Mustafa Adam Ali acquired a powerful ‘nose’ from a very young age. While raised Dubai, he pays tribute to his Yemeni descent and the alluring smell of freshly grounded coffee beans as the drivers of his foray into the fragrance world. The city of Mocha (al-Mukha), sits on the coast of the Red Sea in Yemen and was once the centre of the world’s coffee trade, therefore it is no wonder the seductive notes of coffee have influenced some of Nabeel Perfumes’ finest fragrances.
Mustafa pursued his higher education in Business Studies in the UK in 2000. Upon completion, he was armed with the skillset, drive and ambition to follow in his father’s entrepreneurial footsteps and join Nabeel Perfumes Group of Companies as Managing Director. Nineteen years on, Mustafa has helped his father turn the company into one of the UAE’s most prestigious and award-winning luxury fragrance houses.
In 2015, he came to the realization that there was a gap in the regional market for niche fragrances. Whilst Nabeel had succeeded with commercial offerings (Nabeel and Chris Adams), there was room to grow the portfolio. Mustafa decided to launch a new brand under the Nabeel Perfumes Group. Carrying on his father’s legacy he ventured into a concept-driven artistic space, leveraging Nabeel’s expert craftsmanship, and his passion for the city he called ‘home’ for over three decades, to found and create ‘The Spirit of Dubai’. “The time had come where oriental trends were not just targeted at Arabs, Dubai had become a booming tourist destination and a place of international commerce and travel attracting western consumers”, reflects Mustafa. The Spirit of Dubai launched its ‘First Generation’ luxury collection in 2015, followed by its ‘Second Generation’ ultra-luxury collection in 2016.
Nabeel Perfumes has mastered the perfume industry with a wide range of brands to cater to every client. In 2014 he was awarded ‘Marketing Professional of the Year’ by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry. “Our goal is to be the most innovative company in the world, be it the highest quality or rarity of our perfume ingredients, to finishing touches of our packaging and boutiques. Nabeel brings a rich family heritage, excellence and expertise to the fragrance connoisseur,” explains Mustafa.
He immerses himself in the creative storytelling and designing of the product ranges with his in-house dedicated development team. Launching the first ‘The Spirit of Dubai’ flagship had to be nothing but breathtaking and exceptional, so he collaborated with a leading regional architect to create a unique and memorable experience that uniquely differentiated the brand from its competitors. “The UAE is a dominant player in the world of fragrances. It’s a growing market with new players being added every year and it holds a significant market share with fine fragrances. The region boasts of many perfume connoisseurs, who spend vasts amounts on different fragrances, with the usage of perfumes being higher than that of the western counterparts,” says Mustafa.
2019 brings a truly special moment for The Spirit of Dubai, with the highly anticipated launch of a one of a kind perfume bejewelled masterpiece, in all its glory – the ‘SHUMUKH’. Paying tribute to ‘The Spirit of Dubai’, SHUMUKH, which in Arabic translates to ‘deserving the highest’, is the world’s most expensive unisex perfume that unites artistry, perfumery and jewellery. The launch is a key milestone for both the company and Mustafa, who worked closely on the creation with his father as the lead perfumer.
Operating on the ethos that business can and should be a force for a better world, Mustafa has fostered a passion-driven company with a very impressive portfolio of brands, creating fragrances that stir human emotions and feelings of nostalgia. As a business owner, his mantra is “always deliver more than expected” – he thrives on embracing an environment where his team members have a chance to develop their skills and produce state-of-the-art fragrances for his consumers.
Family man Mustafa is fortunate to be working with members of his family, as the business has strengthened his relationship with his father and wife, who is the Head of Marketing at Nabeel Perfumes. Creativity and innovation are fundamental to his brand, which focuses on the art of perfumery, so he sees it as a blessing to work with a such a talented group of people, who are just as dedicated and passionate as he is.