Ten best quotes: Mohamed Alabbar

The Emaar chairman's finest words in the last decade
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On running a public company: “If I had the chance to do this all again, I would probably go private… Normally, I’m a fast learner, but on this one it took me a bit of time for things to sink in, and realise that it’s a continuous pressure. You have to be man enough to handle the pressure, but I realised late.”
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On presenting the original design for a 90 storey Burj Khalifa to HH Sheikh Mohammad: \n“My meeting with him was very short. Really, very, very short, like ten-fifteen minutes and he just left. I had to chase him and asked: “So, should we start construction?” He said “I think you should try harder.”
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On the moment he realised the property market had crashed in 2008:\n“When basically our sales turned into nothing. It stopped actually. It was tough. Very tough.”
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On over spending during the boom years:\n“I think the world, including us, we just hired [too many people]. There was too much profit. It was mostly the boom that was moving the business. It was not because of the staff we had. You just hire anybody, he looks so brilliant. But he is not brilliant.”
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On how he felt after completing the Burj Khalifa:\n“The Burj was over. I was thinking where to go, what to do next? Yes we got there, but we’re human beings, so when we get there we say ‘So what are we going to do after this? Are you going to crawl and go back in a little hole?’ I can tell you this, that’s not me.”
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On Nakheel’s ‘The World’ project:\n“Somebody has to put it back to life. I would probably build a bridge straight into it now – a floating bridge. You need a bridge to at least one of the islands and from there people can go to all the different islands. You need to bring life to it.”
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On his mining empire AMER:\n“I am telling you if I don’t take this 6/7 times up easily it’s a waste of time. I would say give me three years to create a $10bn company. I’m very determined about that… We can go much higher. We work seven days a week day and night, that’s the only way we do business. Because that’s the only way to create anything. That’s me. I’m passionate about what I do and I go all the way.”
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On his personal wealth:\n“How much do you need anyway? How much? I’m a man who if I take more than two meals a day I am sick. If you want my energy and my productivity just give me one meal a day. And I can run.”
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On stating in January 2010 that the worst of the property crash was over:\n“Maybe I was wrong.”
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On what the next decade has in store for him:\n“In ten years time I will be 63. I think I will still be doing large-scale developments. I hope I will be a little wiser. And I will still be at Emaar as long as they still want me. I work for the shareholders. As long as they think I add value, I will be there.”