Emirates Man – The Winter Escape Issue – Download Now 

Founder of Anfas and the first certified Emirati perfumer, Asim Al Qassim, discusses embracing his heritage in the world of fragrance.

What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine?

Usually, I wake up in the morning with all my goals for the day planned ahead. I shower, get ready and check my calendar, just to make sure that the day goes as smoothly as possible. I also make sure to read in the morning, no less than ten pages every day. Unlike others, I prefer not to drink my coffee till the afternoon, I prefer to be active naturally and not by external stimulants.

What inspired you to launch the brand and what is the DNA, its core values?

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s message inspired me. He had told his people – the Emiratis, to be the best examples of the sons of Sheikh Zayed. My wish is to be counted amongst them, someone spreading a message of love and kindness to the world. That wish inspired the story of my collection and the brand, Anfas. To show the world the meaning of hospitality and the welcoming nature in our land. For we are the people of peace, hospitality, love, and harmony. Ask anyone in the world about the Emirates, and you will hear about the open tents, the welcoming cup of Arabic coffee, the trips on camelback and so, I presented my collection embodying the spirit of Arab hospitality.

 

How have you infused your perfumes with Middle East-inspired elements?

My entire collection is inspired by the environment in which I’ve grown. The names of my perfumes took on the same character, and so did the aromatic components composing them. All this, while making sure these compositions are integrated with global senses and diverse tastes so that the products would be accepted by the world. This contributed to the success of the collection’s propagation in more than 40 countries around the world.

The UAE encourages and cultivates an environment in which to thrive in business – how have you experienced this?

As the UAE has taught us to always think globally, and not to limit our goals and ambitions to be local only, we proceed with the vision of our rulers and leaders, who seek for it to be the United Global Emirates. From this, we enjoy all of the support in building the foundations of our brands to be global and of high standards. All of this falls within the current ecosystem supporting the economy and export of goods, which enables us to spread our products in the world relatively easily and conveniently.

What have been the challenges to building or scaling a business in the region and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge for me was understanding the global system of trademarking. It isn’t easy to build a brand with a global vision and contribute to its global spread without understanding this system. The processes of manufacturing and distribution all differ according to the nature of the markets you’re in, their population densities, and even their tastes in choosing the products. This all made me face great challenges in the early years, but extensive consulting, and waiting to open in new markets made me more selective and demanding in regard to any expansion. I always made in-depth research a priority before any commercial expansion, because the main message of my brand is to reflect the true spirit of my community and country.

Asim Al Qassim

So much has been achieved in the UAE in 50 years, do you feel this pace and scale of growth is reflected in the businesses based here?

As an individual living in this country and a contributor to many projects, I always strive to race against time to be among the group of initiators. This is because the members of the community, be it citizens, residents, merchants or even consumers are used to supporting the UAE to reach its goals as soon as possible. When people believe in its promise, to be the happiest country in the world, as it provides them with the best environment and the most suitable place to live.

This year we celebrate the UAE’s 50th Anniversary – what makes this region unique to you?

Our leadership and our rulers. Just as the youth are the wheels of the renaissance, so is the leadership the guide and the main engine, that is driving it forward on the path. We are blessed, a blessing which we inherited from our forefathers, a blessing which is now carried by their loyal sons. Those who do not hesitate to provide their very best for this country, and have set the best example of achievement, creativity and innovation. Our leaders are our fathers and brothers. They guide and correct us in our shortcomings, and support us in every one of our dreams until we reach them all.

Emirates Man – The Winter Escape Issue – Download Now

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Images: Supplied