University is one of the best times of a person’s life. In fact, university years are filled with the most memorable moments, whether it be through volunteering, taking your favorite classes, or the magic of learning something new every day, but it definitely is an important time to cherish, and you need to make sure you enjoy it.
As soon as students enter university, parents start to treat you as an adult and may not give you an allowance. Or you may notice that your family may need to buy expensive university books and stationery. This can all be overwhelming for students and their families. We want you to meet the team that’s on the forefront of making students’ lives easier, Unipal.
Unipal is founded by Ali Alalawi, and Ali Al Shaer, two former students who have studied in the UK, and have experienced first-hand the daily expenses it takes being a university student abroad. Seeing a lack of similar support for students in Bahrain than when they were in the UK, and understanding the need for students to have a life outside of classes and university, they decided to build their own Unipal.
Unipal is a one-stop student-centric platform that aims to help students make the most of their university years in Bahrain by offering discounts to local restaurants, cafes, clinics, salons, and more.
Unipal is also challenging the cultural view that students don’t need discounts, or full-time jobs, because they don’t need to worry about financial obligations. According to Ali, this could be farther from the truth, because students and their families can be overwhelmed with the cost of tuition and school supplies. The least that they can get are discounts on day-to-day activities that will help them have a healthy university-life balance. That is why Unipal works with local cafes, restaurants, gyms, and more. Some of them include Dose, Regency Health Club, Al Areen Palace Villas, Fresco, Coffee Republic, and more.
As Unipal approached these local businesses, they discovered that some businesses were harder to get on board than they anticipated. They offered them exposure on their website and social media, and access to their own business account through the merchant mobile app.
They approached them through friends and family with no financial obligation in return, realizing that this raised some questions with businesses.
Most businesses were skeptical because they are not accustomed to partnerships with no cost involved. They realized that this was time-consuming, and sometimes took more than 2 months and constant follow-ups to finally get merchants approval for partnerships. Thankfully, Unipal had 3 interns to help them with following up and approaching businesses.
After all their hard work following up with businesses, they were able to gain about 85 offers already available on their website! Unipal is also currently finalizing agreements with Nestle Toll House, Careem, McDonald’s, and more, so stay tuned for their exciting new offers!
Unipal is in the works for an exciting new feature on their website – a Student Events page! This page will have all the information on events happening that could benefit students or gatherings that they shouldn’t miss out on. Stay tuned, because the events page should go live soon!