Khalaf Al Habtoor, Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group, welcomed a French business delegation at the Group head office on Tuesday, 15th January.
The group toured the Habtoor Palace project currently underway on Sheikh Zayed Road. They were accompanied by Martyn Wild, Projects Director. It followed a tour of the head office on Al Wasl Road where delegates had the chance to meet senior executives of the Group including Mohammed Al Habtoor, Vice Chairman & CEO.
The delegation were given a presentation about the journey of the Group and got the chance to see the Group’s new corporate video, which featured all the business units under the Al Habtoor brand and explained the most recent investments – including the purchase of the historic Le Méridien Budapest and the $1.6 billion investments in the hospitality sector in the UAE.
The Al Habtoor Group is currently building two major projects in prime locations in Dubai; The Habtoor Palace, the city’s first-ever integrated resort comprising of three hotels on one complex as well as a Las Vegas style theatre. It will be managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and will include the first super luxury St. Regis hotel in Dubai, a W hotel and a Westin hotel. It is also developing the Waldorf Astoria on the Palm Jumeirah.
Khalaf Al Habtoor told the delegation that he is struggling to find good investments in Europe in the current economic climate. He said, “There is no return on investment in the Euro zone at present.”
The Chairman added that he believes the UAE is a safe haven for investors. He said, “The United Arab Emirates including Dubai offers investors safety. We have a sound central bank, a transparent legal system and a well-regulated stock market. We offer investors a return on their investments in the UAE. We have an economy that is growing and a fast-tracked construction sector. Things move very fast here.”
He also offered the Group advice, “I urge everyone to invest in the UAE. People looking at gaining experience in many areas have the opportunity to do so here. But I advise you to stick to what you know and not go into something you don’t have any experience in. This is what has made me successful.”
The head of the delegation, Francois Sporrer, Head of the Economic Mission, French consulate in Dubai, thanked Khalaf Al Habtoor and Mohammed Al Habtoor for their time. He said the visit was “very impressive.” Sporrer is Regional Manager Middle East for UBIFRANCE UAE.
The delegation of more than 35 senior executives and CEO’s were from the Executive MBA of EDHEC Business School (www.edhec.com). The aim of the visit was for them to gain a better understanding of the UAE economy with a strong focus on management, culture and good business practices.
The delegation included representatives from many companies including Pharmacie Sebastien Bonte, Promod, Laboratoires Sarbec, APX, Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance, Otan, Covidien, Groupe Arcante, Bureau Veritas, Meubles Demeyere, Floridienne Chimie Sa, United Arab Shipping Company, Meubles Demeyere, Ubifrance, La Banque Postale among others.