Global Toy Experts made the exciting announcement last week that we were entering into an agreement with ToyGal to cover the MENA region (Middle East North Africa). Hala AlDuwik, the Founder and President, has the knowledge, the contacts and the grace to lead Global Toy Experts into this market, which is for many, an unexplored part of the world. So that we can all learn about Hala and her company, I decided to do this interview.
Richard: What brought you into the business of play?
Hala AlDuwik: This exciting journey started back in 2009 when I worked with the team of "Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment" in organizing one of the largest kids and family entertainment events in Dubai Modhesh World (the most beloved kids character in the gulf region), then I got more involved with play and joined NewBoy, a leading toy company in the MENA region, where I later headed the marketing department in Dubai, planning and executing marketing strategies for the various brands under its portfolio like the popular spinning top and the hottest toys properties back in 2011/ 2012 “BeyBlade”.
Richard: Our readers certainly know about Middle East & North Africa, but because the news so often depicts disruption they might not see the opportunities. Which countries currently have strong economies and are good places to do business?
Hala AlDuwik: The Middle East And North Africa Market is currently a very attractive spot for internal businesses that are planning for expansion in these areas due to various factors like political stability, economic growth, retail growth, gross domestic growth and market attractiveness. And yes there are some political issues taking place in certain areas in the MENA region, but in countries like United Arab Emirates you can see a great emphasis on political stability as an advantage for residents, tourists and businesses to consider UAE as their ultimate destination for fun and doing business. Other strong countries with strong economies are Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and lately Egypt started to attract mega investments from international investors.