Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is at the center of the country’s economic ascent. In the first quarter of 2023, the emirate’s non-oil gross domestic product was $39.7 billion. According to the Statistics Center – Abu Dhabi, this reflects the metric’s highest value in nine years. In the same period last year, the figure stood at $37.5 billion.
This remarkable rise resulted in an improved share of non-oil sectors in the overall GDP. At 52.8 percent, this marks the highest level in the past eight years.
The Al Masaood Group stands as one of the most diversified private entities In Abu Dhabi. It boasts a presence in 18 sectors, including automotive, business services, industrial, real estate and marine.
In our conversation with Chairman H.E. Masaood Ahmed Al Masaood, he explores the Group’s strategic positioning and commitment to sustainable development. From upholding corporate social responsibility to adapting to emerging trends, Al Masaood Group is on a vital mission. That mission is to shape a greener future for the UAE, the wider Middle East region – and beyond.
Economy Middle East: Abu Dhabi plays a significant role in the global economy. How do you perceive Abu Dhabi’s position as a capital city? How has it influenced the strategies and growth of the Al Masaood Group?
H.E. Masaood Ahmed Al Masaood: Abu Dhabi has swiftly risen to prominence as an economic hub. It plays an integral role in the economy of the UAE. The city’s attractiveness to international corporations has only increased, transforming it into a highly sought-after destination for economic development. Its dedication to sustainable development and net-zero emissions has further enhanced its allure for business.
Within this dynamic context, Al Masaood Group finds itself strategically positioned to actively contribute to the advancement and prosperity of both the capital city and the nation as a whole. Our demonstrated ability and willingness to swiftly develop high-quality, efficient solutions that support mitigating pressing global challenges, such as those related to environmental concerns, exemplify our growth-oriented mindset.
Economy Middle East: Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility are increasingly important in today’s business landscape. How does Al Masaood Group incorporate sustainable practices and contribute to the community through CSR initiatives?
H.E. Masaood Ahmed Al Masaood: At Al Masaood, sustainability is a genuine commitment that is reflected in every aspect of our ethos and operations. We have aligned our goals with the UAE government’s sustainability strategies. We place a strong emphasis on transparency and accountability in our environmental, social and governance considerations.
Our inaugural sustainability report demonstrates our commitment to providing clear insights into our efforts. We are also actively working on a standardized methodology. The goal is to support upcoming sustainability disclosures, ensuring a strong framework for evaluating and reporting our ESG progress.
Al Masaood’s commitment to sustainability reporting is closely intertwined with its steadfast dedication to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In the upcoming reporting cycle, we are taking deliberate measures to enhance the disclosure of our sustainability framework showcasing how the Group’s operations actively contribute to the achievement of the Global Goals.
Also recently, in collaboration with Renault Trucks Middle East and Tadweer, and in line with the UAE’s net-zero ambitions and sustainability agenda, we launched the first 100% electric waste truck in the Middle East. The electric waste truck is used by Tadweer, the sole custodian of waste management for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, to collect household waste in an eco-friendly manner.
Furthermore, we introduced to the Abu Dhabi market earlier the eco-friendly UD Trucks Croner PKE 250hp Euro 5 to further promote the use of responsible means of logistics and transportation. The trucks are designed to meet stringent emissions standards while delivering reliable performance.
As a notable move toward sustainability, we became the official distributor of TCM electric counterbalanced forklifts in the UAE. These electric forklifts offer a cleaner and quieter alternative to traditional diesel-powered forklifts. They contribute to reduced emissions and a healthier work environment.
Economy Middle East: What are some more notable examples?
H.E. Masaood Ahmed Al Masaood: Our various divisions have taken numerous strides to support the transition to green energy and solutions. Al Masaood Power Division, for example, has actively rolled out its UAE-built solar charging solution. Known as SHAMS+, it revolves around utilizing solar power for electric vehicles, marine charging and any other applications requiring power. We have already initiated our inaugural project in this domain and are actively seeking expansion opportunities, particularly within the industrial sector.
Additionally, Al Masaood has established stringent internal and external standards for social responsibility. We maintain a resolute commitment to upholding equal opportunity as an employer, emphasizing the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce as a source of strength and innovation.
Acknowledging the significance of encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle, Al Masaood has been an avid supporter of sports and youth events. We have established a strong partnership with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, sponsoring major sporting events in the capital, and in doing so, elevating Abu Dhabi as a premier international sports hub. We truly believe that sports can be a powerful catalyst in fostering unity and a sense of community among people.
Economy Middle East: Every successful organization has a guiding mission and vision. What is the core mission of Al Masaood Group, and how does it align with the economic development goals of Abu Dhabi and the wider Middle East region?
