By Candice Beaumont
Dubai hosted 250 prestigious family offices, private investors, Sheikhs, Royal Families, CEO’s and leading businesses from 30 countries around the world for the 12th Global Family Office Investment Summit hosted this week by Sir Anthony Ritossa and held under the High Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum. CEO & Advisor to Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum International Investments Enterprise Mohamed Al Ali served as Distinguished Grand Ambassador for the event, which will be recorded in history books as the first-time that an Israeli business delegation traveled to the UAE following the signing of the Israel-Emirates peace agreement earlier this fall.
Israel’s stature as a gateway for global innovation and entrepreneurship led the agenda with a discussion of how the country, with a population of 8 million+ people, is uniquely positioned to lead as #1-#2 in the world in the number of engineers, #2 in the number of stock exchange listed companies, and as home to an impressive number of companies leading the way with sophisticated technology, artificial intelligence, biotech and medicine, solid waste solutions, safe and sustainable food, fintech, and more.
The delegation emphasized that it hopes Israel will be able to collaborate with the UAE to build multinational design centers, hi-tech startup hubs, and strategic partnerships in the UAE with the first step being that the countries to get to know each other’s culture and business traditions. The goal is to continue to turn past limitations into new ideas with an evergreen mentality and passion for growth.
In addition to future UAE-Israel strategic partnerships, high-level topics discussed by the leading global families in attendance included: how family offices should invest for a brighter future; how to grow and preserve wealth; social responsibility; succession planning; education; healthcare; emerging technologies; family legacy and philanthropy. Global concerns related to the U.S. presidential election, trade wars, healthcare pandemic, and inflation fears were also top of mind. “When great minds meet it always opens doors for new ideas and I am so honoured to have hosted in person such a prestigious group of individuals whom I count as among my most trusted colleagues, friends and extended family office family during a health pandemic. While we were delighted to establish new friendships with our Israeli delegation it is also a distinct pleasure to welcome old friends back to Dubai for my seventh event in the UAE,” said Sir Anthony Ritossa, Chairman of Ritossa Family Office, a family business dating back 600 years to the Venetian Empire in Europe.
The 3 key themes of the Summit included Leading Women in Family Offices from across the Globe, The Financial Revolution & Technology, and Ideal Asset Classes for the future including fintech, AI and machine learning, bitcoin and digital assets, biotech, healthcare, medicine, online learning, alternative energy, venture capital, real estate and private debt.
Some of the highlights included Adil Alzarooni, CEO of Alzarooni Emirates Investments in the UAE, who told Summit guests he believes one must deal with staff as a closely as family and insist on a customer-focused culture within all of the family businesses. At times such as a crisis, it is essential that everyone make sacrifices in order to preserve wealth, retain jobs and help return our world to a sense of normalcy and optimism. When we stop fighting fires, we identify opportunities, he said. While we are often raised to do life in steps, what truly matters is learning how to be happy, passionate and thankful. Dana Al Salem, CEO of Merit Capital and Co-Founder of Yahoo Europe, UK gave some great perspectives of entrepreneurship, such as as leveraging talent from peers, and tapping talented board advisors to make money with a greater purpose and meaning.
H.R.H. Prince Michel de Yougoslavie pointed out the importance of humility and that families must teach children what it means to make money and insist on rules and regulations geared around lasting family values. While many family offices have 1000-2000 years behind them it is essential to look to the future, have contingencies in place, remain agile, insist on governance and discipline, and stay humble in order to stay in power. From a young age, children must be taught to listen and adapt.
“The 12th Global Family Office Summit event is always a great opportunity for us to host new friends and old friends in Dubai. By bringing together leading families and private investors from around the world, including the Israeli delegation we are indeed making history,” said Mohamed Al Ali, CEO & Advisor, Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum International Investments Enterprise, UAE.
For details on future events, including the next Family Office Investment Summit under the High Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saqer Bin Mohamed Al Qasimi on December 7th-9th at the Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah in Dubai please visit www.dubaisummit.org