By Andrew White
Arabian Business presents the 18 winners honoured at our annual prize-giving ceremony.
1. Lifetime AchievementHH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum
HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum is the president of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and chief executive and chairman of The Emirates Group. Under his guidance, Dubai’s flagship carrier has soared to incredible heights over the course of its 23-year history, and 2008 has been another remarkable year.
The carrier is flying to more destinations and with more frequency than ever before, and in addition 2008 has also seen the successful opening of Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport.
The airline’s net profits broke through the $1bn barrier for the first time this year, and after a series of delays the first of many Airbus A380 ‘superjumbos’ took to the skies in Emirates colours.
His Highness’ personal journey in the aviation sector began in 1985 when he was appointed president of DCA. The carrier was launched at the same time and he was appointed chairman, and yet Sheikh Ahmed has not spent his time exclusively in that industry.
Sheikh Ahmed also holds several other portfolios with the Government of Dubai. He is deputy chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, which formulates policies and strategies for the Emirate of Dubai. He is also a member of the board of the Dubai Council for Economic Affairs; vice chairman of the Dubai World Trade Centre; and board member the Dubai Corporation for Government Investment, among other roles.
2. Business LeadershipJoseph Ghossoub
Joseph Ghossoub is CEO of The Holding Group (TGH) and a former president of the International Advertising Association, and chairman and world president of the International Advertising Association.
Ghossoub’s leadership has shaped THG as one of the largest and most successful Middle East communications groups, with 46 offices and nearly 1200 employees throughout the Gulf, Levant and North Africa.
The group also includes PR agencies Asda’a and Polaris, media agency Mediaedge:cia and advertising agency Intermarkets. It is also the parent company of Team/Young & Rubicam and Wunderman.
In April, Ghossoub was honoured with the first Dubai Lynx Advertising Person of the Year Award at the first Dubai International Advertising Festival.
Ghossoub graduated with a degree in business administration in his native Lebanon 25 years ago. He climbed the internal ladder at Intermarkets but left to join Team Advertising as managing partner and chief operating officer in 1993.
3. Businessman of the Year Fadi GhandourFor Fadi Ghandour, the title of Businessman of the Year is the latest in a long list of firsts chalked up the entrepreneur.
The dynamic founder and CEO of logistics firm Aramex, Ghandour’s was the first Arab company to list on the NASDAQ stock market in New York.
It later de-listed in a deal that valued the company at $61mn, and it was the first regional logistics brand to rise to compete against the biggest firms in the global transportation market. So Ghandour is used to holding his own in the company of giants.
Since its launch in 1982, with Ghandour at the wheel, Aramex has grown to become a transport powerhouse boasting 307 offices worldwide and a workforce of 7000. Internationally, the Aramex-led Global Distribution Alliance counts another 12,000 offices, 33,000 vehicles and 66,000 employees globally under its banner.
As a CEO, Ghandour isn’t afraid of risk, opening a new $1m logistics facility at Amman airport earlier this year in defiance of the financial downturn. He has a reputation for resilience - Aramex was one of the few logistics firms to maintain its business in Lebanon during the civil war, and in Baghdad after the US-led invasion – and his track record speaks for itself. Last year Aramex achieved annual revenues of $485m.
An innovator, Ghandour has his eye on the future. Earlier this year, his company announced plans to introduce hybrid vehicles into its UAE fleet. Aiming for the top, Ghandour believes Aramex will become the world’s first carbon-neutral logistics company. A direct presence in China, parts of the US and across South East Asia is also on the cards.
“Part of our brand strength today is that we are a company that does not shy away from challenges, Ghandour told Arabian Business earlier this year. “We thrive on challenges.”
4. Businesswoman of the Year Fatima Al-Jaber
Fatima Al-Jaber is chief operating officer of the UAE’s Al-Jaber Group and sits on the group’s board of directors as executive director. At Al-Jaber Group, she manages all of the group’s contracting, logistics, industrial, trading, investment and real estate subsidiaries.
An engineer by profession, Al-Jaber worked with the Abu Dhabi government from 1998 until 2005. She is also a member of the boards of directors of The National Investor (TNI) and the Abu Dhabi National Takaful Company.
Her roles include undersecretary for the building projects sector of the Abu Dhabi Municipality and assistant undersecretary for technical services at the Abu Dhabi Public Works Department.
