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Jordan, March 3, 2020
Start-up seeks to ‘democratise space’ in traditional real estate market

AMMAN — The inconvenience of meeting clients at home, the lack of client interaction and awareness and the demand for the “shopping experience” are the main hurdles designers face, according to a Jordanian architect.

With the “aim of representing her nomadic culture and transmitting the nomadic freedom” to the business world, Dana Al Fayez launched her start-up NOMAD last year, she said.

NOMAD seeks to provide virtual brands and businesses with a short-term presence in the offline market while helping empty retail spaces generate extra income, according to the founder.

“NOMAD is solving the vacancy issue in the retail real estate sector by solving a temporary need [access to space],” noted Fayez in a recent e-mail interview with The Jordan Times.

Pursuing her dream of being an interior architect, Fayez attended the German Jordanian University and last year was the only Arab female participant in a start-up competition in Madrid that saw over 80 competitors.

The event, which lasted three months and ended in November 2019, was organised by AREA 31 IE Centre of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Madrid, she said.

Her team made it to the finals and was able to present a one-minute pitch in front of an audience of investors from different sectors, she recalled, adding that she was also the “first architect” to participate in such a competition.

“The role of the architect doesn’t stop at the doorsteps of designing spaces, but creating solutions of how we can use space effectively,” Fayez said.

Elaborating on the commercial real estate sector, the architect said that it is “very traditional” and provides only long-term and “inflexible contracts that are incompatible with the reality of the modern day”.

“Democratising the space” gives small businesses access to the real estate market, easing the process as anyone with an idea can rent a space and create a successful presence in the market, she said.