Khal­ifa Saleh Al Ha­roon

Qatar Today - - THE TREND SETTERS -

We asked him to tell us about the new busi­ness he started this year. He asks,

“Which one?”

Look­ing back

It's clearly dif­fi­cult for Khal­ifa Saleh Al Ha­roon to pick his per­sonal high­lights of the year gone by, con­sid­er­ing the di­verse range of projects he has come to be in­volved in this year. But ILoveQatar's five-year evo­lu­tion­ary jour­ney is on top of the list. “That ILoveQatar has ex­panded with over 15 mil­lion im­pres­sions a month is some­thing I am very ex­cited about,” he says. And he is equally thrilled (and surely, so are all the fans) for the por­tal's en­thu­si­asm in cre­at­ing more orig­i­nal con­tent. For a while now, the net­work has been cre­at­ing, cu­rat­ing and host­ing some clever, funny and in­for­ma­tive videos like QTips, Karak Time and Kl­matRas, Ig­ni­tionME and more.

The com­pany, he says, con­tin­ues to be on the look­out for fresh and in­ter­est­ing YouTube vlog­gers, and is ac­tively au­di­tion­ing for tal­ent they can pro­mote. QTips, which Al Ha­roon of­ten hosts, are bite-sized vid- eos that an­swer ques­tions peo­ple al­ways had about Qataris but never asked ( What's un­der­neath the thobe? Do Qataris al­ways travel busi­ness class? What do Qataris do in a Ma­jlis?) and their pop­u­lar­ity is in­dica­tive of the Qatari com­mu­nity's ef­forts to reach out to ex­pats. This con­cept has in fact gained a lot of trac­tion this year with the launch of ini­tia­tives like SeeMyCul­ture and Em­brace Doha.

Crys­tal gaz­ing

Al Ha­roon's new­est busi­ness ven­ture, Shake Shake, is so com­pletely rep­re­sen­ta­tive of what he is all about. With the first out­let of this “health­ier” fast food con­cept to open any time soon, he hopes to give the pop­u­la­tion that is grap­pling with obe­sityand di­a­betes-re­lated is­sues an al­ter­na­tive to greasy, fried foods. Based on an in­no­va­tive cen­trifuge that re­duces fat, com­bined with quirky, cus­tom flavours like Ma­j­boos and topped with the whim­si­cal “Shake Shake” re­quired to bring them all to­gether, Shake Shake is the kind of ven­ture that he hopes will start to emerge out of Qatar. “It's fun, rel­a­tively cheap to get off the ground and at­tempts to solve a press­ing so­ci­etal is­sue. “En­trepreneurs tend to ask them­selves dif­fer­ent types of ques­tions. Mine is al­ways the same - How do I make some­thing bet­ter?” he says.

“Ev­ery­thing I do has one com­mon thread: How to make Qatar a bet­ter place? I want Qatar to be the most ad­mired coun­try in the world. When peo­ple think of Qatar, I want them to feel proud and also a lit­tle en­vi­ous to the point that they want to be part of the growth in the coun­try.” Ul­ti­mately, it's not the multi-mil­lion dollar projects that are go­ing to "win peo­ple over", it's go­ing to be peo­ple like Al Ha­roon and the “small things” they do to in help­ing ex­port what Qatar re­ally is about.

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