To be influential is a natural and learned phenomenon, generally gained in a progressive manner. Perhaps, powerful influencers can drive large-scale awareness for social causes and lead companies without breaking sweat. Interested to know who the most influential royals and leaders of business in Dubai are? Here are the top 10 influencers in Dubai.
Chairman of Emaar properties
Hardship causes some men to break, others to break records. Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar properties, broke the record by erecting the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa in 2010 when real estate market was in turmoil. Since then, he has been a pivotal figure in shaping and positioning Dubai as the commercial and lifestyle hub of the region. He set up ‘The Dubai Mall’, the world’s most visited shopping and leisure destination and launched the iconic retail trade event, Dubai Shopping Festival. Apart from being a senior aide to Dubai’s ruler, his power and influence expands to Africa, where he owns a mining empire, Africa Middle East Resources that operates in eight African countries. He also has plans to take the e-commerce world by storm with the launch of Noon, a new $1bn startup that is 50 percent funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).
Khaldoun Al Mubarak
CEO of Mubadala Development Company
He is the CEO of the prestigious Mubadala Development Company, a government entity that oversees one of the emirate’s largest investment funds. Mubadala is ranked as one of the largest investment funds in the UAE holding assets of over $48 billion in 2011. Khaldouns influence has even spread beyond business and into the realm of sports- as the chairman of Manchester City Football Club. In fact he brought Formula One Grand Prix racing to Abu Dhabi. He is a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council where he is responsible for overseeing policy advice to the Chairman, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. He holds a number of other prominent positions, he is the Chairman of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, the Abu Dhabi Media Zone Authority and Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, and Deputy Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council.
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi
Minister of Foreign Trade
The first female minister in the UAE, Sheikha Lubna has not only established her presence domestically but also internationally by ranking as the 92nd most powerful woman in the world. Also as one of the most influential business women in UAE, she is chiefly recognized for her role as the Federal Government’s Minister of International Cooperation and Development. The UAE’s overseas aid donations have grown because of her influence. Lubna is also a member of: Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, National University of Singapore, Dubai School of Government and co-founder of the Friends of Cancer Patients.
Mohammed Al Shaibani
Director General of The Ruler’s Court
Mohammed Al Shaibani is ranked as one of the highest ranking officials in the UAE by Wall Street Journal. He holds a number of positions: Director General of The Ruler’s Court, CEO of Investment Corporation of Dubai, president of Dubai office and Chairman of Dubai Islamic Bank, UAE’s biggest Islamic bank. As a close aide of the Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, his influence within the ruling family and his credentials make him a high-ranking figure within the political and financial scene.
Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim
Commander of Dubai Police
The achievements and influence of Lieutenant Tamim in the public sector and political scene is remarkable. As an instrumental force behind modernizing and creating a stable police force in Dubai, he launched about 22 different establishments like the Dubai Police Academy, the Dubai Forensic Laboratory, the use of DNA in investigations, rescue teams and also created rehabilitation centre for drug addicts. Largely credited for creating fully operational e-government departments, Lieutenant Tamim has written several books on police work and public issues. He was also lauded for the investigation into the assassination of a Hamas operative who was killed by a hit squad in 2010 in Dubai.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum
President of the Department of Civil Aviation, CEO of The Emirates Group and Chairman of Dubai World
UAE is lauded by many for executing ambition into reality; a man credited for this success is Sheikh Ahmed, the President of the Department of Civil Aviation, CEO and Chairman of The Emirates Group and Chairman of Dubai World, Dubai’s investment wing. He changed the landscape of UAE’s aviation industry by transforming Emirates from a mere regional airline into the world’s largest carrier by international passenger traffic. He launched the low budget airline Fly Dubai and spearheaded the creation of airport Terminal 3, the world’s largest air terminal. The son of the former Ruler of Dubai is also the chairman of Emirates NBD, the emirate’s Supreme Fiscal Committee, the deputy chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and the head of Dubai Power and Energy Committee.
Yousef Al Omair Yousef
Chief Executive of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
The CEO of the world’s fourth largest oil company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is also the head of UAE’s Supreme Petroleum Council, a powerful body that is responsible for the country’s vast oil reserves. He is the longest-serving head of a state-owned oil company in the Gulf and a close aide to the Royal Family of Abu Dhabi. Al Omair belongs to one of the wealthiest families in the UAE whose businesses include diverse licenses awarded to them to import choice goods into the country besides owning large stakes in real estate, construction, petroleum and military equipment supply. The Al Omair conglomerate owns the biggest travel agency in Abu Dhabi, Al Omair Travels and Omair Automobiles, which is the sole importer of Peugeot cars into the UAE.
Abdulaziz Al Ghurair
CEO of Mashreq Bank
Al Ghurair family patriarch and CEO of Mashreq Bank Abdulaziz, Al Ghurair is regarded as one of the founders of the UAE’s banking industry, and is the 401st richest person in the world, holding a net worth of 2.9 billion. The CEO of Mashreq Bank, the country’s fourth largest bank by asset, he was a pioneer in launching ATMs, credit cards, travellers cheques, consumer loans, mortgages and the widely popular Millionaire rewards-based savings program in the country. The business mogul is also on the Board of Directors of the Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Economic Council, Council of the UAE Higher Colleges of Technology besides holding the post of a Chairman of Masafi, RAK Petroleum and the Endowment Fund.
Mohammad Al Gergawi
Chairman, Dubai Holding
Al Gergawi is one of the top 10 influencers in Dubai. He is the chairman of Dubai Holding, minister of cabinet affairs and future and chairman of the executive office of the Dubai Government. Al Gergawi has played a key role in some of Dubai’s biggest projects including the Dhs1bn ($272m) Business Bay Canal,, and the new $20bn Jumeirah Central master development, which will take the previous Mall of the World site on Sheikh Zayed Road. In his position at Dubai Holding he also oversees some of the emirate’s most well known entities including TECOM Group, Jumeirah Group, Dubai Properties, Dubai Group and Dubai International Capital.
Chairman Damac Properties
Hussain Sajwani founded Damac Holding, the Middle East’s largest private sector property developer, in 2002 following a Dubai government decree that allowed foreigners to own real estate in the emirate. Damac Properties, under Damac Group, was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2014, valued at more than $4bn. Sajwani’s 85 percent stake in that company, together with his existing interests, makes him one of the world’s richest Arabs, worth an estimated $3bn in 2016. Damac teamed up with Donald Trump in 2013 to develop two Trump-branded golf courses. The Trump International Golf Course Dubai opened in February 2017, and the Trump World Golf Club Dubai, slated to open at the end of 2018.