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From Olympic rings to business wins: Amir Khan’s UAE success story

From Olympic rings to business wins: Amir Khan’s UAE success story
29 Feb 2024 09:31


Amir Khan, a name synonymous with speed, precision, and discipline in the boxing world, has made a remarkable transition from being a celebrated athlete to a successful entrepreneur.

His professional boxing career, spanning from 2005 to 2022, was marked by numerous accolades, including winning two world championships and a silver medal in the lightweight division at the 2004 Olympics. Beyond his athletic prowess, Khan has ventured into philanthropy, business, and real estate, proving that he’s a champion both in and outside the ring.

In an interview with Aletihad on the sidelines of Hub71’s Impact Summit, where he participated in a panel discussing the importance of having a “champion mindset” in entrepreneurship, Khan explained that the discipline he honed in the boxing ring has been a cornerstone of his success in the business world.

“As a fighter, you should wake up early in the morning, you constantly need to train. You have to be disciplined. I’m taking that with me into the business side of the world and becoming an entrepreneur,” he said.

This discipline, according to Khan, is parallel in both worlds - sport and business - requiring punctuality, preparation, and perseverance.“I have to be on time for meetings. I need to prepare my notes before I come. I have to have my schedule right. I think the discipline of professional boxing has helped me to stay focused on my path.” 

However, being disciplined was not the sole cause of Khan’s success in business - early on, he recognised that adaptability and one’s openness to growth are fundamental for long-term prosperity. 

Due to the ephemeral nature of a sports-based income, Khan decided to diversify his portfolio, and now owns a sponsorship company, Khan Promotions, and a boxing school, Amir Khan Academy. He also co-owns India’s Super Fighter League (MMA) and Super Boxing League.

“I went to the boxing Hall of Fame... But guess what, many of them had nothing to their name. They were broke,” Khan recalled.

“Boxing money is big, yes. But you still need a way to earn income after that. You have to go into business; you have to be successful.” 

Choosing the UAE as his country of residence, Khan also highlighted his foray into real estate, a reflection of confidence in the country’s market. 

“I have a good real estate portfolio in Dubai. I think that [investing in] Dubai has been really good for a lot of people,” he shared, attributing his successes to the dynamic and encouraging business environment of the UAE. 

“Everywhere you go here... everyone has an idea of business and is always thinking about starting a new business, selling the business, buying something, or investing in properties. They have that hustle mindset,” Khan remarked. 

Khan’s admiration for the UAE extends beyond business opportunities to the quality of life and safety the country offers.

“This is probably the nicest place... the UAE is investing a lot in development, everything is very organised and clean,” Khan said.

“You can leave your bag here now - it will still be there when you come back,” he added.

Central to Khan’s narrative is his philanthropic vision and commitment to making a difference, encapsulated by the Amir Khan Foundation.

“One thing about my charity foundation - no one takes a penny. 100% of the money goes to the less fortunate,” Khan stated. 

His many successes, he believes, stem from not only his champion mindset and discipline, but also his dedication to aiding those in need, a principle that guides his personal and professional life.

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