“I think the genius thing that I did in my life is, I never quit, that’s about it, no matter how crazy it got.”
Right in the heart of Dubai, a visionary entrepreneur is making waves with his remarkable achievements. Ahmed Ben Chaibah, aka ‘Aquaman’, is not just the owner and CEO of Aquafun, the world’s largest water park; he is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and business leader who has left an indelible mark on the Middle East’s business landscape.
Aquafun stands as the world’s largest water park, sprawled across 42,000 square metres on Dubai’s most popular beach opposite Jumeirah Beach Residence. With the capacity to accommodate over 1,000 people at a time, it has become a symbol of entertainment and adventure.
The success of Aquafun has catapulted Ahmed into the spotlight, earning him accolades such as Entrepreneur of the Year and Emirati Business of the Year in 2021. And with that success, Ahmed has gone on to establish water parks in 34 locations worldwide, including in the Seychelles, Maldives, Sydney, Egypt, and Morocco.
His relentless pursuit of success has made him one of the most successful and popular figures in the Middle East, but it by no means came easy, as Ahmed encountered over 600 rejections in the early years of making his dream a reality.
Despite these circumstances, Ahmed says the key to his success was simple: never giving up. You see Ahmed attributes his success to a straightforward yet powerful philosophy: knowing that he works harder than anyone else.
Ahmed believes that through self-belief, discipline, and relentless effort, anyone can achieve their goals. And he knows this better than most having grown up in humble surroundings. Ahmed has also faced bankruptcy twice and legal challenges, but emerged stronger, more focused and determined than ever.
While Dubai is a fast moving city that’s constantly evolving, something for which Ahmed is grateful, he believes that no matter where you are in the world, you can make money, but it depends on you as a person and how much hustle you have inside.
Ahmed says you must have discipline because ultimately it is your discipline that will get you through any tough times and difficult challenges.
“You never lose, you are always learning and every setback or failure is a lesson and an opportunity for growth. Tiptoeing around and being overly cautious won’t do you or your business any favours. So, the driving force must be your passion to seize the opportunities that are out there.”
I’m really excited about this one. Ahmed has become a great friend during my time here in Dubai and epitomises the can-do attitude pervading the city. He’s smart, switched on and full of opinions and inspiring anecdotes.
Ahmed’s entrepreneurial journey is a testament to the importance of persistence, learning from setbacks, and seeking help when needed. He encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to embrace failure as a learning opportunity and emphasises the need for passion to seize the opportunities that arise.
“I’m 41 years old now and I feel like I’ve just finished stretching. I’m only just getting warmed up. I thought I knew what I was doing when I was 30 but that’s nothing compared to what I know now.”
A number of clips from this exclusive interview are now available to download, share and repost. Spread the word: grab these clips today!
- Shine your true light – Unlocking the power of authenticity
- Find your passion, escape the grind – My story of transformation
- Failure is not your enemy – Learn, adapt, conquer
- Rewrite your story – Claim your Hero’s Journey
- AquaFun – Where happy memories come true
- AquaFun holds off on European expansion due to the current tax climate
- Vision and opportunity – How Dubai built a global city in the sands
- How diversity benefits our business
- Safe haven in the desert – Unveiling Dubai’s security and stability
- Two side of the coin – Finding balance between respect and strength
- Dubai’s model – Can its economic boom be replicated globally?
- Never settle – My constant quest for growth