Wednesday 14, June 2017 by Jessica Combes

Al Ghurair welcomes new Group CEO


UAE-based conglomerate, Al Ghurair, has announced Samer Alhaj as its new Group Chief Executive Officer.

Al Ghurair’s diverse business operations stands to benefit from Alhaj’s 35 years of multi-industry experience gained in the US, Asia and the GCC region, where he has developed strategic expertise in the fields of retail estate development, retail, hospitality and F&B, among many others.

“I am delighted to open a new chapter in my career as the Group CEO of Al Ghurair. Having been in the UAE for the past decade, I have long admired the business direction, values and goals of Al Ghurair as one of the most prominent family-owned companies in the country, as well as its major contributions to the local and regional economies. It is an absolutely exciting opportunity to be working with them and I am looking forward to bringing my expertise on board while learning from the group’s vast expertise in various industries fundamental to the constant development of the UAE,” said Alhaj.

In his new role, Alhaj will oversee Al Ghurair’s businesses and take charge in steering these operations to new levels of profitability and sustainability while adhering to the company’s core values of integrity, accountability, customer centricity and community.

“In line with Al Ghurair’s mission to constantly enhance our offerings and strengthen our businesses, we hereby welcome Mr. Alhaj who will make a tremendous addition to our leadership team. We are very confident that he will drive innovation in Al Ghurair in times of change, and help us achieve our vision, not only for the company but more especially for the communities that we serve,” said Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Executive Committee.

With a deep knowledge of Wall Street Investment Banking and international business, asset management, reorganisation, restructuring, corporate finance and private equity, Alhaj has throughout his career demonstrated keen business acumen coupled with excellent executive, operational and financial management results.

Alhaj joins the company from his previous role at Dubai Holding as Chief Financial Officer, a position he held for five years. Other senior roles held by Alhaj include Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at the Abu Dhabi Basic Industries Corporation (currently Senaat), Chief Executive Officer of Waha Capital, both in Abu Dhabi, as well as Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Gulf Investment House, and Deputy General Manager at KIPCO Asset Management, both in Kuwait.

Between 1988 and 2001, Alhaj served in various Wall Street Investment Banking roles (corporate finance, M&A, and private equity) with William Blair in London and Chicago, Merrill Lynch, and Lehman Brothers / Salomon Smith Barney (later Citigroup) both in New York City.

Alhaj is an INSEAD Certified International Board Director (IDP-C), and holds an MBA in Banking and Corporate Finance, an MS in Construction/Project and Engineering Management and a BSc in Civil Engineering from the USA and UK.


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