Group Chairman, House of Patels
Looking back at his arrival back in 1978, Asgar Patel is still astonished by the drastic makeover Dubai has experienced over the years. “There were few hotels, taxis had no metres, and one dirham was equivalent to two Indian rupees. This certainly isn’t the case anymore!”
A truly smart city for smart people.
Asgar moved to Dubai from India to get his firm up and running in the UAE. He was already transporting goods and thought that there should be a way of transporting money as well. Thus, he established an international brand, Wall Street Exchange Center, which was sold to Empost in 2012. He claims to have done so with ease due to minimal interference from government officials and immense support from other stakeholders. “Banks were very co-operative. Most importantly, the nature of the Emiratis is very respectful and considerate – they not only have a tremendous amount of style, but also a great deal of courage and spirit.” In addition to that, Asgar believes that the wide variety of nationalities in the UAE helped him professionally.
He elaborated to say that the leaders of the city have played a crucial role in Dubai’s success. The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, and of course His Highness Shiekh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai have all promoted liberal laws and the freedom to trade without government interference. It is their vision that has made Dubai the great city it is today.”
Asgar considers Dubai to be the “land of freedom” and admires the city for its excellent leaders. Speaking from experience, his advice to people thinking of making Dubai their home is optimistic and motivating, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”