Kippreport speaks to both Etihad and Emirates to find out what the deal is...March 29, 2015 2:46
Chatting with the man behind Dubai City Pass
Vali 'Shekson' talks about social media, creativity and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
December 11, 2012 1:31 by Muhammad Aldalou
Vali Shekhanzai, also known by his online alias as Shekson calls himself a business enthusiast and a serial entrepreneur. The ability to turn ideas into a concrete reality ran through his blood at an early age. He has a Twitter following the size of a miniature army – one that most people would dream of building and that’s just on his personal profile. He is most commonly known for being the founder of award winning Dubai City Pass which incidentally has an even larger community. He has been listed as one of the top 100 influential Arab Tweeps.
Tell us briefly, what is Dubai City Pass?
Dubai City Pass will help you ensure that you have a wonderful visit to Dubai! The Dubai City Pass is an all-in-one travel ticket. You’ll get all the info you need to know to ensure you eat at all the best restaurants and see all the best sights that Dubai has to offer.
The Dubai City pass is a creative way of distributing information to tourists and residents alike. You’ll enjoy Dubai’s cultural activities, attractions and you’ll save time and money.
Dubai City Pass opens the door to the Dubai’s most popular attractions, performing arts, museums and cultural venues and beyond. Simply show your mobile ticket at the entrance where it will be scanned and you will be allowed entry.
It’s simply the best way to see all the best attractions at one low price in Dubai.
What made you think of it?
One of my biggest passions is globetrotting and learning about new business cultures across the globe.
During my visits to Dubai, I was kind of lost due to all the different offers and attractions that are available to tourists. I wanted something simple, like a one stop shop with information on Dubai.
You have a very interesting name; does that have a background or special meaning behind it?
I am holding a Swedish passport. My family name is Shekhanzai, I belong to the Al Balushi family and “Shekson” is my online alias.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
My family – specifically, my father – inspired me to become an entrepreneur. My father was an entrepreneur, so I grew up with a desire to be just like him! He owned and managed his own real estate business for more than 20 years! My family instilled me with an incredible drive, determination and motivation to achieve my goals!
Do you consider yourself more of an entrepreneur or a creative person?
I’m a firm believer that the most successful entrepreneurs are creative individuals! It takes a great deal of creativity if you’re to come up with a unique, distinctive company, with a memorable, marketable identity. A successful entrepreneur must be prepared to find creative solutions; you must think outside the box.
You must use those creative impulses to develop something that’s distinctive, different from all the others. The most successful companies, products and brands stand out from the pack; they’re unique and different in some way or another. So that’s proof that creativity is king!
What do you think it takes to be successful?
Success requires determination and commitment. Everything else will follow. If you’re determined and committed, you can overcome any obstacle. Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. You encounter obstacles and red tape, so you must be determined and willing to plow through those roadblocks.
Creativity, as I mentioned, is another important quality. The most successful entrepreneurs have developed something unique, so that’s where creativity comes into play. Also, entrepreneurs must be natural problem solvers, who can quickly work through a situation or problem. So you really need to have a great deal of common sense and an ability to think on your feet.
Turn the page Kipper
More opportunities for freelancers in the Middle East
Interview: The inventor of the hashtag
‘MEA: A high-potential market for HTC’
Van Gogh: Ambassador of art
‘Middle East, a massive market for Smart homes’