Company: Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla
Designation: Executive chairman
The first time Dr Habib Al Mulla made history was when he designed the legal framework establishing DIFC, having been the founding chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). The second time was when his company became the first Emirati law firm to merge with an international giant Baker McKenzie. But the prominent lawyer was turning heads as early as 1997, when he suggested the UAE’s long-term visa system and 100 percent foreign ownership law.
I wish that by the time I retire I can leave a good impact on the UAE’s legal structure. A lot has been done, but even more can be done
Today, he is no less ambitious, having called for regulatory changes in areas ranging from consumer law to bounced cheques. In July this year, he urged investors to avoid negative feedback related to blockchain and cryptocurrencies, dubbing them ‘the future.’ Al Mulla is also the chairman of the board at the Dubai International Arbitration Centre, and remains one of the most sought-after for legal representation, with a string of high-profile victories that rival the best in the world. For his most recent project, however, he steered away from law and into the world of food to write his Arabic language book My Journey to the World of Restaurants, with a goal of introducing the ‘culture of food’ to Arab readers.