Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber

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Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber
Born 1959
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Occupation Businessman
Known for MBI Group

Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber (Arabic: محمد بن عيسى الجابر‎), DIN 31635 Muḥammad bin ʿĪssā al-Ǧābir, born 1959 in Jeddah) is an Arab businessman and philanthropist. He is known for hotel and resort investments through the MBI Group,[1] and for his philanthropy through the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, based in London.[2] He lives in Paris, London, Vienna and Jeddah.

Business operations[edit]

Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber is Founder, Chairman and CEO of the MBI Group.[3][4]

The MBI Group activities include various entities including the following companies:

In April 2011, Al Jaber announced that he owned 80% of the Group and mentioned a 300 million euro profit for the year 2010.[8]

Al Jaber was listed as a billionaire in March 2013 by Forbes[9] and in May 2014 featured in The Sunday Times Rich List at number 13, the highest entry for an Arab.[10] Arabian Business's 2013 rich list 'The world's richest Arabs' puts Al Jaber at number 2 with $12.66bn.[11] Bloomberg Billionaires gives his net worth as $7.19BN as of August 2018.[12]


In 1982, Al Jaber founded Jadawel International Construction & Development. In 1989, JJW Hotels & Resorts was established in Portugal; it currently operates 60 hotel and leisure resorts in Europe and the Middle East. In 1992, AJWA Group for Agro and Food Industries, a company of which Al Jaber is a shareholder, commenced operations following the construction of the largest rice storage and processing facility in Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Islamic Port.

In 2003, Al Jaber opened negotiations to purchase J.A. Jones Construction, a US subsidiary of Philipp Holzmann construction group. However, the negotiations were not completed.[13]

In 2003, Al Jaber's Dorrat Al Jadawel residential compound in Riyadh was one of those targeted in an Al Qaeda attack.[14]


In September 2003, Al Jaber and Dr Nihad Ibrahim Pacha took over the management of Quinta Vale Da Gondra Hotel e SPA (Unipessoal) Lda.[15]

In January 2008, Portuguese press revealed that Al Jaber is expanding his business in the Algarve and investing about €200 million to buy the Hotel Dona Filipa in Vale do Lobo, the golf course San Lourenzo in Quinta do Lago, the Hotel Penina and its 3 golf courses from Starman (a joint-venture between the Lehman Brothers bank and Starwood Capital Group). Other assets in the regions are the Pinheiros Altos Golf Resort and the Formosa Hotel.[16][17][18][19] In 2013 JJW Hotels and Resorts took over the management of the Penina Hotel and Golf Resort, and also announced plans for a major refurbishment of the Dona Filipa.[20] Mohsen MBI Al Jaber, son of Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, has held the role of Vice President of the Portugal sector of the MBI Group since October 2015.[21]


In 2002, Al Jaber acquired the famous Grand Hotel, Vienna from the Japanese airline All Nippon Airways.[22] He later acquired the premises of a former bank on Kärntner Ring and converted the building to the boutique Ring Hotel.[23]

In October 2006, Al Jaber bought the Palais Corso, Vienna's premier luxury shopping and office complex from Generali Versicherung, for about €70 million.[24]

In 2007, Al Jaber agreed to invest 10% in the building of the Vienna Tourism University (Modul University Vienna), a project handled by the Vienna Economic Chamber [25] and provided scholarships for students there both personally and through his Foundation.[26]

Also in 2007, JJW signed an agreement for the takeover and the expansion of the Palace Schwarzenberg Hotel in Vienna, along with Magnat Real Estate. However, delays to the project led to its cancellation. An amicable settlement was reached.[27][28]

