Open Talk (3) with Khalaf Al Habtoor

19 April 2017

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Founding Chairman, Al Habtoor Group, has hosted a group of students from two of the UAE’s top universities - Al Ain University of Science and Technology and the University of Dubai as part of his series of Open Talk discussions. Open Talk, launched earlier this year, aims to provide a face-to-face open platform for Al Habtoor’s social media followers. This is the first time he has opened the forum exclusively to university students in the UAE. 

The event was broadcast live across Al Habtoor’s social media platforms, including YouTube, Periscope, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and attracted over 5,000 viewers, who also got the opportunity to take part in the discussion by posting their questions in real time. 

The forum gave the university students the opportunity to ask candid questions to the Chairman of one of the region’s top conglomerates. Al Habtoor covered many topics including his view on US President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, his latest investments in Egypt and Albania, and the education sector in the Gulf region.

Al Habtoor said the higher education sector in the UAE is making great strides, and people are opting to send their children to universities in the country instead of abroad as they did in the past. He added that it needs further development and he would like to see the UAE become an educational centre of excellence and research hub.

He talked about his decision to invest in the Egyptian film market saying that the country is ripe for investment. “Egypt is a fertile soil for investment. It is a blessed land.”

The Chairman also told the audience why he sponsored a mass wedding earlier in the week which saw 50 young Emirati couples marry. “The idea of putting a man and a woman together before God is a blessed thing. I am proud to take part in the celebration.” He added, “We need to take care of women; they are mothers, sisters, daughters and wives. We should hold them in a sacred place. They are the foundation of everything.”

On the global political front Al Habtoor said the world is in a worrying place right now, “Rather than spreading stability and peace, there is political and military escalation worldwide. It is worrying. Particularly in places like Syria and North Korea. It is a disturbing situation.”

The next Open Talk will take place on Wednesday 17 May 2017.