Fatima Obaid Al Jaber, right, chief operating officer of Al Jaber Group became the first Emirati woman to be elected to Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce while Indian businessman Yusufali MA, second left, was elected for the second term.
Abu Dhabi: Fatima Obaid Al Jaber, chief operating officer of Al Jaber Group became the first Emirati woman to get elected to the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce.
She bagged 4,880 votes.
Shaikh Mubarak Bin Ham and Khalfan Saeed Al Ka’abi came in second and third respectively.
Candidates who got re-elected for a second consecutive term included Al Ka’abi with 4101 votes, and Yusufali MA, Indian businessman, with 2256 votes. Dr Kassem Alom, the Syrian managing director of Al Noor Hospital got elected for the first time with 1715 votes. The “Abu Dhabi – First” alliance had swept the polls, which listed Fatima and Yusufali as candidates.
The elections were held on Monday for 15 seats of the board of directors, of which two seats are reserved for the expatriate business community. The Abu Dhabi government will appoint another six members so that membership is complete with of a 21 member board.
The new board which will be sworn in for a four year term and will take office beginning January 2010.
The first round of elections was held on December 7 but failed to come out with a clear majority win for any of the candidates. Three polling stations were setup in Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain and Beda Zayed. About 12191 members voted for their favourite candidates.
Khaleej Times Newspaper
Abu Dhabi First sweeps ADCCI elections
22 December 2009
Abu Dhabi First, a panel led by a known business leader, Khalfan Saeed Al Kaabi made a clean sweep at the elections for the board of directors of ADCCI.
The elections were held on Monday evening for 15 seats of the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi Chambers of Commerce and Industry including two seats reserved for the expatriate business community in the emirate. The four year term of the new board of director will begin in January 2010.
Three polling stations were setup in Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain and Beda Zayed where 12191 members of the trade body vote for their favourite candidates.
Fatima Obaid Al Jaber, a women entrepreneur emerged as most popular candidate among 72,000 members of the chamber, as she bagged 4,880 votes.
Khalfan Saeed Al Kaabi, who obtained 4,101 votes, has been elected for the second term. He promised in his election manifesto to reduce the chamber fees by 50 per cent.
Yusufali MA, a leading Indian business leader who was elected for the second term got 2,256 votes, while a Syrian expatriate businessman, Dr Kassem Aloum could get 1,715 votes.
Other candidates, who won the elections included Nasser Al Maamari, Ali Saif Al Mansoury, Rashid Al Suwaidi, Saeed Al Dheheri, Abdul Jabar Al Sayegh, Ali Mohammed Al Balooshi, Khaled Al Badi, Omeir Saud Al Dheheri, Shaikh Mubarak bin Ham, Khalifa Essa Mohammed Al Khaili, Nasser Al Shamsi.
WAM Emirates News Agency
''Abu Dhabi -First'' group wins ADCCI elections
WAM Abu Dhabi 21st Dec. (WAM) H.E Ahmed Ibrahim Al Za'abi, head of elections committee of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) announced today that the ''Abu Dhabi - First'' alliance has swept the second leg of elections, winning the all 15 seats of the board for the term 2010- 2014.
The group has won the highest number of votes cast with Fatima Obeid Al Jaber came in the first position, followed by Sheikh Mubarak bin Ham the second and the Khalfan Saeed Al Ka'abi taking the second and third places respectively.
Abu Dhabi government will appoint another six members to complete the membership of the board to 21 members.
Al Za'abi praised the transparency and the democratic atmosphere in which the e-elections have been held in Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain and Medinat Zayed in Western Region and the unique experience which ''our wise leadership'' wanted it to set a model for democratic experiment in the business and finance community and private sector in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Emirates Business 24-7, 22 December 2009
The repolling to Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and IndustryAbu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry
) board yesterday saw fierce competition among the three rival groups for the 15 seats.
The groups - Abu Dhabi First, Abu Dhabi For Pioneering, and Future Abu Dhabi - all participated in the voting yesterday. The surprise was the strong campaigning by the Abu Dhabi For Pioneering Group led by Hamad Al Awadi, a former member of the ADCCIADCCI
board. The group included young people along with seasoned businessman, Mohammed Ali Al Ansari, Managing Director of Al Ansari Exchange.
For the first time in the entire election campaign, Abu Dhabi For Pioneering's pitch seemed better than Abu Dhabi First's, which was led by Khalfan Al Kaabi, the former head of the ADCCIADCCI
's contracting committee.
Since early morning, buses belonging to Abu Dhabi For Pioneering transferred voters to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre. In addition, hundreds of young men and women wore clothes with the group's logo and thousands of stickers were distributed seeking voters' support for the group.
Hamad Al Awadi said Abu Dhabi For Pioneering utilised the last two weeks to launch a strong campaign to attract a larger number of supporters. The group announced a manifesto aiming to open new horizons between the ADCCIADCCI
and businessmen, which, it said, contained no unrealistic promises - such as the reduction of membership fees by 50 per cent. "Our group deserves to win the most after our members won a large number of votes in the elections' first round," Al Awadi said.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi First's campaigning seemed to have lost steam compared to the first round. The group's candidates, especially Indian investor Yousufali MA, Chairman of the Lulu Hypermarket Group, were present since early morning to receive the voters. He played a big role in promoting the group, especially its other expatriate candidate, Dr Kasim Al Oum, Manager of the Al Noor Medical Group.
