Open Talk (2) with Khalaf Al Habtoor

22 February 2017
Open Talk (2)

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Founding Chairman, Al Habtoor Group hosted up to 40 of his social media followers at the Al Habtoor Group Head Office. The session marked the second Open Talk debate in the series where the Chairman invites a group of his social media followers to a candid open discussion. The audience got the chance to ask Al Habtoor about his thoughts on many topics impacting the region and the wider world. It covered business, politics, philanthropy and social issues.

The audience included nationals from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, Syria, Malaysia, Greece and Germany.

Al Habtoor led the discussion with his plans for poverty alleviation. He said many of the world’s problems today stem from poverty. “If we tackle this issue head on then the world will be a much better and safer place for everyone,” he said. “If you just look at the three main religions alone they all encourage their practitioners to give money to the needy. Zakat is a moral obligation for every Muslim. It is called Zorah for Jews and Christians are also obligated to give to charity. If everyone does the moral obligation, then we have a good starting basis.”

Al Habtoor has written several articles highlighting his plans for poverty alleviation. His articles and research can be found on his KAH Publications website and App (

Khalaf Al Habtoor said, “The Open Talk Series has got off to a great start. I have had the opportunity meet some of my followers first hand. It has been good to hear what people around the world are thinking on key issues. I look forward to meeting more of my social media followers throughout the year.”

Open Talk two was moderated by Yusef Al Muammari from Abu Dhabi’s Al Dafra TV. An edited version of the series will be aired on Al Dafra this week.

The event was also streamed live in English and Arabic, on various platforms including Facebook, Periscope, Twitter and YouTube, as well as the Chairman’s ‘KAH Publications’, a website and application featuring his articles, research and speeches. This allowed participation from a wider audience. The general public got the opportunity to interact with Chairman Al Habtoor using the social media platforms, and send their questions to @khalafalhabtoor1, using the hashtags: #KAHOpenTalk, #KAHOpenTalk_22Feb and #AskKhalafAlHabtoor.

Al Habtoor spoke of pride about this country and the GCC as a whole saying, “We are the backbone of the region. This is because of the great relationship and transparency that is shared among the GCC countries. I encourage other countries in the region to follow our example.”

He spoke about the openness of UAE leaders in particular, and said it all stemmed from the vision of former leaders like the late sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum to present leaders of the UAE today. “Since the Foundation of the Emirates, the UAE has had an open door policy. Our leaders are willing to hear from the citizens of the country. This is unheard of anywhere else in the world.” 

The third Open Talk session will take place in March. A date will be announced on Al Habtoor’s social media platforms.