In the beginning of 2008, Al Jaber proposed to help the financially troubled Austrian Airlines with investments through taking a 20% stake in the company. However, he withdrew his offer in May 2008 after the company published its negative quarterly results, based on the grounds that the company intentionally withheld the actual level of trouble faced.[29] Auditor Herbert Heiser, who was called by the court to consult in the legal dispute between AUA and Al Jaber, agreed with Al Jaber’s conclusions. He states in his report that rather than its officially declared profit of €3.3 million, the AUA should have revealed a hefty loss – of around €235 million.[30]

In July 2008, Al Jaber took a 60% stake in Kneissl Holding GmbH, an Austrian manufacturer of sports equipment. JJA Beteiligungsverwaltungs GmbH bought the entire company in December 2012 for €1,98 million.[31][32]

In 2008 Vienna's Trialog Institut named Al Jaber 'Man of the Year' for his work in promoting inter-cultural understanding. Presenting the award, Karl Blecha, former Federal Minister of the Interior and of the Austrian-Arabic Association, praised Al Jaber for his work towards building bridges through education and understanding and his support of peace, tolerance and democracy.[33]


JJW Hotels & Resorts currently owns and operates a 4-star boutique hotel in Leeds, 42 The Calls.[34] JJW sees more scope to expand the portfolio by acquisition particularly in the United Kingdom.[35]

In 2007, Al Jaber expanded the portfolio of the Guernsey-based JJW Hotels & Resorts group by acquiring The Eton Collection hotels for a reported £70 million. During the recession three years later, five of the hotels went into administration. A further two hotels were unaffected.[36] The Westmont Hospitality, purchased the five hotels for £55 million.[37] The London Berners Hotel, also owned by JJW Hotels & Resorts, was purchased by Marriott International.[38]

In 2008, Al Jaber personally guaranteed three loans contracted by his hotel and food companies from Standard Bank.[39] Following delays to repay the loans, the bank went to court in 2011, resulting in assets freezing, which Al Jaber declared resulted in a personal loss of $1.6 billion.[40] The case was settled after the two parties reached a private settlement in December 2011.[41]


The Group opened their first office in France in 1991.[42]

The hotel empire of Al Jaber was initially started in France in 1988 and expanded to over 35 hotel properties in France and almost 80 in Europe.[43]

In October 2008, it was announced that the Group planned to acquire a number of hotels in France from the Starwood Capital Group for $2billion but the deal was not concluded.[44]

In April 2012, facing difficulties, JJW France requested the Paris Court of Commerce to place it under safeguards.[45] Saveguard was granted. However, on the 16th of July, the Paris Commercial Court ordered JJW France to enter receivership.[46] The Court of Appeal of Paris cancelled the receivership placement decision and confirmed the safeguards procedure on February 7, 2013[47]

Personal life and philanthropy[edit]


Al Jaber is married and has three children. His children are all Trustees of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation.[48] His son Mohsen Al Jaber is Vice President of the MBI Group Portugal. In 2007 Al Jaber obtained Austrian nationality.[49][50]


MBI Al Jaber is the founder, sole patron and Chairman of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, founded in 2002, which is a UK registered charity governed by a Board of Trustees chosen for their areas of expertise in the Middle East, which have included Lord Young of Graffham, Sir Tim Lankester and Professor Peter Jones.[51]. During the years 2013 to 2015 the foundation spent approx £400,000 a year on its activities. This reduced to £114,000 in 2016 and less than £40,000 in 2017. [51]


Al Jaber holds the following honorary degrees and awards:

  • the Project Aladdin 2017 Dialogue of Cultures Award (2017) [52]
  • an Honorary Senatorship from the MODUL University Vienna (2013) [26]
  • an Honorary Fellowship from UCL, London (2012)[53]
  • an Honorary Fellowship from Corpus Christi College, Oxford (2009)[54]
  • UN Spokesperson for Global Forums on Reinventing Government (2007) [55]
  • an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from City University, London (2004)[56]
  • an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of Westminster (2004)[55]
  • an Honorary Fellowship of London University at the School of Oriental and African Studies (2002)[57]
  • UNESCO Special Envoy for Education, Tolerance, and Cultures to build peace and democracy (2004)[58][59]
  • the ALECSO Gold Medal, for his support of UNESCO projects aimed at promoting education, culture and scientific activities in the Arab World[60]
  • a Gold Medal of honour for special achievements in the economic and cross-cultural educational sectors of Vienna, presented by the Mayor of Vienna
  • the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) Gold Medal, in recognition of his efforts to promote coexistence and foster a culture of tolerance and dialogue in a bid to enhance international cooperation.[61]

