HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid
President of the UAE
al Maktoum, Rule of Dubai, Prime Minister
and Vice President of the UAE
HH Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
HH Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid
Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi,
Al Maktoum, Crown prince of Dubai
Deputy Supreme Commander of the
United Arab Emirates Armed Forces
2 / Travel ‘N’ Shop
Editor’s Note
The pandemic has changed society tremendously over the past two
years. It has reshaped countless lives, many for the worse, and we are
not out of it yet.
There is much to cause worry, yet, much to be hopeful about. As
we make our way to the surface, we unite to demonstrate the spirit
of humankind. We are survivors, and we will survive this. The rapid
development and implementation of the vaccine is one of our greatest
triumphs in this day and age.
As we grow and adapt to the changing circumstances of our personal
and professional lives, we are also hopeful and looking forward to
revive the Travel n Shop magazine at a time where people are excited
about returning to normalcy, traveling, and enjoying the little things
in life. This magazine embodies this hope and is our way to welcome
2022 with open arms!
We wish our readers all the very best.
Dr. S.M. Tahir
Editor in Chief
Travel ‘N’ Shop / 3
Interview with Pakistani Ambassador to the UAE
H.E. Mr. Afzaal Mahmood
It was an honour to meet His Excellency Mr. Afzaal
Ans: Well, it’s a long journey where I started my
Mahmood along with “Travel n Shop” Team Miss
career in the year 1990 joining the Ministry of Foreign
Norma Khan and Aman Asim in person to discuss and
Affairs. During all these years, I have extensively
promote Pakistan’s tourism sector, as many people
travelled for official visits and postings. I would like
around the world are unaware of Pakistan’s long, rich,
to mention some of memorable parts of my journey
and diversified history.
during three decades.
Introduction about H.E Mr. Afzaal Mahmood
Turkey was my first love in Foreign Service career. I
went there in November 1992 for Turkish Language
Q: Your Excellency, for our readers, we would like
Training and returned to Islamabad after one year. It
to know more about your professional life and your
was a wonderful experience of spending time with my
experiences in various countries.
own people as my ancestors moved from Central Asia
to South Asia.
I returned to Pakistan and worked for a while in
Pakistan before getting posted to Indonesia in
1994. This was a very “eventful” period, because of
transformation of Indonesian political and economic
structure after President Suharto’s rule. The country
is highly attractive and huge, as they stand as the
largest populated Islamic country in the world today.
I had the opportunity to work closely with ASEAN
Secretariat to strengthen Pakistan-ASEAN ties.
Again, after completing my tenure, I returned back to
the homeland and served at the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, before being posted to Canada from 2001
to 2004. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as
I experienced temperatures as low as -37°. I had a
lovely time in Canada. They are polite and welcoming
society with women and child rights top of their
agenda. There I met many members of the Pakistani
community who worked as professors at prestigious
universities, PhD doctors, and medical professionals. I
say it with pride that the Pakistani community has the
4 / Travel ‘N’ Shop
form left to Right: Ms. Shazia Siraj, Press Counselor Pakistan Consulate Dubai, Miss Noorma Khan from Arabia Resources Publishing (ARP) LLC,
the Ambassador H.E. Afzaal Mehmood, Dr. S.M. Tahir Chairman Iqra group and ARP, Mr. Aman Asim from ARP.
Travel ‘N’ Shop / 5
ability to represent its homeland in any other country
Later I returned to Islamabad and began working at
in the best possible manner.
the desk and in-charge of the European region. In
August 2009, I was posted to Dhaka, Bangladesh,
Later in my career, I was in Nairobi, Kenya and
where I served as the Deputy Head of Mission and
the Embassy was accredited to Uganda, Tanzania,
also as the Acting High Commissioner. It was an
Ethiopia, Eretria, Rwanda and Burundi. Working in
exciting period because Pakistan and Bangladesh
Africa was once again a remarkable experience, as
shared such a rich history, and I learned about many
I was virtually able to see the entire region. During
more important events between 2009 and 2013. Our
this period, I was also appointed as Deputy Pakistan’s
Mission in Dhaka is also accredited to Bhutan where I
Permanent Representative to the United Nations
visited a number of times.
Environment Program and the Human Settlements
Program. This was a great experience and granted
In 2013, I flew from Dhaka to Houston as the Consul
me a lot of exposure, because it provided me with
General. The responsibilities were covering 10
a wealth of information regarding the sensitivity
southern states ranging from Florida to New Mexico,
of environmental issues. Later on, I was fortunate
as you can tell, it was a wide area. I feel proud to
enough to learn about the Climate change related
mention that when I was posted in the United States,
negotiations. I travelled to Bonn, Germany, where
in an interesting experience, I was able to interact
the Climate Change Headquarters is located. I was in
with the US Congressmen and Senators and local
Kenya between 2004-2007.
Pakistanis including Doctors, Engineers, Professors
6 / Travel ‘N’ Shop
Tourism in
and IT experts. In this regard, I would like to quote
what a lot of people may not know and what is a
remarkable achievement by Pakistani professional
doctors is the association of “APPNA”. It stands for
the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of
North America, which at the time, were having 18,000
plus registered members and by now, it should be
much more, as I left the USA in 2016.
