Model Tyra Banks chooses Abu Dhabi as the first market to develop her ice cream brand


Model-turned-businesswoman Tyra Banks has chosen Abu Dhabi as the first international market for her high-end ice cream brand, Smize Cream.

“I chose Abu Dhabi for the global expansion of my brand because I am inspired by what the United Arab Emirates has achieved over the past 50 years,” the businesswoman said at the Access event. Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

“He evolved from the sand to the moon. The beauty and warmth of the country touch me. Also, its progress in empowering women.

Ms Banks headlined the inaugural session of the Access Granted Speaker Series, an initiative launched by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (Adio) and Maven Global that aims to help US women-led businesses and entrepreneurs from minorities to develop in Abu Dhabi and serve as a bridge. for the wider Middle East market.

The program is part of the emirate’s strategy to attract global companies to set up their regional bases in Abu Dhabi.

Ms Banks, a former model, is now a media and business pioneer whose portfolio includes the production company, Bankable Productions, which has made shows such as The Tyra Banks Show and America’s Next Top Model.

She is part of the Women of Web3 delegation, a team of American tech entrepreneurs who shared their ideas and are exploring Abu Dhabi as a gateway for the global expansion of their businesses.

“We will have ice cream shops in Abu Dhabi, while B2B will contribute the bulk of our revenue. We will sell in bulk to the transportation industry, airlines, cruises, stadiums and arenas. We just closed a big deal,” Ms Banks said.

Smize Cream will also be launching in the metaverse in Los Angeles within a month, the model said.

“It will be a luxurious and decadent digital experience. You can register now and join the waitlist to get a non-fungible token. I want to make NFTs and the metaverse accessible,” she added.

“You can break into the market if you can be innovative. It’s about working hard to achieve your dreams,” Ms Banks told the audience of entrepreneurs and businesswomen.

“I am attracted to risk taking and income generation. I want to kick down doors now so people at a later date don’t get any bumps or bruises. Young people come to me and tell me they don’t feel the pain because I made it easy for them. It makes me wake up every day,” Ms Banks explained.

“Don’t be ashamed, do your cold calls and emails. The four most important words are ‘Who do you know?’ connect to take me to the next level,” she advised entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi wants to celebrate entrepreneurs, build support structures for them and create a barrier-free waterway, according to Abdulla Al Shamsi, acting managing director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office.

“There has been a major campaign within the UAE government to support opportunities for women. About 66% of our public sector employees are women,” he said.

“Opportunity must be driven by innovation, creativity and challenging the status quo. We are here to remove barriers, change regulations where necessary and learn from the business world. We are moving towards an economy based on the knowledge.

As part of the Access Abu Dhabi initiative, the Adio will help expose businesses to the emirate’s favorable ecosystem, find them a location and secure equity, he said.

“We are creating a platform for people to thrive. People are the backbone of our knowledge-based economy,” Mr. Al Shamsi added.

Under the Access Abu Dhabi program, curated delegations of notable Americans will gain insider experience of Abu Dhabi’s advanced infrastructure, hyper connectivity, competitive talent pool, lifestyle and business opportunities.

These groups will help spread the benefits of the emirate to their respective communities, Adio said.

The United Arab Emirates and the United States have enjoyed close ties for decades. The UAE has been the top export market for U.S. goods in the entire Mena region since 2009, worth $14.75 billion, according to the UAE Embassy in Washington.

Updated: May 26, 2022, 1:54 p.m.

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