A few weeks ago we published news of how the Al Ahli Group is developing a massive one million sqft entrepreneur and media hub called ‘Nomad’. The project aims to support creatives and also enable the growth of local and international entrepreneurs.
This positive piece of information was met with great interest and we also received a few questions and requests for more details, our team redirected these to Nomad's Executive Director Noora Khammas who took the time to answer them and outline Nomads vision and plan for the near future.
What is Nomad’s vision?
On the surface, NOMAD is a multi-faceted incubator/accelerator that targets talented individuals and SMEs both locally and internationally to provide a platform that aims to nurture their businesses.
The strength of NOMAD is what lies beneath the surface, through a plethora of services, facilities and mentors, NOMAD offers an unrivaled wealth of experience and expertise. Our vision is to make the most positive contribution to the UAE’s economy, in that sense our visions align with the Vision 2021 directive declared by his Highness, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to create a competitive knowledge economy by 2021. Our vision is also influenced by Al Ahli Holding Group’s ethos of supporting creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in the UAE.
How does it aim to support creatives in the region?
I think part of what really sets NOMAD aside is that we aim to support creatives by working to their needs, rather than making them work with our facilities. There is no other platform that provides such an innovative approach to how we use technology and create content.
We invite individuals and SMEs to put down roots and grow their enterprises and take advantage of our holistic range of practical support, financial support and on-site facilities. We will also create opportunities for content creators including film-makers, traditional artists, designers, freelancers and musicians. Through our platform and partnerships, our members have access to industry leaders like Sony. That access manifests itself in many ways including equipment, mentoring and networking opportunities.
The co-housing community is a first for the UAE. Can you give us more details on how this will work and who is eligible?
We’re very excited about our Co-housing project. One of the main principles of NOMAD is to provide unrivaled facilities as part of our platform and nothing exemplifies this more than the Co-housing. As part of our site, in The Echo Plex, we will be creating residential spaces that will serve as low-cost accommodation options for our members that will have the additional benefit of placing them in a creative environment at all times.
We will be launching the pilot program this year ahead of its introduction next year and we’ll have a lot more information on this available soon.
When can we expect to see the launch of this space?
We’ll be introducing NOMAD Phase 1, which is our coworking space and the pilot program of co-housing this year. NOMAD Phase II will include larger and more advanced facilities, including complete roll-out of the co-housing development, and will launch in 2020.
If you had to make two predictions on the future of innovation and creativity in the region, what would they be?
Innovation and creativity by their very nature can be difficult to predict. There has been a significant rise in SMEs that serve to disrupt, something which NOMAD very strongly encourages amongst its members.
Having said that, our CEO, Mohammed Khammas, has spoken a lot about how he views local talent as being in a state of transition from technology consumers to innovators and my predictions are that there is going to be a very welcomed surge in young Emirati and regional entrepreneurs who seek to disrupt and innovate the way business act and interact.
Secondly, I think creatives in the region are becoming inherently more inclined to practice interdisciplinarily, this provides completely unique perspectives on the content creation process which will only continue to diversify the content that is produced and consumed.
What advice would you give to those individuals that are looking to innovate and make it big?
There has never been a better time, especially in this country, to be an entrepreneur. I think with the right idea, confidence and a very disciplined work ethic there are now more opportunities than ever before to establish yourself and your brand. Take that leap.
Watch this space as more information about Nomad will be announced soon.
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