The tallness of a man is seldom unveiled by the attitude he exudes. H.H Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum is an exception. As the Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group, few can dare deny his staggering influence on the business world. Emirates has over 170 aircraft and flies to more than 130 destinations in over 70 countries. He has managed to deliver profits for 24 years in succession, with the 2011 figures showing a profit of Emirati Dirham (AED) 409 million. He has handled various responsibilities in the past – Chairman of Dubai World, Emirates NBD and the Emirates’ Supreme Fiscal Committee, Deputy Chairmanship of the Dubai Executive Council and also head of the Dubai Power & Energy Committee.
It was under his reigns that the DCA underwent an organisational restructuring in April 2007 resulting in the creation of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) as the local regulatory body and Dubai Airports as the owner and operator of Dubai’s airports – Dubai International and Dubai World Central. Following the restructuring, H.H Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum became the President of DCAA and Chairman of Dubai Airports. His impetus made Dubai Airport the world’s fourth busiest airport for international passenger and cargo traffic with a network of over 260 destinations served by more than 140 airlines. Emirates has grown from a regional airline with just two leased aircraft and three destinations to an acclaimed international airline that possesses the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 777s and Airbus A380s. Reporting profits for 24 consecutive years is a rarity in the airline industry and Emirates has achieved it under his able guidance.
The man is sheer certitude and tenacity personified. He is an icon of perseverance and the most suitable candidate for Asia’s Most Promising ‘Powerful’ category.