It never ceases to amaze me how universal the hug of a teddy bear is. No matter where I travel or how far away from the USA I am I see children cuddling their furry friends and the Middle East is no different!

Smiles abound in every language!

Smiles abound in every language!

Build-A-Bear Workshop opened this past week in Dubai to a throng of happy Guests. Dubai – The city that has risen from the desert has everything from the Burj Al Arab to the “The Needle in the Sky” (the Burj Dubai), indoor ski slopes within a mall, Palms and gigantic man made creations in the Arabian Gulf is now complete as it has it’s very own Build-A-Bear Workshop at the Dubai Festival City Mall. Festival City is the first of many stores to open in the Gulf States and none too soon!

Opening crowd

Our first requests for stores in Dubai probably came about 8 years ago. Visitors and residents of Dubai crave the best brands of the world and Build-A-Bear Workshop is no exception. When we expand overseas we look for business partners who have the financial resources and experience to help recreate the magic that we have created in the USA. We are BEARY picky! While we want our Guests to have an easy and fun experience, it takes a lot to make this happen every day. The most important ingredient for success are great Bear Builders who understand what it means to make children of all ages smile. Thanks to our great leaders Zeyad and Anders and the support of Bear Builder Trainer Extraordinaire, Kathi Scott , we recruited a GREAT team and had a FURBULOUS opening!

The Festival City Team

The Festival City Team

At BABW we absolutely want to change lives through the hug of a teddy bear and one way we show our true hearts is through our partnerships with our landlords and other business partners.
These signs in the mall are an example of what can result as are the sales which doubled the projections!

Everyone wants to know where BABW is....

Everyone wants to know where BABW is....

Children are amazing people and that is why so many of them are my friends. I am inspired by their hearts and souls and creativity. I am encouraged by how they see the world and how they deal with adversity. That is why I do what I do. I have the best job in the world.

What a smile!

What a smile!


Hugs to all,



Tags: ,


  1. zoehearts145 Says:

    Wow thats really cool how babw is global, bringing jot to kids all over the world!

  2. AmberFireFeather Says:

    I couldn’t agree more that Build-a-Bear is a ‘Best Brand’! They are lucky to have their BAB store. I can’t read what the signs say, but I guess they are saying something like ‘Best Place In The World. That Way!’. Bye Maxine!

  3. muneera Says:

    omg thats me and my cozins in dubai festivel city

  4. muneera Says:

    thats my brother with his money
    ps.my brother is a monkey just like HIS money

  5. Zeyad Says:

    My daughter just pointed me to this website as she is a big fan of you and follow you on Twitter. Thanks for creating this brand. You will be in the heart of children forever. We are very proud to be part of the worldwide BABW family and to be the ones who brought this wounderful concept to the Gulf. Lots of hugs and kisses from the heart of the desert 🙂

  6. kara Says:

    Wow that teaches alought maxine A hug is unterstud in many laugeuges!
    If you were very poor and could not afford a bear like that and you would finnally get the money! it would be very cool if that was me but I have 5 build a bears but if you think abou that if one person really wanted a bear and got it They Would Have a huge smile on there face. And a huge is understund in many laugesges around the world!


  7. muneera Says:

    hi maxine i started reading you book.its pawsome!
    thanks for putting me on your website

  8. kierstenastronaut Says:

    That is beary sweet 🙂 I love the last picture 🙂 So cute/sweet!

  9. ♪JennaFluffy19♪ Says:

    That is beary nice of you to want everyone in the world to be happy. 😀 I went to Dubai over the summer- it is AMAZING! I hope if we go again next year maybe we could the new BABW store!

  10. ♪JennaFluffy19♪ Says:

    I think that is SOOOO sweet of you to open up a BABW store in the Middle East. Its very nice of you to want everyone in the world to be happy, Maxine. I want you to know you are a role model to me. 🙂

  11. ♪JennaFluffy19♪ Says:

    I think that is SOOOO sweet of you to open up a BABW store in the Middle East. Its very nice of you to want everyone in the world to be happy, Maxine. I want you to know you are a role model to me. 🙂 🙂

  12. JulianeBubbles Says:

    Awesome! My friend is Arabian and she visits Dubai at Summer. I should ask her if she will go to the new BABW there! ^-^

  13. JulianeBubbles Says:

    Smiles bring joy and joy brings happiness and happiness brings love! One smile can really make a difference can it?! ^-^

  14. _Heaven's_Cutest_Girl_ Says:

    Yes, it can. Joy and happiness is the heart of Love. Hugs. Peace. It’s amazing how just one word, one smile, one gift of the love you have inside of your heart can make a big difference. all it takes is a hug, kiss, or even a Hello, how are you! We can all make the biggest difference! If we just
    Love each other
    Be kind to one another
    Nothi’n can’t stop us now
    We can get together
    Make a big huge difference
    Nothi’n’s gonna stop us NOW!!!!!!!!!!

  15. _Heaven's_Cutest_Girl_ Says:

    Today I’m going out to eat and my parent & grandpa and they invited my Uncle, Cuzins, and his wife. I’m so excited!!! 🙂

  16. IBN Says:

    I really idolized Maxine Clark in the past. She inspired me to be a business woman and I bought her book. But I sent her an email awhile back to thank her. I’m not trying to sound rude, but I found her reply blunt and her answers to my questions teetering on invisible. Everything was conscise, which I understand since she must be so busy, but some of it made me feel like she didn’t even care. She truly is a great business woman, but that incident made me feel less respect for her.

    • maxineclark Says:

      Thank you for posting your comment on my response to your email. I apologize if you did not feel it was what you had hoped for. I try to keep my responses appropriate especially in the msaller blog space as I know the people who write me have much to do as well.

      I have taken your comments to heart and will work harder to do a better job. I love to hear from our Guests and while I answer 1000’s of emails a week from children and adults from my email address at maxine@buildabear.com, I want to be sure my heart does show through to each and every one. I treasure each and every one of them more than I could possibly communicate.

      Thanks again for taking the time to write to me!I will do a better job of trying to answer all emails where ever they have been sent.


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