Entertainment Redefined!

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Majorly, during the global financial meltdown of 2008, people lost their jobs, had to shut down their businesses and remain unemployed for months. It was a hard time especially for the fresh graduates because due to the job cuts it was nearly impossible for them to enter the market as employees. Plus, the media reports about major companies downsizing their teams and even experts looking for alternative earning options were even more
But amid this gloom, there was a silver lining. On one side where this slowdown years dampened spirits across the employment industry, it led way to creation of some brilliant business ideas by those who refused to bow down and sit back due to the financial situation globally. Dubai is home to many such businesses. Alchemy Project is one of them.
The young but popular Alchemy Project is one of the leading entertainment management agencies in the Middle East. Specialising in full event management services, live concerts, music festivals, family entertainment events, social events and sports events, Alchemy project has brought some of the most internationally renowned shows to the UAE.

We talk to Mac.S.Far, the chief executive officer and founder of Alchemy Project to know how an idea born during the most difficult business years grew into a full-fledged entertainment and event management company, which now operates across the region.

Can you please start by telling us something about yourself?
I was born in Shiraz in 1986, raised in Dubai for about 18 years, I attended School of Business and Management in American University
of Sharjah specialising in sales marketing, creative marketing and management.
I was raised by a self-made family, a highly business oriented and entrepreneurial father and a punctual, strict and yet very kind mother, who earned every little bit of their success through hard work and perseverance and became quite successful at a
certain period.
At the age of 17-18, my father lost the empire of the business he had created and lost everything he had ever worked for, and that was the turning point for myself and my twin brother to take matters at our own hands.
We worked through university and college and paid our tuitions through sports scholarship and managed to recover the damages of the family’s bankruptcy valuing approximately US$4,000,000 within 3-4 years.
By the age of 21, me and my twin brother made millions and paid
millions to regain the family honour.

Alchemy project has reached great heights in just a few years? How did it actually start and where do you see yourself today?
At that time, 2007-2008 (age of 21), I decided to be part of an entertainment project through a request of a friend of mine. I sincerely had no experience in entertainment, however I had great amount of contacts in Fashion and Lifestyle industry, where I worked in part time basis as a part time model to pay for life expenses while studying.
In the summer of 2008, at the beginning of Dubai’s Financial crisis and collapse of real estate market, we dared to launch a series of parties called Atelier at that point in time, in Madinat Jumeirah. The project was very well received thanks to the vast number of networking and contact lists we had. After a successful 10 editions of the Atelier party series, we were referenced for all kinds of entertainment and music awards in the city of Dubai at that time, which opened up investment interest in this sector from many organisations and caused the start of usual challenges in startup associations.
At that point, all I cared about was success and further growth through hard work, having learnt a lot from the family bankruptcy and through closing large deals in real rstate market and getting schooled by the best and toughest of Businessmen at that point in time. Failing was never an
As a frontier of Atelier brand, and the maker of the whole concept in the first place, I decided to create an infrastructure that can cater to more than just parties and can have much more potentials. I asked My twin brother (Sia.s.Far) to join me, and that is where we came up with the concept, idea and philosophy of Alchemy Project.
With the support of a great team specially Sia.s.Far and Miriam Terchova, it was only fast and upwards growth, and within almost 6 years, we managed to reach the top. Through these years we performed more than 250 music concerts with world music stars such as Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg.

Can you please share more about the company – when did it start, where all do you operate, how many employees do you have presently and where are you based?
Alchemy Project was found in 2009 in UAE. Today after almost six years we are the only entertainment company born in Dubai that currently operates in countries of UAE, Turkey, Brazil, USA, Qatar, through its own set offices and operations.
Currently we have over 60 fixed employees worldwide across our offices and the team grows to over 400 employees when we get close to a project, consisted of fixed employees and project based/temporary staff.

What would you say about the live entertainment industry and its global growth. What is the scenario in UAE and how do you think the value of the industry will grow in years to come?
Entertainment and event management is a very attractive industry since it involves entertainment and flexibility which are usually perceived to be very fun.
This factor actually is reason for establishment and emergence of large number of entertainment companies on an annual basis, all with the hope of ultimate success and ground breaking positioning.
But, unfortunately, 98 percent of these new organisations fail. The reason is the lack of profound knowledge research and understanding that this business actually require.
However despite of everything, it is a fact that this industry is growing at an appriciable pace.
UAE, with its visionary leadership of Abu Dhabi Government, has played a strong active role towards the development of entertainment in exchange for returns on tourism, investment and enhanced lifestyle of its industry, which have been a simple yet strong and smart strategy, where the return on investment is very powerful and is revealed in many forms.

What are your future expansion plans for UAE, globally as well?
As Alchemy Project, we have been the first organisation in UAE’s entertainment history to offer consistent entertainment plans across the different cities within UAE, starting from Dubai, growing to Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Western Region and soon Sharjah, most of which have been through vision oriented support of local authorities and acknowledgement of the role of cultural entertainment towards the intellectual growth of the individuals within the society.
We would focus on strengthening our services in UAE and hope to continue the successful results of such activities, further.
Our international growth plan includes our movement to UK, Egypt, Singapore and Azerbaijan in the next few months, where services are in high demand.

What is the newest project you are working on and what do you expect out of it?

We are very fortunate to have extraordinary projects in our global markets. In UAE, we look forward to host ‘Shrek The Musical’ which starts March 24 and are very excited to
present Cirque Du Soleil’s number one touring show, ‘Varekai’, by mid

UAE will host Expo 2020, how are you preparing to contribute?
Dubai Expo 2020 is definitely a big achievement. As our contribution, we will provide world class entertainment in line with 2020 and beyond.

Creativity is one of major aspects of one’s business that decides the success or the failure, what do you think about that. How has that made a difference in your business?
I definitely agree with you. It is well said ‘creativity is the mother of innovation’. However, creativity exceeds beyond just idea. The most difficult part of that is the complicated execution, which we have been very
successful at.
The positioning of Alchemy Project, in addition to our growth plan and involvement in best international events – everything involves great deal of creativity. It is like a life force that makes our industry so vibrant.

Where do you see your company ten years down the line?
In 10 years we should be the leading entertainment and event management company in the world, and most importantly to become the first choice of customers and we will work hard to achieve that goal. The aim remains same – entertainment.

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