Passion Sundays

Shopping Therapy with a High Dose of Passion

CEO the International Council of Shopping Centers Middle East, reveals secrets for retail passion. David Macadam tells the secret behind his global success in retail…

Retail therapy? David Macadam is the CEO of the Middle East version of the International Council of Shopping Centers. He has over 35 years of retail experience including commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate industry and Completed projects totaling in excess of USD $5.2 billion, he even lectures at at the Dubai School of Government so when it comes to retail he is the man to talk to.
David’s passion was never perfectly clear, one thing for sure is he was passionate about whatever he did, slowly the pieces of the puzzle became clearer till he realized everything he did in his life was a piece of the big picture. Only then he went on to become one of the leading retail authorities around the world.
His secret to finding passion when times are tough is to get out of bed, put one foot in front of the other, and do whatever it is that you want to do!
So go ahead and click here if you want to find out how to be a leader in retail or any other industry you choose; and don’t forget to share it around and spread the passion.

Live Passionately
Moustafa Hamwi
Passionpreneur & Chief Energy Officer
Award Winning Author
AKA The Passion Guy


Moustafa:         Hi everyone and welcome back to Passion Sundays -the best way to end the week and start another.
Our guest today is phenomenally passionate about shopping and shopping centers. He’s only been doing it for over 35 years. He’s very experienced in this field and he heads the International Council for Shopping Centers, David Macadam.
David, thank you very much for being here with us today
David:                   Moustafa thank you. My pleasure for being here, I really appreciate the opportunity.
Moustafa:           Thank you very much. And it’s, it’s an awesome topic to talk about, shopping. I think everybody loves it and the world is all about shopping. Now I think there’s something called shopping therapy. Now if there’s no person better than you to talk about shopping, but before I get into the shopping part of it, I wanna know about passion what does passion mean to you?
David:                   Passion for me means what you get out of the bed for, first thing in the morning and you know exactly what your day is gonna be like. What you wanna do and what you want to be involved in.
Moustafa:           Okay…But what gets you out of bed in the morning if you’re feeling low sometimes? Cause it’s easy to say I’m passionate but then, tough times come and you find excuses for not making things work.
David:                   Well I think that what I’ve learned in my life is the first thing I have to do is get out of bed. Put one foot infront of the other. When things are bad, things go in life you know what it’s like, up and down.
Moustafa:           Uh oh.
David:                   When things aren’t necessarily as good as they could be, it’s get out of bed, put one foot infront of the other and do what it is that you want to do. And for me, that’s how always get out of bed, get outside, hot, cold, rain, sun, not lot of rain here, but sun just do something. Be out there, free your mind and start thinking about positive things. Things that bring you back to where you wanna be in your mission, of your daily this is what I wanna to do!
Moustafa:           So what is your mission that you wanna to do?
David:                   Um…well my mission that I want to do every day is that, I love to help people. So I get a great joy in seeing people excel in what they do, and help them to just facilitate what they’re trying to achieve in their life. So I get a big joy out of that. That’s my passion as well. I think the other thing that I get a big passion of, a big kick out of, is to see people succeed. So I love to help people, to push them in the right direction if they want to be, or inspired to go in the right direction and just see them grow.
Moustafa:           And how do you link that back into shopping?
David:                   Well shopping for me is always been something, that’s umm it…I go back to the building side of the shopping. So for me it’s a, it’s a technical, there’s, there’s passion in the technical, there’s passion in the ummm…what’s inside the shopping center. When I walk into a shopping center I’m not looking at the stores. What I’m looking at is the, the size of the width of the walkways. The heights of the ceiling. The AC what’s going on. The cleanliness. The level of detail. The way the tiles fit together. What it looks like in terms of the overall ambience. What the smells are like. What the sound is like inside the venue. But then if before that is when I’m driving in. What’s the experience like when you drive into the shopping center. Are there signs? Does it make you feel welcome? Would you want to come back here? So for me it’s all about how this all it is come together. So that’s my passion and you know it’s, it’s a bit of a sick one, but I’m getting inside of it everybody has their own thing .
Moustafa:           Well I love the fact that you just went on and on and you’re starting to count a long to- do list that nobody would have ever thought about huh, but because, and I can tell that this is, this is a sign of passion and you got that much…
David:                   Let me apologize up front because people sometimes just fall asleep when I start talking about it so…
Moustafa:           But that, that’s good, my question is though, when did you discover that passion? Cause you said you didn’t start in that field and you know, you kind of morphed into it.
