Amr Al Dabbagh is the man in charge of bringing Saudi Arabia into the company of the world’s leading centres of business. Saudi wants not only to be taken seriously as the pre-eminent centre of business in the Gulf, but to be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Singapore and Hong Kong.
A laughable goal not so long ago, since Al Dabbagh was put in charge of the mission no one is laughing now, least of all the leaders of the countries with which Saudi Arabia intends to compete for foreign direct investment.
Currently thirteenth, only six years ago Saudi languished at 65th. In 2010, the Kingdom expects to break into the top ten. Specifically, Al Dabbagh is in charge of the development of Saudi’s six Economic City developments, each of which will house hundreds of thousands of residents and comprise a considerable fraction of Saudi’s economic portfolio. The Kingdom hopes by 2020 the cities will contribute $150bn to Saudi GDP in addition to creating 1.5 million jobs.
Al Dabbagh is also a member of the World Economic Forum as well as the Middle East Regional Advisory Board of the London Business School — where he is also an honourary alumnus.