Khalaf Al Habtoor met with students from the Sabanci University, Istanbul at the Al Habtoor head office in Dubai on January 24, 2012.
The Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group welcomed the first and second year students who had travelled to Dubai in order to meet with successful high profile businessmen. He made reference to his admiration for Turkey. “I have been to your country a number of times,” he said. “And I have great respect for your people. I admire many of the Turkish policies, as well as their approach. They are a proud race like the Arabs and I’ve always been made to feel at home there.”
He further recalled events in his life which have led to his becoming one of the most successful businessmen in the region; and talked about his upbringing, pointing out that he left school at a young age.
“I left school after the seventh grade. I never went to high school or university but I have been successful none the less,” he explained, adding that he began working from the age of 17.
Afterwards he held an informal questions and answers session with the students, during which he imparted some of the business acumen that has helped him in his career. “Never give-up,” he advised the students. “And always think positively. Stay away from people who have a negative attitude – who tell you can’t do something. Anything is possible if you approach it in the right way and stick with it.” The students, the majority of whom are studying business or economics, plan to spend the rest of the week meeting with other businessmen in Dubai. They return to Istanbul on January 29.
“Our aim is to build a global vision by meeting with influential leaders of the business world and listening to their stories,” said one of the students Ayşegül Küçük. “We are very grateful to Mr Khalaf and appreciate that he has taken time out his busy schedule to meet with us today”.