Full Name: Fatma Al Madani
Occupation: Fairytales Co Founder
-How long have you lived in Dubai?
My whole life
-Before opening Fairy Tales what were you doing before?
I was working in government jobs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
-How did you have the idea about opening FAIRY TALES Play Area?
The opportunity came to us. My partner and I had been approached by a play area that was up for sale a year before we started planning for Fairytales, but when we looked into it we decided that we would not go for it and discussed the idea of one day setting up our dream play area that we would build and customize from scratch; we both believe that things come your way when the time is right and we closed the subject. A little over a year later the vacant space in Town Centre Jumeirah showed up and we saw it as the opportunity we had once talked about.
-And how long did it take until you decided that you will proceed and took action?
The space was available and it was in high demand so we needed to make a decision and start working very fast. We literally had 2 weeks,that had day and night of planning and proposing to confirm the decision and our rent contract.
-And what inspired you for the name?
We wanted a unique concept and came up with an “imaginary world” like children would picture when they read fairytales. Our target is little kids so it had to be a simple, familiar word that they would remember.
-How do you juggle your personal life and family?
The main reason I was into the idea of the play area was because it would solve the challenge of juggling work and family. My children have been very involved in developing the business, they attended 80% of the meetings and joined in site visits. It is an ideal business for a mother, they continue to come to work with me, they enjoy playing while I have meetings in the Fairytales café.
-What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?
Fairytales was definitely one of the biggest achievements, it is the first business I got involved in setting up and building and it was and still is a huge learning experience.
-As a child, what did you dream of being when you ‘grew up’?
I had many dreams as a child I wanted to be and try almost everything. However, looking back I realise that ever since I was young I enjoyed participating in community initiatives and volunteering in children events. I never thought of it as a potential career at the time, but now I realise it was a passion inside of me. I actually started face painting childrens’ faces in community events as a volunteer since I was 15.
-What was the last book you read and from how long?
Do the three bedtime stories every night count? I haven’t read a book for a while but I almost daily read online articles and publications related to child development and play to gain more knowledge in the field, they inspire me to think of more ideas to make playing in Fairytales more beneficial.
-Your favorite food?
I’m a meat lover and I love a good steak.
Describe your business in three words?
Imagination, fun, community
-If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
The biggest barrier you would face is yourself, trust and believe in your success.
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