Meet the Mavericks
MAVERICK: SCOTT CHAMBERS
Founder and MD of Surf House Dubai, 32
Inspired by the same entrepreneurial spirit that drove Glenfiddich to create the world’s most-awarded single malt whisky, we sought out four maverick men from four very different backgrounds who in their everyday lives trade risk for reward as they look to shape their own futures. Scott Chambers is one of those mavericks.
Surfing isn’t the most obvious sport that comes to mind in the UAE. In fact, five years ago the surf community was a disparate band of thrill-seekers who would hit the country’s remote beaches before most people got out of bed, because they weren’t allowed to surf on public beaches. Scott Chambers was one of those mavericks. Realising that there was an yearning for budding extreme sports fans and a support network for seasoned surfers, Chambers started Surf House Dubai – the country’s first official surf school and community platform that fosters events, competitions and are actively involved in local charity projects.
ESQ: What makes you a maverick?
Scott Chambers: Setting up a surfing company in Dubai was a pretty big gamble. When the city was in a stage of hyper-growth, it was pretty easy for a graduate to secure a well-paying job and make a lot of money, fast. That’s what everyone I knew was doing, but while I watched everyone turn right, I decided to go left. Surfing was a non-event in the country, but I knew that there would be people who shared my passion for it. Today, the Surf House has now become an embassy for ocean living. We’ve created a community from the ground up that revolves around surfing, yoga, art, really good coffee, and giving back.
What do you remind yourself of when you start your working day?
To focus, work hard, and keep staying the course no matter what.
What has been your biggest challenge?
I was always taught that creating anything of genuine value takes time. Creating a business that didn’t yet fit into the local system wasn’t easy. Having enough passion for something is what gives you the steam to persevere when things get hard. We pushed through several years of consistently practicing what we preach and were able to bring things to the stage they are now at.
What makes you stand out?
I’ve always had a hunger to create things that I believe in and things that haven’t been done yet. Dubai is my home, and the fact that I have been able to help add to its cultural offerings is something that has been a privilege.
What was the best lesson you learned?
Anything is possible. Decide what it is you would like to do and put everything you have into it. It’s never about what you can get, it is always about what you can give.