Ebraheem Al Samadi, CEO Retail, Al Samadi Group – “Give me a fish and feed me for a day, teach me to fish and you’ll feed me for a lifetime.”
From a very young age, it was clear Ibraheem Al Samadi was destined for success in the world of business. An entrepreneur from the age of 14, Ebraheem launched his very first business out of his mother’s Florida apartment selling off-season clothing and items on eBay, a stint which eventually earned him one of eBay’s coveted “1000 Power Sellers” awards. He reflects on the experience as an invaluable learning curve, further developing his understanding of brand awareness, sales strategies and how to visually package products for customer appeal.
After successfully appealing to the Senator of Florida to fast track his secondary studies and allow him to earn his High School Diploma in the ninth grade, Ebraheem joined the full time workforce at the age of 16. Working as a lifeguard and salesman by day and visual merchandiser by night, 80 hour weeks allowed Ebraheem to financially support his newly single mother and young sister whilst saving enough liquid capital to invest in his first company, EHA LLC, at the age of 17. The structure of EHA LLC allowed Ebraheem to import products from California and China to sell in Florida’s speciality retail market, via kiosks and RMUs (merchandising units).
Ebraheem moved to Dubai in 2010 founding Al Samadi Group and growing its retail portfolio. He soon merged the company with the family’s hospitality business to form two divisions of Al Samadi Group and expand business interests across the Middle East, with Dubai as the operational hub. Today Al Samadi Group stands as a testament to the family vision, as the company energetically pursues new opportunities wherever they arise. Al Samadi comprises two business divisions; retail and hospitality. With brands, products and successful business models sourced from the USA, Canada and Europe, the company portfolio is diverse and continuing to expand.
When reflecting upon his “rollercoaster of success”, Ebraheem says most of his creative business ideas have come to him whist he’s sleeping; “I wake up in the morning and I immediately write them down.” He is passionate about finding new ways of being different and says remaining creative has allowed him to consistently offer new concepts and products which haven’t been seen on the market before. Ebraheem’s driving force has long been the desire to fully support his family, as well as striving to ensure he creates an environment which first and foremost promotes happiness amongst employees and colleagues. He also believes the cultural exposure garnered by global travel is another major inspiration for innovation in businesses and a key opportunity to source products and concepts with the potential to thrive in the UAE. By taking successful business models and proven products and applying local knowledge, Ebraheem now treats the UAE to the best the world has to offer.