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How Al Habtoor Group became an icon in the UAE

Bentley, McLaren, Hilton and InterContinental are just some of the prestigious brands under the Al Habtoor Group.

Al Habtoor Group

With a richly diverse portfolio spanning from Bentley and Bugatti to Hilton and Ritz-Carlton, Al Habtoor Group has grown phenomenally over the past five decades.

Starting as a small engineering firm, the group has become one of the UAE’s most iconic conglomerates responsible for thousands of jobs across a number of sectors.

While its success has crossed international borders harnessing global recognition, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor is the man behind the vision.

The Al Habtoor Group Founder and Chair first created his engineering firm in 1970. Following the UAE Federation in 1971 – where all seven emirates were united – Al Habtoor was inspired to create a number of innovative construction projects.

Spanning across a number of sectors including automotive, real estate, education, publishing and hospitality, the conglomerate has expanded globally to London, Vienna, Budapest, Beirut and Illinois.

An established network of automotive showrooms for brands including Mitsubishi, JAC, Chery and McLaren; operating of the world’s first and largest Bentley Motors showroom which spans 7,060 square metres; the development of Al Habtoor City’s Residence Collection boasting penthouses ranging from one to seven bedrooms as well as the largest swimming pool podium in the UAE; the operation of two accredited IB World Schools; and publishing a bilingual corporate magazine are just some of the exceptional projects under the group’s umbrella.

Among the most iconic is its portfolio is its collection of 14 world-class hotels – seven in the UAE and seven internationally. One of the shining qualities of the luxury experience is the state-of-the-art dining offering, where international chefs create a fusion of cuisine, allowing guests to enjoy tantalising flavours from all corners of the globe.

In particular, Hilton Dubai oozes an exotic gastronomic offering spearheaded by Executive Sous Chef Diego Solis.

Al Habtoor Group
Executive Sous Chef Diego Solis

Allowing his Mexican heritage to steal the show, the talented chef charms with every chilli and jalapeno available, making for a memorable experience.

“What we do in my kitchen is we put a little touch of [Mexican] flavours,” he tells The CEO Magazine. “When they eat, they feel the fusion of different flavours. We try to make only special flavours that you can remember when you leave the restaurant.”

Developing the business side of the restaurant is fundamental to the Al Habtoor Group’s success. From creating different projects influenced by Japanese or Italian culture to kosher food, the hotels strive to maintain an innovative offering.

“Any person that is coming to the city, they can [have] a full experience,” Solis says. “We want to be the best leading destination in Dubai.”

Feature image: Sir Anthony Ritossa with Mohammed Khalaf Al Habtoor, Vice-Chairman & CEO, Al Habtoor Group

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