ArabianBusiness.com - Middle East Business News
Monday, 23 September 2019 14:28 UAE time
 
2#  Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber  - picture not available
2# Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber

Net Worth: US$ 9.7 Billion
Country of Residence: Saudi Arabia
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One of the most successful Arab businessmen, Mohamed Al Jaber has in fact made a name for himself by avoiding the speculative stock and real estate markets of the Arab world.

Speaking to Arabian Business in his office in Paris in April 2008, he warned that a disastrous property crash was on the way: "Either people will leave the cities - in which case the entire demand will crash - or the price of developments has to be corrected. (It will happen) in twelve months from now, maybe before. If the correction begins it will lead to ten bad years."

So far, the MBI International boss has made accurate predictions: when he speaks, people listen. The MBI International group of companies today holds an asset value of over $9bn and boasts operations in Europe, the Middle East and the US. It includes real estate giant Jadawel International, JJW Hotels & Resorts, and the AJWA Group, one of the largest food companies in the Middle East. It also incorporates Continentoil, an international oilfield services and petroleum resource management company with offices in the US and UK.

Despite the difficult market, the MBI Group reported a net profit in excess of $340m, this whilst other businesses are losing. Both Jadawel and Ajwa remain profitable companies, but Al Jaber's interests seem to be gravitating more towards his hotel portfolio, which he expanded significantly in 2008, snapping up resorts in Portugal and unveiling plans for an ambitious string of projects in Austria, France and the UK.

Al Jaber's hotel hunt began back in 1986 when he acquired a major resort in southern Portugal, which was to become the most exclusive golf resort of the Algarve. The acquisition of four hotels in France followed in 1988.

The Hotels Group has come a long way over the last 20 years and in 2008 announced its investment of over $1.46bn in Les Tours de Levallois, a landmark twin towers development project on the banks of the River Seine at the Parisian border. JJW will own and run the 400-room hotel which will reside within the towers along with 85,000 sq m of office space, a VIP restaurant, a pool and spa.

Strong sources from within the industry have stated exclusively to Arabian Business that the group will in the coming months conclude on a portfolio of luxury hotels in a deal worth in excess of $1.5bn.

Al Jaber is also well known for his philanthropy. He would undoubtedly be far richer but for the cash he has given to various charities over the years; Al Jaber has funded scholarship programmes at some of the world's finest educational institutions through his own MBI Al Jaber Foundation - and the alumni family now extends beyond 500.

Founding Sponsor of London's Middle East Institute and endower of a chair at the London-based School of Oriental and African Studies, he has given generous donations to a new building at the Jeddah-based Dar El Hekmah College amongst others.

In the UK, a building in Oxford University at Corpus Christie College is the first building to be built within the university in the last 300 years and bears his name.

The birthplace of British cinema at Westminster University in Regent Street, London is to rename its entrance hall ‘The MBI Al Jaber Grand Hall' in recognition of his support to revive the theatre which saw the first ever UK film screening in 1896.

He has also been a supporter of educational reform and transparent governments in the Arab world and conflict resolution, through the Olive Tree Educational Trust at City University. All this, and Al Jaber still finds the time to give regular lectures at top universities such as University College London and other similar venues in Europe and the US.
 

 

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