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