Before coming to the UAE as the Ambassador, I was
Ambassador of Pakistan to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
And I must also say with pride, that a large number
of Pakistanis finds Bahrain its 2nd home and held
it at high esteem by the locals. I was fortunate to
frequently interact with the King and Crown Prince of
Bahrain who are friends of Pakistan.
Tourism in Pakistan
Q: How does Your Excellency look at Pakistan as a
tourist destination?
Ans: Pakistan is bestowed with natural beauty,
breathtaking landscapes and natural resources.
Pakistan stayed away from the tourists’ eye for the
first 4 decades due to security situation around it.
Tourism in Pakistan has been picking up momentum
during the past few years. Those who have visited
Pakistan are mesmerized with Pakistan’s scenic
beauty, rich culture and warm hospitality. Few years
ago, a French archeologist discovered human remains
dating back over 9000 years ago. Pakistan also enjoys
5 distinct seasons including Monsoon.
Pakistan is rich in its tourist destinations and offers a
diverse range of choices for different types of tourists.
The country is home to one of the oldest civilizations
Travel ‘N’ Shop / 7
in the world, has innumerable sites of scenic beauty,
tourists from all over the world to Pakistan.
world’s highest mountains, many religious and
historic places, unique art and craft and rich culture
and heritage. From five out of the world’s fourteen
mountains above 8000 meters to a long coastlines,
Q. What is Excellency’s point of view on the Fashion
deserts, rivers, valleys and frozen glaciers make
industry in Pakistan looking at the local market?
Pakistan a heaven for adventure tourism.
Ans. Fashion industry in Pakistan is the most
Many religions can be traced back to Pakistan,
developed in our region. Pakistan competes with
including Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and others.
foreign fashion designers. There are many Pakistani
Pakistan is also home to some of the most important
fashion designers who produce designs based on
religious sites for the Sikh population. The government
cultural relevance, to which there is no comparison. A
has constructed Kartarpur, the world’s largest Sikh
number of Pakistani designers have made an impact
temple to facilitate Sikh community in Pakistan,
at the international level, with a combination of our
allowing them to travel there to fulfill their religious
classic and traditional design mixed with the western
standards and outlook. More recently, Pakistani
designers have been exploring the fashion market in
The government of Pakistan has placed tourism at top
the UAE and Middle East which has a huge potential
of its agenda and has undertaken a number of steps
due to religious and cultural similarities especially in
to promote tourism including relaxing visa regime and
bridal dress designing.
online visa system to facilitate and welcome foreign
8 / Travel ‘N’ Shop
Pakistani Missions in the UAE
display of traditional art pieces and authentic Pakistani
cuisine. We are also displaying the resources of
Q. We have seen tremendous positive development
Pakistan ranging from human resource, agriculture,
at the Consulate General of Pakistan in Dubai and
precious metals, industries and potential to connect
Abu Dhabi Embassy, what is Your Excellency’s point
continents and sub-continents through China-Pakistan
of view about that?
Economic Corridor and Gwadar deep seaport.
Ans: It is one of our main responsibilities to take care
The Pavilion has been hosting variety of business
of our countrymen, who are an asset for us. Their
meetings, seminars and match-making activities,
remittances back home constitute one of the major
trade investment and cultural events in which
sources of foreign exchange earnings for Pakistan.
delegations from Pakistan have actively participated.
As a civil servant and representative of Pakistan, it is
Our business community in the UAE has also played
our foremost duty to extend maximum facilitation to
a pro-active role to make the Expo a success. Myself
the community. Since I joined the Mission, I and my
and the Consul General has been actively supporting
team at the Embassy ad Consulate have put in special
and facilitating the business community and the
efforts to further improve our services and enhance
delegations coming from Pakistan to promote
accessibility through Khuli Kachehris, personal
Pakistan’s trade and tourism potential and enhance
meetings, email etc. to resolve their issues.
cooperation between the two countries.
Q. We have also seen how Excellency and the Consul
General at Dubai are very active in participating at
all of the Business drives by the community. With
special reference to the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai,
what does Excellency say about this?
Ans. Yes, Dubai has set new standards in almost every
field for which credit goes to the Leadership of the
The ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai is a good example of
that where around 192 countries are participating with
excellent infrastructures and services being provided
by the hosts. With so many challenges around with
the pandemic being one of the biggest, and the one
that is still posing a threat with its new variant, the
UAE government is able to tackle it with right kind of
strategy, instilling confidence in the people, residents
and visitors to the UAE.
Pakistan has constructed a state-of-the-art Pavilion
at the Expo-2020 to showcase its long history, rich
culture, unique tourism opportunities round the year
and potential for trade and investment. The country
is showcasing its rich heritage and potential for trade
and investment through eye-catching documentaries,
Travel ‘N’ Shop / 9
Welcome to Mozambique - Africa’s Most Fascinating and Complete Tourism Destination
If your idea of heaven is a crowd-free beach or deep-
blue lagoon then Mozambique is definitely the place to
be. Not only does Mozambique have the third-longest
coast in mainland Africa - about 2750 Km2, those
who have not yet visited this astonishing destination
will discover barely a footprint on the deserted
soft-sand beaches, dotted with magical islands and
colourful coral reefs.
