Meet M.A. Yusuff Ali, the retail magnate overseeing the $8.4 billion LuLu Group International, boasting 256 hypermarkets and malls across the Gulf region and beyond.
Originating from a village in Kerala, South India, Yusuff Ali embarked on his journey to Abu Dhabi in 1973, joining his uncle’s modest distribution venture.
In April 2020, reports surfaced that a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family secured a 20% stake in LuLu for a staggering $1 billion.
Looking ahead, Yusuff Ali has ambitious plans to take the retail business public in 2023-2024.
His diverse portfolio also includes ownership of prestigious properties such as the Waldorf Astoria in Scotland and the Great Scotland Yard Hotel, the former headquarters of the U.K. Metropolitan Police.
Yusuffali M. A, the Chairman & Managing Director of LuLu Group, stands as one of today’s leading business figures. Under his dynamic leadership, the group has expanded into various significant sectors, with retail emerging as the most prominent among them.
Yusuffali’s keen business acumen and strategic foresight have shaped ambitious growth plans for the Group, translating them into reality through a dynamic team that shares his vision. Based in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the Group has gained prominence in the Gulf with a network of popular Shopping Malls and Hypermarkets catering to a diverse multi-ethnic population.
The LuLu Group boasts a workforce of over 65,000 individuals from 42 different nations, operating across the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, China, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Turkey, Spain, Italy, UK, USA, and India. Over the years, it has emerged as one of the most successful corporations, with a global annual turnover of US$ 8 billion.
Beyond his active role in the business realm, Yusuff Ali is deeply engaged in social initiatives, contributing to various organizations. A pinnacle in his career occurred when he was elected by the U.A.E. business community as a Director Board member of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ADCCI), marking the first time an expatriate secured a position in this influential business regulatory authority. Additionally, he was unanimously chosen as the Vice-chairman of the esteemed Trade Committee of the ADCCI. In 2009, he was re-elected to the Director Board with overwhelming support from the U.A.E business community.
In 2021, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the current President of the UAE, appointed him as the Second Vice Chairman of ADCCI, an unprecedented achievement that established him as the only Non-Arab to hold a position on the ADCCI Director Board for a remarkable four consecutive terms.