Taha El Hakem (August 2, 1983) is an Egyptian businessman, director and producer. He was born in Sayida Zeinab neighborhood, Cairo, and was best known for being the first Arab director to specialize in 3D film technology. He became very popular when he established Dubci for ride-hailing and became the Company’s CEO. It became the first fully Arab ride-hailing company in terms of its capital and software development, which was launched for the first time in May 2019 in Egypt. Many newspapers have reported that Taha El Hakem is the first Arab person to have a version of the Oscar statuette through buying it from an auction in USA for an amount of more than US$1 million. There have been reports that Dubci has insured Taha El Hakem's brain in an amount of EGP1 million of gold; about EGP5.5 billion or €305 million. He became the first person in the world to be insured on his brain and ranked second worldwide in terms of the amount of insurance on a person after the Argentina's Lionel Messi who ranked first in an amount of €750 million as insurance on his feet.
Taha El Hakem was born in Cairo to Egyptian parents, and his father was one of the first Egyptians who operated in oil exploration for the General Petroleum Company (GPC). When he was young, El Hakem participated in the theater group in the preparatory and secondary stages, where he won the award for best actor for the role of “Elhamy” in the play of “Oghneya Ala El Mamar” in the public competition for the schools of the Republic in 1997. He practiced martial arts “Kung Fu” and was known for his profound mastery of the fighting arts “Sanda” and martial arts with Samurai's Sword, and he won a lot of tournaments over nine years. Thereafter, he studied IT at Advanced Academy and was the president of the Students' Union. He also participated in Assiut University Youth Week in 2002 and finished second in colloquial poetry, a runner-up of the poet Hisham Al-Jakh. He then obtained a Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Business Administration from the University of Portland.
Since his early childhood, Taha El Hakem excelled in computer science in the preparatory stage, where he began to use graphic design software since its inception. He was self-learning from the American web forums without any training courses, then he partnered with two friends of him in founding the first programming and websites company in Egypt under the name “Indoor Development” to design many of the well-known websites at the beginning of the millennium. They also obtained the agency of “Soficom”, the first internet provider in Egypt, to distribute Internet lines to users. He began to fumble his first steps towards starting a business after the success of his software company. He and his younger brother co-founded a car repair center under the name of “Auto Hospital” in 2007, which became well-known due to the two brothers’ ability to develop and provide various services. After two years of stability and success, they partnered with the close friend of Taha El Hakem, who is called Muhammad El-Wakeel, in establishing a huge series of restaurants on the banks of the Nile River in Cairo under the name “Nile Action” through which El Hakem achieved his art passion by holding many music concerts therein, which greatly helped in his success. As the business grew, he tended to establish a headquarters for his first company that became “Hollywood Art Production” in Dubai, UAE in 2014. This Company was distinguished in the areas of art production and E-marketing, thereby, Taha El Hakem linked the two most important areas to him; namely: Film Arts and IT.
In 2009 winter, specifically on the banks of the Nile River in Cairo, Taha El Hakem was sitting with his close friend and partner, Muhammad El-Wakeel, in one of their restaurant "Nile Action", El Hakem wanted to travel to Alexandria and his car was broken, so he thought of looking for a website that provides travel sharing with somebody to Alexandria and shares in bearing the cost of fuel, but he couldn't find it. Hence, he started thinking about establishing this service via a website, and he began to search for a name for the desired service. Cause of his passion for the Emirate of Dubai and its inspiring experience in succeeding and breaking the odds, he began searching for a name similar to it until he found his way in the name of "Dubci" that also means "dub" in English, meaning “title”. El Hakem created a page on Facebook with this name "Dubci" on September 17, 2009. Dubci was the first version to be come into existence as an Egyptian joint stock company in early 2019 and after ten years of dreaming. Immediately after launching the huge promotional campaign for Dubci in Egypt's streets, it received a fierce attack and occupied trend online due to the Muslim Brotherhood’s attack against it, claiming that it is a company affiliated with the Egyptian Armed Forces. This fierce attack lasted for a full two weeks on all social networks worldwide. The Company’s news has been covered by all the international websites, including BBC, CNN, as well as all Arab websites.
He started working as an assistant director in 2001 on Naguib El-Rihani's stage affiliated to the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. He worked as an assistant to the director Khalid Jalal in the play of “Do you like to see a tragedy? Of course not!” written by Lenin El-Ramly and starred by Mustafa Shaban, Lekaa El Khamissi, Nour and Abdulrahman Abu Zahra. This play was the gateway to the art life as a director who follows the international techniques in the theater and film making in an attempt to realize them. El Hakem obtained a Diploma in Directing from New York Academy in 2013. He passed a training course for film and TV arts at the Arab Film and TV School affiliated with the Cultural Development Fund (CDF), the Egyptian Ministry of Culture in 2015, where he obtained a professional certificate to practice film and TV arts. He joined the Higher Institute of Cinema to study the art of film directing, and then he became an active member of the Cinema Professions Syndicate, Directing Division. Some newspapers have reported that Taha El Hakem is the first Arab director to buy a version of the Oscar statuette from an auction in the USA. Taha El Hakem has been known for some very unique things, such as his keen interest in antiques and his love for owning them, his acquisition of an office inlaid with gold, as well as his love for breeding lions and cubs, where it was said that he owns a white lion.
