x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

My UAE: it’s a crafty business for young entrepreneur Tariq Al-Harmoudi

A profile of Tariq Al-Harmoudi, who is a young Emirati entrepreneur.

Tariq Al-Harmoudi, who is studying in Sharjah, is already a budding entrepreneur at 18. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Tariq Al-Harmoudi, who is studying in Sharjah, is already a budding entrepreneur at 18. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Tariq Al-Harmoudi is always up to something. Despite only recently turning 18, he’s already run several entrepreneurial ventures from home and has been on stage performing plays and heritage dances since he was a child.

“I like to keep busy. I like to challenge myself all the time,” says the first-year student at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Sharjah.

“I love getting a reaction from the audience, whether it be while I am on stage, or simply standing at a stall selling stuff,” he says.

He loves to learn handicrafts and skills, which have led to him creating handmade products.

“I learnt how to design T-shirts with funny prints, photos and statements on them,” says Al-Harmoudi.

“It is really fun to be able to make something yourself. Whether it be ceramics, clothes, accessories. I take what I find and add my own personal touches.”

His latest venture, Al Ruwaq, sells accessories for women, such as perfumes only found at airports and make-up and jewellery from small designers in the UAE. He runs stalls at government-funded events for young businessmen and women.

“I like to help out my family and, at the same time, learn how to become independent,” says Al-Harmoudi.

With three sisters, as well as two brothers, he’s had a lot of experience seeing what women like.

“Every lady wants something special, [what] no other lady has. So sometimes I get really unique products or accessories and those fly off the counter.”

His ultimate dream is to have a UAE-based factory, so that he can control the quality and produce truly made-in-the-UAE products.

“Industry is moving towards unique little boutiques, and so it would make sense to have something truly made in the UAE by UAE nationals.”

Favourite drink?

Arabic coffee and karak tea.

Favourite reading material?

Emarat Al Youm newspaper. I learn something new each time I read it.

Favourite perfume?

I mix all the Gucci perfumes and came up with my own scent. But I like the golden one the most.

Favourite dish?

Mendi chicken. It is nice and tasty. I also love ice cream. Baskin-Robbins, Pinkberry. Whatever I find in the fridge, I eat it. I also love pasta. And Bounty chocolate bars. I always keep one Bounty in my pocket.

Favourite designer?

Nike. I like this brand as it sponsors the Emirati Al Ahli football team.

Favourite cartoon?

Tom and Jerry. I have watched it a hundred times. I just find it funny. I feel really bad for Tom. But the younger kids are always on Jerry’s side.

Favourite car?

Toyota Land Cruiser. It is useful; it can get you anywhere. I also like to speed, so sports cars like Ferrari. I prefer it over Lamborghini; it just looks sleeker.

Favourite pastime?

I like to run along the beach. I want to remain fit. I eat the most in my family, but I am the thinnest, and they all get jealous.

Favourite actor?

Ahmed Helmy, the Egyptian actor. He is versatile.

Favourite actress?

Haya Al Shuaibi, the Kuwaiti actress. She is just so funny. I love her style.

Favourite motto?

Smile. Even with strangers, I smile. I smile to everyone as it is a form of charity.

Favourite film?

The Fast and the Furious. I watched all of them, several times. I love the sound of fast cars.

Favourite poems?

Nabati local poems, like those by Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

rghazal@thenational.ae

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