Al Habtoor given lifetime achievement prize in US
C3 organisation promoting US-Arab ties honours Emirati businessman
One of Dubai's leading business figures was given a lifetime achievement award at a US-Arab business summit in New York yesterday.
Khalaf Al Habtoor, whose group owns a majority stake in contractor Habtoor Leighton Group and is currently building the $3bn Al Habtoor City in Dubai, was given the first Lifetime Achievement award handed out by the C3 organisation set up to foster relationships between the US and Arab worlds.
Al Habtoor was granted the prize at the Union League Club during a summit at which he delivered a keynote address where he said differences between Western and Eastern models of governance should be respected, as opposed to applying a "one size fits all" method.
He said: "Leaders in the democratic countries are locked away in their ivory towers, with thousands of guards keeping them from the people they are supposed to listen. In my country, I can meet the rulers any time I have a need and they will listen."
On receiving the lifetime achievement award, he added: "I pride myself on being an ambassador of my country to the world. I have always been conscious about the importance of bridging the East and the West, finding the similarities instead of the differences between different cultures."
The founder of the C3 organisation, Ransel Potter, said: "It was an honour to host Mr. Al Habtoor at C3 Summit. Given his numerous business successes, and his philanthropic foundation, it was fitting that he became the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award."