Business Leaders of the Middle East

Northeastern University gave me an opportunity to take the course ENTR 3217 in which I learned a lot about family businesses and how their structures and frameworks differ from a non-family business. This class also gave me an opportunity to go to Dubai and Abu Dhabi for my spring break and meet the business leaders of the area. I met number of inspiring and influential personalities on my trip. Each one of them had a different approach towards managing their family business and taking it to even greater heights. Some leaders believed in having a strong corporate culture in their company whereas some believed the more open and inviting they are to new ideas, the more they will succeed.

It was very motivating to listen to the stories of these leaders about how they initially started their business and what were some difficulties that they faced journey. The image of Dubai and the businessmen from that region in the eyes of the western world is of glamorous tradesmen who do not work hard but inherit all their success from their ancestors. My experience in Dubai provided me with a totally different outlook since most of the people I met on the trip were not originally from the region and they worked their way through their journey to achieve the level of success that they currently have.

The most influential and inspiring leader for me was Mohammed Al Mubarak who is the current CEO of Aldar properties in Abu Dhabi. Due to his unique contributions and developments throughout Abu Dhabi he became the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. I learned a lot from him because he was a total self-made man who worked his way up from the bottom to the top as the CEO. One major thing that I learned from him was that he did not focus on the revenues of his projects but he focused more on the positive change they were bringing to the region. His strategy of achieving success was to work extremely hard while paying special attention and respect to the people that work for you. He mentioned that if a certain employee in his company was not doing particularly well in his designated department then he would personally have a meeting with him to figure out an alternative department in which he can work more effectively. I believe that having this level of dedication and support for his employees makes him a great entrepreneur.

I believe that my in-class understanding and my experience in Dubai has moulded me into a totally unique and more insightful person. I managed to learn a lot more about family businesses than I ever imagined through this class. Now, I can’t wait to start my own business and to be as influential and inspiring as the Business Leaders of the Middle East.