Khalaf Al Habtoor says no matter what mistakes you make in the business world they should always be viewed as opportunities to learn and should never be considered a wasted experience. This philosophy certainly rang true for him as he is now celebrating forty years of successful entrepreneurship.
Today Khalaf Al Habtoor has a very diverse business portfolio which includes lucrative businesses in real estate, the hospitality industry, construction, insurance, education and the automotive industry. In total he is an employer of more than 40,000. He says he was never afraid to take risks and sometimes this paid off and other times it didn’t. Anyone that is considering a new business venture should be prepared to grab this opportunity but they should also have their idea well thought out beforehand and should always heed the advice of other experienced people.
His first job was at a photo lab working for a British geology and oil company and he earned Rs250 per month. He says his first boss taught him humility and innovativeness qualities he has never forgotten. Later on he went to work for an Emirati businessman who owned a large construction company. He says this was his first chance to really learn about business and earn decent money.
In 1967 he decided to embark on his first business venture and Habtoor Engineering was started later to become the Al Habtoor Group. He says looking back it was a risky move as he had no money behind him whatsoever. Al Habtoor did not earn any money from his first project but it did spurn him on to his next. It was only when the new UAE federation was founded in 1971 that ensuing new building boom that followed allowed his company to grow and prosper and he has never looked back since then.Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News