Shamim Kassibawi, Founder of Play: Date, Talks Challenges of Working in the Tech World

Hayley Kadrou   |   22-04-2019

Shamim Kassibawi, the Founder of the Play: Date app joins the a&e team for Morning Coffee to discuss where she got the inspiration for the Dubai-founded app and what’s at the core of her brand.


After being surrounded by her nieces and nephews, Shamim Kassibawi thought there must be an easier way for kids in Dubai (with a huge expat community) to meet, play and bond with kids their age outside of a school setting. 


That’s when Shamim – who is from a Kiwi-Arab background and who worked as a publicist before becoming an entrepreneur – came up with the concept of Play: Date. The app allows parents to set up get-togethers for their kids with children of similar age and with likewise interests, and even includes offers for family-friendly activities. 


Talking to the a&e team over Morning Coffee, the Founder further delves into the idea behind the app and the biggest challenges she faces in the world of tech.



Watch the full interview with Shamim above, and find out what we learned chatting with her below.

Five Things We Learned Talking to  Shamim Kassibawi Over Morning Coffee


The Play:Date app was launched approximately two years ago

The Play: Date app was launched approximately two years ago


A positive start to the day is key


The app concept creator explained how she starts her day by listening to gratitude videos on YouTube, as she feels it’s crucial to start her day in a positive way. She continues: “I avoid emails until I actually get into the office.”


The inspiration behind Play: Date 


After living with four of her nieces and nephews for a decade, she came up with the idea of the app explaining: “I realised that kids start engaging at a really young age. I also realised that my sister’s oldest is not as social as her youngest, she started speaking earlier… She’s a lot more alert, she just picks everything up so quickly. And I realised a lot of kids that come to Dubai might not make friends straight away when they come to school. So why don’t we make a fun way for friends to meet up or for families to set up play dates.”


On evolving technology 


The biggest challenge Shamim said she faces is keeping up with ever-evolving technology. She explained: “I think technology is just so challenging. It evolves everyday so nobody is a real expert at it.  Tomorrow Facebook might come up with a new format and it might throw us off because we log in through Facebook. Android might come up with a new phone and that means we have to design a whole new platform. Getting my head around it has been really tough.”


Richard Branson is her biggest inspiration


“Without a doubt,” the Founder told us. She added: “There is a book called Screw It, Let’s Do It  – he wrote it – literally, that is my life. If I come up with a concept today, tomorrow it’s online.”


Don’t sweat the small stuff


Is Shamim’s personal motto. She elaborated: “Let it go… Just move on, I don’t let things get to me no matter how big or small they are. Tomorrow is a new day.”


Shamim Kassibawi talks her inspirations and personal mottos over Morning Coffee

Shamim Kassibawi talks about her inspirations and personal mottos over Morning Coffee


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