Majid Al Futtaim .. 7 Decades of Entrepreneurship

The prominent Emirati businessman, Majid Al Futtaim, managed to achieve financial and business leadership through a journey of almost 70 years from the fifties of the century until his death at the end of 2021, during which he was able to create a great economic empire building which includes more than 40 companies, whose large portfolio of investments varies between 27 shopping centers and 13 hotels.And a package of integrated cities and many mega projects still under construction.

And his desire to start his career in a self-made way and away from his father and family’s trade in wood, materials and pearls was the main motive for him to start his career in the Bank of Oman, which is named after is. Mashreq Bank, to use what he has gained from the initial experience in the business field to take his first steps away from The work, specifically in the automotive sector, that shaped the sectors that predicted a promising future with the increasing needs of the development of society, embodied in the rapid sales evidenced by its first agreement to import about 50 Toyota models.

His first success in the automotive industry motivated his family to support him in his first career by founding the first car dealership with joint management between him and his cousin Abdullah, to travel to Tokyo in 1955 and a private Toyota car agency in the UAE market.

The young businessman did not take long to consolidate the position of his emerging institution, based in the early years on a small number of qualified and reliable employees until the early seventies, when the most important introduction of his company was the establishment of ‘ a functional institutional system represented by some Arab administrative powers represented by Egypt’s commercial director for aviation, Mustafa Afifi, and the administrative and legal director, Abdel Moneim Abdel Azim, for the post of managing director, working with the first generation ‘ has put together a plan to bring in and hire a large number of employees from outside the country so that the institution will grow clearly and increase its ability to add new agencies. Its activities expanded to include automobiles following its success in manufacturing motorcycles and electric generators. The UAE market had a clear flow of the company’s products during that period, which also testified to the inclusion of a number of other agencies for other Japanese companies in the automotive sector.

These agencies clearly strengthened the company’s position in the local economic sector, so that in 1976 it could transform into a large American company by winning a Dodge agency. In return, Al-Futtaim, along with the parent company’s union with Chrysler, tried to enter into direct negotiations with the UAE Al Ghurair Company so that he could buy the agency. The others, including the truck and spare parts sectors, and then by joining the two agencies, he founded his second company in the automotive sector under the name “Commercial Projects”, which later included the Honda agency under his umbrella, and then a new company several years later after he agency of the Swedish company “Volvo”.

His experience with the Japanese market has contributed to the expansion of his business portfolio to other activities beyond the range of automotive activities to electronics, household appliances and watches, to acquire key agencies including National, Toshiba and Timex, while his vision on the importance to diversify the field of his economic activities was the main motive for his entry into the contractor and construction sector with the beginning of the era of the seventies and the establishment of the modern state, where he established his first projects for residential towers. on a team of experienced engineering cadres, appointed from outside the state, so that the project became the core for the establishment of Al-Futtaim Contracting Company, which shortly thereafter motivated him with his desire to make optimal use of the cost of staff accommodation through establishment of a company Other property management.

And soon the company began to receive large enterprises in the construction sector, which increased the need for partnerships with foreign institutions with experience in the construction sector, such as cooperation with the well-known British company Tarmac to build the new side of the Al Maktoum. Bridge and then to establish a joint institution with it under the name “Al-Futtaim Tarmac”.

Al-Majed was not satisfied with the development and expansion of his business as one of the largest national institutions in the financial and business sector, as he saw that the spread abroad and to the Arab markets was in the first place one of the most important is. factors for the transformation into an economic entity with international weight, but with calculated steps with interest in the agency of Honda, which managed it in each Van Oman and Qatar.

With the beginning of the nineties came the milestone in Al-Majed’s career. After his apparent success in the activities of the agencies, Al-Futtaim paid great attention to the retail sector, until he was able to obtain a good deal for some shares. of the French Carrefour company, and then developed the matter into an external contract signed with Carrefour, To establish a chain of Carrefour stores with shares of more than 75%, that shift that the development of Al-Futtaim established its activities in the retail sector through the establishment of the City Center Group, which was a qualitative leap for the group in this most lucrative field, especially as those steps came after a crucial stage in Al-Futtaim’s journey that took place in the early nineties by officially separating from its partnership. with his cousin, who kindly took over to take over the large entity, which includes about 40 companies from the largest Emirati companies with local and international weight, including Al-Futtaim Motors, Oman Electronics, Al-Futtaim Watches and Jewelery, IKEA and Plug-Ins Computers, Arab Oriental Insurance, Oman Marketing and Services, Al Futtaim Real Estate, City Center, Carrefour Hybrid Market, and MAF Security Services.

While his long journey began with his full faith in the ability of the Emirati citizen to engage in the most difficult economic activities, that vision was embodied in one of his most important decisions, taken a few months ago around the state. ‘s directions in provisions of the fifty initiatives and empower the citizen by announcing an initiative to employ 3000 citizens in all its projects, which improves the orientations of the state in this regard.

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