Living and Working the Dream at CoworkInn
By Hilary Diack
Feeling boxed in by four walls and the smog of the city? The 9-5 routine destroying your soul? Now that we can stay connected and still be productive 24/7, from virtually anywhere, Cairo West Magazine can’t resist sharing our new discovery. Dahab resident and entrepreneur, Mira Arnold, gives us the lowdown on how to make work seem like play in idyllic surroundings. Get your bags packed!
CWM: What is the concept behind CoworkInn?
MA: CoworkInn is a place where people, mostly digital nomads, from everywhere in the world, can meet and work. The concept is to work in a different place, to find new inspirations, to meet new people and exchange your ideas with them, to form a community, to be motivated by others. Having workshops and camps to learn new things, and to jump in the pool or the sea for a little break.
How did the idea come about?
I started in a start-up enterprise, which was really nice, but I felt that I was missing something. So I wanted to start my own business and the best place for it was Dahab, where I worked seven years ago as a dive guide. I love Dahab so much, and I always wanted to live here, so I decided to create a co-working space there. The initial plan was to have a hostel, but then I met so many interesting business people, digital nomads as we describe them. I wanted to be surrounded by them, and that was how my idea of the co-working space came into being.
Is the facility used mainly by Egyptian residents, or are you finding interest coming from abroad?
There are many people who are interested and not just Egyptians. Germans come regularly, but we also have people from every other country and culture.
Are there many people who have chosen to continue working while using Dahab as their base?
Yes, many people come to Dahab to work from here and to enjoy the beauty of Dahab. This work-life-balance works out perfectly and all the guests we have had want to come back soon. But some people also ask about just coming on vacation. That’s why we have a new project called JustInn Dahab where people can also come just for holidays.
What are the main advantages of living in Dahab?
In Dahab you are surrounded by sea and mountains; it’s so beautiful here. It’s sunny and warm and the stars are amazing. But the best is the community: Dahab is like one big family and you feel so at home, welcome and loved here.
Do you have any logistical challenges or are you connected with all the tech required?
The main challenge is the Internet: it can be really slowly in Egypt, but we generally have a stable, good Internet connection, and always more than one backup.
Do you see this as a new trend where people can still be creative and work while enjoying a more natural lifestyle?
Yes, I think this is a new and positive trend. You are so much more productive and creative if you have a chance to calm down, take a walk along the beach, meet relaxed, agreeable people and just be surrounded by love.