Dubai: Saeed Khalifa Mohammed Al Fuqaei Al Ali, 43, chairman of Shuraa Group, is an Emirati who has become a multi-millionaire by relying on his own effort and hard work. “Trust me, just because I am an Emirati, it is not that I have had it all too easy. I come from a humble background, but our values are strong. My father taught me two things and they are firmly etched in my memory: Honesty and hard work are the keys to success. And I have stuck to this mantra,” said Saeed.
His father’s values
His father, Khalifa Mohammed Al Fuqaei, is often referred to as the ‘King of the Sea’. Born in 1921, Khalifa, who died in 2014, was known for his foresight and resourcefulness to develop shipping trade with numerous countries — even before the UAE was formed. The same ambitions have trickled down to Saeed, who has also worked hard to maintain his ideals.
As the chairman of Shuraa Group, Saeed runs a number of businesses with 105 employees. The company was founded in 2001. The turnover runs into several millions of dirhams.
Back in 1999, Saeed had no clue that he would one day head a big firm like the Shuraa Group.
“My father used to captain big wooden ships. You can imagine life in those days. My father used to share stories of how he would travel to Africa, India and other places in his wooden ship, transporting people from Dubai. He was a very skilled person. Just imagine, he was manning a ship without an engine and travelling all the way to Africa and India. It used to take him almost a month to reach India from Dubai. Navigation was not as advanced as it is today. So it was his foresight and vision that helped him complete his voyage successfully. And so when he tells me that hard work pays, I believe him,” said Saeed.
Saeed said he belongs to a family of 16 siblings. “Sadly, I lost an elder sister in 2016.”
My father was not born rich… He used to initially work from Ras Al Khaimah. Life was hard back then. No electricity, no water, and the houses were not made of concrete either. But by the time I was born, my parents’ lives had improved. They had moved to Dubai and their life-style greatly improved.