Dubai still has that air of mystique and for many people, Dubai is and always will be that magical place of awesome, glittering towers, the biggest and the best, the kingdom of “world firsts”.
As a young entrepreneur I used to fly down to Dubai for a weekend for no other reason but to soak up the “buzz”, feel the excitement and marvel at a landscape painted by pure vision.
There are few cities in the world who have created the momentum where reality keeps pace with unbridled vision and fewer still who have sustained that drive to constantly evolve. It never fails to amaze me to look out at the skyline and realize that vision is in constant motion and so when I got a chance to launch a business here in Dubai three years ago, I jumped in with both feet…
I am one of the lucky ones, the landscape of towers never became a concrete jungle, to this day, it is a constantly evolving, dancing, sparkling, kaleidoscope of flickering dreams. A “Living Vision Board” that never stops moving.
It is a landscape that host the dreams and ambitions of people from across the world. Whether you own the tower, or you are a humble worker digging the foundation, the taste of “better days ahead” fills your waking hours. It is against that context I ask the question every business owner is asking right now.
Where do we go from here?
Covid 19 hit hard, it was a tsunami that overwhelmed the world. Its ripple effects will rumble for years to come but long past the pages of “restrictions, penalties, repatriations, redundancies”, society will find a way to push forward.
Ambition, Motivation, Inspiration, all have their own contribution to make and we will craft our response, respectful of the challenge we face but determined nonetheless to march on. That march forward will start with some unsteady steps. One cannot help but sense the unease when you come to appreciate the impact Covid 19 has had on the economy and for sure some dark days ahead for so many companies and individuals but here’s the thing about doing business in the UAE.
Unless you live here, work here, you can never fully grasp the enormity of the vision that underpins the UAE. It is an intangible asset on the balance sheet of every single UAE company, from the SME to the Conglomerate, all are “infected” by the unrelenting determination to be at the forefront of innovation and success. You can measure the GDP, study all the economic indicators and factor in the shock wave of impacts that Covid 19 will bring but what you cannot measure and what many in the media fail to grasp is the regions unbridled determination and capacity to achieve the impossible. There will be real and for many, life changing business impacts. We cannot escape that reality, but we have something unique underpinning business in the UAE, our own “Magic Dust” created from decades of confidence building demonstrating over and over again that Vision overcomes all.
Actually, it is not OUR “Magic Dust” , we are the beneficiaries. We do our part for sure but in truth, we will bask in the vision and leadership of innovative pioneers who for decades now simply refused to accept any outcome but success at levels few can comprehend.
I launched a Safe Deposit Box business here in Dubai in 2018 (MySafe) and let me be sincere, it’s been tough, there is nothing easy about success, not here in Dubai, not anywhere but it has been so rewarding to put boots on the ground in a place like Dubai and take the first steps on a journey to full potential.
MySafe launched in 2018 and we operate the only private fully automated safe deposit box center in the UAE. In 2019 we launched our second site located in the retail lobby of the Kempinski Hotel and Residences, Palm Jumeriah, it is the first hotel in the world with a fully automated Lloyd's insured Safe Deposit Box center in the Lobby. When Covid 19 first hit, we were at an advanced stage in our plans to launch our third center here in Dubai. Like everyone else I have concerns about the economic impact and the future, but I also know this. There is nowhere else on Earth with the capacity to wipe the vision board clean and in a heartbeat create a new vision that will empower all who dare to dream. The way forward is clear, we focus and “Plan Brave”.
In the UAE, innovation starts at the very top and after decades of delivering on that vision, leadership has empowered the business community. In so doing, creating the levels of confidence necessary such that even the most humble business in the UAE believe that here, the impossible is possible.
To all those who have fallen, to those who have stumbled and fear the future and to those who feel confident enough to fight on, let us "Plan Brave".
We all lift by raising others and now is the time. Let us not wait to be lifted, let’s see if we can lift a little ourselves and if so, let us reach out to our neighbor and see if we can lift together. Let’s be informed by the lessons learnt and respectful of the need to be a little more humble and lift each other every step of the way.
Terry Downes, Founder and CEO MySafe