Mozambique is a destination like no other: with
vibrant cities and friendly people, the marine Big
Five continues to attract international tourists to
the country. The warm coastal water is the home
to manta rays, species of dolphins, whale sharks,
a variety of sea turtles, and is a breeding ground
for humpback whales. The amazing Dugongs graze
around Inhambane Bay, Mozambique Island and the
Quirimbas and Bazaruto Archipelagos.
Mozambique has plenty to offer each and every
visitor, from the water sports enthusiast to casual
beach lounger. The Portuguese heritage is evident in
its architecture throughout the country, extraordinary
cuisine and of cause the culture.
The architecture of Mozambique offers some exciting
eye-catching and intriguing designs, representing the
nation’s history, ethos, politics and people.
Heritage Sites
Visitors arriving in Maputo, the Capital City of
Mozambique, will come face to face with one of
the country’s most famous architecture gems, the
central railway station of the Caminhos de Ferro de
Moçambique (CFM). The domed station building,
which appeared in the film ‘Blood Diamond’, starring
Leonardo DiCaprio, has an importance and aesthetic
10 / Travel ‘N’ Shop
charm all of its own. This is a fine example of the
Natural Heritage
country’s art Deco heritage.
As the only Lusophony country surrounded by English
Another example of architecture is the concrete-
speaking countries in the Southern Africa, it offers
built Catedral Metropolitana de Nossa Senhora
something extra special for visitors compared with
da Coinceção, a fine example of 1920s ziggurant
its immediate neighbours. Moreover, from the lively
style with a commanding single spire. The 100-plus
and cosmopolitan Maputo Capital, to the fascinating
buildings, ranging from the old houses of Alfama
World Heritage Site of Mozambique Island, the African
to those inspired by Antoni Gaudi and Frank Lloyd
Wildlife of Gorongosa (covering 4,000 km2, is widely
Wright, have truly moulded the face of the city. Thus,
regarded as one of the best in Southern Africa, with a
Maputo is an eclectic mix of architectural styles and
range of spectacular wildlife including lions, elephants
many young architects visit the city for inspiration.
and crocodiles) and Limpopo National Parks, the
But it’s not just the present-day capital city that
country has wildlife to rival anywhere else in Africa.
visitors can find exciting architecture.
National parks and reserves have been or are being
The former capital, Ilha de Mocambique (Mozambique
restored to their former glory. More still to be done
Island) a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also has a
in some areas, but the country is able to offer
fine array of historical buildings, making a splendid
spectacular wildlife viewing. When this is coupled with
contrast with Maputo, offering pastel-coloured
the allure of nearby beach attractions, Mozambique
colonial buildings and traditional structures.
really does offer Bush and Beach as a Seamless
Form left to Right: 1. His Excellency Ambassador of Mozambique to UAE Mr Tiago Castigo: 2. Miss Noorma Khan of Arabian Resources
Publishing LLC: 3. Her Excellency Minister of Culture and Tourism, Edelvina Materula: 4. Dr. S.M. Tahir, Chairman Iqra Group:
5. His Excellency Consul General of Mozambique in Dubai, Jose Bernardo Maneia; 6. Advices to the Minister of Culture and Tourism,
Mr Candido Zaqueu Namburete
Travel ‘N’ Shop / 11
Destination. The Maputo National Park or the exclusive
and diverse Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos,
are mere examples of unique experiences that only
Mozambique’s offers an uncommon African
Mozambique offer. Surely, it’s impossible to resist.
atmosphere and some of the most delicious dishes
which derive from fascinating history. Arab,
Although marine sports and diving are, by far, the
Portuguese, Chinese and Indian influence has
most popular leisure activities pursued by international
integrated with local ingredients and cooking methods.
tourists and local visitors, there is diversity of
However, the culinary skills of the local chefs and
activities to choose from, namely, hiking, climbing,
women have developed a unique and delicious array
bird watching and horseback riding on the beach,
of stews and curries. Often simplicity of the dish offers
shopping at local markets, visiting local villages and
the most delicious experiences. Seafood is abundant
interacting with local communities, are just some
and fresh; grill prawns, lobster, calamari and variety
of fish are served with just salt, squeeze of lime and
a dash of piri piri (hot chili sauce). This legendary
dishes are best enjoyed with one of Mozambique’s
best beers, either 2M (pronounced ‘dosh-em’) or Txilar
The choice of both styles and levels of
(proponho retirada pois estamos no mundo arabe).
accommodations in Mozambique are vast. There are
Eating local traditional dishes, such as Matapa or
wide variety of well managed resorts, hotels, self-
Galinha a Zambeziana, will be a fulfilling experience to
catering, and lodge establishments that are prepared
any visitor.
to meet the needs, budgets and travelling style of
any tourist. Enjoy the Mozambican style of warm and
comfortable hospitality in structures and reflect the
ambience and feel of the tropical African country.
12 / Travel ‘N’ Shop
Music and dance have always been a prominent
aspect of Mozambican life, serving as a natural and
spontaneous way of expression, reflecting the rich
diversity of Mozambican culture, music and dance.
Voice and percussion are particularly strong across
all genres of Mozambican music. One of the core
percussion instruments in Mozambique is the Timbila,
a type of xylophone that originates with the Chopi
people of Inhambane Province. In 2005 Unesco
declared the Timbila an Intangible Cultural Heritage of
Humanity because of its special place in the musical
story of Mozambique.
