The SAHARA Group (www.thesaharagroup.com), a Dubai-based holding and investment firm that was founded in 2002 by the Iraqi entrepreneur Dr. Ahmed Samerai. Since its inception, Dr. Samerai has differentiated himself by adopting prudent and well-timed strategies and expert tactics for his business and his other ventures.
Dr. Samerai holds an MBA from Humberside and a PhD in Economics from the American University of London. He is a member from the 10 highly acclaimed business people in the UAE forming the Arts and Science committee of the American University of Sharjah. He has attended and graduated from many management courses including " Navigating through the difficult times" by London Business School. In addition to his role at SAHARA, he sits on the Boards of several companies, including Tanmiyat Partners (part of the Saudi Tanmiyat Group) and Ajman Marina, the US$2 billion JV with the Ajman Government in the emirate of Ajman, UAE.
Dr. Samerai is chairman of Hugo Plaza (www.Hugoplaza.com), one of the most luxurious furnished penthouses in the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in downtown Dubai, and is widely considered one of the powerful new players in a growing niche area within Middle East hospitality. Dr. Samerai is also a Board member for the Al Mamzer investment firm.
Dr. Samerai heads up SAHARA communications, a part of the SAHARA Group which has quickly become one of the most recognized PR firms in the Middle East. Property Gulf Magazine referred to him on their cover as an "unsung hero", while the daily UAE English newspaper Gulf Today has described Dr. Samerai as "the person who first recognized the twin benefits - and positive feedback loop - of corporate and national branding, and how to best use the latest technology to drive both". He was considered as one of the Leaders which shaped the GCC (the Arab Gulf Countries) business in the famous ITP once-in-a-decade published book. His famous much quoted was "Maybe I was lucky to be an Iraqi, we don't take things for granted and we have to find ways to survive".
Dr Samerai's recognition, however, goes far beyond his management expertise and business acumen. He is well known for his philanthropy works, including the creation of the Al Samerai Foundation, which - among other efforts - sponsored Larry King's Save Our Gulf campaign; the Robert F. Kennedy center for Justice & Human Rights; he has supported Middle Eastern students in their overseas studies; created an Annual Urban Planning Award for University of Sharjah students; and he supports charities helping people suffering from cancer, craniosynostosis, and pediatric-acquired brain injuries. He is the largest single contributor towards the Friends of Cancer Patients non-profit organization with US$400,000 in contribution.
Dr Samerai is an athlete and won various national tournaments in the past in tennis and soccer, and is always involved in sport activities. He is an author on various day-to-day business and geopolitics topics, and is widely quoted in publications. He been interviewed more than 20 times on Al Jazeera and and Al Arabiya. BBC and Forbes are a few of the international names on which Dr Samerai has been appeared. He is in the final stages of his book titled "Oil vs Philanthropy in the Middle East".