My 24 Hours in Hong Kong: Allan Zeman

Allan Zeman has been a regular feature in the HongKongEcho’s nearly 30-year history and we’ve got to know the business magnate’s Hong Kong story pretty well. But what does a day look like in the life of one of the city’s most emblematic entrepreneurs?

Photography by Peter Parks and Anthony Wallace (Agence France-Presse)


7:00am – Day begins

I start my day with exercise in my home gym. I spend one and a half hours doing all kinds of cardio and resistance training. It’s been like this every day for the past 40 years and it really helps to clear my mind. I even kept President George Bush senior waiting once as I had to wrap up my workout.

Believe it or not, I’ve actually trained myself to read newspapers while I’m on the elliptical machine. I start with The Standard, and then the South China Morning Post.


8:30am – Breakfast and hitting the road

I’m a light eater but I’ll get some breakfast in before my driver takes me to the office. The moment I get in the car I’ll be on the phone to Stephanie, my assistant, to see what’s ahead for the day.


9:30am – More news

Once in the office, I’ll squeeze in a little time to catch up on the local press. These days I have a former reporter from one of the Chinese papers on staff who translates the day’s top stories for me from Apple Daily, Ming Pao, and so on.


Photography by Peter Parks and Anthony Wallace (Agence France-Presse)


10:00am – Calls, calls, calls

I’m on the boards of so many different companies and my daily calendar is packed with calls. In the morning that might mean jumping on a call with the United States – I’m non-Executive Chairman of Wynn Macau, but the parent company is based out of Las Vegas.


12:00pm – Lunch awaits

Lan Kwai Fong is on my doorstep, so I tend to drop in to one of my restaurants. I might grab a table at Tokio Joe, for example, which we’ve run for the past 30 years. The staff know me of course and I can order something off the menu if I feel like it.


1:30pm – Back to the boardroom 

The afternoon, you guessed it, is still filled with meetings. If it’s not a local call with one of my businesses or with the government, I might be chatting to our office in Thailand, where we’ve just put the finishing touches on a villas and resort development with a golf course.


4:00pm – The right fit

From time to time, I have a tailor who will come in when I need to get some new shirts made. I started my career in fashion at the age of 16, so my own personal style has always been important to me.


6:45pm – Out of the inbox

I can’t stand to leave anything unfinished so before leaving the office, my assistant will read out any emails that are left to deal with, otherwise I go crazy.


7:30pm – Back home

Since COVID-19 I’ve got into the habit of heading straight home for dinner. I’ll have something pretty light and then read the Financial Times and China Daily – both of which I get delivered in the evening.


9:00pm – Streaming time

I’ve never watched a second of Netflix in my life until very recently! I’ve been watching Bling Empire – it’s a reality show about wealthy Asian-Americans living in Los Angeles. Generally, I just want something light-hearted.


11:00pm – Sleep

My bedtime routine is pretty simple. I’ll just check my phone for any last-minute important emails, but that’s about it. If it’s a Friday night, my mind will be drifting off to thoughts about heading out on my boat for the weekend – Saturdays and Sundays are boat days!