Whichever part of Mozambique you choose to visit,
a warm welcome is waiting for you, together with
an unforgettable experience. So leave behind stress,
deadlines/time schedules, and worries, and ‘Welcome
to Mozambique.
Travel ‘N’ Shop / 13
The Journey of a Self-made Billionaire
Masala King Dr. Dhananjay Datar
Masala King Dr. Dhananjay Datar is CMD of Al
Adil Trading LLC, Dubai, UAE. He is a self-made
entrepreneur who has carved a unique niche in the
retail sector. He was raised in rural India in poverty,
which taught him self-reliance, frugality and hard
work. He started his business career in 1984 as
an intern in a small grocery shop established by
his father in Dubai. With honesty, hard work and
determination, he carved the world-famous business
group Al Adil out of a tiny shop. Today his group
encompasses a chain of 50 spacious super stores
spread across Gulf Countries, 2 spice factories,
and 2 flour mills equipped with modern technology
and an import-export company acting as an Indian
arm. The rulers of UAE felicitated Dr. Datar with a
prestigious award and the title Masala King in 2001
for his invaluable contribution to the business sector.
Apart from business Dr. Dhananjay, along with his
family and business has immensely contributed in
philanthropic activities and supported social welfare
projects. The life story of a self-made billionaire in
his own words...
Could you share your early life with us?
I was born in a small religious town named Shegaon
(Buldana district) in Varhad region of Maharashtra.
My father was working then in the Indian Air Force
(IAF) as a Corporal. I spent my toddler years with my
parents at Patiala (Punjab) and Mumbai, but was
later sent to live with my maternal grandparents in
Shirkhed (Amravati district). There I took my primary
education from a Zilla Parishad school. I spent my
childhood in poverty. It taught me frugality, simplicity
and awakened within me the spirit of struggling
against all odds. I was shifted to Mumbai for my
secondary education.
14 / Travel ‘N’ Shop
of years. Later he got the opportunity to work for a
I always remained an average student throughout
British company in UAE and moved to Dubai. At a
my school life. I didn’t have a sincere and serious
tender age, I naively dreamt of instant fortune and
liking for academic subjects. I could secure hardly
wealth. Hence I also wanted to go to Dubai for any job
sufficient marks to get promoted to higher standards.
which would offer a handsome salary. But the wheels
Mathematics was like a nightmare for me. In my SSC
of fortune are strange. Instead of me, my father found
exam, I failed 5 times in this subject. I was fond of
the opportunity first- of entering the business field in
playing a lot of games, but it didn’t transform into
his near-to-retirement age. He set up a small grocery
acquiring any sports skill. Besides, I was equally
shop in a rented space to cater to the everyday
average in extra-curricular activities. But a passion
needs of the Indian community in UAE. When the
for selling goods unexpectedly culminated in me in
shop started fetching a good response he sought my
those days. I used to sell tamarinds to housewives and
assistance and called me to help him. I lost no time,
schoolchildren for some time. Later in college days as
left for Dubai and joined him in shop management.
well I would sell phenyl and instant mixes door to door
This is how my business career started.
in the Mumbai suburbs.
How did you overcome the initial obstacles?
How did you move to Dubai?
In the very first year our business suffered a huge
My father (Baba), Mahadev Datar, after retiring from
loss. The reason was that we were novices. In a
IAF, joined Air India and served there for a couple
haste to expand the business, we provided goods to
Dr. Dhananjay Datar receiving Excellence Marketing Award, Dubai (U.A.E.)
Travel ‘N’ Shop / 15
resellers and they didn’t pay the dues in time. We had
of running a shop from elsewhere. I accepted an
no reserves to cover it, so we thought of winding up
internship in a super store. There I did everything to
the business. But my mother, Shashikala, a woman
learn shop management. I was enjoying every task
of invincible confidence, sold her jewellery- even
assigned to me, except one. I felt nauseated when
her gold Mangalsutra (Wedding chain), and thus
handling beef and pork and simply used to reject the
raised the money. She convinced and revived us with
job of packaging it. One day the shop owner called
a small message, “Time changes. Do not take the
me and asked me the reason. I candidly admitted that
foot back which you have put forward for business.’
being a vegetarian, I felt touching the meat was a
This incident really transformed me and inspired
disgusting activity. The owner laughed at me and gave
me to take up entrepreneurship gravely and with
me an important piece of advice by saying, “Young
determination. I worked very hard, devoting 16 hours a
man! I am a staunch Jain vegetarian who abstains
day for business only and ate whatever was available.
from tasting garlic and onions in everyday meals also.
