Posted on June 18, 2016

As part of its activities to celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan this year, Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) has extended Freej Aspire to support young Qatari entrepreneurs and provide a platform to promote their businesses.

The move reflects AZF’s steadfast commitment to supporting talented and enterprising Qataris across the community, including providing support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and helping to build a diversified economy. Almost 3,000 people visit Freej Aspire each day offering an excellent opportunity for SMEs and talented Qatari entrepreneurs to build awareness and visibility for their brands, businesses and products in a unique, welcoming family-friendly zone that replicates the look and feel of old Qatari markets.

The opportunity to take part has proven popular with a number of Qatari businessmen and women who have been promoting details of their involvement on social media. By adopting such initiatives, AZF hopes to encourage other organisations to follow in its footsteps and develop approaches designed to boost entrepreneurship and support the growth of SMEs. Such initiatives can also play an important part in helping fulfil the ambitions of the Qatar National Vision 2030 by investing in young people, enabling them to reach their full potential, and building a diversified, knowledge economy.

A touch of Qatari heritage

The traditional market at Freej Aspire featured a wide variety of products, ranging from Arabic Coffee and Karak tea through to fashionable garments for women that blend modernity and traditional Qatari style in their design. The number of Qatari businesses participating in the second instalment of Freej Aspire increased to 22, up from last year and comes as overall number of visitors this year has also increased due to the growing popularity of Freej Aspire.

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Qatari entrepreneurs share their positive impressions and call for similar initiatives to be adopted

Commenting on her participation in the Freej, Souad Ibrahim Johar, the owner of a small business that sells traditional food, said: “Last year I was involved in the Freej Aspire, and I was delighted when AZF again contacted me to and offered the opportunity to run a stall serving traditional food at this year’s event. Being present at Freej Aspire provides an unparalleled opportunity to promote our brand and products, particularly since our business closely reflects the same traditional theme of the Freej. The encouragement and support we have received really motivates us to grow our business.”

Qatari entrepreneur Ahmed Al-Emadi said: “Our products are freshly prepared and contain a special mix of Qatari spices. The encouragement and support from Aspire Zone Foundation and the opportunity to take part gives us the ideal platform to market ourselves and our products on a large scale to the local community.”

Qatari entrepreneur Ibtisam Al-Abdallah said, “We produce a collection of handmade garments that combine modern design with traditional Qatari style. We were extremely grateful for the opportunity to display our collections at the Freej Aspire and to give the public an introduction to our clothing products. We initially started our business operation working from home, and we have steadily grown through a number of exhibitions. Initiatives such as these are an ideal way to encourage young Qataris to develop their products and their businesses.”

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Freej Aspire attracts a wide range of talented Qataris

Any visitor to the Freej Aspire cannot fail to notice the MCs taking to the stage and entertaining the audiences. The MCs are two talented young men – Abdullah Al Hallabi and Mohammad Al Hamamdi – who belong to Sky Climbers, an organisation that organises a range of activities for talented young people.

Commenting on what motivates him, 18-year-old Mohammad Al Hammadi said: “Regardless of who is in the audience, we do our very best to interact with them and keep them entertained. I have been involved in hosting and presenting at many events, but Freej Aspire is truly special, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to take part in this unique event.” Commenting on his involvement, 20-year-old Abdullah Al Hallabi said: “Participating in Freej Aspire gives us a chance to celebrate and enjoy Qatari culture and traditions. It is a great opportunity to interact with and provide entertainment to a broad mix of people from the community, including families and children.”

With a capacity of up to 3,000 visitors daily, this year’s Freej Aspire occupies an area of more than 8,000 square metres, air-conditioned to 25 degrees centigrade to keep visitors cool and comfortable. Freej Aspire forms part of Aspire Zone’s Ramadan Festival which runs from 5 to 19 Ramadan (10-24 June), and which comprises a unique combination of spiritual, sporting and social activities in celebration and observance of the Holy Month.