Khalfan Al Kaabi, Head of Abu Dhabi First, told Emirates Business: "Intensive campaigning is not important in the second round and our pitch was not weak. We concentrated on the consolidation of personal relations with UAE national and expatriate voters. I think our group, which contains prominent businessmen in Abu Dhabi, will win at the end and our share of the votes in the first round was good."
Otaiba Al Otaiba, Head of Future Abu Dhabi, who complained about violations in the first round, was yesterday very happy with the measures taken by ADCCIADCCI
's organising committee to control and monitor the election process. He said ADCCIADCCI
organised the elections in the best way it could.
List of winners
Abu Dhabi First won all the seats. The winners are:
Fatima Obaid Al Jaber gained the highest number of votes of 4,884
Sheikh Mubarak bin Ham Al Amri (4,101)
Khalfan Al Kaabi (4,010)
Fatima al Jaber speaks to Khalfan al Kaabi after their election victory. Ryan Carter / The National
ABU DHABI // A woman was elected to the board of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry last night, at her first attempt.
Fatima al Jaber, the only woman voted in, will share one of 13 seats reserved for Emiratis.
Mrs al Jaber was moved to tears when her name was announced. She won the biggest number of votes of all candidates.
“Women can do it,” said Ms al Jaber, the chief operating officer of the Al Jaber Group. “I am so happy.”
The first round of elections to the chamber on December 7 failed to produce enough votes to reach a quorum, so a second round was conducted yesterday.
Candidates and voters gathered at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) to view results on a giant screen last night.
Earlier, the screen had ticked away the number of members who had cast their votes in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Madinat Zayed. By mid-afternoon, 6,372 members had voted and by 8pm 12,191 ballots had been cast.
Applause broke out as the results were announced at around 8.30pm. The two expatriate winners, Yusuf Ali, from India, and Kassem Alom, from Syria, were carried on the shoulders of supporters who broke into loud cheers when their names were announced. While Mr Ali, who heads the Lulu Supermarket chain, is an incumbent, this will be the first time on the board for Dr Alom, the managing director of Al Noor Hospital. Ms al Jaber recorded the highest number of votes among the Emirati panel, and Mr Ali led the expatriate group.
They are both members of Abu Dhabi First, a bloc of candidates who campaigned on shared promises, including reducing membership fees by 50 per cent, adding more branches to the chamber and focusing on small and medium businesses. All 15 members of the coalition were voted in, an unprecedented event.
“I had anticipated victory but I am overjoyed that the whole group won,” said Mr Ali.
Dr Alom, who will represent the professionals on the board, said: “The hard work now begins for us to develop Abu Dhabi further and execute the economic 2030 vision.”
There are 71,400 licensed members of the chamber. In the first round of voting, only 13,000 had cast their vote. Twenty five per cent or 18,000 votes were needed, according to Mohammed al Hameli, the director general of the chamber. However, in the second round, according to chamber rules, there is no required quorum.
After voting delays on December 7, several new methods were put in place to expedite the process. These included having members pre-register instead of lining up to register before casting their ballot.
Candidates voted on to the board of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry after yesterday’s election:
Fatima al Jaber 4,884
Sheikh Mubarak al Ameri 4,101
Khalfan al Kaabi 4,010
Ali Mohammed al Balooshi 3,540
Khalifa al Khaili 3,513
Rashid al Suwaidi 3,497
Ali Saif al Mansoury 3,361
Nasser al Maamari 3,360
Khaled al Badi 3,301
Omeir al Dhaheri 3,257
Saeed al Dhaheri 3,231
Naser al Shamisi 3,154
Abdul al Sayegh 2,991
Yusuf Ali 2,256
Kassem Alom 1,715
At Adnec, there were several computer stations that allowed for “voting simulation” which demonstrated the process, and offered instructions in English, Arabic and Urdu.
“This is only to make it easier, because it is widely spoken even though Urdu is not the official language,” said Mr Hameli.
A team of judges from the Judiciary Department, appointed by the Government, verified the results before they were declared.
There were originally 79 candidates vying for the board posts. However, in the last two weeks, four Emiratis and two expatriates dropped out of the running.
The board comprises 21 seats with six appointed by the Government, two of whom must be women.
Two of the 15 elected positions are reserved for expatriates. The chamber is a public body that represents private sector interests. Membership of the chamber is mandatory for all companies that hold trade licences in the emirate.
Khaled al Hajeri, 31, an entrepreneur who runs a consulting group for real estate and equities, was running for the first time as a part of bloc called Future Abu Dhabi.
He said that he would like to see more electronic services for the members and more statistics provided to international, and Emirati, business owners.
An independent candidate running for one of the two expatriate votes, Mazhar Iqbal Chaudhary, a British-Pakistani, stood by the voting line, greeting those who came in and urging them to vote.
He said that, for the past two weeks, he had embarked on a “door-to-door campaign”.
“They said that the rents, rates and fees for licensing are very high,” said Mr Chaudhary. “Business was slow at the moment for a lot of them and they want something from the chamber to help them.”
Meanwhile, V Nandakumar, the head of corporate communications for Lulu Supermarkets, who led the campaign for Mr Ali, said the past two weeks were spent convincing those who had voted to return once again. “The focus was mainly to make people understand why they should come for the second round,” said Mr Nandakumar.
“That was the challenge. We had to remind them that it was a privilege for expats to vote and their vote is an indication of how expats have contributed to the economy.”