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Six Degrees of Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem

The head honcho at Dubai World is now a globally known business figure. But how can we link him to a hardcore rocker in six simple steps?

June 17, 2010 5:19 by

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem

The Times of London called Bin Sulayem a “business big shot” – the fifty-something sultan with a US education and the CV of a globetrotting mover and shaker.  Today, he’s the head guy at Dubai World, but just starting out, he began his career as a customs official in Dubai.

It was a fortuitous beginning for the Sultan, it seems. While serving as a customs official, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is reported to have asked Bin Sulayem what he thought of the concept of a free trade zone. When the Sultan replied that it sounded like a good idea, the Sheikh made him the head of one.  “Me and my big mouth,” he has joked since. On his stellar rise from customs official to adviser to the ruler of Dubai, Bin Sulayem has constructed a very powerful network of associates, including…


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