Every week, ILQ features a different Qatari startup in our ‘Startup of the Week’ segment. Qatar has some of the most creative, unique, and impactful startups in the region, and we cover them all across a variety of industries in Doha, from fashion and beauty to food and dining, health, education, and more!
This week, we're bringing the spotlight to a community hub that is fast gaining popularity in town, The Dromedary Club. According to Matthew Attenborough, the Operations Manager and one of the co-founders, The Dromedary Club is a "community hub where people can gather with their friends, learn new things, have business meetings, enjoy time with their families and furry friends, and just relax."
The Dromedary Club is a concept that has grown and changed significantly since we opened our shop at the beginning of this year. When we opened we were a Leather Shop where people could come to see us make products while having a cup of coffee, and get their haircuts as well, basically a “Man Cave.” However, in a very short period of time, we realized that our appeal was much broader (about 40% of our guests are ladies, so there went the “Man Cave”) and the interests of our guests were wider-ranging. So we adapted, we began offering a workshop where people can come and learn the make leather products and specialty coffee, we started our movie nights on Thursdays, and opened our terrace for pets on the weekends.
Although The Dromedary Club only opened this January of 2019, the brand started out 3 years ago in its founder's kitchen with one sewing machine and one leather craftsman trying to learn how to make new things. It was originally a leather-working company that used only camel leather, hence the name "Dromedary" which is the single-humped Arabian camel, one of the species of Camelus dromedarius.
Over the next couple of years with the help of friends and new business partners we developed the basis of the concept that became The Dromedary Club. For us, it was key that we wanted people to actually see how we made our leather products, the time, effort, and quality that goes into each piece. Realizing that people would need a reason to stay in our shop long enough to see any of that, one of our partners suggested that we add a coffee shop to the concept. We all agreed and began looking for a location to set up, once we found our current location we saw an opportunity with the space to add a barbershop and give The Dromedary Club a truly unique atmosphere.
"First, our entire concept is unique here in Qatar, almost always the first words of new guests through our doors is “WOW, I have never seen anything like this!” Next, we very carefully chose our staff for their fun, friendly attitudes and their love of what they do. Here at The Dromedary Club, we are very casual and relaxed with our guests, you’ll never hear the words “sir/ma’am” from any of our staff, your very likely to walk through the door and hear one of our staff members teasing our customers, or giving them nicknames, or find them sitting and talking with our guests. I know it’s a cliché but when you’re here, your one of us," Matthew Attenborough shared.
When asked about the relevance of their business for the people of Qatar, Matthew expressed, "In today’s hectic world, having a place people can go and relax with friendly staff, and a great atmosphere is important everywhere. But most important I think, is having a place that brings all different types of people, with different interests together and giving them a place they can all think of as their own."
Inside the club, you’ll find a Coffee Shop and Roastery, Barber Shop, Game Space, Leather Workspace and Showroom. Fitted out with comfy chairs and couches, free high-speed Wi-Fi, power connections at every table, and the only air-conditioned smoking section in the area, making sure there is something for everyone.
Every day of the week there's also something unique happening at The Dromedary Club. From barber workshops, coffee workshops, gaming tournaments, leather crafting, various social and hobby gatherings, and even a furry friend day.
We have been incredibly blessed with truly amazing and loyal guests, and the number of them increases every month. Most of our new guests tell us they came because one of their friends told them about us and to come and see for themselves. I honestly can’t say enough about how amazing our guests are, but I want to give a couple of examples.
Amr, one of our fantastic guests has helped us out during rainstorms when we were on the roof checking for leaks.
Keith, who does leather work as a hobby has come in and run workshops for us teaching about stamping and hand stitching.
This, of course, doesn’t include all of our guests that regularly help us clean up, give great suggestions for new activities and ideas, and help us in hundreds of little ways every day. It really is amazing to have a guest who feels like they are part of our team and that The Dromedary Club is as much theirs as it is ours.
The business is proud to say that they didn't seek help from any startup incubation company. And that they think that "all startups are beneficial to Qatar’s economy, by broadening the scope of business types here in Qatar it will continue to make Qatar’s economy strong and more resilient."
Matthew also shared his advice for young entrepreneurs who are interested in establishing startups/businesses of their own: "Do your homework, be flexible, and understand that starting a company is one of the hardest but most rewarding things you can do in your life."
Matthew concluded by saying that "learning about The Dromedary Club in just a short interview is almost impossible, everyone sees something and takes something different from this place. The best thing I can say is to come down, visit us and see how The Dromedary Club can be yours as much as ours like so many of our guests already have."
Location: Salwa & C Ring Road Intersection
Telephone number: +974 7470 5000
You can find their Coffee Menu HERE.
Leather products HERE.
Barber Shop Services HERE.
Check HERE for their updated event directory.
Leather Crafting Workshop
Furry Friends and Family Day
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