Industry: Banking & Finance
Abdulaziz Al Ghurair is the de facto spokesperson for the banking industry in the UAE, through his position as head of the Emirates Banking Association.
And while it’s been a tough couple of years for profits at his own lender, Mashreqbank, the cornerstone of Al Ghurair’s business empire has remained stable. The fact that Mashreqbank has performed so well despite its exposure to Dubai World-linked companies speaks volumes about the strength of its leadership.
Al Ghurair is CEO of the bank, which he started from scratch with $1.6m of capital during the oil boom in the 1960s, and which is the country’s fourth-largest by assets. The lender was the first bank to introduce ATM machines and credit cards to the emirates, and is now in expansionist mode.
Al Ghurair is also one of the founders of the property giant Emaar, and served as speaker of the UAE’s Federal National Council until earlier last year. He remains a fervent proponent of national identity in the country. The family legacy can be traced back to Ahmad Al Ghurair who founded Al Ghurair Group in 1960.