Learning the Arabic language has become a necessity for business people and investors in Abu Dhabi. People doing business at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre come from many countries of the world. Most of them speak English but many have the difficulty in speaking English. This is a language barrier for business people who need effective communication skills in their daily activities.
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The ‘Abu Dhabi Arabic Learning Institute for Entrepreneurs and Enthusiasts’ provides learning courses for English-Arabic and Spanish-Arabic for business people, investors, tourists, and others willing to learn Arabic while doing business in Abu Dhabi. Learning Arabic helps because most staff and personnel at ADNEC are Arab speaking and sometimes oral and written communication use the Arabic language. Moreover, it is a worthy experience for people of various nationalities to know a bit of the language and culture of the Emiratis, when they would have returned home and conducted successful business in Abu Dhabi.
The aim is to provide communication skills for non-Arabic speaking people working and doing business at the ADNEC and other commercial centers in Abu Dhabi, through week-long courses in English-Arabic or Spanish-Arabic.
One course in English-Arabic or Spanish-Arabic is worth £450. The fee will entitle the student or trainee lessons and instructional materials. There are pamphlets, reading materials, and audio-visuals in the form of CDs or DVDs (worth £5 to £10 each) which are available at a price, but these are for advanced courses. This does not mean that in the one-week course, the trainee will not be able to learn how to speak Arabic. The course is a compressed and scientific method that will allow the trainees to learn in a very short time.
Business name: ‘Abu Dhabi Arabic Learning Institute for businessmen and investors’.
Strapline: Language learning for business people and investors.
Our learning institute specializes in teaching business people and investors Arabic language for English speaking and Spanish speaking visitors of Abu Dhabi. Arabic is a language widely spoken along with English. This is special because for a period of one week, two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon for six days, our trainees will learn Arabic while still doing their job and responsibilities for their companies. This new company has experienced Arabic instructors. The class schedules are flexible and will not be a hindrance to the trainees’ duties to their respective companies.
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Why do I want to run my own business?
This will enhance my knowledge of having my own business and provide me with a background on how to deal with the challenges and problems of being an entrepreneur. I will have to deal with several problems, which are still unknown to me. Plans have to be materialized, but I have to solve the problem of resources and funding for this project. The business side is more challenging than teaching Arabic because the business has more problems to deal with. This will give me a lot of experience and form my future as a business executive because I will be dealing with mostly business people and investors from around the world.
Previous work experience
I never have had previous experience along this line of the project but this experience will equip me with the essential knowledge of teaching language. Teaching children is no different than teaching businessmen and entrepreneurs who have no essential knowledge of Arabic.
Qualifications and education
We have proposed to hire a professional manager, a teaching force composed of about two to ten Arabic instructors, which would depend on the number of enrollees.
Our management and teaching staff will have adequate and proper training in Arabic education from the University. Teaching Arabic from English and Spanish is not so much of a challenge than the business side of this project.
Details of future training courses I want to complete
I want to have short-term courses in entrepreneurship, language teaching, and the ups-and-downs of business. This is a life-changing experience for me, so all challenges have to be accepted and I will have to give due attention and diligence.
Hobbies and interests
My field of interest is information systems and my hobbies are reading and some sports, but I am particularly interested in experimenting and testing new ways in business and in imparting knowledge to people, using unique methods.
Products and Services
What are you going to sell?
- A product
- A service
Description of the basic product/service I am going to sell
This is a service-oriented business. The major activity of this project is to provide short-term courses in English-Arabic and Spanish-Arabic communication, written or oral. This communication skill is essential for business people and investors in Abu Dhabi, in particular those conducting business within ADNEC. A short-term course means two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon of learning the language, six days a week. They will leave the classroom with a knowledge of Arabic and with some reading materials to review during their free time, although there will be reading materials and audio-visual materials that they will pay at a very low cost.
Description of the different types of product/service I am going to be selling
In addition to the courses, this business will also provide audiovisuals, like DVDs and audio tapes, which will be available to the trainees at a very low price. Some instructional materials are free for the students, but the DVDs and tapes will focus on fluency in the Arabic language. Although the courses are basic, this will already give them enough knowledge in speaking Arabic.
If I am not going to sell all my products/services at the start of business, why not and when will I start selling them?
Most of the audio and visual products will be available to the trainee-participants during the conduct of the Arabic language courses. However, there will be free reading materials available for the trainees. The products for sale are for advanced courses, and not just a review of the class instructions. They are scientific ways of enhancing what they have learned with the help of our instructors.
