With business degrees from Georgetown University and Columbia University, Hisham Samawi moved to Dubai in 2006 and spent two years working in business development and strategy for Tatweer, a member of Dubai Holdings.
In 2008, Hisham recognized an opportunity to develop the art scene in the region and left Tatweer to partner with his cousin, Khaled Samawi, to establish Ayyam Gallery, one of the region’s leading art institutions. Opening their first space in Damascus the gallery has grown steadily over the years to include two spaces in Dubai, a gallery in Beirut as well as its newest gallery on New Bond Street in London. The gallery now represents many of the leading artists from around the Arab world and Iran. In addition to hosting exhibitions for its artists, Ayyam Gallery also hosts its own series of auctions called ‘The Young Collectors Auction’, and has a publishing house that publishes a wide range of artists’ books and catalogs.
Recognizing another opportunity and gap in the regional landscape Hisham Samawi brought over the famous New York restaurant, Clinton Street Baking Company and opened it’s first location in the region at Burj Views in Downtown Dubai in 2014. His first endeavor into the food and beverage industry, the restaurant has quickly established itself as Dubai’s go to place for all day breakfast and high quality casual dining. Signing the master franchise for the MENA region, Hisham is looking to grow and develop the brand across the region.