Syrian-Qatari Mogul Bets Big On Job Opportunities Solving the Refugee Crisis. Mohamed Moataz Al-Khayat arrived in Doha with a vision.
After executing some of the world’s most challenging construction projects in Syria, Moatz left his home country amid fallout from the Syrian Civil War in 2011. Although he had to adjust to a new country and culture, he persevered to build a business empire. Through hard work and determination, the 36-year-old real estate titan mastered the Qatari hospitality industry, overseeing the expansion of Power International Holding as the group developed the Middle East’s leading hotels —- including Doha’s 5-star Hilton Double Tree Hotel.
“It’s always heartbreaking to leave the people and communities you grew up with,” Moatz told us. “Luckily, I’m adaptable.”
Moatz made his imprint on Qatar by building megamalls, hotels, and resorts. In addition to Power International Holding, he is the cofounder and CEO of Urbacon Trading & Contracting, a contracting company with numerous projects in development with the Gulf Cooperation Council. Since its conception, UCC has expanded from Qatar to Morocco, Oman, the United Kingdom, France and the Maldives.
He attributes his success to work ethic distilled into him by his father.
“My father taught me to have gratitude and compassion,” continued the businessman. “Nothing in this world is ever free. You have to fight for everything.”
For these reasons, Moatz put empowering refugees at the heart of his life’s mission. But rather than just write checks, the developer promises all Syrian asylum-seekers steady employment and good pay if they’re willing to work hard.
“The American Dream does not just exist in the United States anymore,” he explained. “It’s a globalized set of ideals.”
To date, Power International Holding has provided jobs to thousands of migrants, with some going on to serve the company in executive leadership positions. Moatz gets emotional describing the first time he helped a Syrian man earn enough money to buy his daughter new books and a backpack for school.
“As a native-born Syrian myself, I know how hard my people work,” reflected the developer.
To encourage scholarly achievement, Moatz established the Alkhayyat Foundation in 2014 alongside the U.S. State Department to provide financial aid to 40 Syrian students. To date, the organization has helped disadvantaged people around the world, expanding into the U.S. and Canada while partnering with the United Nations.
“If life has blessed you, it’s important to share your success with others and actively work to make the world a better place,” continued Moatz.
“Otherwise, what was the point?”