Phone firm’s 2020 vision
UAE company prepares for further investment
One of the UAE’s most prominent companies is edging closer to making its shares public.
Al Habtoor Group LLC has been weighing up the move since 2000, according to its Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Al Habtoor. He made the comments in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
“We have all the documents ready, all that we need to do is to update all the information to include revenue from the recently completed Al Habtoor City project,” he said.
His father, billionaire Khalaf Al Habtoor, said in December 2012 that the Dubai-based investment and contracting company was postponing a share sale because it didn’t see sufficient opportunities to invest the proceeds.
“We didn’t find an opportunity that would give us good return to give shareholders,” Khalaf Al Habtoor said in the 2012 interview at his office in Dubai.
“We looked at safe markets, like Germany and Britain and we found that in the areas we know, there is nothing but recession.”
Al Habtoor Group, which is spending $500 million to build a resort near Dubai with a St Regis Hotel at the centre of three polo fields, bought hotels in the UK, Austria and Hungary.
The company is considering further acquisitions in large European cities, as well as developing real estate in Eastern Europe, said Mohammed Al Habtoor.
He said that demand for hotels in Dubai is stable.
“For now it’s not bad. I don’t want to be too optimistic,” he said.
Dubai is aiming to boost the number of tourists it attracts to 20 million by 2020 and is pressing ahead with hotels, leisure and entertainment venues.
Economic growth in the UAE may reach 2.6 per cent this year, according to the mean estimate on Bloomberg, after 3.9 per cent last year.
Oil has managed to lose more than 50 per cent of its value in the past two years.
Al Habtoor Group’s most profitable division, Al Habtoor Motors, acquired almost two-thirds of Mitsubishi Fuso’s distributor in Saudi Arabia, the automaker’s truck brand, earlier this year, Mohammed Al Habtoor said.
The company also holds the distinction of being the region’s sole supplier of Bentley and Bugatti cars. The site of Expo 2020 Dubai will be one of the fastest, smartest and best connected places in the world during the global mega event through a partnership with the Etisalat Group, according to national news agency WAM. Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General Bureau Expo Dubai 2020 welcomed the announcement of the partnership with Etisalat. “Communications that took six weeks in 1851, when the first Expo took place, now take six microseconds,” he said. Saleh Al Abdooli, Chief Executive of Etisalat Group, said: “As part of the partnership, we aim to bring together our people, technologies and expertise in telecommunications and digital services and solutions for an on-time execution of complex projects. “In a world where digital technologies are redefining the way people interact, live and work, creating a borderless and inclusive global community, Etisalat is honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to the Expo 2020 Dubai.” Under the deal Etisalat will provide the estimated 25 million visitors to Expo2020 with on site wi-fi.
HIGH RISE: Al Habtoor City