The Al Habtoor Group celebrated its 45th anniversary at the start of the year. To mark the milestone the Chairman, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, hosted a VIP Gala Dinner at Al Habtoor City, the Group’s landmark project currently under development in Dubai. Joanna Andrews brings you the highlights…
Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor invited 600 VIP guests to join in the celebrations at a Gala event to mark the Al Habtoor Group’s 45th anniversary on Tuesday January 13th, 2014. Guests arrived on the red carpet at Al Habtoor City, for an exciting lineup.
Al Habtoor said, “Today we are marking the Al Habtoor Group’s 45th anniversary - 45 years of excellence, of success, of strong partnerships. I started my company in 1970. Little did I know then what I would achieve.”
He added, “I chose to mark our 45th anniversary at Al Habtoor City because of the significance of the land. I was gifted this land by His Highness Sheikh Rashid. This is the spot I built my first hotel, the Metropolitan Hotel in 1979. Back then it was our entry into something new – the UAE hospitality sector. This year we will open three hotels here – the St. Regis, the W hotel and the Westin. This is a new beginning.”
He said, “Like our motto states, the Al Habtoor Group is growing with the UAE, and we are proud of it. We are a living proof to the potential that exists in my country.”
“Al Habtoor Group has always recorded strong growth,” he added. “In the past three years, our total revenue growth was 37 per cent, with an average annual revenue growth of 12.5 per cent. Our total net worth, over the same period, jumped 20 per cent, with an average annual net worth growth of nearly seven per cent. In the next five years, we are expected to see revenue growth jump to 161 per cent, which would equal an average annual growth of 32 per cent. We are anticipating our net worth growth for the coming five years to be 85 per cent, with an average annual growth of 17 per cent.”
He also highlighted the economic prowess of the emirates, which he called the ‘land of opportunity’. “The UAE has witnessed a significant transition, from being an oil-based economy to a much more diverse economy with multiple sources of income. This highlights that our leaders have succeeded in implementing a smart strategy of diversifying sources of income.”
“The success of our country depends on us, as much as it does on the government. Each and every one of us has a role to play. We must not stand back and point the finger at the government. Instead, we must ask ourselves, what have we done for our country today, and what can we do to make it better,” he added.
Following the Chairman’s speech, Tom Urquhart conducted a candid on-stage interview with Al Habtoor, and the Chairman was presented with a gold-plated tennis racquet by tennis commentator Khalid Al Ali, for his contribution to the sport over the years.
Guests were treated to a video of young children dreaming of becoming ‘Habtoorians’. The event concluded with a special performance by Al Habtoor Group employees, choreographed by well-known British musical director and conductor Steve Sidwell, highlighting the strength and diversity of the Al Habtoor Group.
Al Habtoor said, “It was a very special moment to see staff perform on stage. It was a diverse mix of employees from all our units. I was very proud to see them perform together as one.”