I started my career in business by cleaning tiles,
But this is my business. Here customer’s needs are
sweeping the floor, carrying 50 kg bags on my back
important; hence I don’t bring my personal likes and
etc. I think the powerful and assuring words of my
dislikes to my store. Mind well- the work is work and
mother inspired me to keep going.
should not be treated as superior or inferior. Don’t feel
ashamed to do any work.” His advice was like an eye-
I would like to share another memorable incidence,
opener and since then I have never hesitated to do
which brought the greatest turning point in my
any kind of job.
life. I was only a layman in business, so my father
suggested to me to learn the practical experience
16 / Travel ‘N’ Shop
I owe my success to my parents and all those people
What inspired you to take a great leap forward?
who gave me business tips from time to time. I am
very grateful to my father who carved a skilled
The first source of inspiration is of course my
businessman out of me. When he retired from
parents. Second source is this great country UAE. The
business and handed it over to me, I initially added a
supportive rulers of the country and their business
couple of shops with the help of bank loans. But at
friendly policies always encourage entrepreneurs for
that time a small hotelier taught me the technique of
progress. Dubai is the hub of global business. This
saving and its multiplying power. He had a habit of
city always rewards hard work and honesty. It really
drawing 2 notes of 100 dirham each from his daily
awakened the spirit of entrepreneurship in me. I met
earnings and saving them in 2 separate boxes. At the
a number of small businessmen here who generously
end of the month he would use the savings from one
shared their business skills with me. Let me quote
box to meet business expenditures and the other part
the example of a small businessman who motivated
for reinvestment. I followed his example and started
me and gave me an opportunity to earn profit.
saving 500 Dirham daily from my income. I continued
Although small, it was important in waking up my
this practice year after year and kept on opening
self-confidence. He was a Bangladeshi businessman
new stores from the savings alone, which resulted in
and we used to call him Mulla Chacha. Our shop and
a chain of 50 stores across the Gulf countries today.
his flour mill were on the same street. We used to
In due course of time, I also added 2 high tech spice
grind the grains from his mill and sell the ready-made
factories, 2 modern flour mills and an import-export
flours in our shop. Mulla Chacha taught me how to
operate the mill. He used to observe my hard work
silently and advise, “Son, always remember- skill and
hard work never go wasted in life.” Mulla Chacha was
an industrious person. Apart from running a mill, he
indulged in wholesale trading in Dera Dubai. We would
also buy some spices from him. Those were hard days
for us as we had suffered great losses in business and
had to cut all the over-expenditures. One day as usual
I went to his shop. He informed me that he had got
a bag of best quality chilli powder. He asked me if I
wished to purchase it. Unfortunately I didn’t have that
much money left, so I was about to decline his offer.
But he surprisingly allowed me to take that bag on
credit. He gave me a valuable suggestion, “Dhananjay!
Never let go of such good quality products. Grab
it and pay later.” I carried that bag on my shoulder
and brought it to our shop by walking 4 kilometres.
At our shop I made small pouches from it and sold
it in retail to our customers. The quality of that chilli
powder really was excellent and customers grabbed it.
I got my first profit in life. I respect persons like Mulla
Chacha for their consideration and good advice.
You have created a chain of 50 Super stores out
of a single tiny grocery shop. How did you make it
Travel ‘N’ Shop / 17
company. Thus from a tiny grocery shop, we created
constant progress, you have to change, improve and
the company Al Adil Trading, which turned into an
innovate, be it your products or services. I have kept
international business group.
this mantra right from the beginning. 36 years ago
we were running our shops traditionally where the
Recognized as an ISO 22000, HACCP, GMP, GHP
customers ask for products and the salesperson at the
certified company in 2006, Al Adil Trading under my
counter delivers it. I quickly realised the customer’s
leadership has performed a key role in bringing more
mind- they prefer handling the products on their
than 9000 Indian products to UAE. The group also
own. I then modernised our shops to turn them in
produces more than 700 products within categories
comfortable super stores. Likewise I paid attention
like readymade flours, spices, pickles, jams, Namkeen
to the development of new products. I implemented
and instants, under its own brand named Peacock. For
state-of-the art packaging technology and
the last 36 years, I have been providing the Indian Gulf
international quality norms to make the products clean
community with authentic, hygienic and secure Indian
and safe. Recently we have launched many types of
foodstuffs. The Indian arm of my group, Masala King
special Atta (wheat flour). Each type of Atta is made
Exports India Pvt. Ltd., is successfully operating from
from a different variety of wheat grown and preferred
Mumbai. Al Adil Group has established special trade
by the customers of a particular region. Our customers
routes in USA, Canada, Kenya, Switzerland, Italy,
only need pure, hygienic and safe products and we
Eretria, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and UAE.
fulfil their expectations. I can proudly say that in the
last 36 years, there hasn’t been a single complaint
What is the success formula behind this progress?
from our customers regarding the quality of products
and service.
I always followed the Mantra of Hard work:
Determination, Honesty, Customer service, Courtesy-
Can you share some of the memorable incidents from
which turned me, once a small shopkeeper, into the
your life?
Masala King of Dubai. To succeed in business and for
18 / Travel ‘N’ Shop
There are good as well as bad incidents which left a
mark on my mind, but I also learned a lot from them.
Perhaps Baba thought over my condition and realised
In childhood I was once invited by some relatives to
my dilemma. The next day he laid a proposal before
a ceremony. As dinner was about to start, a person
me. He offered me the entire annual profit, provided I
came in hurriedly and forced me to vacate my place,
would give him a fixed share as proprietor’s right for
citing the reason that the dinner was meant for elite
his lifetime. I accepted and followed the agreement
people only. These words humiliated me and I returned
diligently. I would hand over his share every six
home dejectedly. When I narrated this incidence to my
months sincerely, without fail. The practice continued
mother, she pacified me with the following words, “My
son, this is the way the rich treat the poor. You should
learn that respect is given not to a person, but to his
When Baba breathed his last, I was unfortunately not
wealth. You should also strive to earn such a status
beside him. Hearing about his bad health, I caught the
that no one will dare neglect you.” Her inspiring words
next flight and reached Mumbai. Alas! He was gone.
were carved in my heart forever.
