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Construction Week Power 100: 1-10

by CW Staff on Sep 26, 2010

Mohammed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties
Mohammed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties
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1. Mohammed Alabbar
Chairman of Emaar Properties

As chairman of one of the GCC’s most successful development firms, Mohammed Alabbar tops CW’s power list. With his leadership, the company has delivered two of the most iconic construction projects on the global stage – the Burj Khalifa and the first ever Armani hotel – within six months of each other. What’s more, it is under Alabbar’s influence that the company has managed to turn a loss of AED 1.28 billion in Q2 of 2009 into a profit of AED 802 million in Q2 of 2010 – bringing the firm back from harder days.

Committed, enthusiastic and hard-working, Alabbar began his career with an undergraduate degree in Finance and Business Administration from The Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University in 1981. He later received an honorary doctoral degree in humanities from alma mater in 2007, and spoke at a number of international forums, representing the UAE several times at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Alabbar has, in recent years, become a major figure globally, and is widely seen as one of the few ‘stars’ who have continued to shine in Dubai, despite the financial crisis. He is largely credited with not just building up Emaar into a world class property developer, but crucially, expanding the company into many different areas, long before the downturn started to take hold. He talks freely and comfortably about the various different sectors and achievements. But at
heart, he will always be a property developer.

He has been a key driving force for Emaar’s expansion into new markets; key construction contracts having been awarded to the firm in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, for Emaar’s integrated community developments. Several of these projects are expected to be handed over this year, including homes in Egypt; and commercial offices in Syria, at The Eighth Gate development.

As well as chairing Emaar Properties, Alabbar has also had roles in other organisations, giving him a significant influence across different sectors. As vice chairman of Dubai Aluminium Company (DUBAL) from 1992 until 2003 for example, he has contributed to the growth of Dubai’s non-oil sectors, whilst as chairman of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 1992 until 2002, he has also helped develop Dubai into a regional hub for conferences and exhibitions.

Next: Ayman Hariri, Saudi Oger