Published on June 20th, 2011 | by SayginYalcin


Interview: Saygin Yalcin

Meet’s man of many talents

He may not be a household name yet, but chances are you’ve visited his website and have the amazing laptop or stylish stilettos to show for it. If you’re wondering who we’re talking about, it’s Saygin Yalcin, founder and president of, the region’s most successful e-commerce start-up.

Saygin has fast become one of the Middle East’s most influential men in fashion. Since launching the online shopping site in April 2010, Saygin has seen grow into a multimillion dirham business catering to over 500,000 private members in the the region.

So what made this non-UAE native choose Dubai as his home-base and the home of “It’s without a doubt the business hub of the Middle East and one of the fashion capitals of the world,” he says. “Apart from the fact that internet penetration is phenomenal, the multi-cultural, fashion and lifestyle-crazed nature of its residents makes it the perfect place to build a shopping club catering exclusively to the Middle East market.”

Seeing his dream come to fruition has been an exciting thing for Saygin, but his journey to the top has been far from easy. “My team and even my family claim that I’m a workaholic, and maybe they’re right, but I think it’s my brain that’s a workaholic,” he jokes. “When we first launched, there were days when I worked through the night and left at 7am only to shower and come back to work.”

But despite being one of the region’s most successful entrepreneurs, Saygin has a lot more to him than just business expertise. Before, Saygin was the creative mind behind his own design label Joe Suis GmbH, which saw him co-design a line of luxury handbags made of ostrich leather that proved a major success. And before that, while living in Germany, Saygin worked in entertainment, hosting his own radio programme and working on two major TV shows.

He explains, “I have always been passionate about music. I worked on TV shows such as German Idol and Germany’s Got Talent, which was a lot of fun.” Oh, and if that’s not well-rounded enough for you, Saygin also used to play football for the German A-Junioren Bundesliga, the nation’s top under-19 league!

There’s no denying that Saygin works hard at whatever he does. But while he’s dedicated to his work and ensuring his business continues to grow, he does allow himself some down time. “I enjoy eating out. My favourite food would have to be sushi, so I am usually at Scoozi or Zuma. I love hanging out in the JBR area or Downtown Dubai. And whenever I can, I enjoy relaxing by the pool at the Address Dubai Marina.”

So what lies ahead for Dubai’s busiest businessman? “I would love to support young entrepreneurs. I want to help open doors to opportunities and growth for these young individuals. It is vital for them to have mentors and partners to give them a sense of direction, just like I had.”

Top 5 places

1. Address Marina
I love it for its rooftop pool overlooking the marina. It’s magical at sunset.

2. JBR The Walk
When the weather is nice, the vibe of the place is just amazing.

3. Burj Khalifa
Everything about this place is impressive, from the astonishing architecture, to the world-class restaurants, and of course the views, especially at night.

4. Westin Dubai
I just love The Westin beach. It’s not too busy and not too quiet and has beautiful views.

5. My Home
I bought every single piece, and decorated every single corner myself, so I like to chill with friends, play music, relax or plan for the future of


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About the Author

Saygin is the Founder & CEO of the Middle East's (ME) first & largest car buying service, and Founder of the first & largest online private shopping club in the ME,, which has been acquired by, making him Partner at the and Jabbar Internet Group, becoming the largest ecommerce company in the Arab world, with 3000+ employees. In its largest acquisition outside the US to date, has acquired Group. He has been selected as a UBS Industry Leader, a network of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals. He was also Advisory Board Member & Academic Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at the Canadian University of Dubai. He was referred to as "the region's online business guru" by the National newspaper in the UAE, while Arabian Business named him as "one of the region's finest young entrepreneurs and a major part of the entrepreneurial scene in recent years". Fortune magazine (mag) named him in the 40 under 40 list, as one of the most influential young people in business, Entrepreneur mag ME awarded, with Saygin at its helm, as the "Fastest Growing Company in the ME", while the National newspaper sees it among a handful of tech companies to "have the potential to break the $1bn barrier". In a cover story, Entrepreneur mag ME titled him as "undoubtedly one of the youngest & most successful internet entrepreneurs in the ME”, awarded as "Technology Innovator of the Year”, while Khaleej Times awarded him as the Technology Leader. Gulf Business selected him as 1 of the Top 10 Entrepreneurs in ME. In a cover story, Arabian Business counts him as 1 of the most successful entrepreneurs to call Dubai home. During the World Government Summit, HH Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed, Minister of Interior of the UAE, presented Saygin as an inspiring story for the country, in the presence of world leaders, incl. HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

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