PHOTO COURTESY: KHALEEJ TIMES
Tell us about your background and how you got started in entrepreneurship.
I am Abdulla Al-Janahi, owner of Abdul’s BBQ in Dubai. The business first started as a hobby at the beginning of the pandemic. My family noticed I had a talent for barbecue, and they encouraged me to open it as a business. With their support, I was able to launch a year ago when I was 15 years old. Thankfully, I was raised in a family that supports entrepreneurs. I don’t think I would ever have reached this place without their support.
Tell us about your startup, Wagyu briskets.
In December 2022, I started taking barbecue pre-orders from home. As they say, the first step of starting a business will always be hard. However, I was open to hearing all the comments and reviews to improve my product and become the first one in the UAE to provide this type of briskets. Juicy, tender, and delicious briskets that will make you crave and order them again and again.
I learned from my mistakes and improved my barbecue products after many trials and errors. Eventually, I was able to collaborate with Bahraini Kebab in Al Quoz to provide my product every weekend there to my customers.
What has been your biggest success in your entrepreneurial journey so far?
I am proud to be the first one in this industry to serve a product that is Wagyu brisket with a marbling score of 7+. The brisket is smoked for at least 14 hours at a low temperature. During the smoking process, it never loses its juices and tenderness. I bet that it’s the best brisket in the UAE!
What are the biggest challenges facing young Emirati entrepreneurs?
Getting started with the first stage is the most challenging aspect of being a young Emirati entrepreneur. On a larger scale, I can see that there is huge support for entrepreneurship, especially from the government. They are always willing and happy to see the percentage of young entrepreneurs increase over time. A reduction of the rules and regulations will allow even more people to become entrepreneurs.
How can leaders and successful entrepreneurs help to support young Entrepreneurs in the Middle East?
One example here would be Dubai SME which supports small cuisines and startup businesses. Their support has even created more opportunities and played a great role in the success of small businesses here.
As a young, emerging successful entrepreneur, what is your number ONE piece of advice for entrepreneurs just starting out?
My best advice is just start. Never wait for the right time or place.
You recently won an award for robotics, why do you think being educated and developing skills in robotics is so important for entrepreneurs right now?
Robotics helped me develop many skills that were useful in my own journey and business. Problem-solving is one of those skills. When first I started the business, I faced a lot of challenges that needed problem-solving. In addition, critical thinking and being precise also helped me a lot. Both these skills are important keys to success.
How do you see robotics impacting the UAE in the next 5 years?
I can see that there is a flourishing future for AI in the UAE in general, and this will help set the UAE in the highest position on a global level.
What is your favourite quote (for life & entrepreneurship)?
All you have to do is start! It can be either “day one” or “one day”. You have the choice here, so what are you waiting for?
What is your main goal for the next 3 years?
In three years, I want to have my own food truck which will allow me to serve my food to more people. A mobile solution with a food truck I can set up anywhere will also enable me to target different segments and locations.
How can our readers find out more about you?
They can follow me on Instagram, @abduls.bbq. I post all my updates and announcements there.