x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Emirati woman with a plan to boost local businesses

Dalal Al Qubaisi started out with a typing centre at age 22 and is now chief executive of a company that helps small businesses grow.

Dalal Al Qubaisi wants to help entrepreneurs expand their businesses. Courtesy Dalal Al Qubaisi
Dalal Al Qubaisi wants to help entrepreneurs expand their businesses. Courtesy Dalal Al Qubaisi

ABU DHABI // At 22, an age when many are still at university, an Emirati entrepreneur started her own business, a small typing centre in Abu Dhabi.

Five years later, Dalal Al Qubaisi, now 27, has capped off a successful career by being voted on to the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s board of directors. She plans to use her position on the board to promote business solutions for other entrepreneurs.

“I know many local women who design fabulous abayas and hand-woven crafts at home and they sell them to other traders and remain nameless, ending with a small profit,” said Ms Al Qubaisi, who is chief executive of Interact Integrated Business Solutions.

“I am a woman and can better understand them so will be contributing my services pertaining to women-related activities,” she said. “Getting a trade licence, better marketing and showcasing the designed products can fetch them far better yields, no matter how small you want to begin with.

“I started from a very low level, opening a typing centre and expanded it over the years,” Ms Al Qubaisi said.

In the election for the board of directors, held on June 26, she recorded the highest number of votes. She had wanted to run for election for some time, but had been disheartened to hear the positions were for big businessmen.

Then she learnt that anybody whose company is registered with the chamber can run for a seat on the board. After preparing for four years, “I determined to win this and I made it”, she said.

Ms Al Qubaisi, who is unmarried, is career oriented and enthusiastic about her plan to open a new consultancy next month in the Madinat Zayed area, to train and promote locals in opening their own businesses.

She believes local women and men are talented, but are not using those talents professionally, to get a trade licence and market their products.

“Many Emiratis don’t know how to start a business,” Ms Al Qubaisi said. “So I’ll open a consultancy office and provide free services to all citizens and expatriates as well.

“Emiratis, particularly women, want to start a business but they don’t know how to start. I want to boost their confidence that nothing is impossible, Allah will help.”

She also wants to help entrepreneurs expand their businesses.

Many women use social media sites to sell home-made and embroidered designer abayas and traditional foods, but they don’t have trade licences for this.

“They just do the marketing among the known girls and families.”

Ms Al Qubaisi graduated from the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi in 2005, and started Follow-up Transaction Services in 2008, a company that helped new businesses to get started.

“I started sponsoring people’s businesses and gained experience, which helped me to run my own business,” she said. “My power is real-life experiences – what happens in the field,” she said. “I have never done accounting and marketing but my interest in trading taught me everything and I now sponsor 72 businesses and run several others.”