It’s so great to see Virgin Megastores thriving in many places across the Middle East – we now have over 40 stores in the region. The Megastore in the Dubai Mall blew me away. It sells everything from books, CDs, homeware, games, make-up - it’s little wonder that customers spend about an hour and ½ in store on each visit. I was like a kid in a sweetie shop when I discovered a whole section dedicated to retro video games – I was a bit of a gamer back in the day! The whole atmosphere was buzzy, fun, bright and vibrant and I didn’t want to leave. I have some great memories of going to the Virgin Megastores in Oxford Street with Dad when I was a kid – it was wonderful to touch and feel the Meagstore brand again. I know, like many of you, I miss it from our High Streets in the UK.
Just before visiting the mall, I did a Q&A with the team so they could get to know me and I could learn more about what they’re up to. They asked me about my book WEconomy and how businesses can embed purpose into all they do. They quizzed me on my favourite books, music, guilty pleasures – it was so much fun having a giggle and getting to know the wonderful people championing the Virgin Megastore brand in the UAE.
It’s always great to see that innovation is still the driving force behind the Virgin brand and that Virgin Mobile Dubai are leading the way. They are a leading light in the technology industry across the Middle East. I couldn’t have felt prouder as the team told me all about how, as the UAE’s first digital mobile service, they have shaken up the whole market by giving people more flexibility, choice and fair deals on services and products. You can choose your own mobile number – your birthday, a date that means something special to you – you want it you can have it… Oh and as soon as you sign up to the app your sim card is delivered to you within an hour! An incredibly innovative team, they’re doing a brilliant job of bringing the brand to life.
It was amazing to meet our people at Virgin Mobile and Virgin Megastores in Dubai – approximately 37 nationalities work in the companies, each with an entrepreneurial, purpose driven spirit. They have built the Virgin brand and culture from scratch – not knowing whether it would work or not – they all took a punt on the unknown. I, for one, cannot thank them all enough!
Given that it was half-term I also got to spend some quality family time with Freddie, Etta and Artie, our last trip before the arrival of their little brother or sister. More on that later…