Strategies for Family Businesses in Abu Dhabi to 2030

  • Aamer Abdul Jalil Alfahim

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    In the 21st century, family businesses around the world face significant challenges and plentiful opportunities. The growth and survival of family firms depends on their ability to address these
    challenges, capitalise on their strengths, and take advantage of the opportunities facing them. The family business literature is rich in the experiences of Americans, Koreans, Swedes and many other
    nationalities, cultures and religions around the world, but there is a paucity of documented evidence that relates to the Arab world. This study adds a new and important specific contribution
    to the literature by addressing the field of family businesses in the Arab world, and Abu Dhabi in particular.

    The thesis concentrates on large family firms which have their headquarters in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The main reason for this choice is pragmatic; the researcher has far greater
    access to the principals (CEO’s and Chairmen in particular) of Abu Dhabi based family firms than those headquartered elsewhere. This thesis identifies major themes which will influence the future development of family firms in Abu Dhabi in the medium term (taken to mean up to 2030, the period covered by the Abu Dhabi Vision).

    The research design chosen is an exploratory one. It does not seek to make predictions concerning the future of family firms in Abu Dhabi but attempts to explain the phenomenon of family firms in
    Abu Dhabi to the extent that explanation helps shed light on possible alternative strategies which such firms might need to adopt if they are to continue to prosper. The research relies heavily on expert interviews. Such a strategy is warranted by the dearth of published data of any sort.

    This research also makes a useful contribution to our understanding of family firms in general. By concentrating on a hitherto under-researched context, the study adds to our overall understanding by broadening the range of comparative studies of family firms which are available to other researchers.
    Date of Award2011
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorDavid Morris (Supervisor) & Tom Donnelly (Supervisor)


    • Family business
    • UAE
    • Abu Dhabi
    • sustainability

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