As the chairman of Aabar Investments , Khadem Al Qubaisi’s recent string of high-profile acquisitions have helped propelled Abu Dhabi onto the international map.

Aabar has been on the expansion trail since International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) — of which Al Qubaisi is also the chairman — took control of the firm in 2009. IPIC is one of the investment arms used by the government of Abu Dhabi to invest its oil income.


Under Qubaisi’s stewardship, Aabar purchased a 9.1 percent stake in Daimler, making it the largest shareholder in the German car manufacturer, in March last year. It also acquired a 32 percent stake in Virgin Galactic, Sir Richard Branson’s commercial space travel unit, in July.


In addition to the $280m stake, the firm has also committed a further $100m to fund a satellite launch capability. Last year, Aabar was part of a $183m deal to take a majority stake in Formula One world championship winning team Brawn GP.


In addition to his role in Aabar, Al Qubaisi’s also has ambitious plans for its parent company, IPIC. He recently said he plans to triple the size of the company over the next five years through acquisitions and organic growth and increase its production capacity from 10m tonnes/year to 30m tonnes/year within five years, making it a global leader in petrochemical production.


Al Qubaisi is also the chairman of Takaful, I-Media newspaper and Hyundai Oilbank in South Korea. He is also a board member of Compania Espanola, First Gulf Bank and Aldar Properties .