By Sahrish Ali
Rawai Al Maktabat was founded on family values to create a haven of creativity for all ages.
What the owners expect and accept for their family members is what they believe they should provide to the customers. A key factor that contributes to their growth is that they learn everyday from their customers.
Founded by Mohammed Radwan and Sahar Banaja, Rawai Al Maktabat was first established in 1986 in the old downtown of Jeddah in a small store of approximately 24 square meters. Four years later, it moved to a bigger area of 900 square meters and expanded its stationery products. In 1996, a new store was built. It wasn’t just a small stationery store anymore; it had more to offer with the newly implemented children activities. For up to 10 years, it has had wonderful success.
As you walk in the great big purple and glass building, you find a small eateries stall on your left and from there you walk on. A large chandelier made of reused bottles hangs from the ceiling. The ground floor houses furniture and other home supplies that are very unique. There’s a massive stationery store as you walk up the first floor. Walk up another floor and there you’ll be greeted by an immense activity area and food court. The activity rooms are supervised and children are helped in whatever they wish to do. Annexed to the main building is the waterpark. When the weather is favorable, you’ll see many families and children out in the water park.
Today, there are branches in Riyadh, Khobar and Jeddah; each of which is approximately 7,000 square meters. The main branch, located in Jeddah, houses a water park that is 8,000 square meters in area.
The founders were compelled to start the children’s activity center because, back in the day, they could not take their three children out to places other than hamburger shops.
Three different programs for children are offered at Rawai Al Maktabat; namely physical activities, learning programs and a water park.
Children love exploring and Rawai Al Maktabat gives them the perfect environment to do so. At Rawai Al Maktabat, the children are allowed to cook, play in sand and in party rooms, and enjoy shooting galleries, swim and much more. Additionally, plans are being put into place for further activities and expansions.
If they could go five years back in time or even start over, the owners still wouldn’t do things any differently because they have learned so much from their experience and are satisfied with all the turnarounds. They just keep looking forward and moving on.
The owners are able to maintain a balance between business and their family needs since the whole family is involved in the management and day to day operation.
At Rawai Al Maktabat, they believe that human motivation is accomplished by maintaining a fair and balanced relationship between the managers and the staff; respect, trust and fairness are the main elements on which the company is run. For the owners, the fact that they love and enjoy their work is how they stay inspired, and since they stay close to the workplace, their costumers also play a major role in that.