At home when we were all mourning, Baba’s home
nurse arrived and handed a diary to me. She told me
The second incidence took place when I was in my
that Baba had reminded her continually to give it only
twenties. My father used to send me to the wholesale
to me. Since we all were busy with the funeral rites
market to purchase spices for our business. A man
arrangements, I kept the diary in my pocket without
there always taunted and insulted me by saying,
opening it.
“Business is not your community’s cup of tea. You
better stick to jobs.” When I informed my father
That night before going to bed, I suddenly
about these insulting remarks, he calmly advised me,
remembered the diary. As I began reading it, my eyes
“Don’t pay attention to such hollow words. Instead,
filled with tears. Baba had written every detail of his
concentrate on your business. Keep moving ahead.”
bank account in the diary. He never spent his share
These words motivated me to continue on my
of profit. Instead, he had saved the entire amount as
business journey.
a bank deposit and gifted the enormous sum to me. I
realized then that Baba had actually desired nothing
I am really grateful to my father who cultivated
from me- he had only been testing my honesty.
business discipline and entrepreneurial culture in me.
When I satisfied his expectations, he rewarded me
When I came to Dubai to join him in the shop, I was in
enormously. That was the highest prize I have ever
my twenties. Baba had set a rather strange practice of
paying me monthly like any other worker in the shop.
It continued for more than a decade. Despite being
I have faced a lot of challenging incidents in life. I have
the son of the owner and also Managing Director of Al
escaped narrowly from the clutches of death 4 times.
Adil Trading Company, my actual status was a mere
Dubai witnesses two incidents among them. The first
salaried employee. Baba kept the sole proprietorship
one was when our warehouses caught fire and I was
with him even after his retirement from the business.
almost burned in it. It so happened, that one of our
Eventually he settled in Mumbai.
neighbours was unloading a consignment to store in
his warehouse. It was a container full of crackers. A
Things were manageable until I got married and had
spark unexpectedly fell on it and ignited the whole
2 children. It became difficult for me to manage the
consignment. The explosion was so devastating that
expenses within the limited salary. During one of my
not only our neighbour’s but my warehouses also
regular visits to Mumbai I boldly demanded to Baba
burned to ashes. At that time I was caught in the fire,
to give me some share from the annual profit to
but one of my workers rushed towards me in time and
cover my rising expenses. He coldly asked me if this
saved my life.
boldness had been taught to me by my wife. I didn’t
retort and kept silent.
The third time I faced death was due to my
Travel ‘N’ Shop / 19
negligence. I became workaholic and began chasing
reading a magazine and my wife was busy observing
money. I completely neglected the work-life balance,
the surroundings. Suddenly she drew my attention
which resulted in severe acidity, back-pain, headaches
and whispered in my ears “Look at the person sitting
and finally I became a patient of depression. I prayed
in the corner. He needs help. I saw him praying to the
to God to give me a second chance and promised not
God with tearful eyes. He seems to be under tension.”
to neglect my health again. I realized then that the
I went to him and asked his problem. He told me
most precious wealth in life is health.
his heart-rending story. He had lost his job and was
returning to India. He didn’t even have the required
Apart from business, you are a philanthropist. How
money to buy an economy class air ticket. Someone
did you get involved in social work?
assured him the money but never turned up. He hadn’t
even eaten anything enough for a couple of days. I
Actually, I haven’t kept a record of my philanthropic
felt sympathy for him. I took him to the restaurant
activities or the number of people benefitting from
and made him have a meal. Then I purchased a ticket
it. Our culture teaches us not to boast of charity for
for him. The man asked my name and thanked me
publicity, but to continue social service steadily and
gratefully. I forgot the incident soon. After some
silently. Therefore I only remember the noble good
months I received a letter in which there was a picture
words ‘Help others and God will help you.’
of a happy family drawn by a child. Their smiling faces
were the real compliments for me.
But to answer this question I can say it was my
mother and my wife who motivated me to contribute
Last year I extended my hand to penniless Indians
to social work. They inspired me to donate generously
who were stranded in Dubai due to the pandemic and
to orphanages, schools for underprivileged children
desperately waiting to return home. I offered help by
and social welfare projects run by eminent social
sponsoring their air travel, conducting free COVID 19
workers. I have been honoured with a special award
tests and distributing food packets to the needy. As of
for my contribution in social entrepreneurship by
now, I have organised the travel of over 5,000 such
Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Smruti Prathishthan.
people including jobless workers, pregnant women,
Also there was an incident in my life which inspired me
children, students and travellers. I even helped to free
to walk on the path of social service.
