There is no doubt that the change is in the air and UAE can feel it. The Entrepreneurship is called the future of the world and the trend has started slowly building in the Gulf country. Even though the impact is still inside the prime cities like Dubai or Abu Dhabi but it can felt across the country. Afiya Khalid story depicts the nationwide popularity of the Beauty products and entrepreneurship.
When Afiya Khalid’s childhood interest in becoming a makeup artist began to mature in her teenage years, she practised her techniques on her family, friends and neighbours.
That was as a 16-year-old, and although her make-up and henna creations helped her win the support of her family to pursue her dream job, it was another decade before the Emirati made the move.
Instead she took a traditional career path, entering the banking industry after leaving school, and spending the past 16 years working as a senior product manager.
In 2008, Afiya Khalid decided to go back to class. She graduated from a six-month course at the Makeup For Ever Academy in Paris, where she learnt how to transform any face into picture-perfect.
However, it wasn’t until May this year that she finally decided to turn her hobby into a business venture, launching her eponymous enterprise afiyakhalid.com in Dubai via a business licence called Intilaq for Emirati entrepreneurs.
Ms Khalid is among a growing number of entrepreneurs entering the personal grooming segment as spending power and demand for beauty products in the region grows.
The market for beauty and personal care products in the Middle East and Africa is expected to grow to more than US$30 billion by 2018, according to Euromonitor International. Last year, it was $24.2bn.
To enter the arena, Ms Khalid invested about Dh100,000 in her business, with most of it going toward products, marketing and her website.
Now that she has to juggle a demanding career in a bank and her business, she says she has quickly adapted to her new regime.
She wakes up at 6am and drops her five-year-old daughter off at a daycare centre to make it to her office in time for client meetings. While she does not finish her working day until 6pm, she says most of her make-up appointments are on weekends, often running from 4pm until 8.30pm.
Since her launch Afiya Khalid has worked with catwalk models for fashion events, bridal parties for weddings and on television commercials for make-up companies. She has a team of freelance hair stylists whom she engages when required, for instance during wedding assignments.
Her bookings now come through referrals and social media, and she says the diversity of faces that she works with in the UAE is part of the fun.
The age range of her clients is between 20 and 50, with prices ranging from Dh800 to Dh5,000, depending on the occasion and make-up technique required.
Afiya adds that the fun of being a mobile make-up artist also comes from the fact she makes a 100 per cent profit from her work, after her costs for make-up products.
And as the business grows, the entrepreneur would like to have her own team of makeup artists.
Afiya Khalid knows that she has started off right and all she needs is to believe in herself and achieve what she wanted to. She often reveals her idea to open new branch and new methodology of beauty treatment. These are all the signs of progressive and prosperity through innovation and Entrepreneurship.