The driving force behind the Gulf’s construction boom and the leader of one of its real estate giants stood out

Balfour Beatty
Sponsored by Balfour Beatty

Dutco Balfour Beatty

The Dutco Balfour Beatty Group have been active in engineering and construction across the GCC region for over 30 years. It delivers civil, marine, building, mechanical and electrical services through its brands of Dutco Balfour Beatty Construction Group and BK Gulf.

Sponsored by Dutco

Winner: Mohammed bin Ali AlAbbar, emaar properties

There are few individuals that have done more to place the UAE at the centre of the international business community than Alabbar. Under his stewardship, developer Emaar Properties has become one of the world's largest real estate giants and built the world's tallest tower. Alabbar has also taken Emaar overseas and made it a truly global player. Among other moves this has included an investment of more than $500m in the growing Indian market.

Nobody understands better than Alabbar the importance of growing Dubai as a diverse financial market, exchanging its reliance on oil for a booming real estate and commodities market. As director general of Dubai's department of economic development, he has been a pivotal figure in making the city an attractive location for some of the world's biggest and most important companies.

From his mentor, His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he learned the importance of firm, professional leadership, and using this, he has seen through the ambitious and exciting schemes that have made Emaar one of the kings of the international economy. He has proved himself to be a role model for the business community across the Arab world. Now, the philosophy of the developers and investors of the UAE is that anything is possible, and it is in part thanks to Alabbar's influence that this strength of ambition is now commonplace in the region. The skyscrapers, masterplans and island developments that are being built are a direct result of Alabbar’s far-sighted business philosophy.