Khalaf Al Habtoor and Mohamed Al Habtoor with high ranking delegates from the Australia Gulf Council
Khalaf Al Habtoor, the Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group, discussed investment opportunities with high ranking delegates from the Australia Gulf Council 2012 Business Mission, in his offices on Al Wasl Road, Dubai on Thursday, March 1, 2012.
The Australia Gulf Council (AGC) is an organisation that aims to increase trade and investment between the Gulf States and Australia. Composed of government, corporate and diplomatic members, a core part of its programme is its Annual Business Mission, during which a number of its delegates visit the UAE.
This year the group was headed by the Honourable Mark Vaile, the Honourable Senator Nicholas Sherry, the Honourable Michael Yabsley – the Chief Executive of the AGC, His Excellency Pablo Kang the Australian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, and several heads of Australian companies, including Servcorp, Tamas Projects, R.M. Williams Agricultural Holdings, Leighton Holdings and Platinum Asset Management.
Also present were Mohammed Al Habtoor, the Vice-Chairman and CEO of the Al Habtoor Group, and a number of Al Habtoor Group board members.
Vaile, who was Deputy Prime Minister of Australia from 2005 to 2007 and the Minister of Trade from 1996 to 2006, emphasised his country’s commitment to building a strong business relationship with the Gulf.
He also discussed the UAE’s economy with Al Habtoor. The latter pointed out the positive aspects of investment in this region.
“My country offers stability and security. Our government is working hard to insure the wellbeing of citizens and residents alike,” commented Al Habtoor, adding that the facilities here are unique.
“The GCC countries are the best places in which to invest right now, and especially the UAE. We offer the most modern infrastructure in the world and a level of safety and openness which you will not find anywhere else,” he said.
The Al Habtoor Group has long had a good relationship with the Australia Gulf Council. In 2007, Al Habtoor Engineering and Australia’s largest project development and contracting group Leighton Group merged their operations to create one of the largest multi-disciplined contracting groups in the Arabian Gulf, the Habtoor Leighton Group.
When asked about the merger, Al Habtoor said he was delighted with the results. “I’m very happy that we joined with Leighton Australian,” he commented. “Before 2007 we were good at what we did, but our resources were limited and as a result we were mainly involved in the construction of buildings, hospitals and airports in the region. But now, we have expanded and we operate in eight new countries. There is nothing that the Habtoor Leighton Group cannot build, from mining facilities, to nuclear plants...”
The AGC 2012 Business Mission also met with high ranking officials in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They also visited Qatar and Oman.