Al-Jaber currently acts as deputy chairwoman of the Abu Dhabi Businesswomen’s Council and sits on the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
5. Telecoms Company of the YearEtisalat
After a record year of acquisitions, expansions and product launches, snaring the title ‘Telecoms Company of the Year’ is a fitting end to a rollercoaster 2008 at Etisalat.
As the Arab world’s largest telecoms operator, Etisalat’s mix of customer-focused innovation and cutting-edge technology, combined with a policy of targeting under-penetrated markets, has earned it a place among the world’s fastest-growing network operators.
Etisalat has been staggeringly successful in its home country, the UAE, holding a reported 70 percent of the mobile market. As one of the early adopters of GSM technology and the first to launch the Blackberry service regionally, the firm established its pioneer credentials early.
And this robust achievement has been matched by an ambitious overseas expansion spree into emerging markets. The company acquired a 45 percent stake in Indian mobile operator Swan Telecom in September and opened for business in Nigeria, Africa’s largest telecommunications market, in late October, stretching Etisalat’s reach to 18 countries and more than 75 million customers.
This growth has been bolstered by strategic alliances with companies such as Nokia and, earlier this month, France Telecom. Etisalat has scored a 16.6 percent share of the latter company’s digital home arm.
In line with Etisalat’s penchant for innovation, the tie-up will pave the way to launching a host of new multimedia technologies in the Middle Eastern market, including pay-per-view television and digital home technologies.
Etisalat’s global ambition has not gone unnoticed. The company has won plaudits on the international stage, taking home the Best International Carrier prize from the World Communications Awards in November and receiving inaugural ratings this third quarter from top agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.
But the proof is in the profits, and Etisalat’s business acumen has paid dividends, with the telecoms firm posting 2008 third-quarter net profits of $2bn; up 19 percent on 2007, despite the global economic slowdown.
Etisalat currently stands 140th among the Financial Times Top 500 Corporations in the world in terms of market capitalisation.
6. Retail Company of the YearDamas Jewellery
Damas, the international jewellery and watch retailer, is unrecognisable from the small, back street store first opened by Mohammed Tawfique Abdullah in the 1900s.
The founder designed, crafted and sold jewellery to retailers in Syria for several years before the family business’ relocation to the UAE in 1955.
The company was taken over by Abdullah’s son Mohammed Taher, who opened a goldsmith’s shop called Al Abdullah Jewellery Traders LLC. Some 15 years later, Mohammed Taher and his three sons launched the Damas brand, which has since developed into an international operation with retail stores across the Middle East, Africa, India and Italy.
The company has more than 450 stores in 18 countries, selling luxurious watches and jewellery. Its Les Exclusive stores offer some of the world’s most sought-after brands to high-net worth customers.
The semi-exclusive outlets sell more affordable international jewellery brands to upper-middle income consumers such as tourists, expatriate professionals and office workers. Finally, Damas’ 22k stores offer own-brand goods.
Aside from the three principal store formats, Damas also has other outlets including Damas Kids for children and parents and duty-free shops. In addition, the company has a point of sale in the Saks Fifth Avenue department store in Dubai’s Burjuman shopping centre, as well as individually-branded outlets such as Taif Jewellers, Marhaba Jewellery and Farhan Jewellers.
Its latest figures show Damas enjoyed a profitable six months in this year’s opening half.
The group’s revenue climbed 33 percent to $653m, despite high gold prices, while gross profits increased 71.4 percent to $124.3m from $72.5m during the same period last year. The company registered $44.8m net profits from January to June 2008, one month before its IPO, which raised $270.6m.
7. Best e-Government InitiativeDepartment of Naturalisation & Residency – Dubai
Making life simpler for local residents was the objective when the Department of Naturalisation & Residency – Dubai (DRND) launched its e-government initiative in September 2007.
The government division, which handles visa applications, introduced a new website (www.dnrd.gov.ae) for anyone hoping to live in Dubai. Through the site, people can upload and manage visa residency applications without having to venture further than their personal or work computers. In cooperation with other government departments, the DNRD also provides an e-complaints facility and ‘Amer’, a 24/7 communications service enabling people to offer suggestions or make complaints through a toll-free telephone and fax number. They can also get in contact via the website www.amer.ae.
Major general Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, director of Dubai Naturalisation & Residency Department, believes his department’s e-government initiative has proved hugely popular with local residents.
