Author Murshed Mohammad Ahmad (third from left) with (from left) Haider Mohammad, Khabeer Al Jazeri, Mohammad Saeed Hareb, Haitham Al Rais and Ahmad Al Riyaysah during the book launch at the Dubai Press Club on Monday. Image Credit: Hadrian Hernandez/Gulf News

Dubai: It is a common misconception that for an Emirati entrepreneur to succeed, he or she needs to know people in high places or have rich parents, says Murshed Mohammad Ahmad, a researcher on Emirati entrepreneurship.

Six Emiratis have successfully proven this myth wrong, Ahmad said on Monday at the Dubai Press Club, as he launched his book in Arabic titled How the Emiratis Succeeded: Emirati success stories that made the impossible possible.

The book looks at how six young Emiratis, including a fashion designer, two cartoonists, and technology-related entrepreneurs, launched successful businesses by themselves.

"There are misconceptions among young Emiratis that anyone who succeeds has ‘wasta' [influence], rich parents or a lot of capital. There is also a perception that some fields are dominated by certain nationalities, and have no place for Emiratis," said Ahmad.

Changing perceptions

"To change this perception, we need to tell the stories of people who have succeeded and have to have them recorded in history," he said.

Ahmad said there were many successful Emiratis but it was important for him to profile those who were self-made and entrepreneurial. "This will serve as a guide for future generations of Emiratis," he said.

One of the entrepreneurs Ahmad has profiled is cartoonist Mohammad Saeed Hareb, creator of the Freej animated series that has become one of the highest-rated Ramadan TV shows with viewership across the Gulf region and the Arab world.

He details Hareb's struggle to specialise in his area of interest at university to selling his idea for Freej.

Ahmad also profiles Haider Mohammad, the creator of the animated series Sha'biyyat Al Kartoon, who started his career as a cartoonist in the daily Al Bayan newspaper and then moved on to Emarat Al Youm, following which he made his debut in animation with the series that has proven to be, along with Freej, one of the most successful Ramadan television shows.

Ahmad Al Riyaysah, an Emirati fashion designer known locally as "the king of wedding gowns" is also profiled in Ahmad's book, as well as Faisal Al Bannai of Axiom Telecom, Khalifa Al Jezairi of E-Home Automation, and Haitham Al Rais of Bin Saifan Group.

In stores

The book is available in Magrudy's bookstores in the UAE. For more information visit: www.success.ae