From growing up in Liverpool, England to selling tickets in Ibiza, and now creating award-winning parties for hundreds of thousands of guests per year in Dubai, Chris Wright’s journey to hospitality leader is an inspiration.
Aged 18, Chris spent his summer breaks from university in Ibiza during the summer breaks from university. A born hospitality entrepreneur ready to broaden his horizons, he worked on the well-established party island as a promoter selling event tickets, creating events and growing his own DJ career by warming up for other resident DJs.
Time and learning the hospitality industry’s ins and outs is how Chris went from a fresh-faced teenager to owner and CEO of The Wright Group. “I spent 13 summers building my network and reputation as a club promoter then eventually set up my company organizing my own events. In 2013 I wanted to expand my concepts to another country, and Dubai seemed like the up and coming destination to do this.”
Every good founder knows that seeing opportunities before others do is a key to success. Speaking on what the Dubai nightlife scene was like in 2013, Chris said, “It looked very different with only a handful of beach clubs. Only certain restaurants and hotels offered brunches, and Ladies Night was Tuesday, and that was it. You could just see there was no ceiling to what was possible, expansion was imminent, inevitable and an abundance of opportunity was bubbling at the surface just waiting to be taken.”
Since then, Chris and The Wright Group have established multiple brands that host over 1600 parties a year combined; Secret Parties, Family Brunch, Sin Events, Pukka UP, Bla Bla Dubai and more recently the rooftop lounge Mi Amie, launched at global luxury hotel Jumeirah Emirates Towers. In just four years, these brands have won over 20 awards for the imaginative events they put on. Rose All Day at Cove Beach won Best Ladies Day at the What’s On Nightlight Awards 2021, and Bongo’s Bingo won Best Original Night Out from Time Out Dubai.
Chris embodies all the traits of a successful entrepreneur. From knowing the importance of creating a great customer experience with high standards, to having a strong team around him to work on his brands which allows him to focus on other projects where his skills or mind are needed.
Networking was a big part of his success as a promoter, DJ and events producer in the early days, and now Chris is conscious to use the internet to maintain the relationships needed to do what he does.
Reading the room is as important in DJing as it is when attempting to build great events in foreign cities. As a DJ, Chris understood that it wasn’t about the paycheck. “A DJs job is so much more than creating a soundtrack for an event, it’s about creating an atmosphere and manipulating the mood… you need to be flexible, if the crowd aren’t feeling it, switch it up and make them feel it!” This same attitude is what has made Chris a success in his chosen home of Dubai. Speaking more on the culture of the city’s nightlife he said, “What’s hot last week could easily be desperate for bums on seats the next, and while that’s incredibly tough to predict trends, it also means there’s always room to disrupt. Dubai likes to be the loudest in the room and embraces disruptors.”
To aspiring entrepreneurs who also dream of making a name for themselves, Chris’ words of wisdom are, “Don’t give up, stay consistent, stay hungry, stay humble, stay focused, have a big network but a small circle. I have had my highest highs and my lowest lows as an entrepreneur, you will see the best and worst in people. Everyone is there when the going is good but when the going gets tough? That’s when you’ll find your real people and that’s where you’ll learn.”
As for what’s next, Chris is growing his creative consultancy agency, The Wright Group, as well as his portfolio of restaurants and bars. He has around ten concepts ready to launch once the perfect location and venues have been carefully picked. Chris’ main goals are to continue working with the best venues in the world and to continue helping hospitality businesses to be firmly on the map as top contenders.
Keep up with Chris on his company website and Instagram channel here;