Our CEO, Adam McEwan recently joined Oskar on Swenglanese UAE Business podcast to discuss topics from his first lawn mowing business at age 7 in Australia to the early days of Platinum Heritage Desert Safaris in Dubai.
Like many youngsters, at the age of 18 years old Adam set off on a solo backpacking adventure. The difference was that he picked the more unusual travel destinations and backpacked through Jordan, Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, India, Nepal, Mongolia and China. It was at this point when he decided that he wanted something different in life. Little did he know then that it would be running the most successful and awarded Desert Safari company in the UAE.
With a passion for travel and exploring the world, it was only natural that Adam fell into the tourism business industry. Adam shares how he ‘fell in love with the idea of providing experiences as a profession and giving people lifelong memories.’ After years of working on cruise liners around the world, a few business startups and working in the Desert Safari industry in Dubai, Adam teamed up with his colleague at the time, Bassam Chamoun to make the idea of Platinum Heritage a reality.
In the early days, the Desert Safari industry believed that the concept of authentic and luxury Desert Safaris in the UAE wouldn’t work. Adam and Bassam identified a need for something better in the Desert Safari and tourism industry in Dubai and in 2012 the first Ecotourism Desert Safari company was born. People believed that a company so different to the rest of the Desert Safari companies would never work. Because of this, Adam jokes that Platinum Heritage was born out of a series of “supposedly” bad ideas.
Some of the reasons why Platinum Heritage is different:
- Wildlife drives in 1950’s vintage Land Rovers instead of environmentally damaging dune bashing in 4x4s
- Authentic entertainment performed by local Bedouin instead of belly dancing as this is not part of UAE culture
- Local Emirati cuisine prepared from authentic recipes instead of a standard international buffet
- Smaller groups of guests instead of Desert Safaris and camps with hundreds of people
- Traditional and enriching activities like Arabic coffee-making and camel rides instead of alcohol
- Environmentally sustainable instead of damaging like many other companies in the industry
Everything about Platinum Heritage was something new and different to what had been done before and in the beginning it took a bit of time to get people to understand the concept. The niche was small but over the last 6 years, it continues to grow and grow.
“We always say that we don’t sell our product, we educate people about what we do – because it really is an education about why it’s more authentic, why it’s more ecologically sustainable and why that is important.” – Adam McEwan