Rags to riches: Moafaq Al Gaddah


  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
Moafaq Al Gaddah is one of the Middle East’s richest businessmen.

Moafaq Al Gaddah is one of the Middle East’s richest businessmen.

I never wanted to work for anyone else,” says Moafaq Al Gaddah. “I always wanted to be my own man.”

Now one of the Middle East’s richest men, with a fortune estimated to be in excess of $1bn, Al Gaddah has certainly fulfilled that promise to himself. The chairman of the Moafaq Al Gaddah (MAG) Group now oversees an business empire that stretches from property development to industry, and from car parts to hospitality.

But unlike many of the ultra high net worth individuals living in this part of the world, Al Gaddah had to make his own way in life. He had a tough upbringing in a rural part of Syria, moving to Kuwait aged just 15.

“When I arrived in Kuwait, I realised that I wanted to be an entrepreneur,” he says. “I started working in the local souq — and that’s when I found out that I had a gift for selling.”

That knack for sales was to serve the young Syrian well. He started off by working on an unlicensed kiosk, buying clothes wholesale and selling them on to the souq’s customers.

But Al Gaddah also faced a lot of challenges, from Kuwait’s searing summer heat, to stiff competition from other sellers in the market. Last but not least, he also had to keep an eye out for municipality officials, who could have put him in jail for running an unlicensed stall.

“I made some money — in fact I made a lot of money,” he recalls. “I calculated it was three times what a managing director might make in a year.

“How? I had more guts to do things that the other traders wouldn’t do. I took risks. And that is how I was seen in the market — as a young guy who wanted to make something of himself.

Article continued on next page...

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Hdee

All the Best , Sir ! Your name spells it out for the World ....
Moafaq means " success."

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Is this the end of the Gulf’s Indian cash dash?

Is this the end of the Gulf’s Indian cash dash?

From currency woes to taxation loopholes closing and a clampdown...

2
Mall talk

Mall talk

Plans for Dubai’s Mall of the World have made headlines all over...

1
Tenants become investors as Abu Dhabi engineers property rebound

Tenants become investors as Abu Dhabi engineers property rebound

Abu Dhabi's real estate market has paled next to Dubai, its more...

Most Discussed
  • 15
    Baby NOT on board?

    The people commenting here were all 20 years old when they were born, never cried, never screamed and never ran etc etc.
    more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 8:30 AM - Amer
  • 7
    Belgium diplomat arrested for pulling veil from Qatari princess

    If its illegal to dress in a certain way why didnt the police do something about it.

    Whereever the Europeans go, they demand that society conforms... more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 8:37 PM - Ghazi
  • 7
    CEO of Just Falafel to step down

    Just Falafel was a disaster waiting to happen. The food isn't even that good and the focus wasn't on building the brand and operations. Instead they focused... more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 8:37 PM - milad
  • 23
    World's most pierced man refused entry to the UAE

    Tolerance has its limits everywhere including Dubai and those who considered Dubai a lawless circus were held accountable...so thank you Dubai authorities... more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 10:51 PM - Khalil
  • 17
    UK looks to close tax loophole on expat landlords

    UK taxes too much and too complicated and time taking and confusing and continuous. Returns, lawyers, HMRC, taxes too much for too little. Not worth the... more

    Sunday, 17 August 2014 12:40 PM - AbdolRahman
  • 15
    Baby NOT on board?

    The people commenting here were all 20 years old when they were born, never cried, never screamed and never ran etc etc.
    more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 8:30 AM - Amer