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Aug 31, 2022

How to be an entrepreneur in Dubai?

Moving into the world of work is never easy. It requires the right skills and a bit of audacity, especially when starting your own business. Sometimes, the city where you set up your career can also weigh on your debut.

With sun and sand, luxury malls and some of the world’s best hotels and tallest buildings, combined with an international flair, disruptive digital innovation and talent-oriented openness, Dubai is the post-pandemic fashion capital.

The glittering emirate is moving full speed as the newest place-to-be, especially for fashion houses and talents gravitating toward Dubai for “its spending power and incredible retail infrastructure,” as WWD reported, but also “for the sense of safety it provides.”

Thus we delve a bit deeper with Jelizaveta Kozlova and Zaid Fairouki, two Istituto Marangoni alumni living and working in Dubai, where the fashion school is to open a campus in the DIFC financial district, in a building covering 11,300 square feet with an additional 2,680-square-foot terrace.

If you’re wondering why you should move just a stone’s throw away from the Burj Khalifa tower or the Dubai Mall, undertake fashion studies in that city and launch your brand there, here’s the answer.


Jelizaveta Kozlova, Istituto Marangoni alumna from the Fashion and Luxury Brand Management Master's Programme

Jelizaveta Kozlova is a Dubai-based fashion and luxury entrepreneur and founder of EK Laboratory, a Milan-based PR, communications and brand strategy agency for fashion, luxury, beauty and lifestyle. She is passionate about PR and performance marketing.

What programme did you choose at Istituto Marangoni?

I attended the Fashion and Luxury Brand Management Master’s Programme because it focused on strategic marketing and communications. I saw some potential in it and thought it was worth investing my time and commitment.

What aspects of the programme can make the difference?

The Fashion Business modular programme is very well structured: it covers every area of the Industry, from fashion to design, jewellery, automotive, and hospitality. It also provides a broad knowledge of different subjects such as Management, marketing and supply chain.

Why did you choose Dubai?

I chose Dubai for its multicultural makeup, fast-moving environment, which aligns with my personality, and the core values of purpose, progression, and digitalisation.

What job and networking opportunities does Dubai offer today compared to other luxury capitals?

We call Dubai a “hub” and a paradise for entrepreneurship; here, you get networking and business opportunities like nowhere else in the world.

What goals have you set for your career in Dubai?

My career goals are making the business successful and producing an impact. Another objective would be to create a bridge between western and middle eastern markets.

Starting a career in the city: what are the opportunities for a student?

For a student studying in Dubai and then looking for a job right after graduating, Dubai is the emirate which supports entrepreneurship and is open to emerging talents.

Istituto Marangoni is about to open a School in Dubai. In your opinion, what benefits will it bring to the local area?

Gen-Z is a different generation compared to other market targets. Indeed, younger talents have a stronger cultural heritage and a lot of innovation.

There is a lot of untapped talent to discover in the region. Istituto Marangoni could be the right “go-between” for creating strategic partnerships between fashion and business.

What is your advice for emerging designers?

I would advise them to value their experience and learn more about business processes to understand the whole ecosystem because expertise and having a personal brand will set you apart from competitors. So, here is my advice:

  1. Listen to your intuition
  2. Never give up
  3. Surround yourself with like-minded professionals



Zaid Fairouki, Istituto Marangoni alumnus from the one-year intensive course in Fashion Design

Dubai-based alumnus Zaid Fairouki is a fashion designer with a global background who launched his eponymous brand there. He considers himself not only a couturier but also an artist as he studied painting, sculpture and multimedia during his academic career.

Why did you choose Istituto Marangoni? And which programme did you enrol in?

I chose this school for the high level and reputation that Istituto Marangoni has earned in the Fashion world. I attended the one-year intensive course in Fashion Design.

How was your approach to the world of work after school?

I dreamed a lot about what I would do and tried to figure out how to get things done. One thing you learn throughout your education journey over the years is that the Fashion industry does not wait! So you must be very quick about what you are doing. I launched the brand under my name, and we started by creating one-of-a-kind wearable sculptures and 3D printed pieces.

How well did your studies prepare you for your career?

I think my education played such a major role in what I am today. Having a different educational background before joining Marangoni and then completing it in the Fashion industry allowed me to blend Fashion Design with the world of Fine Arts. It enabled me to produce a broader range of creative works (from paintings to sculptures and so on).

Why did you choose Dubai?

I felt I needed to return to my region and be part of the creative community there. I moved there to be inspired by certain aspects of my culture and to understand how we can align them to a global standard.

Istituto Marangoni is about to open a School in Dubai. In your opinion, what benefits will it bring to the local area?

It will definitely change the conversion and open more opportunities for students to pursue a creative career, especially in fashion. We will go forward and foster young talent.


Silvia Tarini
Editorial Team