth. There aren’t many people who offer that type of service in Dubai, so many people struggle to find people who specialise in that area. That’s where we come into play.
I go to Airborne Travel and Tourism. We basically sell travel packages to people. We deal with hotels and different types of airlines. So what I have to do is to make sure that all the deals are up to date and also think of future deals to offer to our customers and clients. We also arrange specialised trips for VIPs in [places] like Africa, or any other part of the world. They are mainly GCC VIPs who want to go to Africa on a hunting trip or on safari, so we take care of their travel from A to Z, from their accommodation, to transport, everything. Later I go to Personal20. We go through all the procedures and what we need to be doing. After that by the time I finish it is probably 6pm or 6.30pm and then from there I go to the gym and come back home. I work out five to six times every week and I am into things like football and boxing
I go to one of our sister companies, this operates in the aviation industry like Transworld. We sell spare parts and refurbish and overhaul aeroplanes and helicopters. We also deal with governments. So we have to make sure we cater for all their needs and requirements. I have just been made the chief executive of Transworld Group. It is a very heavy responsibility. I wouldn’t say it is stressful but it is a very big weight on my shoulders. I am confident with all I have done. If I started working at a later age I wouldn’t be so confident, but I am glad that I have been involved since I was young. Age is just a number. If you are motivated, committed and driven you can do whatever you want to. Once I have finished my duties here, I go to Personal20..
There is a security company that we own as well in a joint venture with a German company. That’s a company I visit on a Thursday. We sell security systems to governments. It’s quite complicated to explain and confidential so I can’t say any more. After that I go to Personal20.
I do work on weekends, but I take Fridays off to spend time with my family.
Updated: October 10, 2017 10:41 AM