Al Gergawi was born in Dubai in 1963. His father, Abdulla Ali Al Gergawi, was a successful merchant in the city. He completed his primary and secondary school education in the emirate and attained a bachelor degree in Business Administration from the United States.
Al Gergawi’s career started in 1987, where he joined the United Nations Development Programme in the UAE. In 1988, he joined the Ministry of Finance in the United Arab Emirates. His role in the Ministry of Finance lasted for one year wherein he gained extensive knowledge in auditing and financing.
In 1989, Al Gergawi joined Dubai Municipality as the Deputy Manager for revenue at the finance department at Dubai Municipality. His principle role as the deputy manager was to streamline the process of fee collection and its relevant components within Dubai Municipality as well as ensuring that the revenue generated was audited as per the Municipality’s financial policies.
Al Gergawi first joined Dubai’s Department of Economic Development in 1993 as the Director of the Department of Finance and Administration. During his tenure as director, Al Gergawi spearheaded the launch of the Dubai Quality Award in 1994. He maintained his position as the Director of the Department of Finance and Administration from 1993 to 1995 where he was promoted Director of the Commercial Licensing Department. As director, Al Gergawi oversaw the registration and licensing activities within the department and the control and protection of businesses within the emirate. In 1996, Al Gergawi oversaw the launch and management of the Dubai Shopping Festival and the Dubai Summer Surprises, he was the Managing Director for both initiatives that were held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who was crown prince of Dubai at the time.
Al Gergawi was named Deputy Director General of Dubai’s Department of Economic Development in 1997 as a result to his vast achievements within the department. Al Gergawi’s new role led to many new accomplishments, including his appointment as a Board Member in the newly formed Emaar Properties in 1997. During the next year in 1998, Al Gergawi was appointed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as the Secretary General and Managing Director of Dubai Government Excellence Program, a Dubai government program that focused on continued improvement of government service and government performance within the emirate.
In 1999, Al Gergawi was appointed the Director General of Dubai Internet City, which was later absorbed under the newly formed Dubai Technology, E-Commerce and Media Freezone Authority, which later became Dubai Holding, all of which were headed by Al Gergawi. During his term, Al Gergawi administered the launch of the Arab Journalism Award and the Dubai Press Club which he founded. In 2000, Al Gergawi was appointed a member of the board of directors of Dubai E-Commerce Council.
In 2001, Al Gergawi became a board member in the Emirates Media Incorporated Company. In the same year, he was fundamental in the establishment of the Dubai Autism Centre. During 2001, Al Gergawi was very active on multiple fronts, including being the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Dubai Media Forum and a founding member of Dubai Media City. Another notable project that Al Gergawi led during 2001 was the founding of the Knowledge Village in Dubai, which was a knowledge generation and sharing cluster in the city.
2002 marked yet another active and important role for Al Gergawi, wherein he oversaw the launch and development of Dubai Healthcare City, a health services cluster in the city of Dubai, and Dubai International Financial Centre, a federal financial free zone. Other key achievements of 2002 for Al Gergawi included the establishment of the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, focused on supporting young entrepreneurs and driving entrepreneurs in Dubai. Starting from 2002 until 2005, Al Gergawi was appointed Chairman of the Board for Dubai’s Investment and Development Attraction Authority. Al Gergawi has also been a yearly delegate to the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.
Al Gergawi was appointed Chairman of the Executive Office of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Following the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Al Gergawi’s was able to differentiate The Executive Office from all other government offices, by laying the foundations for it to become a forward looking office that incubates the more prominent and positively impactful initiatives. The Executive Office’s office culture under the leadership of Al Gergawi is seen as a merger between a Fortune 500 Tech Company and a Think Tank, a model that has never been seen before in the public sector.
Since its inception, the Executive Office has been the incubator of forward looking initiatives that are later spun off in Dubai. In 2003, under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Al Gergawi managed the foundation and launch of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Programme for Leadership Development. During the same year, Al Gergawi managed the Dubai Strategy Forum, a leading local forum focused on future foresight and identification of potential economic and political trends globally and across the Arab region. The Forum was renamed the Arab Strategy Forum in 2006, in which it marks an annual gathering that takes place on December of every year.
Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Al Gergawi and his team at The Executive Office managed the 3rd Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Dubai on December 11 2012. The Executive Office incubated the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre in 2013, under the supervision of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, who appointed Al Gergawi as the chairman of the board. In June 2013, Al Gergawi managed the Arab Social Media Forum, which was launched by The Executive Office, and in October of the same year, Al Gergawi was appointed chairman of the executive committee of the Smart City initiative.
On June 2014, Al Gergawi managed and directed an initiative that was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dress 1 Million Needy Children Around the World, a charitable initiative aimed at providing clothing for 1 million needy children. The initiative broke all targets and expectations, reaching more than 2 million children across the world.
In 2003, Al Gergawi became the first Secretary-General of the Executive Council of the Government of Dubai. As Secretary-General of the Executive Council, Al Gergawi worked on putting policies and key performance indicators for Dubai Government entities, implement the directives of the federal government of the United Arab Emirates and manage ongoing and new projects in the emirate. Al Gergawi then moved from being Secretary-General of the Executive Council in 2006, following a decree from the President of the United Arab Emirates appointing him as Minister of Cabinet Affairs.