Among the most famous works of Taha El Hakem, the Baron movie, which was entirely filmed at the Baron Empain Palace, Cairo, which is the most frightening and mysterious place in the Middle East, so as to seek the lead in making 3D movies and to break the record in movie production with a budget for “the Baron” movie exceeding US$5 million. Such movie became the largest budget movie in the records of Arab and Middle Eastern cinema until the time of film production. The senior director, Samir Seif, was involved with him in preparation for this movie. This movie is a double-directed movie between the late creative director, Samir Seif, and Taha El Hakem, but it temporarily stopped because he was busy with the movie “Augustine Ibn Demoaha (Augustine, the Son of her Tears”, and he did not have time to perform it. Movie Movie heroes Directing Year The Baron Muhammad Amir - Hasna Saif Al-Din - Salma Hassan - Mustafa Abu Sreaa - Hosni Sheta - Reham Maher Taha El Hakem 2016 Writings 1. Tawfiq Al-Hakim - Documentary film, 2010 - Writer. 2. Al Serk (The Circus) - Documentary film, 2013 - Writer. 3. The Baron, a movie in 2016 - Story, Screenplay and Dialogues. 4. Baron School, a movie in 2016 - Story, Screenplay and Dialogues. 5. El Talta Shemal, a movie about the Ultras Battle – Story, Screenplay and Dialogues (being produced). 6. Eilat, a movie (being produced) – Writer. 7. El Moftah (The Key), a movie (being produced) – Story, Screenplay and Dialogues. Directing 1. Heya Fawda (Chaos, This Is!), a movie in 2007 - Assistant Director “Training”. 2. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, a movie in 2009 - Assistant Director “Egypt's team”. 3. Fair Game, a movie in 2010 - Assistant Director “Egypt's team”. 4. The Traveller (Al Mosafer), a movie in 2011 - Third Assistant Director. 5. Tawfiq Al-Hakim - Documentary film, 2010 - Director. 6. My Donkey Told Me, a short movie, 2011 - Director. 7. The Hole (El Thokb), a short movie, 2012 - Director. 8. Al Serk (The Circus) - Documentary film, 2013 - Director. 9. Kart Memory (Memory Card), a movie in 2014 - Assistant Director “General Moderator”. 10. Romeo Elsayeda, a movie in 2015 - Assistant Director. 11. The Baron, a movie in 2016 - Director. 12. One Shot (Continuous Shot Feature), a movie in 2016 - Director. 13. El Talta Shemal, a movie (being produced) about the Ultras Battle - Director. 14. Baron School, a movie (being produced) - Director. 15. Surrogate of Azrael (Deputy of Azrael), a movie (being produced) - Director. 16. Eilat, a movie (being produced) - Director. 17. El Moftah (The Key), a movie (being produced) - Director.
He was an activist in January 25 Revolution, 2011, where he was a struggle activist on the social networks until the “Friday of Anger”. He staged a sit-in in Tahrir Square until Mubarak stepped down as President, as he managed to organize, direct and assemble marches online. He then participated in the sit-ins of artists against the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood in front of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, and moved in the artists' march with director Khalid Jalal from Cairo Opera House in June 30, 2013 Revolution. He then participated in the defense of El Manial district against the attacks of the Muslim Brotherhood in Al-Nahda Square, which resulted in seven martyrs from El Manial district. He supported Maj. Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in the presidential elections of the Arab Republic of Egypt through Egypt's Future Campaign. He got the position of Media Director of this campaign. In October 2015, Dr. Taha El Hakem was seconded by the Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports to deliver regular monthly lectures on film and TV arts under the auspices of the Minister of Youth, Eng. Khalid Abdel Aziz, at the youth camp in Abu Qir, Alexandria, in anti-corruption events, volunteer programs, and cultural activities.
Taha El Hakem is currently CEO of the following companies: 1. Hollywood Art Production, Dubai, UAE. 2. Hollywood Art Production and Distribution, Cairo, Egypt. 3. Hollywood Art Production, California, USA. 4. Dubci for Ride-hiling, Cairo, Egypt. 5. CarBank Co., Cairo, Egypt
1. Internet Movie Database (IMDb) ID: 2. Source, Movie Database, a version is archived, April 11, 2016 on Wayback Machine.