Website: ‘Abu Dhabi Arabic Learning Institute for Entrepreneurs and Enthusiasts’
A website for this project is still in the making but we will soon post this over the Internet even before the start of the regular classes for entrepreneurs and business people. The website will have regular and special features about the Arabic language course and the advantages of using Arabic. We will also feature the application of class lessons. Moreover, we will introduce to the world our brand of scientific teaching and the knowledge that business people will acquire from our project.
This is a new method of teaching and introducing language communication skills for business people, who are busy with their work. It is unique in the sense that we inject scientific ways to know, understand, and speak the Arabic language. This is different from existing methods of teaching, such as those used in other schools or institutions. History, origin, and semantics in Arabic will provide a clear understanding of the language.
Are your customers:
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Describe your typical customer.
Typical customers are entrepreneurs, executives, business owners, or employees working in Abu Dhabi or at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). I consider them typical because they have the quest to learn the Arabic language even if they are busy as employees or as executives, and they want to use this in their business activities while in Abu Dhabi or other Arabic- speaking countries.
Who are the customers?
They are business people, entrepreneurs, and visitors of Abu Dhabi who are planning to invest in the business. We may not know the exact number but there are close to hundreds of thousands of tourists entering Abu Dhabi annually. We will reach them and they will know about our product through our website and personal communication. They may not be all business people but they have in some way plans to set up businesses or just experiencing the tourist attractions in the city.
Where are my customers based?
In addition to incoming tourists, most of our prospective customers temporarily reside for work in Abu Dhabi, or at ADNEC, or any adjacent business center or building within ADNEC or Abu Dhabi. At present, they are holding offices at ADNEC and we already have a list of prospective trainees who have demonstrated their interest in learning the Arabic language.
What prompts your customers to buy your product/service?
This is a knowledge product, which will last for a lifetime. Learning a foreign language is as good as acquiring new educational pursuits because it will add to your database of knowledge and will enhance your business. Business people who know the Arabic language will have an advantage over other competitors within ADNEC, or within Abu Dhabi as a whole. ADNEC is an exhibition and events center for international businesses. Abu Dhabi is a business hub in the UAE and the Middle East. Arabic is as spoken and as popular as English within ADNEC and many managers would like their employees to speak Arabic. We have unofficial surveys regarding our product or service telling us that learning Arabic is a needed language in Abu Dhabi. Existing learning centers have benefited from this need and we will ensure that our trainees will learn Arabic with a touch of quality.
What factors help your customers choose which business to buy from?
My personal surveys based on scanning telephone directories show that there are only a few existing businesses or institutions within Abu Dhabi offering short-term courses in English-Arabic or Spanish-Arabic. Some of these smaller firms offer courses designed for six months. This will alter customers’ schedules and business activities. English speaking and Spanish speaking individuals who want to learn Arabic have to go to the nearest university or government-owned schools to be able to have formal schooling, despite the fact that there are short-term courses offered by our competitors. In other words, this is a unique opportunity for a fresh entrepreneur like me and for my future colleagues to launch a project like this one. One of our selling points is the method of teaching.
Other competitors may have what our customers want but we are confident of our flexible scheduling and the method of teaching. We might have difficulty in the first few months of initial operation because of funding and other resources, but we will be able to cope through collaboration among the stakeholders.
Have you sold products/services to customers already?
Are there customers waiting to buy your product/service?
As stated earlier, we already have a list of future students or trainees who expressed their desire to learn Arabic. These future clients have businesses headquartered in Abu Dhabi and have conducted exhibitions and events at ADNEC. Most of them are CEOs, managers, and people holding important positions in international organizations they represent, and they do not know much of the Arabic language. We have acquired their trust and confidence when we conducted elevator pitches and demonstrated the expertise of our classroom instructors and the scientific way of teaching Arabic for a very short period.
Key findings from desk research
Abu Dhabi is home to hotels and apartments, which serve as welcoming residences for millions of visitors, entrepreneurs, and tourists. ADNEC has a directory of hotels and apartments, staffed and managed by Emiratis. However, migrant workers who come from other parts of the world, such as Asia, Europe, and North America, outnumber Abu Dhabi nationals.
Key findings from field research – customer questionnaires
In random surveys of prospective clients we conducted, we found that many visitors are enthusiastic about learning Arabic. The participants consisted of random visitors at ADNEC and the surveys we conducted consisted of interview questions about Arabic and the people of Abu Dhabi.
The participants were curious about how Abu Dhabi started, and how this ethnic group prospered and has owned a rich heritage of land and oil. More than the heritage, what struck them is the unique culture and language that Emiratis have and are proud of. The Arabic language is as interesting as the culture itself. Most of the participants were holding offices at ADNEC and were residing in hotels and apartments. Many of them know a sentence or two of Arabic. When asked about existing institutions or schools of learning that offered the Arabic language, most responded that they did not know of one, except the university in Abu Dhabi. When asked if they would like to enroll in an institution that opened English-Arabic and Spanish-Arabic courses, most of the participants responded that they would like to enroll and learn Arabic in the vicinity near their offices or residences.
