Busy mums, sisters and businesswomen, Sana Kashan and Hiba Dawood are branching out into the play centre business and opening a second Mini Monsters venue in Dubai. We caught up with them to find out more.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves
Sana I’m a mum of two girls, Haya six years and Inaya, three years. I’ve been living in Dubai for ten years and work as a freelance event planner, although my background is marketing and communications.
Hiba I’ve been living in Dubai for six years and have two kids also, Daniyal, three and Iman, six months. I’m a chartered accountant by professional but I’m currently focusing all my energy on opening the second branch of Mini Monsters!
Why did you both decide to enter the playcentre business?
Hiba I had initially planned to open a playcentre in Pakistan as we struggle with entertainment options for the kids on trips home, however a franchise opportunity came up with Mini Monsters here in Dubai so we jumped at it.
Sana Exactly that. And as mums we both know what we want from a play centre, so we’re really excited to make it one of the best venues for kids in Dubai. I’m also excited about the kid’s parties aspect as obviously my background is in event planning! We’ll be offering themed and bespoke kids party packages.
What can parents expect from the new Mini Monsters venue?
Sana Like with the first venue on Sheikh Zayed Road, we’ll be offering a spacious play environment for kids. The soft play zone will be for kids aged six and under however Hiba and I both feel that there is not enough emphasis on play for smaller kids in Dubai play centres so we decided to tailor it specifically to that age range.
Hiba Yes, we’ll still be holding classes and parties for older kids, but the soft play zone will be restricted to kids aged six and under. The new venue will also have a small, dedicated toddler zone. Aside from the play and parties aspect, we’ll be offering a range of fun and educational activity classes and focusing on supporting special needs groups. And we haven’t forgotten parents either – a new standalone café concept within Mini Monsters, Bean Scene, will be making its debut too, offering healthy food options and 100 per cent organic, fair-trade coffee.
We’ve heard rumours about a sensory room?
Hiba Yes, the new venue will include a first-of-its-kind sensory room for kids and a first for play centres in Dubai. It will be a brilliant accompaniment to some of the educational activity classes on offer, but we will also be making it available on a regular basis to charities and associations in Dubai that support special needs children.
Where is it located exactly and how can parents get there? And most importantly, when is it opening up?
Sana We’re planning to have the doors open in mid-March. Regular updates will be posted on our Facebook page in the run up to the launch so we recommend that parents keep an eye on that. The new venue is located on Sheikh Zayed Road in the DNATA building, adjacent to Emirates Holidays building. There is free parking right behind the building too so it’s very convenient for families.
Will the new venue be offering supervised play?
Hiba Hopefully, yes. This is something we really want to do but we’re in the process of figuring out the logistics of a service like this at present. If we decide to offer supervised play at Mini Monsters we need to make sure that it’s 100 per cent right.
How involved are your families in the new venue?
Sana Oh, my kids are super excited – they’re already planning their future birthdays! My husband is very supportive too and taking an active interest in getting the venue all ready for opening.
What kind of deals and promotions will be on offer for parents and kids?
Hiba We’ll be running a free play promotion on Sundays along with some great activity classes, parenting workshops and coffee deals for mums and dads. We have also decided that DHS1 from every coffee sold at Bean Scene will go directly to an association in Dubai that supports special needs children. We feel that supporting the community and initiatives that benefit children is something that’s very important to us with this new venture.
Visit www.facebook.com/minimonstersuae for more information.