Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, one of the world’s richest men according to Forbes, is an entertaining, witty and frank read.
The Dubai-born chairman worked from scratch to build the Al Habtoor Group into a billion dollar global empire spanning cars, hotels and real estate.
“Heritage is important but you have to keep moving,” says Al Habtoor. “I believe in honesty, truth and always thinking ahead.
“Also I don’t understand those who like to party — you have to go to bed early and wake up early to produce.”
Al Habtoor’s solid work ethic is the driving force behind a company that grew from one employee to over 40,000 over the course of several decades.
The business magnate’s new book describes a life always underpinned by his daily ethos: “the best way to predict the future is to create it.”
The 572-page autobiography, which took Al Habtoor more than two years to write, also describes the chairman’s journey to philanthropic and political prominence. The pages come alive with personal anecdotes of the world’s most influential and famous figures, including a foreword from ex-US President Jimmy Carter himself.
Former congressman, the Honourable Paul Findley, who spoke at the launch event of his long-term friend’s book, said: “While the buildings he has built are beautiful and durable, he has also created something even bigger — a bridge of understanding between the East and the West.”
The book has a much-welcomed political thrust, as Habtoor opines on the birth of the UAE Federation, the Gulf War and the 9/11 attacks.
As the only non-US member of The World Board of Governors of the American United Services Organisation between 1994 and 1997, Al Habtoor has worked tirelessly to promote education and dialogues between the two cultures.
“It is great to finally see my life’s journey in print. I hope my autobiography will offer insight to the secret of my success. Success is not something that comes easy,” says Habtoor.
“The book is as much a journey about the United Arab Emirates as it is about me. We have grown together,” he added.
The book is published in English and Arabic languages and is available at all good bookstores in the UAE.