Mohamed Alabbar, the founder and Chairman of Emaar Properties in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is not only renowned for being one the most prominent real estate moguls in the Gulf region and the around the world, having developed and built the palatial Burj Khalifa hotel complex and adjacent Dubai Mall, the largest of its kind in the world. He has also been a major proponent in accelerating business and cultural ties between the UAE and Israel.
In an exclusive interview with Sheba Pulse magazine, Alabbar spoke about the ‘Abraham Accords’ positive impact on the region and humanity, as well as his unique relationship with Professor Yitshak Kreiss, the Director General of Sheba Medical Center, whom he encountered a year earlier during President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” conference in Bahrain, which laid the foundation for the ‘Abraham Accords’.
“First of all, I think everyone in the region was a bit shocked at to how quickly things developed between the Emirates and Israel, not so much from a business point of view but just based on the positive vibrations from the accords, which created the flow of opportunities,” Alabbar revealed. “These types of developments are what one wishes for in a world where there are so many negative things take place. What happened between the Emirates and Israel was not only a good thing for our two peoples but also for humanity. There are more things that we agree upon that you can possibly imagine and we are seeing that happen now. Sure, there are things we might disagree on but then again I don’t always agree with my brother or even my own mother. But you look for and focus on the positive.”
Alabbar credits the UAE’s government and its leaders, for expediting ties between the two countries. “It’s all about leadership. Without proper leadership we are lost. We boast enlightened leaders, who want to open to the world. The UAE boasts hundreds of nationalities who all live and work together in harmony. I’m happy to live and relish these moments, which our leaders have provided to us,” boasted Alabbar.
As Alabbar is deeply involved in the Emirates’ tourism industry, he encourages Israelis and Jews around the world to come and explore its rich fascinating cultural and historical nuggets.
“I would start with the old part of Dubai to see how we started as a nation, where we originally lived in huts and then walk through and experience the old market,” Alabbar offered. “Meet the local people, who are full of love and joy. Have coffee with them. Get to know each other. Then one could explore the amazing Al-Ain oasis in Abu Dhabi and our incredible beaches. And if you are truly looking for peace and quiet, there is nothing like the Arabian desert, which is my favorite place to relax!”
When Alabbar encountered Professor Yitshak Kreiss, Director General of Sheba Medical Center in Bahrain during President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” conference, there was an instant ‘click’ between them.
“Professor Kreiss likes to be upfront and go on the offensive with his ideas, which is something I really enjoy both as a person and a businessman,” said Alabbar. “I immediately recognized him as a man of humility and kindness. His idea of building relationships, loyalty across boundaries based on the principle of I will take care of your family and you will take care of mine, well, that’s quite powerful.”
During the past year, Alabbar and Kreiss have enhanced their cooperation in order to bring Sheba’s innovative healthcare services to the UAE and beyond.
“His dreams of using healthcare and medicine as a bridge and loyalty between peoples are becoming a reality. This is truly priceless and I am happy to play a role in this development,” added Alabbar. “All of these efforts are a great springboard for the future. Both sides need each other. We are all the Children of Abraham and we have a lot of catching up to do. And now is that time in history.”This article was written in cooperation with Sheba Medical Center.