Miscellaneous Information[edit]

Between 2010 and 2012, Jadawel International was cited in various reports published by New York-based NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) on the topic of Saudi restrictive residency laws. Following investigation, Human Rights Watch’s 2013 World report is not reporting any further issues and has cleared the company.[62] In fact, Al Jaber's Foundation has signed an agreement with Human Rights Watch to support civil society and promote human rights in the Arab World.[63]

In 2011, proceedings were filed against the Non-Executive Chairman of AJWA group for Food Industries, for facts being documented in the company records by members of the company administration. The charges were against the Non-Executive Chairman of Ajwa, for acts that were performed by the employees of the company, and resulted in the company being fined.[64] In February 2013, Al Jaber was exonerated of any wrongdoing by the Head of Appeals Attorney General.[65][66] Al Jaber is now a shareholder of the company.

In May 2011, Al Jaber publicly denounced a defamation campaign by Austrian Media which had sought to imply financial difficulties in some of the companies that Al Jaber had invested in. He accused the newspapers of reporting a one-sided version of events.[67][68]

From 2007, Berners Hotel and JJW were embroiled in lawsuits with several UK based construction companies due to lack of payment for efforts expended. Chorus and Shepherds Construction companies abandoned the project and sought legal remedies for non payment from Berners.[69] [70] Marriott later acquired the Berners Hotel out of administration.[71]


