By Staff writer
Yusuffali MA tops the list of people influential people in the UAE
The annual Arabian Business Indian Power List features many successful business leaders whose wealth adds up to billions of dollars.
There are stunning rags-to-riches stories over the next 34 pages about empires built and fortunes made. And not as the result of privilege or handouts, but rather the efforts of bootstrapping entrepreneurs who created their own destinies over the course of countless months, years and decades.
We commend them for their courage, enterprise and diligence. And above all, for creating tens of thousands of jobs that have helped the UAE become the vibrant commercial hub that it is today.
But let’s be clear that this list is not just about money. So while Yusuffali MA tops the list, in no short part because he made Lulu Group an international leviathan, he comes in as our number one thanks to his humanitarian activities around the world. Yusuffali has turned hard work into success; success into money; and money into the power to help those who most need it.
Sunil Vaswani is perhaps the richest of them all – earlier this year, our annual Rich List calculated his wealth at $7.48bn. But he finishes in the top two for consistently championing Africa as a place to invest. We can hardly comprehend how many lives this has changed and endless opportunities he has created for others.
There are other figures less well known outside the Indian community, but no less influential. K Kumar has worked tirelessly to help destitute maids, stranded labourers, and Indian expatriates in prison. Dr. Zulekha Daud has done so much in the field of healthcare, building successful institutions, and then using the fruits of those labours to help others. Now in her seventies, she is still a force to be reckoned with. They all are.
Arabian Business considered these elements when selecting the people we felt deserved a place on the list. We have chosen entries based on their position, the impact their work has had on the Gulf business community and their power to influence decision making. We have excluded diplomats and royalty.
So, once again, we congratulate the fifty who made the list and commiserate the many others who don’t feature here, but surely deserve a place. They provide inspiration, hope and a roadmap for how each and every one of us can transform our own lives, and the lives of others.