700 detained Indian workers in Jeddah city of Saudi
Arabia and offered them food, medical help, and
Once I was travelling to India with my wife. We were
logistical support to return to India.
waiting at the airport to catch our flight. I was busy
20 / Travel ‘N’ Shop
Recently I have honoured more than 150 Corona
a number of awardees from various categories to be
warriors from Pune in a unique way. These volunteers,
honoured. I was waiting for my turn. As I turned my
engaged in performing the last rites of victims of
gaze back I saw a very sparse crowd behind me in the
the pandemic, were gifted with boxes of Alphonso
auditorium which made me nervous. I began blaming
mangoes to acknowledge their noble work. Similarly
my destiny for giving me everything late in life. But
I sponsored a novel initiative named Rickshaw
just then I remembered my mother’s inspirational
Ambulance which started off in Pune. Under this
words- ‘Nothing is ever late in life.’
initiative a fleet of 25 auto rickshaws have been
prepared with oxygen cylinders and necessary medical
Since my childhood, I had always observed my mother
equipment. These rickshaws will act like ambulances
taking her lunch and dinner late. She would first serve
to carry patients to nearby hospitals.
food to the family and then have it herself. Sometimes
I am determined to promote and support Indian
when we were invited by relatives or neighbours for a
culture in Gulf region. I sponsor various Indian cultural
feast, my mother would first rush to the host’s kitchen
programs including dance, music, drama, festivals
to help the lady of the house. She would prefer to wait
here and also encourage artists. I had sponsored the
and accompany her in the last batch. Once I asked her
International Conference on Ayurved in 2009 and
the reason and she smilingly replied, “Son, we should
Second Vishwa Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in 2011 in
not degrade the pleasure of life by dividing it into
categories like early or late. Better enjoy the moments
when you get your turn. Patience is an important
Are you content with your life?
virtue. Remember, nothing is ever late in life.”
I got my first award for business excellence in
As the ceremony was concluding, my name
2003. It was quite a surprising development for me.
was announced at last. I convinced myself that
Throughout my life I hadn’t got any prize or even
in any function the best performance award is
an appreciation gift for anything. I was average
always conferred at the end. I climbed the stage
in everything -academics, sports, extracurricular
enthusiastically and received the award with pride.
activities. Besides, I had joined the profession of a
This time when I looked, I saw the auditorium was
shopkeeper for which a prize was beyond imagination.
fully occupied and the crowd was clapping for me. I
still enjoy my life and business with the same positive
But a prize was surely in my destiny. By God’s grace I
thought- ‘Better late than never.’
was able to turn my small business into a successful
retail company and we won a contract to supply
I have remained an honest person throughout my
nuts and dry fruits to Dubai Duty Free at Dubai
whole life. The honesty rewarded me with name,
International Airport. Of course, I was not alone. There
fame, prosperity and everything. I am content with
were three thousand other suppliers serving like me.
this nice life. I am grateful to God for the same. I don’t
I did my work honestly and always supplied quality
have any regrets about anything.
merchandise every year. At last, it paid off.
Once, Dubai Duty Free prepared a list of their best
suppliers on the basis of excellence, performance,
consistency and commitment to business- and a total
of 52 suppliers were short listed. Our Al Adil Trading
Company achieved the best ranking in the list for which
I was honoured with an award and a memento at the
hands of HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
But the award ceremony ran very late as there were
Travel ‘N’ Shop / 21
• Industrial Effluent Treatment Plants
Swimming Pool Equipment, Construction &
So Safe Water Technologies was established in 1980
with the prime objective of providing services to
• Nano Bubble Technologies
all those who need assistance in the field of water
(Lakes, Fish Ponds, Animal/Birds, Kidney Dialysis,
purification at an affordable cost.
Health Benefits)
• Specialized Community Water Systems to Remove
Deteriorating health standards mainly due to
Heavy Metals Including Lead, Arsenic, Florides,
water problems in most countries and especially in
Nitrates & Nitrites incorporating latest Japanese
developing countries was the key motivating force for
the establishment of these companies.
• Specialized Technologies to Sterilize Tissue Paper
Through Steri Pro Paper Sterilization System.
The first product introduced in the market was
the domestic water filters. The popularity and
Mission Statement
effectiveness of domestic filters laid the foundation for
development in the commercial and industrial sectors.
The mission of this organization is not only to provide
effective water treatment solutions to all those
Our quality control personal ensure highest degree of
requiring it but to improve the health standards of
quality, its implementation, monitoring and control.
the people of this nation to a level consistent with
Every project is designed and run to the entire
international standards.
satisfaction of the client. In 38 years of committed
services to all the clients in domestic, commercial
So Safe endeavors to contribute in protection and
and industrial sectors, the company has gained the
improvement of the environment by vigorous
confidence of its clients to the extent
educational programs and research for developing
that the name So Safe has become synonymous with
environment friendly products.
quality and health.
The company aims at targeting all the people in
So Safe is now dealing in all types of water purification
different geographic and demographic areas and
systems including:
relating to all social classes. This specific objective
is achieved by provision of water treatment systems
• Domestic Whole House Water Purification Systems &
suitable for different segments.
Commercial Water Purification Systems
• Specialized Water Treatment Systems with Ultra
Filteration Membrane Technologies
• Reverse Osmosis Systems, Softeners and Deionizers.
