“If you want to travel to Saudi Arabia and various other places, you must be at least a ‘Manager'”

The Grid: Visas affect everyone working here. For most business owners in Dubai, understanding employment residency visas takes a while. Can you explain how the labour system works, particularly in relation to the different types of entities, i.e. free zones vs. onshore companies?

Stuart Curtis: When you have an onshore business, you have unlimited access to visas. The difference being that, in the free zones, they give you a number, so you can have two or five. If you need more, you have to upgrade to the next package and pay more money and more money. (more…)


“Our current level of income, savings, assets and debt are all a result of decisions that we have made” 

The Grid:One of the core themes of our recent event ‘Finding Financial Clarity’ was that one great fear we all have is that our income is stagnating.

Caroline Domanska So, let me ask you. Is your income on cruise control? When we talk about that, we talk about perhaps income ceilings that we have based around what we could be worth; what our abilities are and how much we should be paid. (more…)

“She sees savings and her level of savings as a symbol of her success”

The Grid:  Caroline, you talk about how our beliefs impact our relationship with money. Could you tell us more about the psychology of spending, saving, investing, etc?

Caroline Domanska: Ever since we became aware of money we’ve created beliefs around them. Beliefs that are sometimes positive but, in my experience, are often negative and often come with a bit of a dose of money shame unfortunately. We hold limiting beliefs, such as money is the root of all evil or it’s greedy to want more money or you have to work far too hard to be successful and I would have to give up too many things.


February 3, 2015

Raw Brand Risk and Reward

“There is appetite now from more customers for uniqueness”

The Grid talks to Asil Attar, CEO, Lead Associates to discuss new fashion brands entering markets in the Middle East.

The Grid: Thank you for speaking at our event ‘New Market Entry, which prompted lots of questions by the audience, particularly about bringing original or ‘raw’ brands to the Middle East instead of the usual ‘tried and tested’ ones that have immediate market recognition. How careful do you need to be in bringing raw brands into Middle East markets?

Asil Attar: For me,  I come from a place where I scout talent and I’m always looking for the next best thing. In a market like this, because it’s growing, it’s new; you need to be very careful. If you go too soon with a very raw brand that might do great in LA but not necessarily have the traction, there is a risk involved.