Why would Dubai be the best creative agency in the world? By MullenLowe’s Mounir Harfouche

By Mounir Harfouche, chief executive officer, MullenLowe MENA.

Courage, inventiveness, intelligence, vision, leadership, curiosity, perseverance, passion, collaboration, discipline, playfulness, positivity and pride. Those are some of the traits of a creative mind, but they also happen to be some of the characteristics of Dubai.

What made me think of this analogy? Maybe it’s because of my 27 years in the business and my 24 years in Dubai. I can’t help but see the similarity, and I love it.

If I want to articulate what the best agency would be like, I’d say this:

A culture of positivity

A place that you simply love. A place that works for you as much as you work for it. A culture of positivity, creativity, and experimentation. An environment driven by optimism, willingness, achievements, and constant advancement. An attitude led by the humbleness to know and the ambition to be the “know-how” but remain humble.

An inspiring and empowering model

An agile model that believes in the power of talent, proven or potential, empowered by the complexity of advanced infrastructure, the support of data, perfectly designed processes, continuous training and development and, most importantly, accountability and reward in a merit-based system. At this agency, knowledge flows through the walls and people are informed. Trends, insights, inventions and stories come their way, day in and day out. At this agency, people are encouraged to experiment and explore. They get the future, they see it, they sense it, they touch it and, very often, they even curate it.

The magic of inclusivity

It is the most inclusive place that gathers all kinds of brains, all types of personalities, all the colours of a spectrum, yet all merge into something magical where the human spirit reigns, where the collective genius explodes, and where failure can no longer possibly exist. This agency creates change, it performs, it influences, it inspires, it generates results, and it makes businesses grow and brands famous through meticulous craft and superior thinking that has enough depth to elevate, to revolutionize, to transform, and to connect.

This is where skills meet skills, talent meets talent, experience meets experience and expertise meets expertise to become one massive concept and then a million brilliant executions.

The impact of continuous credibility

This agency reinvents itself every single time to remain ahead of its time.

This agency is respected and trusted because it believes in being as good as its last piece of work, and the very last piece happens to be the best ever, every single time. This agency is more than a business, it’s somehow a prototype of the best version of our authentic role in life as people, as employees, as partners, as consumers, as students or whatever we are. This agency brings out the best side of humanity: Creativity – the essence of existence, God’s most beautiful skill, the language of hope, the form of beauty, the sign of progress, the expression of the mind, the daily meaningful evolution, and an approach that is founded on the sum of all people, but never on individuals.

Philosophical leadership

This agency has a one-in-a-million leader. A dreamer but also a doer. A tremendous talent but also a delegator. Serious but seriously genuine, tough but tough not to admire. He is the right balance of a realist and a controversialist; he has the wisdom, the passion, the aura, and the charisma to achieve the impossible, time and time again. This leader is a daring visionary, a born creative who gives ideas a chance to come to life; he nurtures them and grows them into concepts with the ability to transform businesses, economies, futures and lives. A leader you don’t work for; instead, you work with and because of him. This leader represents not a set of principles to adapt to but a philosophical approach to buy into, so then he starts multiplying through a new generation of similar leaders on a mission to expand the path.

A human currency

This agency cares first and foremost about its people. It believes deep down that its success will never be valued just because of its historical credentials but because of the value of its current and future human capital, and the prospect it promises to deliver.

This agency keeps enabling creativity, and creativity keeps enabling progress, every single day.

This is Dubai, the platform, the inspiration, the concept, the execution, and the award-winning results.

And it’s always hiring.