Hookah Meetups in Dubai: interview with Subul sheesha.queen
You may know that one of our hookahbattle shareholders Oleg Knyaginin (since 2006) run a specific project in St. Petersburg – hookah meetups (every week hookah community visit random hookah lounge and eveluate it)
It was really interesting for me to find out that there someone who make a similar thing in.. Dubai. Let me introduce you to Subul sheesha.queen‘
Hello Subul, many people know you as shisha queen. Can you please tell your story how did you come to the hookah industry?
Hello. I was actually very passionate about hookah and I loved exploring new places in the city that served shisha. So my friends encouraged me to start with a blog (2019) and make a page to share my passion with everyone.
Can you tell in a few words for people who don’t know you what is about your hookah blog?
My blog is all about exploring everything related to hookah. I review new and old cafés and lounges, introduce new products to my followers and also host shisha meetups.
What is my my shisha club project?
Shisha Club is like a club for people who love shisha. We host our events at different lounges and our members can come to the event to enjoy shisha, play games and meet other shisha lovers
We have an Instagram page and a whatsapp group. It is open for everyone to join. There’s a link on our Instagram page to join the whatsapp group so anyone an easily join
So the events go like this – we collaborate with a lounge or a shisha operator at a particular cafe and they give us discounted rates or a special offer ONLY for our members that day and we usually have around 30-40 spots at a time so members have to make a reservation in order to attend.
They have to pay for their shisha or whatever offer we have got from the venue, which is usually 50% less than the actual price
Another exciting thing is playing Bingo. All members who attend get a chance to play bingo on the event night and the winners get prizes like shisha products or discount vouchers.
Sounds great. But what is the profit for restaurant (taking into account that they loose money for the discount)?
The advantage for them is that they get marketing for their venue and people usually order food and extra stuff as well because its dinner time so the restaurant does not actually face the loss. The discount offer we get is only for the shisha
Do you have experience of visiting some hookah expos? What do you thing about the upcoming shisha expo in Dubai in May?
Not yet but I’m looking forward to the World Shisha expo in Dubai next month. They have collaborated with me as well so I am posting and marketing for them on my page
Do you also make some professional review of restaurant? Like critic’s score?
No. Only if the service has been really bad
As I understand you collaborate with some hookah brands with your events. I see Al-Fakher on the picture. Do you also work with some other brands?
Yes Al Fakher had collaborated with us on those events. Hence, their logo.
I have worked with other brands as well like Khaleej Tobacco, Space Smoke, Debaj, Royal Hookah
And some shisha manufacturer brands
As I know people in Middle East dont preferer to share one hookah in company. Everyone smoke personal hookah?
It depends on person to person but yes, most people do not like sharing it – including me haha
What is your favorite tobacco brands (like top 3) and what is your favorite Top-3 flavors?
Top 3 brands:
1. Khaleej Tobacco
2. Al Fakher
1. Gum mint or gum Cinammon
2. Love by Adalya
Have you ever heard something about our event: Hookah Lounge Design Award 2021? Last year we have organized it in 9 countries. Do you think it makes sense to do it in UAE as well?
I have never heard about it but it seems something very interesting especially now when Dubai’s shisha community in booming! The competition will be tough here
Which Top 3 hookah lounges can you recomend to people who are going to Dubai soon? (Will be great if you can send a picture of each lounge so we can put it into the article)
Hookah blogging is your only job? Do you make something else? Also maybe some hobbies?
Actually hookah blogging was initially a hobby but now I give it alot of time and effort.
I work as a property consultant in Dubai. Thats my primary job
Other than that I love traveling, meeting friends, organizing events and exploring new places to eat – I’m a big foodie
How about darkleaf high nicotine shisha tobacco brands such as Darkside or Tangiers. Do you see any popularity or potential of it in your region?
Yes I have tried a few like dark side, aircraft etc. a lot of people like it here but mostly they like the regular ones because the dark leaf ones ate pretty strong and can’t be smoked for a longer session
We develop the online service called where2smoke.net Which help people to find a good hookah lounge with particular shisha brand to smoke (like show me the lounges where too smoke Alfakher). Do you see any potential of it in UAE?
Sounds interesting. Will make it much easier to located lounges according to our cravings and requirements
Which future plans do you have with your hookah projects?
Hopefully make our shisha club bigger and monetize it in some way