Dubai’s blooming man: Ebraheem Al Samadi

Estimated read time 4 min read

Forever Rose founder and CEO Ebraheem Al Samadi.

Dubai ‘Blooming Man’ shares rags to riches story

Business is blooming for Forever Rose’s Ebraheem Al Samadi, founder of the global chain of flower shops that produces the world’s first luxury rose “that never dies”.

The flowers, which could last up to three years without water or sunlight, are perhaps a metaphor of the young businessman’s “never say die” approach to life.

“The Blooming Man” is not only a successful businessman, but also one of the ultra-wealthy personalities starring in Netflix’s popular reality series, Dubai Bling.

When reflecting upon his “rollercoaster of success”, Ebraheem says most of his creative business ideas have come to him while he is sleeping. “I wake up in the morning and I immediately write them down,” he tells Expat Media. He is passionate about finding new ways of being different and says remaining creative has allowed him to consistently offer new concepts and products which haven’t been seen on the market before.

Ebraheem Al Samadi

Ebraheem was only 13 when his father, a wealthy Kuwaiti businessman, split from his American mother. From living a luxurious life in Kuwait with his four siblings, Ebraheem found himself in Orlando, Florida where he shared a one-bedroom apartment with his mother and sister following his parents’ separation.

The circumstances inspired Ebraheem to succeed on his own while also supporting his mother and sister. He was 14 when he started his first business from his mother’s Florida apartment; selling thrift shop clothes and items on eBay, a stint that eventually earned him one of eBay’s coveted “1,000 Power Sellers” awards.

Ebraheem wanted to take up full time work to financially support his mother and sister, but since he was still not 18 years old, he was not allowed to work for more than 20 hours a week under the US Child Labour Law. So, he wrote a letter to a Florida senator to request for a waiver, explaining that he is the breadwinner in the family. The request was granted, allowing him to take up multiple jobs when he was 16. He also cleared his high school diploma.

Working as a lifeguard and salesman by day and visual merchandiser by night on 80-hour weeks allowed Ebraheem to financially support his mother and young sister while saving enough money to invest in his first official company, EHALS, at the age of 17. He successfully opened nine stores within a year, selling imported roller skates from China to Florida’s retail market.

Unfortunately, the business shut down in two years. But that didn’t stop Ebraheem’s fighting spirt. In 2010, Ebraheem moved to Dubai and joined the family business Al Samadi Group. The conglomerate has eight brands in hospitality and retail. Five years later, Ebraheem acquired Forever Rose and moved it from London to Dubai. The business is now worth Dh21 million.

Ebraheem also designed and opened Forever Rose Café, considered one of the “most Instagrammable” places in the UAE. The café has an outlet in Dubai an Abu Dhabi. Apart from his long-lasting roses and quirky café, Ebraheem has launched the Forever Oud brand that sells the world’s “longest-lasting” perfume, as well as candles, incense and scents.

Ebraheem says his driving force has been the desire to fully support his family, as well as striving to ensure that he creates an environment that promotes happiness among employees and colleagues.

He also believes the cultural exposure garnered by global travel is another major inspiration for innovation in businesses and a key opportunity to source products and concepts with the potential to thrive in the UAE. By taking successful business models and proven products and applying local knowledge, Ebraheem now treats the UAE and beyond to the best the world has to offer. ICA/Expat Media


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