Mohamed Alabbar

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Mohamed Ali Alabbar
Mohamed Ali Alabbar
Mohamed Alabbar - Chairman of Emaar Properties
Born (1956-11-08) November 8, 1956 (age 59)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Nationality Emirati
Other names Mohamed Ali Rashed Alabbar
Occupation Chairman of Emaar Properties
Known for Emaar Properties

Mohamed Alabbar (Arabic: محمد بن علي العبار‎‎), is a businessman in the real estate and property development industry of the United Arab Emirates and former director general of the Dubai Department of Economic Development.[1] Alabbar is the founder and chairman of Emaar Properties, one of the largest real estate development companies in the Middle East and known for developing the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building and the Dubai Mall,the world's largest mall.[2][3] Alabbar is a Board Member of Abu Dhabi-based Eagle Hills,[4] and he also acts as a top adviser to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the leader of Dubai.[5][6] He has been included in numerous lists such as the top 5 UAE business leaders, the 100 most powerful Arabs, and the 10 most influential people in the United Arab Emirates.[7][8][9]

Early life and education[edit]

Mohamed Alabbar was born in Dubai and is the eldest of 12 children.[10] Alabbar's father was a captain of a traditional trading vessel known as a dhow and raised his children in the Rashidiya area of Dubai.[10] In the 1970s, Alabbar received a government scholarship to study finance and business administration from The Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University.[10] Alabbar graduated from Seattle University in 1981 with a degree in business administration.[11] He also received an honorary doctoral degree in humanities from his alma mater in 2007 and serves on its Board of Trustees.[12][13]


After college, Alabbar's first job was with the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates as a banking manager.[10] Later, Alabbar relocated to Singapore and began working for the Dubai government as the director of Al Khaleej Investments, a government-owned company in Dubai with significant real estate interests in Singapore.

Political career[edit]

In 1992, Alabbar returned to Dubai and began working for the government as the founding director general of the Department of Economic Development (DED).[10][14] Alabbar's career led him to establish a close relationship with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, and he later became one of Sheikh Mohammed's chief economic advisers.[15][16] Alabbar worked with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to drive the development and growth of both Dubai's tourism industry and global reputation.[14][17] In 1996, Alabbar initiated and organized the Dubai Shopping Festival which attracted over two million visitors for an entertainment and shopping event highlighted by street bazaars, fashion shows, food festivals, folklore and more.[18] That same year, Alabbar was selected by Advertising Age as one of their International Marketing Superstars of the year.[11][19]

Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup 23 March 2013

Business career[edit]

Alabbar has served as a member of the Dubai Executive Council and the Dubai Economic Council.[20] As vice chairman of Dubai Aluminum Company (DUBAL), Alabbar has contributed to the growth of the country's non-oil sector.[20] He also served as vice chairman of Dubai World Trade Center and chairman of Dubai Cable Company.[20]

Alabbar spearheads several business entities in the UAE and in overseas markets. Apart from being the founder and chairman of Emaar Properties, he is the founder and chairman of Africa Middle East Resources (AMER), a private company that works to unlock the value of natural resource opportunities in Africa and link them with large consumer markets in Asia.[21]

Alabbar is the chairman of Tradewinds Corporation, a premier leisure and hospitality owner-operator in Malaysia, focused on developing world-class real estate developments in the country and Southeast Asia.[22] He is also a board member of Eagle Hills, a UAE-based real estate development company focused on large-scale projects in high-growth international markets, and also serves on the board of Manara Developments in Bahrain.

He is the founder and major shareholder of RSH, the leading Singapore-based pan-Asian marketer, distributor and retailer of international fashion and lifestyle brands.[21] Alabbar also sits on the board of Noor Investment Group, an affiliate of Dubai Group, the leading diversified financial company of Dubai Holding.[23] In March 2015, Capital City Partners, a real estate investment fund led by Alabbar, announced plans to build a new capital in Egypt.[24] Also in 2015, Alabbar, who sits on the board of Eagle Hills, announced plans to develop the largest mall in the Balkans in Belgrade.[25] Alabbar launched The Real Estate Institute, a non-profit institute for high-level training to senior managers and professionals in the real estate industry in 2015 that offers programmes covering the theoretical and practical study of the property market through case studies from around the world.[26]

Emaar Properties[edit]

Emaar Properties, Dubai's largest real estate firm, was founded by Alabbar in 1997.[3][27] As chairman of Emaar, Alabbar has assisted in the development of Dubai's real estate sector. Alabbar leads Emaar's growth strategy of global expansion and business segmentation into property development, hospitality & leisure, and shopping malls. Emaar has developed some of Dubai's most notable landmarks, such as the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and the Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping mall.[3][27]

Alabbar took the company public in 1997 and in 2000, Emaar was listed on the Dubai Financial Market.[19] By 2004, Alabbar was expanding the company to foreign markets with the establishment of Emaar International LLC.[27] The company has ongoing projects in Africa, Asia, North America, and throughout the Middle East.[28] In 2005, Alabbar facilitated a partnership with Giorgio Armani and established Emaar Hotels & Resorts LLC in an exclusive deal to launch a collection of luxury hotels in the designer brand's name.[3][29] Following the opening of The Dubai Mall in 2008, Burj Khalifa was inaugurated two years later in 2010.[27]

