The pursuit of excellence

Abdul Rahman Hamdan, 25, has built up four businesses after starting out repairing scrap cars at 17. Now he does much work for charity and is the youngest person in the UAE to be appointed a secretary general of an awards programme.
Abdul Rahman Hamdan, 25, has built up four businesses after starting out repairing scrap cars at 17. Satish Kumar / The National
Abdul Rahman Hamdan, 25, has built up four businesses after starting out repairing scrap cars at 17. Satish Kumar / The National

DUBAI // Abdul Rahman Hamdan is a young man who has always been driven in his pursuit of excellence.

Starting out in business by buying scrap cars, repairing them and then selling them for a profit, he moved on to importing and exporting goods and now runs four companies, in addition to his charitable pursuits and his role with a government scientific award – all by the age of 25.

The Emirati regularly works 17-hour days and survives on just three to five hours sleep a night.

“At the beginning I faced the hardship of being very young because people in the market feared to trust a man as young as myself,” Mr Hamdan said.

“I had to lie about my age or hide it at some points to gain people’s trust, and that as well as many other things that I faced, helped sharpen my character and win me much wider experiences.”

Born in 1989, he is the seventh of nine siblings and was 17 when he started out with his car repair business.

He sold his first repair job on for a profit of Dh500, which he used to buy more scrap cars and repeat the process of repairing and reselling.

By the age of 20, Mr Hamdan had made enough money to open his first company, importing and exporting goods.

“I needed no financial help from anyone and I worked and studied at the same time,” he said, adding that he moved between 11 schools in Sharjah and Ajman because he loved change and wanted to always meet new people and face new challenges.

Before he celebrated his 25th birthday, Mr Hamdan had set up three more companies – one in event management, another providing bouncy castles for children’s parties and a third, a consultancy firm.

“I am motivated by my country’s trust, faith, care and encouragement to the youth, and whenever I succeed in a goal that I set for myself, I seek another,” he said.

In March, he was appointed secretary general of Sheikh Khalid bin Tanaf Al Minhali Award for Scientific Excellence – the youngest person to hold such a position in the UAE.

“This award is cared for and supported by Sheikh Khalid bin Tanaf Al Minhali and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces,” he said. “It is dedicated to boosting constructive competition among creative students.”

Mr Hamdan said the award had a category for scientific creativeness for groups and individuals from 12th Grade up, as well as a category for pupils with special needs. He suggested that the programme be widened from just Abu Dhabi to the whole country and also added the special needs category.

“We hope to spread the culture of creativity among students through this award; we plant a seed and wait for it to grow to serve our country,” he said.

Of his personal motivation, Mr Hamdan said he was inspired by “our exceptional leaders, the late Sheikh Zayed, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid”, adding that his dream was to be among a team that works under the guidance of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, because “he has a sea of experience which I wish to learn from”.

Somehow Mr Hamdan also finds the time for volunteer work. At 20 he started saving some of his profits to launch humanitarian initiatives, charitable events, sports and cultural projects.

On the 39th National Day he participated in making the largest cake decorated with the National Day logo, weighing 850kg.

Another initiative was to arranging for nine people to fly to Saudi Arabia for Umrah. “This initiative grew bigger and now it’s focused on new Muslims who cannot afford to perform Umrah,” he said. He financed visits to Saudi Arabia for 18 new Muslims after arranging a bus trip with Emirates Transport. After that, he arranged for a charitable society to take over the bus trips, which have so far sent nearly 250 new Muslims for Umrah.

In June 2012, he launched another initiative called Thank You Stand, through which youngsters pay a visit of gratitude to someone who has served their community well.

Mr Hamdan’s enthusiasm knows no bounds and he is currently supervising the production of a national song, called Fida Lil Qeyada.

salamir@thenational.ae

Published: December 27, 2014 04:00 AM

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