Mohamed Alabbar is considered one of the leading businessmen in the Middle East, and the driving force behind Dubai’s economic growth, with interests spanning across fashion, property, leisure and commodities. He established Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, as well as the Dubai Mall that accounts for about half of the city’s luxury goods consumption.
The business mogul and real estate tycoon is also a stakeholder in Yoox Net-a-Porter group and developed the Armani hotel in Milan alongside the Italian fashion house. Alabbar has a degree in Finance and Business Administration from the Seattle University. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate from the university.
Alabbar is the chairman of Emaar Properties. The company, which has a presence in more than 80 countries, focuses on developing prime real-estate locations in the luxury and hospitality sector. Amongst his many roles, he is also founder and owner of Alabbar Enterprises — a company that operates and invests in businesses in the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa, with a focus on luxury, fashion, retail and e-commerce.
He founded and remains a major shareholder of RSH, the Singapore-based pan-Asian marketer, distributor and retailer of international fashion brands. He is also the founder and chairman of Africa Middle East Resources (AMER), chairman of Tradewinds Corporation —a leisure and hospitality operator in Malaysia and sits on the board on Noor Investment Group.
He also led two investor groups in buying a combined 16.45 percent stake in Dubai-based courier Aramex part of a plan to build an e-commerce platform across the Arab world. Mr. Alabbar was the founding Director General of Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) and served as a member of the Dubai Executive Council and Dubai Economic Council.
As of 2016, Alabbar’s private investment organisation, Alabbar Enterprises, holds a 4 percent stake in the Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) group worth €100m, and will help the group expand into the Middle Eastern market.