THE name Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor is not an ordinary name in the world of business, as well as in the world of politics and international affairs.
The name earned prestige due to the dynamism of its bearer. You find him as an outspoken speaker in international forums and conferences, presenting arguments backed with evidence using a sagacious language bearing seven decades of experience of hard work.
Any other man will perhaps focus on his businesses and investments, leading a busy life; thereby, leaving public work to someone else.
However, Al-Habtoor is keen on attending global forums where he speaks about regional concerns and challenges. His speech is characterized by sheer patriotism and pan-Arabism, free from illusion or rhetoric.
He is present in public activities – whether in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), other GCC countries or even the annual New York Sheikh Zayed Charity Marathon which aims to raise public awareness on kidney diseases and prevention.
You find him among youths from the UAE and Gulf – talking to them, advising and guiding them towards proper discipline in business and work to ensure a brighter future, inspiring them to imbibe national spirit and acquire knowledge. At the same time, he talks with veterans among regional personalities, cautioning them about regional risks.
He is a fierce critic and defender of his country and the Gulf in confronting the Persian expansionism scheme.
In the series of his articles concerning America throughout the past years, he was an audacious adviser who wisely warned about the consequences of the path taken by the previous US administration under Barack Obama; a constructive critic of some of the shortcomings of the current US administration. Despite that, you see him as an ever present Arabian public figure in US-Arab dialogues.
Al-Habtoor was the only non-US member of the World Board of Governors of the American United Services Organization. He is a member of The John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. In spite of his busy business life, he is engaged in activities on public platforms.
Whenever he speaks about the UAE, Saudi Arabia or the Gulf in general; he firmly expresses his opinion and position because he is working for the sake of his nation, not for personal interests.
Therefore, he has never deviated from his positions irrespective of the challenges. Due to this, he is one of the most followed personalities on social media platforms like ‘Twitter’, ‘Facebook’ and others. Majority of his followers are the most active ones – the youths.
His international relations with thinkers and politicians are very wide and complex – whether in the Gulf, Arab, Asia and Western world. Hence, one can only be amazed by such an enormous level of motivation and determination which do not fade as he works for the future in a manner that suits history, the man and his nation.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times