Charting Economic Triumph: UAE’s Top 5 Businessmen

This article unveils the stories of UAE’s top 5 businessmen, Majid Al Futtaim, Abdulla Bin Ahmad Al Ghurair, B. Ravi Pillai, M.A. Yusuff Ali, and Micky Jagtiani, providing insights into their lives and fortunes.

In the glittering landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where tradition meets modernity, a handful of individuals hold the reins of economic prosperity. This article unveils the stories of UAE’s top 5 businessmen, Majid Al Futtaim, Abdulla Bin Ahmad Al Ghurair, B. Ravi Pillai, M.A. Yusuff Ali, and Micky Jagtiani, providing insights into their lives and fortunes. Amidst the skyscrapers and luxury, these individuals play pivotal roles in shaping the nation’s economic trajectory, reflecting the UAE’s journey from a desert landscape to a global hub of finance, commerce, and opulence.

UAE’s Top 5 Businessmen

Majid Al Futtaim, the visionary behind the establishment of Majid Al Futtaim Holding (MAF) in 1992, passed away in December 2021. MAF, the retailing and entertainment giant he founded, boasts ownership and operation of 13 hotels and 29 malls, including prominent destinations like the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai and the Mall of Egypt in Cairo. Additionally, MAF holds the exclusive license to oversee hypermarkets for the French company Carrefour across the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia.
While Majid Al Futtaim’s son, Tariq, holds a position on the board, the conglomerate is primarily managed by non-family members. Despite the challenges of 2020, with a net loss of nearly $740 million, the group reported $8.9 billion in revenue. As of 2023, Majid Al Futtaim holds the distinction of being the wealthiest individual in Dubai, UAE, with a net worth of $6.2 million.

Abdulla Bin Ahmad Al Ghurair, the second wealthiest individual in Dubai following Majid Al Futtaim, served as the Chairman of Mashreq, a prominent Emirati bank. He relinquished his role as Chairman in 2019 but continues to be a board member. Mashreq Bank stands among the largest banks in Dubai. As of 2023, Abdulla Bin Ahmad Al Ghurair’s net worth is estimated at $4.9 billion. Beyond his business endeavours, he actively engages in various social welfare initiatives in the UAE.
In 1967, Abdulla Al Ghurair founded Mashreqbank, a leading financial institution in the U.A.E. Although he stepped down as chairman in October 2019, he maintains a position on the board.

B. Ravi Pillai, an Indian billionaire businessman based in Dubai, is the founder and chairman of the RP Group, with an estimated net worth of US$3.1 billion as of May 2023. Originally hailing from a farming family in India, Pillai experienced setbacks when his small construction business in Kerala faced financial challenges. Subsequently, he migrated to Saudi Arabia in 1978, where, with the assistance of a well-connected local partner, he initiated a new venture that eventually evolved into the construction powerhouse known as the RP Group.
Leveraging his success in the Gulf, Pillai strategically reinvested his riches back in India. He diversified his portfolio by acquiring stakes in banks, hotels, and real estate, showcasing his commitment to contributing to the economic landscape of both the Gulf region and his home country.

M. A. Yusuff Ali, also known as Yusuff Ali Musaliam Veettil Abdul Kader, is an Indian businessman and billionaire based in Dubai. He holds the positions of Chairman and Managing Director of LuLu Group International, a conglomerate that owns the globally recognized LuLu Hypermarket chain and LuLu International Shopping Mall. With a net worth of $3.7 billion in 2023, M. A. Yusuff Ali stands as a prominent Indian billionaire in Dubai.
As the founder and chairman of Lulu Group, Yusuff Ali has led the company to become a significant player in the retail sector, operating a chain of retail companies and hypermarkets. His notable achievements and contributions have earned him several honours and awards. The LuLu Group has expanded its operations globally, with a presence on three continents. The flagship retail chain, LuLu Hypermarkets and Supermarkets boasts over 100 stores in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, solidifying its position as a major player in the Middle East retail sector.

Micky Jagtiani, an Indian billionaire based in Dubai, possessed a net worth of $3.1 billion. As the owner of the Landmark Group, he played a pivotal role in the retail industry, focusing on footwear, consumer electronics, beauty products, and apparel. Tragically, Micky Jagtiani, the Middle East retail magnate and founder of Landmark Group, passed away in May 2023 at the age of 71. Landmark Group made its entry into India in 1999, establishing a diverse range of retail formats, including Lifestyle and Max for clothing and Home Center for furniture and home furnishings. The legacy of Micky Jagtiani endures through the continued growth and success of the Landmark Group.