Senior Finance Students from the American University in Dubai (AUD) Abdulla Al Abdulla and Ghassan Yusuf received the second prize during their participation in The Young Entrepreneurship Competition (YEC), a highly competitive and prestigious contest under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
The competition was held for four consecutive days at Wafi Mall from the 28th till 31st of March, with around 750 participants from all over the UAE. Each participant was given a booth to exhibit their entrepreneurial products, and Abdulla along with Yusuf garnered the second prize for their original brand “BULINO Dubai” by a very narrow margin of only 1% of votes away from the first prize.
Upon this announcement, we interviewed Abdulla who talked about the important significance of this prize and said: “Last year we participated in the Young Entrepreneur Competition 2011 but unfortunately we didn’t win. This year I thought that while I am a student, I still have the opportunity to participate. I had to plan ahead for a long time in order for everything to be perfect on the day of the event, so after that I registered for YEC 2012 and worked very hard for it. People really liked our product; especially the way we designed our booth which was also very special. We are really happy for taking the second prize. Our victory today is not only about the prize, but it is about people knowing our brand, and that is the biggest prize for me.”
“There was a class at AUD that really motivated me called Entrepreneur. When I started my business I remembered what I had studied at the University, which is actually what I was doing. Our Professor Shahin Al Bahrami liked my idea so she motivated me since the beginning. It is a great experience and I would like to encourage all AUD students to participate in the next YEC.”
Abdulla started his business two years ago during YEC 2011. He has a passion for drawing, so he designed everything from scratch, starting from the products to the logo and even the name: “BULINO Dubai”. “BULINO” is an Italian name which means “engraving”. His future plan is to make this brand internationally recognized.
Abdulla added: “We make bracelets of different sizes and for all genders, also key chains, mobile straps, and our very special product which we promoted during the event: the “Iqal” that comes in a box, fragranced with French perfume that lasts for around six months, including a small design with a fashionable carbon fiber. Many people were surprised because we are the first to come up with this very modern “Iqal”. “We don’t have a shop, but we sell our products through Twitter, Facebook and Blackberry Messenger. People can order and then we deliver right to their home.”
“I wanted to make something special that they cannot buy somewhere else” adds Abdulla.
“People thought that it is an Italian brand, but in fact it is brand established in Dubai. We always try new ideas, and new marketing strategies. I really love my business.”
On this occasion, Professor Shahin Bahrami, Associate Professor of Management at AUD commented: “I am proud of Abdulla for following his dream and not giving up despite setbacks. Abdulla was clearly passionate about his entrepreneurial idea, and entered the Young Entrepreneur Competition last year. He continued to work on his products and entered the competition again this year. This time, not only did he win the second prize, but a modified version of his product became so popular that it was sold out within the first few hours of the exhibition.”
Other AUD Business School undergraduate students also participated in YEC this year: Khalifa Al Muhairi and Mohamed Al Zarouni.