Welcome to another instalment of PAYFORT’s merchant of the month series where we talk to some of the region’s leading businesses and get their thoughts on what it takes to build a successful business in the Arab world.
This week we’re chatting with Stuart & Kim Paterson the founders of FamilyPass to learn about the UAE’s booming entertainment and leisure industry and how bundling services can open a new world of opportunities. Their passes allow families and friends to enjoy the country’s best attractions including theme parks, water parks, family entertainment centres, and much more.
If you’re looking to learn how an innovative idea can transform an industry, you’ll want to keep reading!
What was the inspiration for FamilyPass?
The idea behind FamilyPass was born out of the realization that the way we consume leisure and entertainment in the UAE could be better. With so many attractions across the country it’s difficult to decide where to start. The thought of being able to group them all together under a single pass that gave unlimited access for a year seemed like the perfect solution, so we did it!
What problem are you solving?
With so many leisure and entertainment attractions across the UAE, many families and friend groups face “option paralysis” when it comes to planning days out. FamilyPass addresses this by letting consumers purchase unlimited access to multiple attractions for one single price. We also provide customers the added benefit of being able to pay using installments over the full year making budgeting a breeze.
How does it work?
To get a FamilyPass you simply need to visit our website, Familypass.ae, and choose which package they want: 10 attractions with the Bronze package; 12 attractions with the silver package; or 14 attractions with the gold package.
The guest then enters their details (name, email, emirates ID and address) and proceeds to choose the number of installments and their bank provider. With the order complete, we deliver your FamilyPass membership cards within 3 days. Once the card arrives, you’re all set for a full year of unlimited fun at some of the best attractions in town, including on public holidays!
What is your target market?
Our target market is very much families in the UAE. For families that like to take their kids out once a month or more, then FamilyPass membership club offers a cost effective option with a monthly fee that is often less then the price of one-time entry at an attraction! Also with FamilyPass you get unlimited access starting from 10 attractions every month of the year!
What differentiates you from other competitors in the region?
Most of our competitors offer either a discounted ticket or a 2 for 1 offer at leisure and entertainment attractions and they often don’t offer this on public holidays. FamilyPass stands out because our unlimited access pass works 365 days of the year and includes all public holidays all for roughly the same price as the price of a one-time access to many attractions.
We also offer our FamilyPass members up to 25% discount on food and beverage and retail at most of our attractions.
How much time did it take you from conceptualization of ‘your venture’ to launching it in the market?
We had an initial time frame of 5 months but that soon became 10 months to launch and be transactional on our website. This was mainly due to the contract process with our leisure and entertainment partners that took time.
Are there any obstacles that are impacting FamilyPass?
Being a startup company and getting the word out there in the most cost-effective way and letting people know you exist! We don’t have a big budget for a huge launch campaign unfortunately, but we are doing everything we can to get the word out!
What role has social media played in growing your business?
For FamilyPass, social media plays a big role in brand awareness, marketing and driving guests to our website. It’s the most cost-effective marketing strategy we are using and so far, it’s showing great results.
What sort of support and feedback are you looking for from the community?
FamilyPass is a pretty new concept to the leisure and entertainment industry and we need our message of added value to be understood. We would love to get feedback from the community on how well our cost-effective messaging is coming through and whether the true value of FamilyPass is understood.
We want to make our website and advertising as clear as possible because we believe when people see the true value of our product, they’ll join our membership club right away.
What advice would you give to new start-ups in the region?
We are part of the AstroLabs incubator in JLT and it was a great place to start the business. They provided us with a free trade license issued by DMCC for the first year which translated to savings of $12,000 right off the bat (great for any company in a startup mode). Our final piece of advice for any business looking to launch, is NOT to simply strive for success but rather, strive to be of value to your customers.
Interested in learning more about FamilyPass? Or maybe you have a question for them? Be sure to leave a comment below or even better reach out to them on Facebook. And if you’re looking for more of our merchants’ great stories be sure to check out our last Merchant of the Month post on Ahmed Abdulwahed Trading Co, one of the region’s leading consumer electronics retailers.