Waleed Al Mokarrab to head Mubadala’s UAE Investments platform

Al Mokarrab, deputy group CEO of the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, named interim leader of central investment unit

Grigory Sysoev/Sputnik via AP

Mubadala Deputy Group CEO Waleed Al Mokarrab

Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund that manages more than $280 billion in assets, placed one of its most senior executives, Waleed Al Mokarrab, in charge of the unit that handles interests in the UAE, including projects with Israel.

Al Mokarrab, who this week was named interim CEO of Mubadala’s UAE Investments platform, will take over for Musabbeh Al Kaabi, who next month will move to the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to head its newly established Low Carbon Solutions & International Growth division, the company said in a statement.

As Mubadala’s deputy group CEO, Al Mokarrab also served as deputy CEO of the investments platform during a period in which UAE and Israel normalized diplomatic relations under the September 2020 Abraham Accords. He supervised the Mubadala team that led some of the Gulf state’s most prominent Israeli investments, among them the 22% stake Mubadala Petroleum bought last year in Israel’s Tamar natural gas field, off its Mediterranean coast. The pumping operation at Tamar is run by Chevron Oil Co., the second-largest U.S. energy company, which owns a 25% stake in the field.

Mubadala distributed $20 million last year to six Israeli venture capital funds – Mangrove Capital Partners, Entrée Capital, Aleph Capital, Viola Ventures, Pitango and MizMaa – to invest in promising startups, according to the Wall Street Journal. All told, Mubadala’s investments in Israeli tech companies have amounted to $100 million, the Wall Street Journal reported in January.

Trade between Israel and the UAE reached $1.4 billion during the first three quarters of 2022, already beating the $1.2 billion posted in the previous year. After signing a free-trade agreement in May, both countries predicted that the volume would reach $10 billion within five years.

Visiting Abu Dhabi this week, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said his country’s ties with the UAE “took off so beautifully” in 2020 and “now we need to reach cruising altitude, meaning upgrading the relationship even further.” UAE President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed responded, “This is a new relationship and we are trying to build a very strong bridge between our two countries.”

As deputy group CEO, Al Mokarrab has “strategic oversight of the company’s broad investment portfolio and special projects at the group level,” according to the company’s website. The UAE Investments platform is “Mubadala’s vehicle contributing to accelerate the transformation of the UAE’s economy by building homegrown world class champions, fostering vibrant industrial and commercial clusters, and engaging with global partners,” the website says.

Al Mokarrab holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University. He is a board member at the Cleveland Clinic, one of the top-rated U.S. hospitals, and chairman of its branch in Abu Dhabi.

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