• Industrial Process Water Treatment
• Sewage Treatment Plants
22 / Travel ‘N’ Shop
Travel ‘N’ Shop / 23
Sultan Mahmood was born in Lahore, Pakistan on
Sultan Mehmood is a devout Muslim and a devoted
19th June 1951. The eldest son of an Air Force Junior
family man. He is blessed with a life partner who is,
Commissioned Officer, he grew up in a Military
in his own reckoning, the woman behind his success.
environment and left home to become a Master
The couple has three children who have followed in
Mariner in the Merchant Navy; a profession he
the father’s tradition of entrepreneurship and have
followed until venturing boldly forth into the world of
blessed them with three beautiful grandchildren.
Despite his busy work schedule, Sultan makes sure
Sultan is an innovator and an entrepreneur par
to take time out to pursue his hobby of reading and
excellence. He has created many products and
studying history. He loves to travel and interact with
services but his crowning glory is designing and
people of different cultures and beliefs. He is an avid
marketing an extremely advanced water treatment
golfer and has won many honors in the game.
system which he sells under the brand name of ‘So-
Safe’ Based in the United Arab Emirates, the So-Safe
Despite his busy work schedule, Sultan makes sure
Group of Companies has outlets in over 60 countries
to take time out to pursue his hobby of reading and
from where it sells water technology products ranging
studying history. He loves to travel and interact with
from single family home purification systems to ultra
people of different cultures and beliefs. He is an avid
large industrial water treatment plants for factories
golfer and has won many honors in the game.
and residential communities. The name ‘So-Safe’ is
now synonymous with pure water.
Sultan Mahmood has a passion for creativity
and marketing and is always ready to challenge
established traditions and business practices to seek
novel, futuristic and unique solutions to problems.
He is relentless in the pursuit of excellence and
does not hesitate to take bold decisions and act
aggressively. An exceptional public speaker, Sultan is
able to motivate and lead his team of coworkers. He
is equally comfortable on the shop floor working on
machines as well as sitting at the head of the table
in the Boardroom. Sultan leads through example
and provides the highest form of leadership to his
company. He is a recognized industrialist and provides
motivation and direction to the business community as
well as society in general.
24 / Travel ‘N’ Shop
Cool & Cool
Mr. Arif Pardesi
We analyze the needs of our customers carefully to
Company Profile
determine the right product for their requirements.
in the highly competitive market, the product is likely
Cool & Cool a leading international FMCG brand, is
to be put on the shop shelf with many other similar
known for its exceptional reputation followed by
competing items. As a result, it is necessary to identify
delivering trustworthy and reliable premium quality
and differentiate the product as unique according
products. Established in 2004 and marketed by ABC
to its brand image. Therefore, our aim is not only to
International Ltd., UAE, Cool & Cool offers a diverse
provide the right product which should replicate the
selection of high-quality products, which are spread
brand image, but to produce quality product, which
amongst different categories such as Mother & Baby
enables brand to create strong and detailed reference.
Care, Skin Care, Personal Care, Convenient Wipes,
Paper and Detergents. With a market presence in over
On the larger note, we only provide a right product but
25 countries across the globe, Cool & Cool has always
a future ready solution in which your perceived market
stayed put to its commitment towards implementing
challenges are met and transcended. Our goal is to
innovative product development and impeccable
become a pioneer in terms of quality and service.
customer service.
Journey of Cool & Cool
(Idea behind starting the brand)
After noticing people using wet wipes in Japan and
South Korea after meals in the early 90s, Mr. Arif
Pardesi innovatively thought that the concept of wet
wipes can be introduced in the Middle East. Thus
began the successful journey of Cool & Cool by first
manufacturing wet wipes.
Over the last 17 years, the brand has transcended
categories and countries to expand into various
product segments including Baby Products, Hygiene,
Skincare,Paper products etc manufacturing over 500
products amongst these categories. Cool & Cool has
also expanded it’s footprint and now exports to over
25 countries across the globe including the USA,
Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Uganda,
Tanzania, Nepal, Maldives etc.
Travel ‘N’ Shop / 27
Important Product Categories
2) Hand Sanitizers - A market leader in this category,
choose from a wide range of our Hand Sanitizers.
1) Baby Range - With a wide range of products to
Available in an assortment of fragrances, our hand
choose from our Mother & Baby category, you are sure
sanitizers ensure that you and your loved ones remain
to find high quality and premium baby products from
protected against harmful germs and bacteria.
our range. Choose from an assortment of Baby Wipes,
Baby Oil, Baby Shampoo, Nappy Bags, Nursing Pads
and much more.
28 / Travel ‘N’ Shop
New Product Launches
1) Body Lotions - Cool & Cool have launched an
exciting new range of Body Lotions to create the
perfect pampering ritual. Choose from five exciting
variants - Revive Radiance, Shea Butter, Silky
Comfort, Cocoa Butter and Hydra Lift
2) Baby Laundry Range - Hot off the press -
Introducing Cool & Cool’s Baby Laundry Range.
Consisting of Fabric Softeners, Laundry Detergents
and Cleansing Wipes to keep your little one’s clothes
clean and fresh.
3) Oud Range - We are absolutely thrilled to announce
the NEW range of Cool & Cool Oud products. From
indulgent body washes to luxurious body lotions,
discover the scent of Arabian Luxury with our
assortment of Oud products.
Travel ‘N’ Shop / 29
We offer a wide variety of French
fragrances, customized and white-labeled
for our clients’ needs.
Stock lots of our existing collections also
available for international orders!
For further information please contact:
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