Alabbar continues to expand the company, and in 2014, Emaar listed its shopping malls & retail business, Emaar Malls Group on the Dubai Financial Market with one of the largest IPOs in the region.[28][30]

Alabbar has also created several corporate social responsibility initiatives and supports various local organisations such as Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs.[31] Focused on the need to promote affordable and low-cost housing, under Alabbar, Emaar Properties undertook the reconstruction of the earthquake-ravaged village of Ngelepen in Indonesia.[32] He also initiated a social housing project in Egypt, The Beyout residential project for the economically underprivileged, which was handed over to the Supreme Council of Luxor Governorate.[33] In 2014, Gulf Business recognized Alabbar with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with Emaar and the development of iconic buildings and communities in the UAE and other countries.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Mohamed Alabbar competes in the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup 2013

Alabbar participates in several athletic pastimes and hobbies such as golf and endurance racing. Alabbar has served as chairman of the UAE Golf Association, and in 2007, he was recognized by Golf World Magazine as one of the world's ten most powerful golfing personalities.[35] Alabbar is also an active member of the UAE's endurance horse racing community.[36]

Mohamed Alabbar taking part in Emirates Challenge 5th Jan 2013, Wathba

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mohamed Alabbar". Arabian Business. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Eric Dash (15 May 2005). "DIRECTIONS; It's a Small Global Boardroom After All". New York Times. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Madhurima Nandy (30 March 2011). "Emaar Takes Stock of Indian Assets". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Filipovic, Gordana; El Baltaji, Dana (13 March 2014). "Serbia’s Vucic Promises U.A.E.’s Billions in Election Bid". Bloomberg. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "An Analyst Questions Dubai on Its Heavy Debt Burden". New York Times. 11 October 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  6. ^ John Arlidge (5 July 2014). "Dubai Mall is the most popular place on the planet. Why?". The Australian. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "REVEALED: The UAE's top 50 business leaders". Arabian Business. Retrieved 2015-12-04. 
  8. ^ "10 most influential people in the United Arab Emirates". Your Middle East. Retrieved 2015-12-04. 
  9. ^ "The 100 most powerful arabs revealed". Retrieved 2015-12-04. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Stanley Reed (1 July 2007). "The Master Builder Of The Middle East". Business Week. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Sonia Tita Puopolo (2 August 2007). "Mohamed Ali Alabbar: The Mover and Shaper of Dubai". Haute Living. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "Seattle University Albers School of Business and Economics" (PDF). Seattle University. 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  13. ^ K.T. ABDURABB (13 June 2007). "Seattle University Honors Alabbar". Arab News. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Dhanusha Gokulan (26 January 2014). "A look back into future of the Dubai Shopping Festival". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  15. ^ Matthew Boyle (2007). "5 in Power Positions" Mohamed Bin Ali Alabbar". Forbes. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  16. ^ Rick Reilly (1995). "Going For The Green Huge Appearance Fees Lured Six Of The Globe's Top Golfers To A Tournament In Dubai". Sports Illustrated. 
  17. ^ "The 500 most powerful Arabs in the World". Arabian Business. 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  18. ^ Lekha Rai (9 December 1996). "DUBAI SHOPPING FESTIVAL MOHAMMED ALABBAR". Advertising Age. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  19. ^ a b Anil Bhoyrul (31 March 2013). "Mohamed Alabbar: The only way is up". Arabian Business. 
  20. ^ a b c "Speakers 2012". Forbes Global CEO Conference. 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Alabbar wins ABANA Award 2012". Khaleej Times. 16 February 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  22. ^ "Tradewinds Chaired by Alabbar Launches AED 4.5bn Perdana Quay in Malaysia". Entrepreneur Middle East. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "Board of Directors: Mohamed Ali Rashid Alabbar". Al Salam Bank Bahrain. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  24. ^ "Egypt unveils plans to build new capital east of Cairo". BBC. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  25. ^ Barnard, Lucy (26 April 2015). "Mega-project for Abu Dhabi's Eagle Hills in Belgrade". The National. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  26. ^ Michael Fahy (July 2, 2015). "Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar to set up property institute in Dubai". The National. Retrieved December 29, 2015. 
  27. ^ a b c d Jeffrey L. Covell (2014). ""Emaar Properties PJSC." International Directory of Company Histories. Ed. Jay P. Pederson" 148. St. James Press. 
  28. ^ a b Nikhil Lohade (16 March 2014). "Emaar’s Retail Unit IPO Plan Draws Cheers". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  29. ^ WARREN SINGH-BARTLETT (7 May 2010). "Dispatch From Dubai- Mr. Armani’s Dream Hotel". New York Times Style Magazine. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  30. ^ Yousef Gamal El-Din (29 September 2014). "Dubai's Emaar Properties prices at top end in IPO". CNBC. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  31. ^ "Emaar to pioneer corporate social responsibility initiatives in the UAE community". Property World. 10 July 2004. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  32. ^ "Emaar rebuilds earthquake-hit village in Indonesia". Gulf News. 2 May 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  33. ^ Dylan Don (April 2013). "Building Green". Vogue Italia. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  34. ^ Nagraj, Aarti (16 September 2014). "Gulf Business Industry Awards 2014: Special Individual Winners". Gulf Business. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  35. ^ Shu-Ching Jean Chen (6 September 2007). "Dubai Tycoon Scouts Pyongyang". Forbes. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  36. ^ "Mohamed Ali Alabbar". Global Competitiveness Forum. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 

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