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  4. ^ "Companies in the UK". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  5. ^ "JJW Hotels & Resorts - Official Website - Best Rates Guaranteed". JJW Hotels - EN. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  6. ^ "JJW Hotels & Resorts - Official Website - Best Rates Guaranteed". JJW Hotels - EN. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
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  8. ^ "profil: Mohamed Al Jaber dementiert finanzielle Schwierigkeiten", APA-OTS, 25 April 2011 (in German)
  9. ^ Forbes Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Editorial, Reuters. "Russians slide down UK billionaires list as Ukraine crisis bites". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  11. ^ "The world's richest Arabs -". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  12. ^ "#216 Mohamed Al Jaber". Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Bloomberg News. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  13. ^ "Stabilisierung ist vorrangig: Verkauf von Holzmanns US-Tochter aufgeschoben", Handelsblatt, 30 April 2003 (in German)
  14. ^ "One bombed compound owned by pro-Western Saudi", CNN, 13 May 2003.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Joao Tiago, Sheik dos Pinheiros Altos regressa à cena no Algarve Archived 2013-12-12 at the Wayback Machine., ‘’Barlavento’’, 23 January 208 (in Portuguese)
  17. ^ Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber compra hotéis D. Filipa e Penina, ‘’diari online’’, 19 January 2008 (in Portuguese)
  18. ^ JJW Hotels & Resorts compra San Lorenzo, Dona Filipa e Penina Hotel & Golf Resort, ‘’Presstur’’, 24 January 2008 (in Portuguese)
  19. ^ Joana Piedade, JJW Hotels investe mais 180 milhões de euros no Algarve, ‘’Publituris’’, 25 January 2008 (in Portuguese)
  20. ^
  21. ^ portugaldailynews (19 November 2013). "Dona Filipa Hotel to receive major facelift". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  22. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-04-16. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
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  24. ^ Irina Frühmann, "Scheich kauft Palais Corso", Wirtschaftsblatt, 5 October 2006 (in German)
  25. ^ Magdalena Klemun, "Startschuss für private Tourismus-Uni", Die Presse, 11 July 2007 (in German)
  26. ^ a b "Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber awarded as Honorary Senator of MODUL University Vienna". MODUL University Vienna. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  27. ^ Leo Himmelbauer, "Scheich Al Jaber zahlt 2,65 Millionen Euro für Streit-Beilegung", Wirtschaftsblatt, 14 December 2011 (in German)
  28. ^ "Hotel Schwarzenberg: Doch kein Geld von Al Jaber?", Die Presse, 24 April 2011 (in German)
  29. ^ "Mohamed Al Jaber sagt Engagement ab" Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine., Austrian, 3 May 2008 (in German)
  30. ^ "Die Presse 31.07.12".
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  33. ^ "Trialog Man of the Year" (PDF).
  34. ^ "42 The Calls - 4 Star Boutique Hotel in Leeds". 42 The Calls. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  35. ^ "MBI International Business Portfolio".
  36. ^ "Upmarket hotels group Eton collapses", Evening Standard, 17 June 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  37. ^ Janet Harmer, "Eton Group bought out of administration", Caterer and Hotelkeeper, 15 December 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  38. ^ Neil Gerrard, "Marriott buys Berners hotel for Edition brand", Caterer and Hotelkeeper, 9 November 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  39. ^ Jonathan Russell, "Saudi billionaire Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber accuses Standard Bank in court of conflict of interest", The Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2011.
  40. ^ Bloomberg, "UK dispute cost me $1.6bn, says Saudi's Al Jaber",, 29 October 2011.
  41. ^ "Saudi sheikh buys hotel group out of administration",, 15 December 2011.
  42. ^ "Milestones". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  43. ^ "The chic Sheikh". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
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  45. ^ Christophe Palierse, "Le groupe hôtelier du cheikh Al-jaber en procédure de sauvegarde", Les Echos, 13 April 2012 (in French)
  46. ^ Christophe Palierse "Redressement judiciaire pour le groupe JJW France du cheikh saoudien Al Jaber", Les Echos, 18 July 2012 (in French)
  47. ^ "JJW France placé en procédure de sauvegarde". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  48. ^ "Patron & Trustees - MBI Al Jaber Foundation". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  49. ^ ""profil": Erste Einbürgerung von Mohamed Al Jaber scheiterte 2004", APA-OTS, 17 May 2008.
  50. ^ Josef Redl, ""Milliardär" Al Jaber: Warum zahlt er die Rechnungen nicht?", Profil, 21 April 2011.
  51. ^ a b "Charity overview". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  52. ^ "The Director-General celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Aladdin Project against racism and anti-Semitism - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". Retrieved 21 August 2018. line feed character in |title= at position 109 (help)
  53. ^ "UCL Honorary Graduands and Fellows 2012". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  54. ^ "Corpus Christi College Oxford - Home". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  55. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
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  57. ^ "SOAS Honorary Fellows: Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, SOAS, University of London". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  58. ^ "UNESCO names Sheikh Mohamed Al Jaber personal representative". 24 March 2005. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  59. ^
  60. ^ "alecso awards his excellency sheikh mohamed bin issa al jaber its gold medal". 19 June 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  61. ^ "Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – ISESCO – - EN". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  62. ^
  63. ^ "MBI Al Jaber Foundation". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  64. ^ "CORRECTED - Egypt court fines Ajwa nonexecutive chairman". Reuters. 26 May 2011.
  65. ^
  66. ^ "راديو صوت بيروت إنترناشونال Radio Sawt Beirut Int". راديو صوت بيروت إنترناشونال. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
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  68. ^ "Scheich Al Jaber will noch mehr investieren -". DER STANDARD. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  69. ^
  70. ^ "Shepherd quits Berners Hotel project". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  71. ^ "Marriott International acquires Berners Hotel for London Edition". Sleeper Magazine. November 9, 2010. Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2018.

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