On a recent trip to Paris, Khalaf Al Habtoor met with three French politicians to discuss possible business ventures and the political upheaval which has affected many parts of the Middle East.
In fact, the political situation in Syria was a major topic of conversation when the Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group met with Alain Marsaud, Jean-Pierre Bechter and Thierry Mariani on February 6, 2012. The four men were dining at the Le Dali in the Le Meurice Hotel.
“I’m most concerned about the current situation in Syria and believe something needs to be done about it urgently,” commented Al Habtoor. “I know that France has similar fears and we share a common concern for the people of Syria who are suffering greatly at this time.”
But politics was not the only subject. Al Habtoor emphasised the stability of the UAE economy and said he hoped the meeting would encourage investment in the region. “My country’s economy is witnessing constant growth and the UAE offers stability, security and great infra-structure, which makes it a safe-haven for investors,” he said.
All three men hold considerable political influence in France. Alain Marsaud is a member of the Union for Popular Movement (UMP) and the party representative in the 2012 parliamentary elections for French nationals living abroad. He was also head of the Central Counter-Terrorism division to the Public Prosecutor of Paris in the 1980s.
Jean-Pierre Bechter is the advisor of Serge Dassault, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Dassault Group and the Mayor of Corbeil-Essonnes.
And Thierry Mariani is the Minister in Charge of Transport for the Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing, and a member of the UMP.
Earlier that day, Al Habtoor met with Gilles Schnepp, the Chairman and CEO of the Legrand Group. Schnepp, has been the Chairman and CEO of the Legrand Group since March 2006.
The French company specialises in electrical and digital building infrastructure and operates in Europe, the US, China, India and Australia.The possibility of a collaboration between Legrand and the Al Habtoor Group was discussed and especially in relation to the latest Al Habtoor Group hotel projects on the Palm Jumeirah and Sheikh Zayed Road.