Four Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Take From The City Of Dubai
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Every new business starts with an outlandish idea. But just having something new, different and exciting isn’t enough. It takes several other factors to make it successful.
Our city of Dubai provides a great example of how to turn the seed of opportunity into an economic powerhouse. Because aside from being the perfect place for entrepreneurs to get started, the factors behind the city’s rise to greatness also show how best to find that success.
Want to know more? Here’s what new business owners can learn from the Dubai brand.
1. Perseverance and determination will drive your transformation
Over 40 years ago, many people would have doubted whether the reality of Dubai could actually live up to the dream. Yet the development of the city is rooted in perseverance and determination, even when others might have laughed in the face of their ambition.
As Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum has himself stated, "The word impossible is not in the leaders’ dictionaries. No matter how big the challenges, strong faith, determination, and resolve will overcome them."
The growth of Dubai over the years has certainly had its challenges. But thanks to determined leadership and faith in what could be achieved, it has paid off handsomely.
How you can use this in your startup journey: Every business has its challenges to be faced and obstacles to overcome. Yet by creating a culture of belief and faith, you too will be able to push through the difficult times and ensure you always find a solution to whatever seems impossible. A good way to do this is to make everyone in your team aware of your vision and the goals you’ve set to meet it (see below), and push towards this every day. So, no matter what hurdles life throws at you, it will be easier to see ways around immediate problems to stay on track for the overall vision.
2. Innovation is the key to progress and prosperity
Dubai has always been a big proponent of innovation as a means to progress and prosperity. It held its Year of Innovation in 2015 and the government’s continued encouragement of innovation aims to tackle a range of issues– including relying less on the oil sector. As an example, Dubai is at the forefront of new architectural approaches, with the unveiling of the first 3D-printed office in the world, located at Emirates Towers. Taking 17 days to build, the Office of the Future is proposed to be the first part of a plan to make 25% of Dubai’s US$44 billion construction industry fully 3D printed.
This kind of ambition highlights the region’s emerging role as a major incubator of innovation and future technology– and one that provides a global model that can be followed in all sectors.
How you can use this in your startup journey: Innovation needs to be encouraged in every aspect of your business– from the people you employ to the strategies you put in place.
In other words, by making sure you engage fresh talent, and by creating a nurturing and ambitious environment in which they can flourish, you will help keep everyone open to new ideas.
3. Create common goals and a shared work ethic
Dubai is a visionary city, always looking towards the opportunities of the future with ambition and foresight. This unshakeable belief in what it can achieve has been the cornerstone of its evolution as a global business hub for everything from finance to clean energy in the last few decades.
Launched in 2010, UAE Vision 2021 set out to make the UAE one of the best places globally to visit, live and work. It is doing this through the use of six national priorities ranging from healthcare and education to ensuring a sustainable environment.
By setting a vision for each of these areas of life, it allowed the government and people of the city and wider region to work together towards a shared goal– increasing the likelihood of success.
How you can use this in your startup journey: Using the blueprint of the UAE Vision 2021, your startup should focus on setting priorities for the years ahead. Ask yourself what is important to your brand and what you want to achieve. With this vision in mind, you should then set some goals for yourself and the team that will help you achieve this vision.
Don’t limit it to the far future either. A five or ten-year plan may provide a great long-term vision, but things can change so rapidly that it’s also good to set much shorter annual or even monthly goals– making sure that each and every goal is measurable and builds towards the overall vision.
4. Continuous improvement will keep you ahead of the game
"The race for excellence has no finish line," Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum once said. Business is all about continuous improvement. It’s about building on what you have, optimizing your approach, and growing as a result. And the same has been true for Dubai.
This is a city that has grown in popularity over the decades, building on its geographic location as the gateway between East and West. But it refuses to rest on its achievements so far. The region is gearing up for a ground-breaking Expo2020 next year and this event will propel Dubai further into the limelight as a key business hub on the world stage. As mentioned in the quote above, there is no finish line to cross when it comes to excellence. So, just as Dubai will continue to pursue it, so should your business.
How you can use this in your startup journey: The success of your business isn’t an end goal. It lies in the continuous improvement of the way you work, maximising your ROI, and allowing you to evolve and grow in a competitive environment.
Once you’ve established your vision (above), keep those goals in mind and make sure you take the time to measure your success against each one and ask yourself where you can improve. Then optimise your processes and strategies– and perhaps even set new, more ambitious goals to ensure you do better next time.
Related: The 10 Traits You Must Cultivate to Achieve Highly Ambitious Goals