The Lighthouse Conversations

Hashem Montasser, Founder of the The Lighthouse Restaurant & Concept Store in Dubai Design District ... more

Latest Episodes


March 11, 2020 00:48:54

Zaki Nusseibeh chronicles his personal journey with art & the importance of storytelling in building identities

In our first live conversation at The Lighthouse since launching the podcast, HE Minister of State Zaki Nusseibeh shares personal anecdotes from his childhood in Jerusalem, the early days of the UAE when he worked as a translator for HH Sheikh Zayed and the development of its arts and culture scene. While sharing snapshots from his various life experiences with the arts, Zaki weaves a thread between his passion for the arts, storytelling and their impact on not just our imagination but also our identity. We’d love to hear what you think of the live episode. You can reach us on [by email](mailto:[email protected]), on [Instagram]( and find all of our episodes at [Website]( ...



February 26, 2020 00:32:59

Reif Othman on propelling Zuma into one of the world’s most celebrated restaurants and on launching his own, Reif Kushiyaki

We’re continuing with our food theme this month with a chef who’s left a tremendous mark on the Middle East culinary scene since his debut at Zuma in 2009. Reif Othman is a new breed of owner-operator chefs who landed Zuma Dubai on the “World’s Best 50 restaurants” before kick-starting his own Japanese street food venture, Reif Kushiyaki. Reif shares stories about his humble beginnings, what got his blood flowing and pushed him to leave his native Singapore, snapshots from his time at Zuma and, finally, why giving back is so important to him. ...



February 12, 2020 00:33:29

Mohamad Ballout on how to capitalize on being a first mover & positioning cloud kitchen pioneer Kitopi as a global brand

We're joined by serial entrepreneur Mohamad Ballout, founder of Dubai-based foodtech pioneer Kitopi, currently the world's leading managed cloud kitchen platform. Founded in January 2018, Kitopi has quickly expanded to five countries, having added Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UK & the US to its roster after raising a successful $60 million Series B in funding this year. Mohamad shares his thoughts on how he became a serial entrepreneur, how him and his fellow Kitopians are capitalizing on the foodtech’s startup’s first mover advantage and what it will take for the Middle East to produce & export global brands. ...



January 29, 2020 00:34:11

Isobel Abulhoul on building book centric businesses & instilling reading habits in children

This week, we’re joined by the CEO of the LitFest Foundation, Isobel Abulhoul, who is at the the center of the UAE & the region’s literary fraternity. Since arriving in Dubai over 50 years ago, she’s launched a prominent bookstore chain, a children’s publishing company and the region’s leading Literature Festival. Isobel shares snapshots of her multi-decade journey, what you can expect from the upcoming edition of the [Emirates LitFest]( and her thoughts about the future of books amidst a seismic technological shift. ...



January 16, 2020 00:32:50

Orit Mohammed on launching Boon Coffee & breaking the stereotypes around Ethiopian women and female entrepreneurship

This week, we're talking coffee with Orit Mohammed, founder of Boon Coffee. Orit hails from Ethiopia and decided to reconnect with the coffee culture she grew up with by supporting coffee farmers through her company. She's recently also added a B2C component to her business by opening two cafes in Dubai. Orit also walks us through the challenges of running a female led business and the stereotypes she had to confront being an Ethiopian female entrepreneur. You can sample Boon's coffee beans [from their website](, or order them from [The Lighthouse]( as well. If you enjoyed this episode, we'd love to hear from you. You can leave us a review in Apple Podcasts, find us on [Instagram](, or drop us an email [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]). We'll see you in two weeks. ...



December 21, 2019 00:22:50

Patrick Rogers on how startup founders can avoid common pitfalls

This week, we're talking to Patrick Rogers whose latest venture, Clara, attempts to solve entrepreneurship legal pain-points by combining human expertise with techonology. And as someone who advises startups a lot, Patrick also shared his insights on common pitfalls entrepreneurs should watch for when setting up their companies. If you enjoyed this episode, we'd love to hear from you. You can leave us a review in Apple Podcasts, find us on [Instagram](, or drop us an email [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]). We'll be back on January 15 with a new episode, so until then, happy holidays! ...