David:                   Yeah, sure! Well you know, like many people I started young so um.. I finish high school right into university. Ah, I wanted to be a teacher that started out with.. so this goes umm back in the 70’s, early 70’s. So I got out of the university and I taught high school students, Biology. And so that was Grade 11 and 12 Biology. I was 21, 22 years old, my students were 17, 18. So there’s not that much difference in our age. What I found was totally amazing was that I can actually have people listen to me, and they learned and then they were measured about how they did. That was fun! I learned a lot about that and I enjoyed about the presentation and, and helping people then. So that was the part of it. I got into…later I studied law in New Zealand, I studied, umm because I was, I was interested on how the legal frame of things works. I left that and I got in to sales because I’ve always been a salesman. And in sales, those back in the 70’s again, there’s only one company to be a salesman with, and that was Xerox. And Xerox sent me to the university in Leesburg, Virginia. So they sent me there from Vancouver in Canada for about three months, for uh, an intensive study on how to relate to people, and how to sell.
Moustafa:           Interesting.
David:                   And I had, I had no better experience in my life in terms of learning how to achieve a technical skills, which is sales. And that’s helped me throughout my life. So after I left Xerox I got into a real estate business. But why? I got into the real estate business only because I turned in, in finding out, you’ll never know how things will gonna unfold in your life. But I found that I could look into a building, shopping center, warehouse, office building, tower like this, and I could get a sense as to where the revenue comes from…
Moustafa:           Uhm.
David:                   How it’s built, the construction techniques, how long it will take, the cost to construct, ah…all the different elements that go into a complicated structure. From there I let into the shopping center business and I also let into the office building business and then I ran my own business for 18 years in, in Vancouver in Canada.
Moustafa:           Interesting. So I see, I see how your journey kind of gave you pieces of the puzzle, to eventually climaxed on the top with what is actually your passion. So you’re partially passionate about things that you are doing, it fills pieces and you went on with them and that’s an amazing message to our viewers about the fact that passion is a journey, it’s not a destination. I mean you might reach a certain destination somehow you find out that this is it that I’m dedicating the rest of my life to. But until then you wanna, take the pieces of the puzzle along the way and be truly passionate about whatever you are doing now.
David:                   That stuff I totally agree, and I think, you have a thing to bear in mind as I think it’s so important for people to understand and that everything that you do in life, I mean everything…
Moustafa:           Uh uh.
David:                   That you do in life,  leads towards what you are today and how you’ve got here, so as I go back to my days when I was teaching, and I found I got a great joy from helping people, and I, and people wanted to listen to me about what I had to explain. I also learned when I was in the law, that I learned that there’s a lot of…precedence, there’s the English common law that goes around the world. That there’s a lot of different things in contract law, International law, all of the things that go together with what I’m doing today. I learned, from a legal perspective and that really helped. Then the sales, everything in life in my view, everything…
Moustafa:           Sales.
David:                   Is a sales.
Moustafa:           True.
David:                   And I know that for many years in that 70’s when I was going through and becoming a salesperson, and a very professional salesperson in the Xerox. I was told many times that, a salesman, what the hell, you wanna be a salesman? And I never took it that way. I took it as…an exercise in helping me to understand people better. Because if I understood what made them tick…
Moustafa:           Uh.
David:                   Then I could understand, what I could do, to help them, on their way.
Moustafa:           Uhm… I love that! And that, I guess there’s no better way to conclude this episode than you know, saying that you help people find what makes them tick, which is probably what I do. You, you are in a way, a passion guy in your own passion…
David:                   SurE.
Moustafa:           Which is, retail, and I guess that no bigger industry probably in the world than this,  so thank you very much for being with here with us today, and I’m sure everybody found it amazingly useful.
David:                   My pleasure! Thanks Moustafa.
Moustafa:           Thank you.
Moustafa and David:      Passion!
Moustafa:           I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did. And I’d like to know what do you think about it. So please do share your opinion to our Passion community down on the blog below and if you find it useful, share it with your friends. And if you’d like more tools, tips, techniques, and exclusive interviews that I only share on my site, go to And until next episode, live passionately.

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Hi, I’m Moustafa

Dubai’s real-life “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.” On a one-way ticket to India, I’ve gone from meeting a Swami out of 13 years in caves, to natural healing from a disease to become the Passionpreneur. I’m an international speaker and coach helping people find and pursue passion.

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