“We live in a world where technology and digital communication are developing at a record pace and information is becoming more and more valuable and vital for both private and government entities,” he says.
“The UAE government in general - and Dubai in particular - is actively involved in this evolution,” he continues.
“Effectively, our national strategy for the next few years include practical steps to support the decision made by our leaders to develop the UAE to the top global ranks in terms of e-government applications and offerings by providing the best online services that meet the highest international standards and the customers’ various needs.”
Since the website’s launch, DRND has helped improve Dubai’s e-government requirements, according to major general Al Marri. By this year’s opening quarter, 60 percent of the government department’s services had become electronic, with a complete transition scheduled for 2010.
“We at DNRD are strengthening our efforts further to gain our customers satisfaction therefore we are applying even simpler procedures and encouraging employees’ best performance to increase productivity and offer the best services to the public,” adds major general Al Marri.
8. Airline of the YearEtihad Airways
It has been another successful year for Etihad Airways, with the Abu Dhabi-based carrier ordering billions of dollars worth of aircraft, launching new routes and announcing plans to fly 25 million passengers by 2020.
After joining the five-year-old operation in October 2006, chief executive James Hogan has overseen the airline’s rapid expansion. When launched, the carrier had the largest start-up fleet order for 29 Airbus and Boeing wide body aircraft worth $8bn. According to its management, Etihad Airways has since developed into the world’s fastest-growing airline.
It’s a bold statement, but recent passenger figures suggest the carrier is enjoying rapid growth. Up to this year’s fourth quarter, more than 4.4 million passengers travelled on Etihad flights – a 35 percent increase from 3.3 million during the same period in 2007. Meanwhile, seat factors on services to the airline’s 48 destinations have averaged 75 percent.
In recent months, the airline’s management said it expects to carry more than six million passengers by year-end, providing seat factors remained high in this year’s fourth quarter.
The airline’s healthy passenger numbers bode well for its more recently launched routes. In 2008, Beijing was introduced to capitalise on increased demand for travellers attending this year’s Olympic Games. The airline also now flies to Indian cities Kozikhode (Calicut) and Chennai (Madras), as well as Belarus capital Minsk.
This month, services to Almaty in Kazakhstan and Moscow were launched, while the airline is set to expand its network to Melbourne and Lagos by March 2009.
For Hogan and his management team, ensuring Etihad’s rapid growth continues in the coming years is the main objective. One aim is to add a further 50 cities to the airline’s destination network by 2020.
Building the airline’s fleet is also on the agenda, with Hogan and his team keen to operate more than 150 aircraft by 2020. Earlier this year, Etihad revealed its intentions after making firm orders for 100 Airbus and Boeing planes at the Farnborough Airshow. According to the airline, achieving this objective will require an extra 27,000 staff – a significant increase from the 6600 Etihad currently employs.
9. Developer of the YearNakheel
In a region famed for its record-breaking construction, there was hot competition in the Developer of the Year category. But the launch of The Palm and its flagship resort, Atlantis, accompanied by a star-studded guest list and one of the world’s largest fireworks displays, clinched it for this year’s winner.
Nakheel has made its name by delivering on the impossible. From floating islands in the shape of the world’s continents to the world’s tallest skyscraper, Nakheel has raised the bar in an industry where brazen ambition is the standard.
The $80bn property firm, only seven years old, is widely recognised as one of the largest real estate developers in the world with a project portfolio worth an estimated $60bn. It has been a key player in building Dubai’s reputation as the construction capital of the world, grabbing headlines with its globally acclaimed developments.
Not one to take the easy path, Nakheel has specialised in edgy, challenging developments centering on reclaimed islands and man-made canals, such as The World. The company has also taken the lead on environmental sustainability through its Blue Communities initiative, committing over $50m to boosting research on coastal development issues.
With interests in the residential, commercial, retail and leisure sectors, Nakheel has taken its lead from its home emirate by diversifying and dominating in a range of sectors: and it is a policy that has paid off.
By September of this year, Nakheel had sold 6100 units – a three-fold increase on full-year figures for 2007.
Nakheel’s key focus remains the Middle East, but the firm is moving towards a more global outlook. Last year, it acquired a cluster of assets from its sister company, Istithmar, including a string of high-profile properties in London and New York.
It also holds stakes in a number of leisure developments in Africa, a residential development in Singapore and a hotel development in Bangkok.
