The UAE, as with the case of other nations in the Arabian Peninsula, is rich in fossil fuels, and is indeed one of the wealthiest nations in the Middle East. Though the oil industry still remains its economy’s strength, the UAE – over the decades – has adopted an intrepid diversification strategy to reduce its dependence on oil exports while concentrating on other key industrial sectors such as real estate, finance, retail, and tourism. This, in turn, has created a boom in the country’s business scenario, and here is a list of people who have proved highly successful in their respective businesses in the UAE.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Makthoum
Born into the royal family as the son of the Dubai’s former ruler – Sheikh Saeed bin Makthoum Al Makthoum, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Makthoum took the country’s aviation and financial industry to new heights with his visionary plans and strategies. Apart from being the president of Department of Civil Aviation and the chairman of government establishments, such as Dubai World and Emirates NBD, he is also the CEO and chairman of Emirates Airline & Group. Not to mention, he holds a firm top position among the world’s 100 most powerful Arabs.
Abdullah bin Ahmad Al Ghurair
Meet the UAE’s second richest businessman, Abdullah bin Ahmad Al Ghurair who is at the helm of Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair & Family. His net worth comes around $3.1 billion. Besides leading the group which has to its credit some of the prominent names in the retail and construction industries, he is the president cum chairman of Mashreq Bank.
Saif Al Ghurair
The head of Saif Al Ghurair & Family with an indelible business presence of over 40 years in the region, he is one of the top four Emirati billionaires, as per the Forbes Magazine. A net worth close to $2.8 billion further makes him the world’s 609th richest person.
Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair
Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair – the CEO of Mashreq Bank – is one of the UAE’s most influential and richest men. He is considered one of the pioneers in the country’s banking sector, and is credited with the launching of a variety of financial services by way of credit cards, loans and mortgages, ATMs and traveler’s cheques.
Mohammed Al Rashid Alabbar
Donning the chairman position of Emaar Properties that erected some of the prestigious structures including the world’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa, itself reveals the role of this influential businessman in shaping the landscape and lifestyle of Dubai to place it right on the world map. A trustworthy confidante to HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – the ruler of Dubai, he leads 60 companies under the renowned banner of Emaar.
Majid Al Futtaim
In March 2014, Forbes Magazine ranked Majid Al Futtaim third among the list of richest businessmen in the UAE, boasting a net fortune of US$3.6 billion. He is the owner of the business empire, Majid Al Futtaim Holding that literally revolutionized the concept of shopping, leisure and entertainment in the country, with its much acclaimed establishments, such as City Centre, Mall of the Emirates, and Carrefour.
Abdulla Al Futtaim
Abdulla Al Futtaim – the head of Al Futtaim Group – is another business man to make it into the Forbes’ Emirati billionaires list in 2014. With a net worth of $1.6 billion, his conglomerate operates several divisions – the significant being automotive, real estate, insurance and retail.
Khaldoun Al Mubarak
This influential businessman is the CEO of Mubadala Development Company – an investment and development company that has been set up by the Government of Abu Dhabi to aid for the diversification of the emirate’s economy. Besides serving as a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Khaldoun is also the Manchester City Football Club’s chairman.
Khalaf Al Habtoor
Being the head of the Al Habtoor Group – one of the UAE’s largest conglomerates, Khalaf Al Habtoor is a highly successful Emirati businessman. His business empire is spread over several major industries such as construction, real estate, education, automotive and hotels.
Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi
Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi is the director general of the ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) – one of the most reputed oil companies in the world. Aside from this, he is also a board member of a number of organizations.
Shehab Gargash – a member of the renowned Gargash clan that holds the distinction of being the sole agent for Mercedes Benz in Dubai – leads the highly successful business venture, Daman Investments PSC, with a net fortune of about $1.5 billion.
He is the founder and CEO of Damac Group. Under the leadership of Hussain Sajwani, Damac Holding that was started as a catering company has grown into one of the largest private organizations in the Middle East, with its business pursuits encompassing luxury property development, securities, investment and education.