AT A TIME WHEN HOLISTIC THERAPIES ARE AT THE FOREFRONT OF CALMING DOWN, SOMETIMES, YOU JUST NEED TO GEAR UP, HAMMER IN HAND, AND DESTROY THINGS – NO BOUNDARIES, NO JUDGMENT! WHETHER YOU’RE LOOKING TO GET A QUICK ADRENALIN RUSH OR TO BLOW OFF SOME STEAM, THE SMASH ROOM IS THE PLACE TO DO IT. FACT CHATS WITH THE CO-FOUNDERS OF THE HOMEGROWN LEISURE CONCEPT; SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR, IBRAHIM ABUDYAK, AND PSYCHOLOGIST, HIBA BALFAQIH TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS SAFE SPACE TO UNLEASH YOUR FRUSTRATIONS…
Hi guys! Let’s jump right in… for someone who has never heard of The Smash Room, sum up the experience in one sentence?
Hiba: A massage for your inner stress and pent up emotions! Ibrahim: Your Sanctuary; what happens at The Smash Room stays there!
So, how does it work – you come with your friends and smash things up?
Hiba: Yup! As simple as that. You grab your pals and a weapon of choice, get into a room and smash your stress away.
Do you remember where and when you first thought of the idea for The Smash Room – tell us a little bit about its back story…
Hiba: The idea for Smash Room was inspired by a difficult time in my life. My grandma passed away and the traditional, more peaceful mechanisms of coping with grief just weren’t cutting it. So I took old junk into the backyard and smashed it to bits, and it made me feel massively better. Right then, came that light bulb moment. This is a freaking good idea!
Would you say that a trip to The Smash Room is a good stress
Hiba: Good is an understatement. As Trump would say, it’s HUGEEEEEE! Our customers would agree with Trump too!
Ibrahim: I am pretty sure that’s the only thing our customers will agree on with Trump!
You recycle all the items that are “smashed” – tell us more about how this process works…
Ibrahim: We work with partners to make this happen, simply the process starts by segregating the items, metals from electronics then being collected and sent to recycling on a weekly schedule.
Hiba: Women. Viva Girl Power! We get a lot of women but from all walks of life. Women are comfortable expressing all their emotions. There’s still this taboo around men “expressing” themselves. We are trying to break that stereotype. No pun intended.The Smash Room also gives back to charities such as Melltoo and Emirates Red Crescent. Why was it important to you to have this connection with a worthy cause?
Ibrahim: I have wanted to do this since we started, and it took us a couple of months to make it happen. We started this in Ramadan last year and never looked back. It is simply who we are as individuals, a team and as a brand!
In your opinion, what has made The Smash Room a success?
Hiba: The idea! Dubai needed a new recreational idea – something unique and innovative. The Smash Room fits that gap.
Ibrahim: Amen to that, and the execution too; The Smash Room is very unique. You can’t get the same vibe and feel anywhere else in Dubai.
Any advice for budding entrepreneurs who want to start up small businesses but might be afraid of the risks?
Hiba: Nothing in life comes without risk! In this economy, your job can also be at risk. If you are passionate about an idea, and your heart tells you to do it, just jump in. If you fail, you learn, if you succeed, you grow. WIN-WIN!
Ibrahim: Choose carefully who you partner with; Hiba and I are so different yet our skill sets compliment each other hence the perfect match. And yes, the team; they either make it or break it so I would spend more time and effort into team selection and nurturing each one of them.What has the feedback been like from visitors – any memorable stories you can share with us?
Hiba: We had a guy come down three times in one day during his breakup. We actually kept The Smash Room open beyond working hours to accommodate him. The poor guy needed it. Dating in this tinder-era is stressful!
Ibrahim: A Japanese tourist walked all the way from Mall of The Emirates to The Smash Room in peak summer to smash some s**t then went all the way back walking; his smile stayed longer than the sweat on his t-shirt.
What’s next for The Smash Room – share with us some of the goals for 2019…
Hiba: Franchising is part of our growth plans in 2019. We are also coming up with creative ideas for new things to smash. For our first year anniversary, we are releasing the EPIC SMASH where we are giving 10 people the opportunity to smash a car!
Ibrahim: Yes, expanding around the world using our franchise system; and keep innovating around the concept. And, of course, a moving smash bus room-in-a-bus anyone? ✤