The Entrepreneur Show from Dubai: 30 Lessons

DubaiShow2Have you heard of the Entrepreneur Show from Dubai (the United Arab Emirates)? I stumbled upon this show recently when doing some research on the Internet. I used to watch American and British business reality TV-Shows and was quite curious to see a similar version but this time from Asia. I was curious to find out whether they are any different or to what extent there are any similarities.

The winner of The Entrepreneur Show from Dubai received the following rewards: 2 Million AED (Arab Emirate Durham), 1 year free office space, PR and mentoring support. What is this show all about? Aspiring entrepreneurs were  invited to pitch their business idea in 2 minutes to the judges. The judging panel consisted of: Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Muna Al Gurg, Nisreen Shocair and Yogesh Mehta. What the judges were looking for was: passion, leadership skills, strong work ethic, innovative thinking, persistence and determination. By the way, all qualities that I also have!

Out of 2000 submitted applications for the Entrepreneur Show from Dubai, 100 applicants were invited to present their pitch personally to the judges. The Top 10 contestants had the opportunity to attend various workshops and were challenged on several tasks. Once the final three contestants were announced, they had again to prove their skills in a real life scenario. They did quite well! But as we all know, the winner at the end can only be one!

Enjoy watching these videos and find out who the winner of  The Entrepreneur Show from Dubai was!  But first, read through the lessons we can learn from this highly interesting TV Show.


30 Lessons from the Entrepreneur Show from Dubai:


# 1 – If it’s not meant to be today, it doesn’t mean that it might not work in the future. Persevere!

# 2 – Be enthusiastic when you pitch, but don’t overdo it in a way that makes it look fake or unnatural.

# 3 – A great idea is often something that is not on the market yet.

# 4 – Attitude is the only way forward. If you are trying to do everything, you will fail. You need to focus on one particular area first.

# 5 – If you need to find out certain information, such as peoples’ needs, you need to ask proper questions. Don’t use too many closed questions and keep it simple. If you need to dig deeper, follow up with questions like “What does it mean ……..?”

# 6 – Don’t act as if you would always already know everything.

# 7 – When giving a business presentation focus on the “takeaway” from your audience’s perspective. Make sure you know exactly what your core message from your presentation is. You can create an effective business message by using context or comparison.

# 8 – Your voice should be a source of power and communication. (In the video there was an exercise in which contestants had to read an excerpt from a children’s book. See how they did it!)

# 9 – Don’t underestimate the importance of keeping proper eye contact in order to get people’s attention. Take your time in putting across your message.

DubaiShow# 10 – When delivering your pitch make sure there are new elements included in it. Don’t keep on repeating yourself over and over again. Get straight to the point when talking about your purpose and goal.

# 11 – Never end a pitch with the words “That’s it!”. Be more creative. Say something memorable, unique instead.

# 12 – Make sure you have a great answer to the question “Why should we choose you?”

# 13 – Know your profitability scenario. Know your figures when it comes to explaining the financial part of your business plan/idea.

# 14 – If you want to emphasise a point, use a memorable example. If speed is one of your competitive advantages, you could say something like “The whole process takes less than it takes the time to boil an egg.” Or do you remember how Steve Jobs did it when he demonstrated the thinness of the new MacBook Air? He placed the laptop into a brown envelope in order to make his point!

# 15 – It’s not just important to be confident in presenting your business plan, but also in  handling the questions from the judges in an impressive way afterwards.

# 16 – Make sure you know how serious you are in taking up the challenge in case you will be the winner of the competition. What would be your answer to the question “Would you be prepared to leave your full time job if you would be given all the money?”

# 17 – If your idea is IT-related you need to be aware that this is a fast paced environment and your idea might become obsolete quicker than you might think. Ask yourself this question – seriously! “Would you use your IT-related product or service in the next 5 years?” Don’t hook onto a dying business! What might sound great today, might become already unnecessary tomorrow!

# 18 – Learn to take criticism and don’t just storm out of an office. Accept the fact that someone might have a different view on your idea. No matter whether you want to hear it or not, and how strongly you feel about it. That person might be right and might have just wanted to open your eyes a little bit more. Basically making you look at your idea in a more realistic way. Bear in mind that in life you will never find people who will always 100 % agree with you!

# 19 – Even if you are the expert, apologizing with a SORRY to the person who felt hurt by making certain comments, does not make you lose a pearl from your crown! Try to take up the conversation again and work together by focusing on the same goal.

Dubai3# 20 – Diffuse the emotions. Body gestures can make a difference in improving interpersonal relationships and communication.

# 21 – Don’t make it complicated if you can put across your message in a clear and simple way.

# 22 – If one of the judges asks you “What can you do to make a difference to the market?” or “What is it that makes your business successful?” Apart from all the points you might consider to tell them, don’t forget to mention YOUR COMMITMENT!

# 23 – If you need to think about a slogan for your business make it a memorable one! I shouldn’t reveal this yet, however, the slogan from the winner was short and memorable “Make unemployment history!”

# 24 – When promoting your business you can’t afford to ignore social media. Learn how to use it effectively, how to get traffic to your website and how to convert potential clients into raving fans.

# 25 – Reputation does matter. There is no point of being nasty!

# 26 – Be always honest with your customers. Follow up.

# 27 – Think about the answer to this question “Are leaders born or made?”

# 28 – If corporate goals in the future might not be achieved, a more aggressive leadership style might be required. Being empathetic is good to some extent, but there will be situations in which you need to be more rational and less emotional, especially if it will have a financial impact on your bottom line.

# 29 – When you are trying to get some feedback from your target group, include the results in your pitch too. It shows that you did your homework and having some facts in your hand that support your idea is always beneficial.

# 30 – Always think creatively. No matter in what stage of the process you are in. At the beginning you have to be creative in order to survive the first tough selection process. While in the last stage you need to be different than anyone else in order to win the final. The runner ups of The Entrepreneur Show did it in a funny and memorable way. Find out more in the video!

You can watch all the episodes from the Entrepreneur Show from Dubai here:

What was your biggest takeaway today from the Entrepreneur Show from Dubai? Which lesson are you most excited to use in your own career? I would appreciate it if you could leave a comment and let me know. If you know anyone who could benefit from this article, make sure you share it. You’ll be helping them out and me too! Thanks!

Author: Karin Schroeck-Singh

Karin Schroeck-Singh is a trilingual Career Optimizer at She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Her passion lies in creating multilingual, high-quality content in career matters, giving highly engaging public speeches and helping job seekers to optimize their career by providing professional coaching. She is the author of several ebooks, among them “44 Tips for a successful Video Interview” ( She has written several career and business articles for international HR and Marketing companies. Her favourite motto is “Learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime!” Follow her on Twitter @CareerHeads.

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