The world is full of highly capable engineers and technologists, but many are still waiting for a 'big idea' to strike them, a concrete business vision that will translate their expertise into commercial success.

Wing Go, the MENA-based live shopping platform which I co-founded in 2022, was not my first big idea but the viability of such a venture had been swirling in my mind since I first moved to Dubai in 2015 to join the Dubai Business Associates (DBA) management training programme, the brainchild of Sheikh Mohammed the Ruler of Dubai.

Wing Go Co-Founder & CEO Raymond Zhu: 'I'm super bullish
Wing Go Co-Founder & CEO Raymond Zhu: 'I'm super bullish about Dubai - nowhere else does business better' Wing Go Co-Founder

The programme was certainly transformational for me. I left DBA in 2016 armed with hard and soft business skills and first-hand experience of Dubai as the go-to place for budding entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Indeed, my time in Dubai exposed me to the fierce nature of business competition in the emirate and the MENA region more broadly. I also learned that the region's consumers are forward looking, demanding endless innovation from their products and services.

It was no coincidence, therefore, that my plan to disrupt MENA's e-commerce market with a live shopping platform solidified in March 2022 after time spent in Dubai attending a reunion for DBA Alumni, many of whom have followed their own path into roles at the emirate's preeminent businesses.

Wing Go came to fruition not long after this meeting of minds and has found great success through a combination of product listings with live broadcasts from its partner brands and influencers. This format allows our users to see 'the fit' up close and benefit from expert style tips.

Looking back on my entrepreneurial ventures to-date, I know it was the right choice to apply to DBA instead of pursuing a PhD in engineering. That was a big decision at just 21 years of age, but it's paid off.

DBA provided me with the commercial skills that an entrepreneur needs to thrive and returning to Dubai was a reminder of the opportunities the emirate has to offer.

Having graduated from DBA, I had no intention of leaving Dubai. I started my first business in the emirate – an AI deep tech firm – and soon won contracts with Dubai Holding and Dubai Police.

While my next venture was focused on China and Canada, I knew that Dubai would continue to play a major role in my business journey. And so it has.

Sitting at the crossroads of East and West, Dubai is ideally positioned to build on its status as a world-leading commercial hub.

The emirate's policymakers believe that entrepreneurial spirit can unlock the progressive power of technology, and they go one better by actively fostering and supporting this process.

This philosophy very much aligns with my own. I am a firm believer that technology can solve society's problems through encouraging the efficient use of resources – both physical and human.

As such, I always want my businesses to be pushing the technological frontier, working to break new ground as opposed to supporting the gradual evolution of existing technologies.

It's a personal point of pride that I contributed to the shaping of Dubai's own approach to tech entrepreneurship during my time at DBA.

The programme secures a work placement for each of its graduates at some of Dubai's most prominent firms and institutions, and I was fortunate enough to be placed in the Prime Minister's Office, working under Dr Noah Raford, perhaps the preeminent thinker in emerging technologies.

It was a privilege to support Dr Raford as he expanded Dubai Future Foundation's network of original thinkers and innovators, creating an ecosystem in which the best ideas could be first incubated, then put into action.

My next step on the DBA programme – a consulting project for the Dubai Technology Entrepreneurship Centre - was similarly valuable, allowing me to leverage the hard and soft consulting skills I had learned on the programme's initial training modules.

On a personal level, it's great to be back living and working in Dubai, connecting with old friends from my time at DBA and my wider network here.

The sheer commercial buzz gripping the emirate has certainly put the wind in Wing Go's sails and we're now deeply rooted in Dubai.

To the budding entrepreneurs reading this piece, perhaps in search of guidance as you forge your own path, I would strongly advise you to focus on becoming the best in your area of expertise, alongside developing the business skills that will translate this passion into commercial success.

And then try to be flexible and indeed courageous – you need to go where the opportunities present themselves, rather than stay where you feel most comfortable.

This is the path I followed and it's no surprise that it led me to Dubai as a graduate and has kept me coming back ever since.