Mohammed Alabbar

Position: Chairman, Emaar Properties

Biography: As chairman of local developer Emaar Properties, Mohammed Alabbar is a leading figure for Dubai’s property and stock markets, both barometers of the health of the emirate’s economy.

In real estate, Emaar recently launched its Creek Harbour development in joint venture with state-owned Dubai Holding, and on the stock market it listed its malls subsidiary, enabling a $2.5bn dividend payout to shareholders. Despite these positives, the company’s stock price fell sharply in December as oil prices plummeted.

The challenge for Alabbar in 2015 is ensuring Emaar keeps its shareholders happy and does not fall prey to another property market slowdown like Dubai saw in 2009-11. There will be competing challenges on Alabbar’s time: as well as his work at Emaar, he is also heading Abu Dhabi government-controlled developer Eagle Hills, which is planning the $18.6bn Centenary City development in Abuja, Nigeria, and the $5.4bn Belgrade Waterfront in Serbia.