United Arab Emirates
Al Ghurair Group
Big fish in the UAE don’t get much bigger than Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, perhaps the most high-profile member of the Al Ghurair clan. He is CEO of Mashreq bank, the country’s fourth largest bank by assets, and was one of the founders of construction giant Emaar.
The Al Ghurair family legacy can be traced back to Ahmad Al Ghurair who founded Al Ghurair Group in 1960. The family name has been a fixture within the UAE business community ever since. Ahmad Al Ghurair passed on his legacy to his sons Saif, Abdulla, Majid, Marwan and Jomaa.
Until the 1990s Al Ghurair Group was led by Saif Ahmad Al Ghurair. This corporation was formed in 1960. In the 1990s, Saif Ahmad Al Ghurair and Abdulla Al Ghurair embarked upon creating two unique yet complementing diversified industrial groups. This decision led to the creation of Saif Ahmad Al Ghurair Group and Abdulla Al Ghurair Group.
Abdullah Al Ghurair, chairman, started Mashreq from scratch with $1.6m worth of investment capital 40 years ago. The lender was the first bank to introduce ATM machines and credit cards to the emirates and is now in expansionist mode. Today, Abdul Aziz is also Speaker of the House of the Federal National Council, and a keen defender of UAE national identity. His uncle Saif is chairman of the Al Ghurair Group, which has been in business for over 40 years with expertise in retail, industry and manufacturing.
Al Ghurair Group owns and manages Burjuman Mall in Dubai, as well as Al Reef Mall in the same city. Abdul Aziz’s brother Essa operates the second-largest flour milling company in the Middle East.