Abdullah Ahmad Al Ghurair, a prominent UAE businessman, has pledged one-third of his company’s assets to support education.
The Abdullah Ahmad Al Ghurair Education Foundation will be officially launched in the first quarter of 2016. Abdullah said: “Education is the cornerstone of prosperous, progressive and inclusive societies, and essential for the sustainable development of our nation and the empowerment of our future leaders.”
In the next 10 years the foundation aims to spend around $1.1 billion. This will initially be used to back at least 15,000 scholarships for UAE nationals, and will then expand to include Arab expats living in both the Gulf state and elsewhere in the Arab world.
Boston Consulting Group has been enlisted to help decide which priority academic programmes would receive support from the foundation. Abdullah’s son, Abdulaziz al-Ghurair, will chair the foundation’s board of trustees.
From one of the leading merchant families in the UAE, Abdullah’s interests include banking, construction, food and real estate.
This appears to highlight a growing move towards philanthropy in the Middle East, with Ghurair’s announcement following just days after Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal pledged his entire wealth, approximately $32 billion, to charitable causes.