Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar has hit back at claims that his increasing commitments outside the company are proving a distraction, saying there is no conflict of interest.
In an interview with Arabian Business to be published on Sunday, Alabbar said: “Yes, I am on the board of other real estate entities around the world. This has been the case for the past 20 years, it has never been an issue before and I don’t agree that it is an issue now.
"What has changed maybe is that the projects now, such as in Serbia and Egypt, are far more high profile. But there is nothing wrong or unusual for a chairman to have other non-executive roles in other companies. Everything I have ever done has always been cleared by the board and within the law.”
He added: “And by the way, these are all companies in real estate, a field in which I believe I have something to contribute and offer. I am not on the board of a technology or media or telecom company. It is strictly real estate. When you ask specifically about projects such as the Belgrade Waterfront being done by Eagle Hills, I can categorically say that, there is absolutely no conflict of interest with Emaar.”
Alabbar also refuted suggestions that Emaar is suffering from a “brain drain” following the departure of several senior executives, telling the magazine: “Sure, staff at all levels, not just senior levels, have come and gone. That is the choice of the staff, and when our people get great positions in other companies, I am proud of them. It shows that we hired good people and that we trained them well. And it shows that we are constantly bringing fresh blood into this company. But I am still here, running the show, providing leadership and direction.”
*Alabbar Uncensored: Read the full Arabian Business interview with Mohamed Alabbar on Sunday 12 April, from 9am on www.arabianbusiness.com. The interview is also being published in both Arabian Business English and Arabian Business Arabic on April 12.
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