Key findings from field research – test trading:
Our findings from the field informed us that learning Arabic is a necessity for business people in Abu Dhabi. Learning Arabic is more important than learning other languages. Other surveys state that Arabic is widely used in most Gulf countries, which have business offices in Abu Dhabi.
|What are you going to do?||Why have you chosen this marketing method?||How much will it cost?|
|Advertise on the Internet||Internet advertising is one of the cheapest forms of advertising, and also one of the most popular; introduce the project through print media||$6,000 for six months for top and bottom banner advertising|
|Write letters to firms and CEOs who are doing business at ADNEC. Letters will contain the elevator pitch we have composed and applied in many forums before.||This will cost nothing except to find the list of names through ADNEC’s database of emails and addresses.||Nothing except for the cost of the paper and envelope in writing the letters|
|Face-to-face communication||Talk to people and tell them about the project. Students can be of use in disseminating information. Classmates and peers are as important.||This will also cost nothing.|
|Promotional strategy: free for the first 20 enrolees||This is a tested promotion. Enrolees will come running to be among the first 20.||It will depend on how many people will come and avail of the promo.|
Table of competitors
|Name, location |
& business size
|Arabic Learning Centre||Teach English-Arabic||£450-500||Some of my competitors have been in business for more than five years.||Not growing; the same staff and the same method ever since they started|
|Learn Arabic the Easy Way||Teach English-Arabic||£450-500||Has been in existence for more than 10 years||Has only a small force of fewer than ten employees or staff whose teaching method is very traditional.|
|Arabic Institute||Learn Arabic from other languages||£450-500||Has a good command of English and Arabic; graduates recommend their school||The institute has only a few graduates who can testify of its strength. It does not have a good public relations mechanism|
I have recruited at least 10 people to work with me and most of them are native Arabic speaking with Masters in English courses. My force and my staff are my strength because this is precisely my product, which is part of my organizational culture and knowledge. I recruited them by way of interviews and referrals and they vowed to help and be a part of this new project. They are not too concerned about salary because they have pledged to help in capitalization and be a part owner/investor of this business. I have secured an office, which we can use as a classroom and office within the vicinity of the ADNEC. The office will have a professional manager. The resources, the staff, the capital, and everything we need for this project is in place and all systems seem to be working.
The weakness is that we are still starting and new to this kind of business project. We have noted earlier that teaching is not a problem and the business side is the only problem that we may encounter as the project progresses, but these two sides are still challenges that we have to deal with. Additionally, there might be other problems and challenges that we may encounter in the future, which we still do not know. Planning is a significant part of the project but we still do not know how effective is our plan.
This is an initial step that can provide more business opportunities and improve our experience as business students and our chances in choosing a career in business. This can also allow us to know business individuals and groups and large organizations coming from many parts of the world. They can be future partners or collaborators in penetrating the different kinds of segments in the market.
The threat of competitors is always looming around as we start this project. There are other smaller organizations, which provide the same product or service as ours, and they have been in business for quite some time now. We have also received few intelligence reports that some smaller organizations are planning to open up a project like ours, although this is not much of a threat because we believe they lack resources.
|Unique Selling Point (USP) |
Language is important in communication. Knowing Arabic and English, or Arabic and Spanish at the same time, enhances your chances of improving your business and increasing profits. While many people speak English within business circles in Abu Dhabi, this is not as widely spoken as Arabic. Abu Dhabi is a business hub in the Middle East and ADNEC is an event and exhibition center, which we can use to improve our organization and our experience in the business.
Operations and Logistics
Production will involve the publication of information materials, the ones that we will provide the trainees, and those that we have to sell. Paper and publication materials are part of the materials and resources in the planning process.
Delivery is about giving what our customers deserve. Delivery of knowledge will only occur during the conduct of courses for trainees or in conducting classroom instructions. We will provide products, such as DVDs and other audiovisuals.
|Payment methods and terms |
Payment methods will be one-time cash or installment, but installment will only be for one week as the course is just one-week duration. There will be no additional charges if the trainee chooses to pay in installment.
|Name and location of the supplier||Items required and prices||Payment arrangements||Reasons for choosing|
|United Printing and Publishing||Custom made pamphlets and reading materials – £.50 per pamphlet||They offer lower prices provided we purchase in bulk, at least 5,000 pamphlets.||Their paper and print have quality and are low-priced.|
|Abu Dhabi Media Company, which has a tie-up with Warner Bros. Entertainment||DVDs and audio-visual tapes, costing £2 for DVDs and £1 for audio-visual tapes||The order has to be in a large amount but payment in cash and no installment.||They manufacture DVDs and made-to-order contents of DVDs and audio-visuals.|
Our premises will be a rented room at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). If we need more space for the staff’s quarters, we will rent a place in Abu Dhabi and not precisely within the vicinity of ADNEC.
