They don’t come much bigger than Mohamed Alabbar, who tops the first ever Dubai 100 list. A global entrepreneur with active interests in real estate, retail, luxury hospitality and now e-commerce, technology, logistics and the food industry, Alabbar is the founding chairman of Emaar Properties, the leading developer of iconic assets such as Burj Khalifa.
He is also the chairman of Eagle Hills, the Abu Dhabi-based private investment and real estate development company, and the chairman of Americana Group, a Kuwait-based pioneer in food industries. He is a member of the government’s Dubai World Expo 2020 Higher Committee.
If that was not enough, last year he announced plans to take the e-commerce world by storm with the launch of Noon, a new $1bn startup that is 50 percent funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). Alabbar says that e-commerce in the Middle East is worth $3bn — accounting for just 2 percent of total sales, a number expected to hit $70bn by 2025. When it goes live later this year, Noon is expected to offer 20 million products on its first day — giving Amazon, which recently took over Souq.com, a serious run for its money.