Saif Ahmed Al Ghurair dies; Al Habtoor mourns 'Arab Rockefeller'

The UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs offered his condolences on the death of Al Ghurair Group's founder

Saif Ahmed Al Ghurair founded Al Ghurair Group.
Saif Ahmed Al Ghurair founded Al Ghurair Group.

Saif Ahmed Al Ghurair, founder of UAE business conglomerate Al Ghurair Group, passed away in Dubai at the age of 95, with Dr Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs offering his condolences, and Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, founding chairman of Al Habtoor Group, describing Al Ghurair as the ‘Arab Rockefeller’.

Al Habtoor said in an Arabic-language tweet: “My condolences to the family of [Saif Ahmed Al Ghurair] on the death of this good man – one of the pillars of Dubai’s economy, the Arab Rockefeller.” 

Al Ghurair founded Al Ghurair Group in 1960 to unify the family’s business interests, which included pearl diving in the pre-1930s.

By the 1930s, the emergence of cultured pearls from Japan had made pearl diving a far less lucrative business and the family branched into trading.

The Al Ghurair family’s pearling boats were reconditioned for longer voyages and heavier loads and they began taking dates from Iraq to Africa and India from where they would return with textiles and teak logs for boat building.

Al Ghurair Group’s business lines today cover the industrial, real estate, and investment sectors, holding entities such as Al Ghurair Iron & Steel, Gulf Extrusions, Refco Metals, Talex, Burjuman, Reef Mall, and Al Ghurair Real Estate.

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