Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor

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Founder and Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor is a prominent and highly respected citizen of the United Arab Emirates. A self-made man, he is Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group – one of the most successful conglomerates in the Gulf.

Al Habtoor is known not only for his many business achievements but also his extensive knowledge of international political affairs; his philanthropic activity; his efforts to promote peace; and the fact that he has long acted as an unofficial ambassador for his country abroad. Writing extensively on both local and international politics, he publishes regular articles in the media and has released a number of books.

Al Habtoor began his career as an employee of a local UAE construction firm and in 1970 established his own company, Al Habtoor Engineering. The UAE Federation, which united the seven emirates under the one flag for the first time, was founded in 1971 and this inspired him to undertake a series of innovative construction projects – all of which proved highly successful.

The company later became the Al Habtoor Group and over the last 40 years it has grown with the United Arab Emirates. Today it is recognised as one of the most prominent business corporations in the region with interests not just throughout the Middle East, but around the world.

While best known for construction, it is also recognised for its luxury hotels, real estate companies, educational establishments, insurance groups, automobile dealerships, car rental, and publishing. Today, it employs thousands of people and continues to grow. For more information on Al Habtoor Group, visit www.habtoor.com

Khalaf Al Habtoor’s long list of awards and achievements does not only reflect his business acumen. He believes it is his strength in the face of adversity; his willingness to take calculated risks; and the fact that he is always looking ahead, that has enabled the Al Habtoor Group to grow and diversify.

Known for his optimistic outlook and warm personality, Al Habtoor is well respected by his associates and considered a well-balanced and progressive man. An active member of society, he feels it is his civic duty to contribute to his country in any way that he can. He’s also a devoted family man who loves meeting new people; enjoys acquiring knowledge; and looks forward with pleasure to each new day.

Current positions held by Khalaf Al Habtoor

  • Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group
  • Chairman of Dubai National Insurance and Reinsurance Company

Former positions held by Khalaf Al Habtoor

  • Member of the Federal National Council
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Chairman of the Commercial Bank of Dubai
  • Member of The John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • The only non-US member of The World Board of Governors of the American United Services Organisation (USO) (1994 – 1997)

Awards given to Khalaf Al Habtoor

  • Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from the American University of Cairo (AUC) in June 2014 in recognition for his continued efforts in fostering cross cultural understanding, supporting humanitarian causes, and advance academic inquiry.
  • Recognition from the 1st UAE Clinical Simulation Conference 2014 for his commitment and support to Dubai’s healthcare sector.
  • His book ‘Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor : The Autobiography’ was awarded ‘Best International Book on Business and Economics’ at the Sharjah International Book Fair 2013.
  • India-UAE Business Icon Award from the Asian Business Leadership Forum Awards (December 2013).
  • Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gulf Business Industry Awards in September 2013.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference for his contribution to the UAE’s hospitality and tourism industry in May 2013.
  • A number of awards and medals over the years from The Red Crescent Society of the UAE, in recognition of ongoing financial support, the most recent being the prestigious ‘Medal of the Red Crescent for Humanitarian Action’ in July 2012.
  • Honour from The American University of Sharjah, in recognition of contribution to the AUS endowment fund (2011)
  • The Shield of Merit Award from The United Nations, in recognition of support for the Palestinian cause (2011)
  • The American University of Cairo Honour, as a generous benefactor and in particular for funds donated to build the ‘Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Football Stadium and track’ (2010)
  • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Illinois College (2010)
  • Honorary Member of the Phi Alpha Literary Society, a sorority which counts amongst its members the sixteenth American President, Abraham Lincoln and US Congressman, Paul Findley (May 2010)
  • Outstanding Business Leadership Award from the All-Party Group on Entrepreneurship and the British Institute of Technology and E-commerce at the World High Tech Forum in London, for exceptional leadership qualities, acumen and vision (2010)
  • Sharjah Voluntary Work Award from His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the UAE and Ruler of Sharjah (2009)
  • Gold Laurels Award from ABI, for triumphant deeds based on excellence in numerous achievements in the field of accomplished leadership (2007)
  • World Forum Award from the British Parliament, for efforts to build bridges between the Arab World and the West (2007)
  • Businessman of the Year Award at the 2007 Arabian Business Achievement Awards in Abu Dhabi (2007)
  • Genius Laureate of the UAE from the American Biographical Institute, for ‘Distinguished progression and mastery in the field of accomplished leadership', as recorded in the 500 Greatest Genius of the 21st Century (2006)
  • Honorary Doctorate degree in Humane Letters from the American University College of Science and Technology in Beirut (2005)
  • International Peace Prize from the United Cultural Convention of America, recognising achievements in peace and justice across political, religious and ethnic divisions.
  • Appreciation awards from International Indigent Orphan Relief Organisation, Palestinian Children's Relief Fund, Al Ain Centre for Handicapped Children and Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre.
  • Gulf Excellence Award of the United Arab Emirates, presented by His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa at the Gulf Excellence Forum Bahrain (2005)
  • Included in the A.B.I. Leading Intellectuals of the World book, listed amongst an elite group of men and women, dedicated to making improvements in society (2005)
  • Grand Ambassador of Eminence award from the American Biographical Institute, in recognition of professional achievements and social contribution to the UAE (2004)
  • Knighthood from the President of Lebanon (1995)
Autobiography Autobiography
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