Recently, we interviewed Alia Al Nabooda, Founder, Manager, and Owner of Fiafia Play Area & Cafe. She has a fantastic personality and a bag of strengths like business development, operations management, excellent communication skills, and collaborative team leadership skills, to name a few. With her 15 years of expertise as a Senior Leader, she delivers business growth and continuous service in the industry. Learn more about Alia Al Nabooda and her journey through the interview below.
A Glimpse Of The Business Model
We wanted to learn about how she operates her business. So we asked, “Tell us about your business model and operations.”
She shared, “Our primary aim is to provide a safe space for children to play and have fun and for grown-ups to relax and enjoy coffee. Our business model revolves around delivering exceptional customer service and ensuring our customers have an enjoyable experience.
In terms of operations, we have a team of dedicated staff who ensure that our play area engages with the children and is clean, safe, and well-equipped with soft play and games to keep the kids entertained. We also have a menu that offers a variety of snacks, meals, and beverages for both children and adults.
Our unique business model translates into different main events companies, play areas, and café, as well as selling products. To ensure that we cater to the needs of our customers, we often hold events and themed parties at our venue or outdoors, which are always well-received.
Overall, our business model and operations focus on providing kids with a fun and safe environment while offering parents the chance to relax and enjoy a quality coffee and food experience.”
Ideas For Sustainable Business
Every business needs some vital steps to build a sustainable business and solutions. We were interested to learn what measures Alia has adopted to make her business sustainable as an emerging entrepreneur. We asked, “How have you sustained your business as an entrepreneur?”
Alia replied, “As an entrepreneur, I have sustained my business with the help of my fantastic Fiafia Play Area and Cafe team by staying focused on my business goals. I have a clear vision of what I want my business to achieve and remain dedicated to making it happen. Our main leverage is word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied customers.
Additionally, I provide an excellent customer experience and a fun, safe, and clean environment for children to play in, which has helped build a loyal customer base. Lastly, we regularly review and analyze our business operations to identify improvement areas and make necessary changes to drive growth and profitability.”
Trends In The Industry
Businesses need to adapt to the latest trends that shape the industry to match the competition. We asked, “What are the top three trends shaping this industry today?”
Alia Al Nabooda replied, “I believe the top three trends shaping the play area and kid’s entertainment industry today are the incorporation of technology into play experiences, but since childhood, these days are saturated with screens and technology both at school and home, Fiafia is very cautious on the incorporation of technology into our play areas.
There is a push for more interactive and educational content. Still, we are more focused on returning to nature, which we hopefully see more of in future projects and an increased focus on inclusivity and diversity in representation.
Regarding technology, we see more play areas incorporating virtual reality, augmented reality, and other tech elements into their play experiences. This can enhance the immersive aspects of play and create a more engaging experience for kids. In Fiafia, our primary goal is to get children to interact with each other and form connections.
In terms of content, there is a growing emphasis on providing kids with educational opportunities while they play. This can include activities that teach problem-solving, engineering, and other STEM concepts and activities that encourage creativity and expression. Yet Fiafia, we believe play is learning; as Albert Einstein once said, “Play is the Highest Form of Research.”
Finally, there has been a push for more inclusive and diverse representation in kids’ entertainment. This includes indicating different races, ethnicities, religions and children of determination. By being more inclusive, we can create a more welcoming and empowering play environment for all children.”
Future Plans For Her Business
We asked, “What are some of the growth and expansion plans for the Fiafia Kids Play Area and Cafe in the pipeline?”
She replied, “We have several growth and expansion plans for Fiafia Kids Play Area and Cafe in the pipeline. Firstly, we plan to introduce more activities and events in the play area to keep the kids engaged and entertained.
Regarding physical expansion, we plan to open more branches in different areas to cater to a broader audience and possibly even franchise our brand. Overall, we are committed to providing a fun, safe, and healthy environment for families to enjoy, and we are excited to see where our growth plans will take us.”
Challenges In This Industry
Every industry has its set of challenges that businesses need to overcome with their vital solid points. We asked, “What are the main challenges for those entering this industry?”
Alia shared, “As someone in the play area industry for a few years, one of the main challenges is keeping up with the ever-changing safety regulations and guidelines. These regulations constantly evolve, and ensuring that all equipment and structures are up to code can be challenging. Still, as a parent, I am comfortable knowing that our play areas are extremely safe for our children.
Another challenge is staying competitive in the market. With so many different companies offering play area services, getting lost in the crowd can be easy. It’s essential to constantly innovate and provide unique experiences to attract and retain customers.
Finally, staffing can also be a challenge. Finding qualified individuals passionate about creating safe and enjoyable play areas can be complex, and retaining good employees can be just as challenging.”
“What is the future of your industry’s marketplace in the region?”
She shared, “As part of the play area industry in the Middle East region, I know the future of this marketplace is auspicious. There is a growing demand for such facilities as parents become increasingly aware of the importance of play in child development.
Moreover, with the rise of the middle class in the region, more families can afford to visit and pay for play areas. In addition, there is a trend towards more significant, more elaborate play areas that offer a variety of activities for children, which creates more opportunities for growth in this market. Overall, I am optimistic about the future of the play area industry in the Middle East, and it will continue to grow and evolve.”
We wanted to learn about their current services offered by their company, “What does your business offer as per the current competitive market?”
She shared, “We offer a unique experience for children and parents. We have a spacious play area for children to run around and have fun, while parents can relax in our cafe area with a cup of coffee or a bite to eat.
Our menu offers a variety of healthy options for children and adults, as well as some tasty treats for those looking for something indulgent. In terms of the competitive market, our fantastic staff members and focus on creating a comfortable and inviting space for families set us apart from other play areas and cafes in the area.”
Regardless of any kind of industry, technology has become an integral aspect. So we asked, “How is your business leveraging technology in operations and customer service?”
She shared, “At Fiafia Play Area and Cafe, we have leveraged technology in several ways. Operationally, we are working on incorporating technology to streamline bookings and payments, ensuring a seamless customer experience so that customers can easily make reservations online via our website or social media pages, and adding our automated booking platform to send instant confirmations to guests. Additionally, we have implemented an electronic point of sale (POS) system to efficiently process orders, minimize errors, and enhance staff productivity.
Regarding customer service and child safety, our POS works with an rdf wristband that connects families, which means children can only check out if the designated adult is with them via the rdf bands. Also, with the rdf band, customers can accumulate whatever services they use in the play area and instead of paying them at different points of sale, they pay for it upon existence once they leave.
Overall, leveraging technology has been critical in improving our operational efficiency and enhancing the customer experience at Fiafia Play Area and Café, and we are still improving.”
Words Of Inspiration
“Any words from Alia Al Nabooda, who inspires female entrepreneurs?”
Alia Al Nabooda shared, “Set ambitious goals and pursue them with determination. Many people will be unsupportive, but don’t let them deter you from your goals. Believe in yourself, trust your instincts, and take risks. Remember the importance of perseverance and resilience in facing challenges and setbacks. Patience is a virtue, and one never gives up. I don’t believe in world failure, and I think that if this doesn’t work out, that means to learn from your mistakes and try again. Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb.
I urge females, in general, to invest in themselves and their education, whether they choose a path in the traditional workplace or as an entrepreneur, so they will never have to depend on anyone in their lives. Remember that anything is possible with hard work, dedication, and a positive mindset.”
Connect with Alia Al Nabooda on LinkedIn.
Find Fiafia Kids Play Area and Cafe on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube or visit https://fiafia.ae/.