10. Retail Bank of the YearEmirates NBD
Emirates NBD, the Middle East’s biggest bank by assets, was formed in October 2007 following the merger between Emirates Bank and National Bank of Dubai.
The group has branches in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UK and Jersey (Channel Islands), with representative offices in India, Iran and Singapore.
At June 30, 2008 the bank’s total assets were worth $77.8bn, giving it a market share of 20.5 percent.
According to its management, Emirates NBD is the leading retail banking franchise in the UAE, with 115 branches and more than 486 ATMs across the emirates. The group is also considered a major player in the corporate banking arena, with a fifth of market share for corporate loans by late 2007.
Elsewhere, the company has fast-growing Islamic banking affiliated entities, strong investment and private banking services, and solid asset management products.
As part of its corporate social responsibility strategy, Emirates NBD’s management recently launched a community services unit. The division supports local charities, regional culture, environmental, sporting, and education initiatives.
The group plays a leading role in the development of Dubai as a regional financial centre, in line with the 2015 Strategic Plan of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
By this year’s fourth quarter, the bank had increased net profits year-on-year by 33 percent to $996,432 Meanwhile, total income climbed 38 percent to $1.8m, with earnings per share rising 33 percent to $0.19 during the same period.
11. Investment Bank of the YearEFG-Hermes
The banking industry may be struggling amid the global economic downturn, but some are still performing strongly, as EFG-Hermes has proved. The Arab investment banking firm’s consolidated revenues for the year to September 30 climbed 37.5 percent to $380.2m.
Its third quarter figures were indicative of current market conditions, with a more modest 6.2 percent growth to $104.4m reported. Elsewhere, net profit after tax and minority interest climbed 2.8 percent to $165.5m compared to $161m from January to September last year.
“There is no question these are challenging times for regional markets,” said EFG-Hermes chairman Yasser El-Mallawany. “However, the Middle East’s macroeconomic fundamentals are very sound. Look no further than the International Monetary Fund’s latest projections for 2009, which forecast 5.9 percent growth in the region against just 2.2 percent growth globally.”
CEO Hassan Heikal added that the company believes the outlook for the Middle East and North Africa is positive, despite the “regional market downturn and low valuations rolling into the fourth quarter”.
Founded in 1984, EFG-Hermes is considered one of the Middle East’s premier investment banks. Its services include securities brokerage, asset management, investment banking, private equity, and research. The firm has a proud history of innovation, market leadership and dedicated client service.
The bank has several clients ranging from governments and corporations to institutional and individual investors. It is listed on the Egyptian and London Stock Exchanges, with a market capitalisation at June 2008 exceeding $3.5bn. In 2006, net profit grew by 100 percent to $123m, and then a further 30 percent to $160m in 2007.
The firm employs some 880 people from more than 30 nationalities working in 13 offices across the region. In addition, EFG-Hermes is the largest shareholder in Bank Audi, with a stake exceeding 28 percent.
12. Technology Company of the YearMicro Automation Industries
A leader in the market for manufacturing electronic control systems and power protection devices, Micro Automation Industries has focused its efforts on producing innovative products.
Based in Techno Park, Dubai, Micro Automation Industries provides a range of cost-effective, microprocessor-based solutions to the consumer and industrial engineering community.
Micro Automation has developed more than 30 years of expertise in the field of engineering design, development, prototyping and manufacturing.
Having carved a niche of its own as the best in the fields of power protection and electronic control systems, the success of the firm owes a great deal to its strict quality standards.
It has also earned a reputation as a business which exceeds customer expectations.
The company is involved with the development and manufacture of electronic control products, as well as the supply and installation of the products. All of its products marketed are supported with full history maintenance reports.
Powermatic, its power monitoring and protection device, is one of its leading products.
A microprocessor-based device designed to protect electrical and electronic equipment in the office, home and workplace from various power disturbances, Powermatic has seven types of power protection features.
13. Small Business of the YearBateel Dates
A world-class brand in the premium confectionery industry, the inspiration for Bateel Dates emerged from a simple concept – the desire to offer a unique range of high quality products to a well-defined market segment in an upscale and elegant retail environment.
Bateel’s strong appeal is testament to its ability to consistently develop and produce the highest quality products, while maintaining an innovative merchandising and distribution system.
Headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with a regional office in Dubai, Bateel specialises in the production and distribution of a complete range of dates and date and non-date gourmet confectioneries.
