Hanif Shaikh, the chairman and founder of Emirates Holding Group has been awarded this year’s Pride of UAE at the Global Business Symposium held at The Sheraton in Abu Dhabi on 28th February. Several top dignitaries attended the event and Hanif was among them chosen for his exceptional achievements in turning the UAE into a center of global commerce.
Organized as a part of the Global Business Symposium 2023, the Pride of UAE award serves to recognize and felicitate individuals who have made a solid mark in their ventures and advanced their talents in enhancing the prestige and legacy of the UAE.
In his 27 years living as an ex-pat in the UAE, Hanif has emerged as a key player in the business world and in the thriving fashion industry of the middle east.
Having set up a growing chain of businesses across the UAE, Hanif has brought remarkable progress to the UAE. He also confidently ventured into the growing world of fashion, taking up the role of an organizer and supporter of fashion shows and beauty pageants across the UAE.
As a patron of fashion and with exquisite taste in the same, Hanif didn’t step back in going further. Over the various fashion events that took place in recent years,
With its promise of opportunity, the Middle East especially the UAE has offered itself a fertile ground for individuals like Hanif with tons of potential and sky-high ambitions to make their mark and set forth on a never-ending journey of success and prosperity.
The Beginnings: Migrating Overseas
Almost every story of success has humble beginnings. Hanif Shaikh was born and brought up in Mumbai, India and the busy emerging metropolis shaped his early years growing up. He belonged to a middle-class family and the sprawling city streets sparked his ambitions to make it big in the business world.
Soon after completing his master’s degree in business administration majoring in marketing, Hanif came to the realization that the Middle East was the best place to kickstart his career and establish a self-made business later on. And in 1995, he bid adieu to Mumbai and set off for Saudi Arabia where he spent almost a year working for an advertising and events company. He then had an extensive stint in Muscat, Oman working as a managing partner for yet another advertising and events company.
Fortune favored him at the beginning of the millennium. In the 2000s, Hanif finally moved to the UAE and settled there. It marked the start of his venture into numerous businesses, later making him a thriving entrepreneur in the region. He debuted in business by setting up the Fujairah Exhibition Centre, a major venue for organizing large expos and trade shows in the region.
During his nine-year tenure managing the expo center for the chamber of commerce, Hanif served an equally important role working for the local government at the director-general level, the only ex-pat to rise up to that position.
Going Big: Forming Emirates Holding Group
With the level of experience gained over years managing the expo center and employment at the government, Hanif didn’t just limit himself there. He had big goals, which were triggered when he made the landmark decision to launch yet another ambitious business undertaking: Emirates Holding Group.
Flagging off operations in 2005 in Dubai, the Emirates Holding Group has broadened into a consortium of companies with a marked presence all over the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and Europe. Together, the group has offered services across a wide span of industries from oil and gas to investment funding, trading, gold mining, crypto, etc.
Since its 15 years of operations, Hanif has been the key driving force behind the company’s activities. As the chairman, he along with his business associates has actively shaped Emirates Holding Group into a well-respected and highly competent business consortium in the Middle East and across the globe.
Making a Foothold in Event Management & Fashion
Over the years, the UAE especially Dubai has been the de facto location for conducting events. The welcoming and investment-friendly government policies plus the record-breaking infrastructural development has pushed the region as a dominant center for global commerce and industry lately.
Considering this enormous potential, it is no wonder that Hanif had set his eyes on making it into the event management field. He did and shortly after forming the Emirates Holding Group, Hanif tried his luck in the vast field of event management with positive results.
With an impressive portfolio of having organized more than 500 events for consumers, businesses, and the government, Hanif did leave a mark in event organizing and contributed to the growing popularity of Dubai as a destination for big expos, trade shows, festivals, and the like.
Some of the widely popular shows that were organized by him include the Muscat Festival 2022, Global Village of Qatar, and several other jewelry shows and trade expos. He soon ventured into fashion shows taking the role as the co-organizer, partner, and sponsor for multiple fashion shows with the sole aim of upbringing the standards of the event industry in the UAE.
Last year, Hanif was among the main organizers behind the highly successful International Fashion Gala 2022. This year, he was in the spotlight again as co-organizer and supporting partner of several prominent fashion events in the Middle East such as Women Of The Universe, Fashion Factor, and The Modest Fashion Show.
International Fashion Gala 2022
In June 2022, the Emirate of Dubai hosted a first-of-its-kind fashion show – International Fashion Gala (IFG) organized by Al Shomouk in which Hanif served as the co-organizer.
The show witnessed the confluence of prominent designers, world-renowned fashion houses, and models as they brought to life top-of-the-line designs that made a distinct statement on the modern fashion industry.
International Fashion Gala showcased the collections of 10 high-profile fashion designers:
- Hani Al-Behairy
- Rami Kadi
Owing to the huge success of the show, Dubai was lauded as a prime fashion destination with many more successive events being planned to be held there shortly after.
“It was indeed a fascinating experience to be a part of this high-profile show and the fact that Dubai was chosen as the venue got us more excited,” said Hanif, recalling the experience and insights he earned from organizing IFG.
“As a patron of fashion and the immense possibility that lies there pushed me to offer my contribution and it did pay off well. Overall, co-partnering with IFG and the people behind with exceptional caliber has been a privilege. And this gets me more enthusiastic about planning and being a core part of more such fashion events in the coming years.”
Women Of The Universe
2023 seems a promising year for fashion as Dubai once again hosted a mega beauty pageant contest – Women Of The Universe on March 11. Once again, Hanif took on the role of co-organizer in which 30 countries participated.
A grand success, the event showcased talented fashionable women each representing their country that put forth an extravagant display on the ramp adorned in the trendiest of outfits. Besides, the event also brought together well-known and reputed people in fashion and show business from across the UAE and around the world.
Fashion Factor 4th Edition
The 4th Edition of the much sought-after event Fashion Factor took place on the 24th and 25th of February in Dubai. The two-day fashion extravaganza brought together some of the most talented and established fashion designers globally like Amato, Hany El Behairy, and Ezra to name a few.
Fashion Factor was a big success owing to its huge turnout of attendees, industry experts, fashion enthusiasts, and influencers.
The Modest Fashion Show
Fashion model Yasmin Akhter and Hanif together organized The Modest Fashion Show on 24 February at the event venue The Agenda in Dubai.
Themed on modesty and elegance in fashion, the show and designer competition was a big success and had endorsements from the MEA Corp. and The Fashion Factor 4th Edition.
Gazing at the Future
27 years in the Middle East and Hanif is more confident and empowered. He envisions a future where his businesses would set themselves apart with rapid upward growth. And Hanif has more ambitious projects and undertakings ready to be let out. In the coming years, he is pledged to diversify his business, reaching more markets and serving an expanded customer base worldwide.
And in the events space, he has already eyed major-level partnerships and a dream of hosting big fashion shows that further skyrocket the UAE’s reputation as a true fashion powerhouse.
One such upcoming beauty pageant is Mr., Mrs., and Miss UAE International that’s all set to happen in May. Once again, Hanif will be co-organizing this event which is sure to draw in attendees globally and open up the enormous potential for fashion modeling across the UAE.
With decades of experience under his belt, Hanif has acquired the eyes of a visionary. Those that truly can gaze far ahead than the rest and take action to bring progress and prosperity for the benefit of the whole.