Walid Hajj

Executive Chairman, Cravia

Walid first came to Dubai in July 2000, establishing Cravia out of a small office on Sheikh Zayed Road with a small team of just four. “I remember being very impressed with everything Dubai did at the time. “Wow” was my repeated reaction to the speed and the quality of the development and advancement of the city. I remember wondering if Dubai had peaked? Am I too late in establishing my business? Of course, little did I know that Dubai was just getting started on its journey to becoming what is today, a truly world-class global city.”

“Whether it is cultural, art, or business events, one is always motivated and inspired to do more, learn more, and explore more in Dubai.”

Believing that leadership is key to Dubai’s success, Walid says that, just like in any organisation, when the leader has the right vision, drive and fairness, the rest will follow. “There is no doubt that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai is going to go down in history as one-of-a-kind – someone who relentlessly seeks advancement for his country and his people, while remaining close to everyone and loved by all.”

From the very beginning, Walid has been impressed by government offices and how they are run like private organisations. “Things like customer service and improved processes, while unheard of in other governments in countries throughout the world, are a priority here.”

Searching for the ideal word to describe Dubai, Walid says: “That’s tough, but I would say ‘inspirational’ is certainly up there. In fact, one can’t help but be inspired by this city; just take a boat ride out onto the Arabian Gulf and look at Dubai from that vantage point. It is simply spectacular!”