Mohammed Al Habtoor was recently interviewed by Professor Christopher Abraham, Senior Vice President - Institutional Development, and Head of SP Jain School of Global Management on behalf of Intelligent SME as part of the second edition of the Emirates NBD Global Business Series. The event was held at Villa Romana Saint Tropez Dubai at the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa on Tuesday May 28, 2014.
Mohammed Al Habtoor talked about his childhood, his education, his love for polo, and his role as Vice Chairman and CEO of the Al Habtoor Group. He said, before hotel management he wanted to be a pilot. “I insisted on joining the UAE Air Force to become a pilot. He (my father) allowed me to do so, but a stint in air force for two years made me realize that hotel management was a better option.”
He added, “The two years of pilot training made me disciplined and appreciate the importance of team work, which I have incorporated in my life ever since.
He talked about the management style of Al Habtoor Group founder, saying, “My father started the business in the 70s, and I joined him in 1989. He belonged to the ‘old school thinking’, with a traditional approach to business, which, if you notice, is often the reason why big companies are successful today. I am glad he did not give in to the new generation’s approach and held on to his style. It has helped to large extent in shaping the Al Habtoor Group and its employees.”