Dubai Holding was founded in 2004 and Al Gergawi was appointed its Chief Executive Officer. Al Gergawi managed the company from its embryonic stages until it became a global holding company with more than 130 Billion AED in total assets. Al Gergawi served as the Chairman of the company until March 2017 . Through Dubai Holding, Al Gergawi helped envision and launch Tecom Group, Dubai Properties Group, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications (du) and Family Entertainment and New Media. Al Gergawi’s main focus in Dubai Holding was in creating value adding clusters in the emirate of Dubai.
On the 11th of February 2006, The President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, issued a presidential decree appointing the new cabinet of the United Arab Emirates. The cabinet included Mohammad Al Gergawi as Minister of Cabinet Affairs, who was responsible for the development of the UAE’s Federal Government Strategy and overseeing its overall delivery and performance. One of the first positions that Al Gergawi held as Minister was the deputy chairman of the Ministerial Council for Services, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
In 2007, Al Gergawi led the formation of Dubai Cares, a philanthropic organization working on improving children’s access to quality primary education. During the same year, Al Gergawi was commissioned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to create and launch ‘Ada’a’, the UAE government performance management system that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid uses on a daily basis to audit and follow the performance of his government.
During 2008, The Prime Minister’s Office, which is part of the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, launched the UAE Government Leadership Programme. In 2010, the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs launched the UAE Vision 2021 and the UAE Strategy Cycle 2011-2013, both focusing on setting a strategy and targets for the UAE to become one of the best countries in the world by 2021. On March of the following year, Al Gergawi was tasked by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to create and launch the Emirates Government Service Excellence Program, which was and still is part of the Prime Minister’s Office.
In 2013, the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, under the leadership of Al Gergawi, launched the Government Summit, in which Al Gergawi served as Chairman of the Executive Committee. During the same year, under directives from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ministry launched the Emirates Government Excellence Council, which consolidates all excellence programs in the United Arab Emirates that serve federal and local government entities. Another notable initiative that Al Gergawi managed at the Prime Minister’s Office in 2013 was the M-Government Initiative, which drew the trajectory to migrate all government services on mobile in two years.
Al Gergawi’s momentum did not slow down during 2014, wherein the Minister served under close guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to launch multiple initiatives including, the National Agenda, the UAE Drones for Good Award, the UAE Star Rating Program, Best M-Government Service Award, the Mohammed bin Rashid Government Excellence Award, the founding and launch of the UAE Space Agency, UAE Water Aid, the Government Service Forum and the Museum of Future Government Services.
In 2015, Al Gergawi was appointed as the chairman of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Council, a council that focused on nurturing innovation in the country that launched the National STI Strategy for the government of the United Arab Emirates. During the same year, Al Gergawi managed many projects that were assigned to him by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, such as the creation of the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation, the launch of the Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation, the creation of the Public Diplomacy Office and the creation of the Global Future Councils in collaboration with the World Economic Forum which he co-chairs with Professor Klaus Schwab. Al Gergawi participated at the Social Good Summit in New York in September 2016 to discuss his role as Minister of the Future .
In 2007, Al Gergawi was appointed Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation. He also serves as Chairman of the Emirates Competitiveness Council, Deputy Chairman of the Emirates Investment Authority. While serving in various capacities, Al Gergawi has overseen several initiatives such as the launch of Knowledge Village, Dubai Healthcare City and the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Arab Management Award. He was at the center of the launch of the Dubai Strategy; supervised the inception of the Dubai Government Excellence Award; and managed the Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Summer Surprises. Recently, Al Gergawi has been focused on carrying forward 'hope-making' initiatives that were launched by Sheikh Mohammed, such as the Arab Hopemakers initiative .
Dubai School of Government
Dubai School of Government was established in 2005 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as the first research and teaching institution focusing on governance and public policy in the Arab world.The School aims to support good governance in the UAE and the Arab world, and build future leaders through an integrated system offering education and training programs, as well as research and studies. Al Gergawi was a founding member of the school since its inception. The Dubai School of Government was later renamed to the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government
Dubai International Financial Centre
Launched and established in 2002, the Dubai International Financial Centre was launched with a vision to become a global financial hub. Al Gergawi, upon appointment by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, played an active role in the establishment of the DIFC.
World Government Summit
Al Gergawi serves as the Chairman of the World Government Summit Organization, the only organization focused on helping governments shape a better future. The World Government Summit has evolved from a local government gathering to a global governmental gathering that brings together more than 130 governments and top leaders and experts to help shape the governments of tomorrow. Al Gergawi is the opening speaker of the annual event alongside Professor Klaus Schwab. The World Government Summit Organization was created in 2016, it was formally known as the Government Summit.
