Al-Ghurair is currently the head of Mashreq Bank, a leading United Arab Emirates commercial bank founded by his uncle Majed Ahmed AlGhurair during the Gulf's first oil boom in the 1960s. Bank profits were down across the region this year, but his family's diverse holdings in real estate, cement, contracting, publishing, residential care and petrochemicals, among others, has helped soften the blow. The food division of his holdings, headed by his brother Essa, includes the Middle East's second-largest flour mill and ubiquitous Masafi mineral water. Al Ghurair chairs the Arab Business Angels Network, an organisation that seeks to match angel investment funding with startups by Arab entrepreneurs.
Al Ghurair trained as an industrial Engineer and gained an honours degree from California Polytechnic State University. He joined Mashreq in 1977. He worked in various capacities till 1988 and he took over responsibility for the bank’s international operations, setting up branches in New York—US, London—UK, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, India and Pakistan. He was appointed Executive Director in 1989 and became CEO the following year.
Al Ghurair is also the CEO of Mashreq Group. He was appointed to the role in 1990 and has since steered the bank into becoming a world-class financial services institution. Under his 17-year tenure the bank’s assets have risen to AED 72.6 billion as of June 2007—a 50.3 per cent increase from 2006.
Al Ghurair was Speaker of the House of the Federal National Council (FNC) in the United Arab Emirates (the UAE Parliament) from 2007 until 2011.
Al Ghurair was part of the highest-level official delegation from the United Arab Emirates ever to visit the Vatican met with Pope Benedict and Cardinal Bertone, on 21 October 2008. He also has been honoured with a special Lifetime Achievement Award, at the CEO Middle East Awards.
Al Ghurair has three sons and two daughters. His sons are Saood, Mansoor and Abdulla. Saood, graduated from the University of San Diego in 2009.
His endeavours have earned the bank many international accolades, including the ‘Best Bank in the UAE’ Award 2006 from Euromoney magazine and the MasterCard Product Award for Mashreq UAE E-Gate Prepaid MasterCard card.