Director General, Ajman Free Zone
Born and raised in the UAE, H.E. took up Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, and graduated with high honors in 1992. significant experiences in leading an organisation. Equipped with leadership expertise acquired from his previous roles, he was appointed as the Director General of AFZ in 2020.
Since he took office, AFZ Driven with a passion and a vision to make a difference, he started his career at the downstream energy sector through Emirates General Petroleum Corporation. He later joined the upstream energy sector as head of marketing and operations in Dolphin Energy. Afterwards, he got the opportunity to work in construction and sustainability at Tecom Investments.
Prior to joining the Ajman Free Zone (AFZ), H.E. held various top-level positions in the marine and maritime industry where he gained has witnessed significant growth and achieved several milestones. During the first half of 2021, AFZ recorded a 35 per cent increase of newly registered companies compared to the same period in 2020. This year recorded 867 newly registered companies in the free zone versus 567 companies last year. Their number reached a total of 1,717 in 2020, while their operational performance grew 23 per cent compared to 2019.
The UAE remains to be one of the most feasible and attractive business hubs, thanks to the efforts of men like H.E. Eng. Ali AlSuwaidi who has worked relentlessly to make a difference in this country while promoting unity as well as sustainability.
Speaking about his passion and drive, AlSuwaidi said: “I am inspired by the life of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. His passion, commitment and initiatives to create a better world have been my constant source of inspiration.”
He added: “My father taught me ‘Wherever you work, always leave your footprint!’ and these wise words have been my guide whenever I do something.”
AlSuwaidi grew up in a business-oriented family and was raised to value his country and respect other people. At a young age, he was taught of the importance of making a difference in life and country and this has become his life purpose.
Speaking about the role of family in his success, he said: “Setting my priorities right has enabled me to balance my career and personal life. Finding that balance can be challenging, but it is essential. I make sure to give equal priority and time to my family, and I share my decisions with them to ensure that they feel my commitment. I believe that to succeed in life, you must have your family’s support.”
As a leader, AlSuwaidi’s greatest strength comes from having a clear vision of what he wants and the determination and resourcefulness on how to achieve it. In addition, he also values the importance of having a capable, agile and strong team, winning their cooperation, and ensuring that they understand the objectives behind every task. “I don’t know if this is a weakness, but I am a very persistent person which others may consider a negative trait. I don’t give up on people easily, and I keep pushing them to try until they succeed,” H.E. added.
A dynamic team player, AlSuwaidi has been honoured with numerous awards on behalf of his team. Recently, the fDI magazine awarded AFZ as the 7th best global free zone along with other major commendations.
AlSuwaidi is all praise for the UAE and Ajman governments for providing support to people and businesses to minimize the impact of the pandemic. He says: “We surpassed the pandemic due to our team’s ability to adapt to unprecedented situations, the relentless support from the government, as well as our strategic policies and robust systems that helped in the remote working set-up. Our business continuity and sustained operations allowed us to support our business partners as well.”
Leaving us with a message, AlSuwaidi said: “The UAE and Ajman are ideal places to set up, grow your business, and contribute to environmental sustainability as they provide the necessary tools, services, and network of support to achieve your goals. With this, I reaffirm my support to our wise leaders who have demonstrated tolerance, unity and respect in the pursuit of progress and making a difference.”