Abdulla Al Ghurair
“Seeking an education is not only about personal achievement, it is our civic and religious responsibility as Arabs and Muslims. I hope this foundation will help deserving young Arabs fulfill their education quest and that they in turn will help others.”
Mr. Abdulla Ahmad Al Ghurair was born in the Emirate of Dubai. Mr. Abdulla and his four brothers, Majid, Saif, Marwan and Gomaa, are descendants of the Al Ghurair family, which has a long and renowned history in the world of business and commerce in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Gulf region.
Long before the unification of the emirates, Mr. Abdullah had been involved in many humanitarian causes. He is also one of the first supporters of the development and enhancement of the educational sector in the UAE. Beginning in the early sixties, Mr. Abdulla built some schools, including the first school in Masafi, a remote area, to provide students with access to quality education. One of his most prominent initiatives was the establishment of a model school in Dubai, which is today, one of the leading public schools in the UAE.
As a show of commitment to his religion, faith and service to his community, Mr. Abdulla Al Ghurair announced the establishment of the “Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education,” a non-profit, philanthropic organization, on the seventh of July, 2015. The Foundation serves as the Al Ghurair family’s legacy and is committed to providing 15,000 educational opportunities to students across the Arab world in its first phase over the next ten years. Through Mr. Abdulla’s pledge of one-third of his personal wealth representing AED 4.2 billion, the equivalent of $1.1 billion, the Foundation seeks to support generations of Emirati and Arab youth.
It aims to do so by providing these youth the skills they need to become the future leaders of the region, contributing to the growth and development of their communities.
His contribution to philanthropy in the Arab world was recognized on a regional level in 2016 when the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Science Organization (ALECSO) appointed him as the first goodwill ambassador for education in the Arab world.
Mr. Abdulla Al Ghurair is Chairman of the Board of Mashreq Bank, one of the leading financial institutions in the UAE and the region, which was founded by him and his brother Saif as we all as the Al Ghurair family in 1967.
In addition, the Al Ghurair family is recognized as a major player in driving the growth of the Emirati economy. It has lent its name to many businesses and projects that have not only shaped the contours of the business sector in the United Arab Emirates, but ones that have extended their reach to the Arabian Gulf as well. The family is the largest contributor to the establishment of Kuwait’s Al Ahli Bank and it owns similar investments in the financial sector as well as many businesses in a variety of different fields, including commercial centers, mining companies, food companies, and other sectors.
Caption: Abdulla Al Ghurair and his son, Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, visiting the first school he built in Masafi in the 1960s