Blood kinship groups frequently lie behind successful businesses in the United Arab Emirates, and the Jafar family are one case in point. They have significant holdings in the UAE energy sector, in particular gas, which makes them a prospective ‘touch point’ for foreign investors mulling partnerships in the region. However, lucrative energy dealings have propped up the United Arab Emirates for the past 50 years, placing it at the centre of political and economic interest – meaning the family must walk a delicate line between commercial success and political involvement.
- The Jafars energy interests play a role in servicing Sharjah’s local economy, one of the UAE’s Northern and most conservative Emirates, with financial ties to Saudi Arabia.
- Hamid, and his sons Majid and Badr, are the decision-makers at Crescent Group; the entity owns stakes in Crescent Petroleum and Dana Gas. Their prestige extends to the 20th century - at least where their ancestors were connected to royalty in Baghdad - but they now enjoy support from the Al Qowasim in the UAE.
- Today, the family’s energy investment lies in Egypt, Iraq, and the UAE. Their commercial agenda is evident, but there is also a political dimension that must be navigated.