Employing over 300 people, Bateel’s success is anchored on a strong production and marketing organisation, which includes farming, processing, manufacturing, and premium retailing functions. Its dates are farmed in Saudi Arabia, the oldest and one of the largest producers of dates in the world, with the Saudis also among the largest consumers of the fruit.
Saudi Arabia is rich with many types, shapes and colours of dates not found anywhere else in the world. All dates sold by Bateel are produced by the company in its own date groves using the most modern date growing and harvesting techniques so that quality can be carefully controlled.
The company strives to improve farming and cultural practices in the growing of dates, using new and better methods for the handling and processing of the fruit, which preserve its natural freshness and ensures a consistent quality. Bateel produces over 20 varieties of dates in balah, rhutab, tamr and maknooz forms.
Its date selections include the famed Sokari, Khidri, Kholas, Naboot Seif and other important varieties. Thanks to its unique farming and processing methods, Bateel date quality exceeds the strict quality standards for exporting dates to the US.
14. Young Business Person of the YearAhmed Bin Al Dhahry
Gifted with a talent for sound judgment in investments, Al Dhahry is the CEO of Injaz Mena Investment Company PSC, a full-service investment bank, which aims to create value by identifying the most attractive regional and global investment opportunities for its clients and strategic partners.
The company offers a wide range of services in private equity, asset management and investment banking to an extensive client base of high net worth individual and institutional investors. Under Al Dhahry’s leadership, the bank prides itself on its core values of integrity and professionalism, reflected in the firm’s high standards of corporate governance. With a culture of prudence in decision-making and an entrepreneurial approach to business, Injaz delivers exceptional performance for both its clients and business partners.
In addition to his role with Injaz, Al Dhahry holds a number of distinguished positions including vice chairman and managing director of Ali & Sons and Ali & Sons Group, managing director of Abu Dhabi National Foodstuff Company PSC (FOODCO), chairman of Real Capita BSC, chairman of Publinet Advertising & Publicity LLC, board member of Abu Dhabi Aviation Company PSC, board member of Al Wathba Insurance Company PSC and board member of Al Qudra Holding PJSC, among others.
After a decade-long track record of successful investments, Al Dhahry has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards for his achievements in his professional life including honours bestowed by the late President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayhan and the late Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. He is also the winner of the Ernst & Young trophy for outstanding achievement in the fields of accounting.
Al Dhahry qualified in the US as a certified public accountant and holds a BA degree from Seattle Pacific University.
15. Hospitality Company of the YearEmaar Hospitality
The Emaar Hospitality Group LLC, the wholly owned subsidiary of Dubai-based global property developer Emaar Properties PJSC, manages the company’s growing roster of hospitality and leisure projects.
It ensures residents of Emaar’s master planned communities have access to exceptional sport, entertainment, recreational, hotel and business facilities.
Emaar Hospitality Group owns and manages a diverse and award-winning portfolio of leisure assets, including golf resorts, a polo and equestrian club, health clubs, and the Dubai Marina and associated yacht club.
‘Nuran’ is Emaar Hospitality Group’s own brand for serviced residences, and has been developed for corporate travellers wishing to stay for an extended business or leisure trip. Nuran currently has two key locations in Dubai, with expansion plans being developed internationally.
In tandem with the development and management of first class leisure facilities, Emaar Hospitality has been rolling out The Address Hotels & Resorts during 2008, with a commitment to building a world-class five-star hotel chain in under a decade. The first of The Address Hotels is located in the UAE, in the prestigious Downtown Burj Dubai.
16. Environmental Company of the YearMasdar
Energy security, climate change and the development of human expertise in sustainability are among the pressing issues facing mankind tackled by the Masdar Initiative.
Abu Dhabi is the first major hydrocarbon-producing economy to leverage its substantial resources and experience in global energy markets into the technologies of the future by providing a world cooperative platform for open engagement in the search for solutions to some of these major hurdles.
One key objective of Masdar is to position Abu Dhabi as a world-class research and development hub for new energy technologies, effectively balancing its strong position in an evolving world energy market.
Another aim is to drive the commercialisation and adoption of technologies in sustainable energy, carbon management and water conservation and, at the same time, Masdar will play a key role in Abu Dhabi’s transition from technology consumer to technology producer.
