Burj Dubai made me 'harder' leader, says Alabbar

EXCLUSIVE: Emaar Properties boss reveals personal challenges behind mega project.
Burj Dubai made me 'harder' leader, says Alabbar
By Anil Bhoyrul
Mon 04 Jan 2010 07:09 AM


Building the world’s tallest building has made Emaar chairman Mohammed Alabbar a "harder" leader – but also "more emotional".


In a wide ranging interview published on Monday in Arabian Business, to mark the inauguration of the Burj Dubai later on Monday, Alabbar said the experience of the past few years had changed him as an individual.


He told the magazine: “I’m a harder leader now...l mean I’m a hard leader anyway. On the boss side, I am much tougher. Some people who got a job from me four years ago wouldn’t get it today. It’s been proved that so many people don’t actually work.”


He added: “Am I a different kind of leader now? Without a doubt. I got better in many things along the way. I’m sure I made valuable mistakes but I am also becoming more emotional. I don’t know if it’s age or what. Or so much beating by the shareholders.”


In the interview, the Emaar chairman also admitted that “maybe” he was guilty of over optimism in the past about Dubai’s property market, but believed that “without a doubt” it has now bottomed out.


He also said that 1-3 percent growth in the UAE economy during 2010 would be achieved "comfortably".


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