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Al Habtoor Group (UAE)

Al Habtoor Group Chairman Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor has his eye on Egypt, including the automotive sector!

It is well-known that the Egyptian automotive market has lots of potential for foreign investors, especially since dozens of automotive and motorcycle headquarters (e.g. Volkswagen, Audi, Maserati, Harley-Davidson, etc.) are not satisfied with the performance of their importer or authorized dealer in this huge Egyptian market with its almost 100 million inhabitants.

Add to this the unprofessional business attitude of most Egyptian automotive importers and dealerships, which makes it even more attractive for foreign and Middle Eastern investors to step into the Egyptian automotive market.

So now, after Alfuttaim, Alkhurafi and Abdel Latif Jamil have entered the Egyptian automotive market it was only natural and no surprise that Al Habtoor Group would enter the Egyptian market as well, especially since Al Habtoor has established itself in the UAE automotive market with several brands such as Mitsubishi, McLaren, Bentley and Bugatti.

In addition to that, there had been several rumors in the Egyptian market over the past few weeks and months that Al Habtoor group was evaluating the purchase of the KIA and Renault dealership in Egypt (which is owned by the Alkan Group / EIM / EIT) or at least become a shareholder within this company.

Therefore it was no surprise to me when I heard that Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group, is heading to Egypt in the coming days to study potential business opportunities there. Al Habtoor said he is conducting feasibility studies not only in the automotive sectors, but also in the real estate and hospitality sectors.

Al Habtoor said, “It is my hope to build Al Habtoor City in a prime location in Cairo. This will be of great benefit to the country’s economy, and will also provide thousands of jobs.” Al Habtoor City, currently under construction in Dubai, employs around 8,000 people. Once complete, it will also provide a further 3,000 jobs.

Al Habtoor added, “Thousands of families in Egypt would benefit from a project like this, as most of the jobs would be recruited locally.”

Al Habtoor City is a multi-use development incorporating three five star hotels (St. Regis, W hotel, Westin), three high-rise luxury residential towers complete with 11 ultra-luxury penthouse apartments, multiple restaurants, bars and shops, and a specially choreographed water-themed Franco Dragone Entertainment Group theatrical production.

In addition, Al Habtoor said he will be accompanied by a team of experts who are scouting for Egyptian talent in the entertainment industry. Al Habtoor announced that he is embarking on a new area of business, producing Hollywood films.

“We are in the pre-production stage of two Hollywood films. We have been working on them for some time and are very confident that they will be well received,” he said. “Egypt is renowned for its film industry, so we will consider Egyptian actors and actresses for various roles.”

The purpose of the trip to Egypt is to visit to the American University in Cairo (AUC), where the Mr. Al Habtoor will make a new philanthropic announcement supporting AUC. The Al Habtoor Group Chairman is a long-term supporter of the campus. In 2010 he donated a Football and Track Stadium in his name at the Cairo campus.

I personally hope that Mr. Al Habtoor would also focus on producing some professional and trust-worthy programs which would cover the different social, economical and political aspects of Egypt, with the target of raising the awareness and education of the Egyptian TV viewers as this is one of the main things lacking in the Egyptian TV sector.

In addition to that I think Al Habtoor group would benefit very much from the Egyptian automotive market as well as the automotive aftermarket if they would bring in fresh blood and new professional ideas and stay away from the so-called ‘automotive managers’ operating in the Egyptian market, in order to avoid the mistakes previously done by those so-called ‘automotive managers’ in the Egyptian automotive market, and by that put new standards and raise the benchmark in this huge market.

Dubai - Cairo

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