H.E. Masaood Ahmed Al Masaood: At Al Masaood, our core mission revolves around cultivating sustainable, profitable relationships with all our partners by investing in our community, employees and customers, with the overarching goal of ensuring all-round satisfaction.
To achieve this, we prioritize partnerships that are mutually beneficial and sustainable in the long term. In order to honor those partnerships, we invest heavily in our employees. We want to foster a motivated and highly skilled workforce. Moreover, we want to provide them with a secure environment with consistent opportunities for growth.
Part of our mission underscores our commitment to both our customers and the community, who ultimately, are the bedrock of the work we do. This translates into our aspirations to exceed the expectations of our customers. We do this by delivering quality products and services and maintaining engagement to ensure their contentment.
Our mission is in complete alignment with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, which outlines the government’s commitment to building a sustainable and diversified, high-value-added economy by 2030. We are dedicated to employing our resources and expertise to support in realizing the Emirate’s objectives of this vision by leveraging human, physical, and financial capabilities, to best serve our nation.
Economy Middle East: Al Masaood Group has a rich history of business operations. Could you elaborate on the key factors that have contributed to the Group’s sustained growth and innovation? How do you envision the future of the Group in the evolving economic landscape?
H.E. Masaood Ahmed Al Masaood: Since its inception in 1970, Al Masaood has been firm in its commitment to supporting our nation’s extensive economic growth and development plans. We’ve brought home an array of global brands and established several home-grown ones to further the social, economic and commercial progress of Abu Dhabi. Our diverse group of companies operates in key sectors crucial to the UAE’s economic development, such as automotive, logistics, power, transport, manufacturing, power generation and marine.
Throughout our 50-year journey, we’ve fostered a culture of excellence, which has driven our commitment to operate effectively, efficiently and responsibly. We’ve embraced an agile, customer-centric business model, fostering innovation across all our divisions. We believe success relies on an open, forward-thinking organizational culture with a positive work environment.
In the evolving business landscape, diversification is a core constituent of our strategy, safeguarding us against market challenges. Sustainability is also an integral part of our operational agenda. It aligns with global environmental concerns and our vision as an organization and a nation. Looking forward, we will continue to invest in strategic industries and explore new opportunities both in the UAE and across the region.
Economy Middle East: Looking ahead, what are the emerging trends and opportunities in the Middle East’s economy that you believe will shape the future of businesses, including Al Masaood Group? How is the Group preparing to leverage these trends to achieve its goals?
H.E. Masaood Ahmed Al Masaood: Priorities for the region have largely been shaped by the ESG agenda. There’s a notable emphasis on sustainability, particularly in light of COP28 convening in the UAE. Amplifying the government’s vision and focused approach to ESG, we are actively engaged in the process of identifying viable commercial solutions for sustainability. Our objectives include creating clean energy resources, reducing waste and curbing the carbon footprint.
At Al Masaood, we recognize that sustainability is not a mere buzzword, but a true commitment that touches every aspect of our operations. As a diversified group of companies active in key sectors of the UAE economy, Al Masaood’s strategy revolves around aligning our goals with the government’s sustainability strategies. This alignment aims to strengthen the nation’s economy. It also seeks to preserve our natural habitat and serve society better.
Al Masaood Automobiles also acknowledges the growing environmental consciousness within the automotive industry, with a notable shift toward electric vehicles and the adoption of circular economies. Our global partner Renault Group has created “The Future is NEUTRAL.” With this new entity dedicated to the circular economy, it the first company to operate across the entire automotive circular economy value chain. Nissan, also one of our main automotive principal brands, has also pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050. By placing electrification at the core of the company’s long-term strategy, Nissan Ambition 2030, the company aims to accelerate the electrification of its vehicle lineup and rate of technology innovation. Nissan also aims to introduce 23 new electrified models, including 15 new EVs by fiscal year 2030. It aims for an electrification mix of more than 50 percent globally across the Nissan and INFINITI brands.
Economy Middle East: Can you share more about how Al Masaood demonstrates its commitment to sustainability?
H.E. Masaood Ahmed Al Masaood: Al Masaood’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond the realm of vehicles. We have implemented improved waste-management practices at our automobile facilities with the goal of diverting waste away from landfills.
Additionally, with the energy sector being a major contributor to carbon emissions, it is essential to facilitate a transition toward cleaner energy resources. To that end, one of Al Masaood Power’s significant achievements last year was the launch of SHAMS+ Charge. It harnesses the power of the sun to charge EVs and hybrid marine vessels, limiting reliance on conventional fossil fuels.
We consider ourselves fortunate to have been a part of this remarkable nation’s journey over the last five decades. And we look forward to continuing to do so, propelling it toward a greener, brighter future.
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