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A Conversation With Emirati Business Leader: Ayman Al Afifi

Agencies
·4-min read

By: Alesh Ancira

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It is no secret that the United Arab Emirates, as a country, has become synonymous with uncompromising innovation, social stability, security and prosperity; The thriving nation has experienced remarkable growth within an astoundingly short time span, becoming one of the most promising territories for investors, who find in the Emirates the perfect hedge against increasingly volatile sociopolitical and macroeconomic conditions.

Taking into consideration the fact that the UAE´s economy is the most diversified within the Gulf Cooperation Council and that Emirati businessmen are widely regarded as honorable, forward-thinking individuals, it becomes evident why expert analysts have continuously praised the country and its privileged business environment.

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Ayman Al Afifi – President of Abu Dhabi based Promax Investments LLC – is a pre-eminent Emirati business leader known not only for his professional mastery, but also for his unwavering commitment to establish and foster meaningful strategic relationships at a global scale.

His Excellency Mr. Ayman Ibrahim Al Afifi, who was also named an Ambassador of Tolerance and Peace, has painstakingly built metaphorical bridges with key decision makers from every corner of the world, serving as the quintessential example of the personal, professional and collective philosophy that has proven to be instrumental in propelling his country to the highest echelon of social and economic development.

The influential thought leader, humanitarian and investor recently granted us an interview, in which he shares valuable insights meant to inspire and empower all those who strive for excellence.

Mr. Al Afifi, as a successful international investor, what are the qualities you look for when you select projects and partners to work with?

When looking at a potential partner, I believe in them having 3 qualities: ability to form long term friendships, punctuality, and trust. I believe in being friends with your partners for the long run because business is all about people.

We sell to people, we deal with people, and it is important that we remain in good relations with people for the long run. Punctuality is as important as ability in my opinion as well; The best entrepreneurs and investors believe in the inherent value of time and are proactive when it comes to meetings and delivering their products. It is a sign of respect to be and do things on time.

Lastly and most importantly: trust. If you are a trustworthy person, you have far more power than someone who is dishonest and bad. People are able to trust you, so you can have genuinely valuable relationships and partnerships. People seek you out for companionship and advice. Your head remains clear because you're not filling it with deceit.

The UAE has experienced remarkable growth in recent times, as an Emirati business leader what advice would you give to executives and entrepreneurs?

In the general strategic terms, I believe that growing a business is like growing a plant, the stronger its roots are, the taller it becomes.

Any great venture needs to have strong roots because without a strong foundation there is little hope for lasting success. In a more tangible sense, and as a long term strategy, my main advice would be to invest and believe in the future potential of the UAE; Dubai and the UAE will become the center point of the world; 6 hours away from 80% of the world’s population and untapped markets. And when it comes to direct investment advice, you need to buy not just real estate in this region, but also investing in gold, medicine and education as they are key sectors for the future of humanity.

Can you name three people or historical figures that inspire you and why?

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, for his integrity and selflessness, building a nation from below zero into a world powerhouse.

Jack Ma for his perseverance and his ability to fail forward. Never giving up no matter the challenges is imperative for success.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, for his vision and determination and helping turn Dubai into a major touristic and trade hub.