|If being bought|
|Item required||Already owned||New or second hand?||Purchased from||Price|
|Tables||Yes||Second hand||Dubizle Co. UAE||AED 450 or $122.509 x 10 |
(large tables which can accommodate 10 people
|Chairs||Yes||Second hand||Dubizle Co. UAE||AED 20 or 5.44 USD each x 100 = $544|
Transport vehicles will include a 4-door Toyota hi-ace, which we have purchased second hand, costing AED 60,000 or $16,334.76.
The Department of Economic Development has instructed us to determine first the kind of economic activity we should be doing. The fees differ according to the kind of business we will have. When we have accomplished the legal requirements, the government authorizes us to choose a trading name. For our business project, we have presented the name ‘Abu Dhabi Arabic Learning Institute for Entrepreneurs and Enthusiasts’. The Department of Economic Development issued the initial approval, which allowed us to go on with the other procedures in acquiring the business license. The commercial license should be the final stage in completing the legal requirements of our economic project.
The Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company will take charge of providing insurance to individual staff members and our company as a whole.
|Management and staff |
We will hire a professional manager to run the business, assistants, a driver, and utility/maintenance personnel who will take charge of household and maintenance work.
Route Map for implementation
|Month 1||Month 2||Month 3||Month 4|
|Agree on on-premises||X|
|Recruit key staff||X||X|
|Prepare marketing plan||X|
|Key account negotiations||X||X|
Cost and Pricing Strategy
|Product/service: Learning Arabic||Number of units in the calculation||Product/Service components |
This is comprised of classroom components, equipment, materials, resources, classroom stuff.
There will be 2 instructors on standby at the start of the class, with a monthly salary of AED 5,000.
|Total Products/Service Costs||Cost per unit||Price per unit||Profit margin (AED)||Profit margin (%)||Mark up (%)|
It is worth noting here that there might be an over-estimation of the figures above but we tried to provide the nearest percentage and adjust later on. For the classroom resources and materials, we might be able to improve them as soon as we have reliable enrolment figures.
|Sales and cost forecasts.|
|Month||Month name||Sales forecast||Product/Service||Products/Service||Cost forecast||Products/Service||Assumptions |
(enrolees increase due to influx of tourists
Personal Survival Budget
|Personal survival budget |
|Monthly cost (£)|
|A Mortgage/rent |
|Gas, electricity, and oil||AED1,000|
|All personal and property insurances||AED1,000|
|Food and housekeeping||AED2000|
|Hire charges (TV, DVD, etc.)||AED1000|
|Subscriptions (clubs, magazines, etc.)||AED500|
|Entertainment (meals and drinks)||AED300|
|Car tax, insurance, service, and maintenance||AED2000|
|Children’s expenditure and presents|
|Credit card, loan, and other personal debt repayments||AED2000|
|B Total costs (AED)||AED13,800|
|C Income from family/partner |
Estimated Part-time job
|Working tax credit||AED20,000|
|D Total Income (AED)||AED60,000|
|E Total survival income required (AED)||AED15,000|
* UAE taxation (income less than one million, no taxation)
Cash Flow Forecast
|AED300000||Money out (AED)|
|Month||Month name||Money in (AED)||Funding from the Princess’s trust |
Funding from other sources
Incomes from sales
|Total money in (AED)||Loan repayments – |
The Prince’s Trust
|Total money out||Balance |
|Costs table |
|What is included and how you worked it out||Total cost|
|Classroom materials, including chairs and tables||AED10000|
|Transport (Toyota van)||Through loan||59997.57|
|Salaries of teachers and staff||10000|
|Living quarters of teachers and staff||2000|
|ADNEC has a clientele of thousands of businesses, multinational companies, large, small, and medium-sized enterprises, many of which hold their headquarters here. Most companies owned and managed by Emiratis would like their employees to speak English. Executives of these companies have expressed their desire to have their employees also learn English. This particular segment is also a prospective client. We will tap this segment and concentrate on it for the time being. |
|Focus on expanding and a permanent site that should reduce rentals, meaning ownership of the building. We can also gain more investors through company progress and improvement. |
|We will focus on other segments and get funding from other financial institutions from other organizations. We have to gain the trust of investors through our financial and operational performance. |
Plan B continued:
We can have more investors as we learn the ropes and as our brand takes the center stage.