The Business Year

Faisal Bin Juma Belhoul

Founder & Managing Partner, Ithmar Capital


I was in one of the traditional family businesses when I realized that private equity, as an asset class, was something that most of the successful family businesses in this part of the world have been doing.


The weakness of the banking sector has allowed for greater visibility for the space within which private equity operates. The importance and value of the capital provided by private equity firms has become much more significant. No economy benefits from a weak banking system, and therefore recovery in a mature manner is advantageous.


We have stringent criteria as to what kind of companies we’d like to partner with. This revolves around businesses with good leadership, even if there is a secession issue. We look for businesses that have a solid market position, market initiative in what they do, and that aspire to go to the next step.

Ayman Al Wadi

Chief Executive, Al Wadi


The market right now is healthy. As long as professionals act professionally they should not have a problem. A large percentage of our clients are from Europe and North America. We have the debt management experience to help them out, and we put them in touch with the appropriate partners in the best locations.


There is huge demand for all our companies and services; we have to be selective. If a portfolio is more than we can handle, then we won’t accept it unless we are given enough time for due diligence, and enough time to select the right project. Unless we are certain of being able to help a company, and have the capacity and time to do it, we will not undertake the project. Ultimately, our clients’ success is, literally, our success.


The companies that don’t go through us often try to save money, but in the long term this approach creates many more problems and costs. You have to have a local Emirati business partner by law, and so before you establish that partnership you need our help.

Samer Sarraf

Senior Vice-President & Country Head UAE, Samer Sarraf


The equity and debt capital markets in Dubai have evolved at a very different pace since the global financial crisis. As investors have regained confidence in the credit risk and the growth potential of Dubai, investor appetite for Dubai credit has increased.


We have always been very keen on investments that are linked to demographics, and this continues to be the case. As the populations in the region increase—this coupled with the increase in their wealth and purchasing power—companies that cater to them will benefit from this embedded growth.


We provide our clients access to deals in the region with the potential to generate significant returns. We have proven with our track record that we are able to identify opportunities.



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