Dubai Future Foundation
Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in 2015, the Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation was designed to become a unique incubator for futuristic innovations and designs within the city of Dubai. Mohammad Al Gergawi serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the organization and its Managing Director and has been known to be a key driver in the organization’s ambitions and projects. The Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation was renamed to the Dubai Future Foundation in 2016.
“There are no untalented people, there are just people that were not discovered yet by their leaders”
“I saw the United Arab Emirates when its roads were dirt roads, its transformation, and the ambition today to reach Mars. That is a modern day miracle to me.”
“Never have I seen a man so anxious to create a better tomorrow for his people similar to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum”
“Eyes speak a language that the ear does not understand”
“The greatest position a man can hold is in serving others”
“The greatest periods of Islamic history came with tolerance, not conquest”
Al Gergawi is a member of the UAEU Council, and member of Abu Dhabi University's Board of Trustees. He is an Honorary Fellow of the London Business School, and Founding President of the Dubai School of Government. He also led the establishment of the Dubai Institute for Human Resource Development.
Al Gergawi was assigned to establish Dubai Media Incorporated as Managing Director. He oversaw the inception of Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, the Dubai Press Club, the Arab Journalism Award and chaired the Organizing Committee of the Arab Media Forum in 2001.
In 2004 Al Gergawi became the Founding Chairman of the Young Arab Leaders, and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Arab Strategy Forum in 2006. Al Gergawi is the Chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, which was established in 2007 with a donation from Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president of the UAE and ruler of Dubai. The educational foundation works to improve the standards of research and education within the region
Al Gergawi has made great strides in elevating the level of social and community services in the UAE. Al Gergawi was a member of the National Team of the UAE for Volleyball and represented the UAE in many tournaments. He played a crucial part in the inception of the Dubai Autism Center, and chaired Al Ahli Sports Club. In addition, he is one of the founders of the UAE Disabled Sports Federation.
As an enthusiastic regional activist, Al Gergawi became the Founding Chairman of the Young Arab Leaders in 2004, and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Arab Strategy Forum in 2006. The Dubai Smart City project committee Chairman, Mohammad Bin Abdullah Al Gergawi. Chairman of the Islamic Economy Sector for turning Dubai into the center of Islamic commerce. Chairman of the smart government project for the UAE. Al Gergawi launched the Middle East Thought Leadership Programme with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a global thought leadership platform to help frame and stimulate regional and global debate on vital development issues shaping the Middle East in December 2015 .
Al Gergawi is a consistent delegate at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in addition to presiding over the meetings of the Global Agenda and co-chairing the Global Future Councils with Professor Klaus Schwab . He also chaired the session "World Economic Forum on Growth", held in China in 2007. Moreover, he was instrumental in the India Economic Summit in 2005 as Co-Chairman.
In the UAE, the wider region and the world at large, Al Gergawi has been the recipient of numerous honors and recognitions. These include the Moroccan Royal Order of Merit, which was bestowed upon him by His Majesty King Mohammad VI of Morocco in 2005; and the American Business Award from the American Business Council in 2000, among others. In 2014, Al Gergawi was awarded the ‘Key to Dubai’ at the RE Con Awards, for his contribution to the development of Dubai."Oil won't last forever, so Dubai is betting big on science and tech" (Popular Science, 2017)
"Dubai Aims to Be the Transportation City of Tomorrow" (The Wall Street Journal, 2017)
"World Government Summit to be held in Dubai next month" (The Indian Express, 2017)
"Imagine, a Minister of Youth Who’s Actually Young" (Foreign Policy, 2016)
"Hyperloop One and Dubai Future Accelerators will build the first ‘hyperloop for cargo’" (TechCrunch, 2016)
"Building a Futuristic City" (Futurism, 2016)
"ISIS-destroyed monument rebuilt with 3D technology" (CNET, 2016)
"Incheon plans to construct 'smart city'" (The Korea Times, 2016)
"Aid and Development Foundation launched for the Middle East" (CNS News, 2015)
"Minister: ‘UAE a model from the region to the region’" (AlArabiya, 2014)
"Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum" (Time Magazine, 2006)
"The Story of Arab HopeMakers". Akhbar Al Emarat. May 17, 2017.
"Dubai looks to the future with new museum". CNN. February 14, 2017.
"Dubai tests drones for government delivery". CNN. February 11, 2014.
"Head to Head Keynote Interview: The next 50 years". GMIS: Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit. April 18, 2017.
"A Conversation With Elon Musk". World Government Summit. February 13, 2017.
"Dubai 2016 - Press Conference with Mohammad Al Gergawi". World Economic Forum. November 14, 2016.
"Future & Hope". Mashable Experiential. October 5, 2016.
"Mr Mohammad Al Gergawi and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launch Middle East". UAE News. November 10, 2016.
"Leadership of the UAE and Global Aspirations". UAE Gov. April 29, 2015.
"Mohammed Al Gergawi Speech @ ICSC MENA 2014 Gala Dinner". MENA ICSC. October 28, 2014.
"Davos Annual Meeting 2008 - Adapting to New Champions". World Economic Forum. January 26, 2008.
"Dalian 2007 - Global Risks to Global Growth". World Economic Forum. September 11, 2007.