The long-term goal of the project is the establishment of an entirely new energy technologies sector in Abu Dhabi, which will assist economic diversification and the development of knowledge-based industries, while building upon the emirate’s existing record of environmental stewardship and its contribution to the global community.
Last month the government initiative, owned by Mubadala Development Company, announced it had selected Houston, Texas-based Mustang Engineering to provide front-end engineering and design services for Masdar’s Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project in the UAE.
The scheme is the first phase in a series of facilities capturing carbon dioxide emissions from Abu Dhabi’s industrial and power generation plants. The CO2 will be transported in a pipeline network and injected in Abu Dhabi’s oil reservoirs for enhanced oil recovery.
The objective of the CCS network is to reduce Abu Dhabi’s carbon footprint and replace the vast amount of natural gas currently re-injected into oil reservoirs.
17. Construction Company of the YearDubai Contracting Company (DCC)
In a region famed for its ambitious construction projects, the award for Construction Company of the Year was a fiercely contested one. The winner was Dubai Construction Company, a Gulf contracting company founded in 1962 and headquartered in Dubai.
The company offers a wide range of contracting services focused on low, medium and high-rise buildings as well as hospitality complexes.
The company’s completed projects portfolio includes UAE landmarks such as the World Trade Centre Residences, the headquarters of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Capricorn Tower. DCC projects in progress include the Rolex Tower and the Fairmont Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah.
We are not the only ones to have recognised DCC’s significant progress - last month it was announced that Bright Start, a prominent UAE holding company, had purchased a stake in DCC from Amwal AlKhaleej, a leading regional private equity firm.
Amwal Al Khaleej had purchased a 49 percent stake in DCC in November 2007.“Our vision has been clear and consistent from day one - DCC built its reputation on quality,” says CEO Abdallah H Yabroudi.
“In pursuit of that goal we have worked with discipline and dedication to continually raise the bar on our quality standards,” he continues. “Today we have reached the highest level of professionalism in the construction industry and have been rewarded by our clients’ trust and ongoing satisfaction.”
18. Editor’s ChoiceDr Anas Kozbari
Dr Anas Kozbari is managing partner & CEO at Invest Group Overseas (IGO), an offshore investment and property development company set up to provide a range of investments in different fields of businesses.
The group - an offshore company registered in the British Virgin Islands with headquarters located in Dubai - is a strategic joint venture by an elite group of Syrian business leaders with a successful business history and combined experience of over 35 years.
The partners at IGO have envisioned the company to be a leading force in the investment and property development industry in Syria, and other regional markets. With thorough knowledge of the country and the region, IGO plans to be a part of Syria’s growth and development with its strength of leadership, enterprise and ambition.
As an investment company, IGO capitalises on Arabia’s multitude of enriching business opportunities. Eager to support and sustain the region’s growth and development, IGO explores opportunities throughout the Arab world by providing top-notch support and profitable corporate strategies.
IGO makes strategic capital investments and is committed to the careful implementation and management of several commercially viable real estate, retail and financial activities including the creation of a dynamic new Islamic banking option in Syria. It is also associated with a string of high-profile retailers that plan to usher in a new retail culture.
Dr Kozbari is an experienced businessman who has led international companies in the region for over 15 years – and done so with immense success. With a strong background in international law and corporate development, Dr Kozbari’s strategic acumen effectively complements his extensive business expertise and intimate knowledge and understanding of the region.
It is Dr Kozbari’s hope that the firm’s work in Syria will increase land values, speed up development, generate new jobs and stimulate growth in a variety of sectors from construction and design, to banking and mortgage financing to maintenance and retail.
The massive scale of the projects will revive investors’ interest in Syria, Dr Kozbari believes, and as the country’s economy gains momentum and its liberal economic policies aimed at attracting foreign investors take hold, IGO will be at the forefront of this new era.
You state that, "Etisalat has been staggeringly successful in its home country, the UAE, holding a reported 70 percent of the mobile market." Until relatively recently it was a state-owned monopoly. Hardly worth rewarding a company that has had no competition until recently, and has still evidently lost 30 per cent of the market share, is it? And SKYPE is blocked here. Itâ€™s an anti-competitive censorship to aid government-owned companies and should not be rewarded with prizes. For shame, Arabian Business, for shame.
I feel honor to congratulate Dr.Anas Kozbari for the award ,and i wish him permanent success with his business. Yazan Al Farra
ha ha ha ha ha