Ahmed Habtoor On What Sets His Family Apart

BY Olivia Phillips / Dec 10 2019 / 15:19 PM

The motorist, the clumsy one, and the youngest Habtoor sibling...

Ahmed Habtoor On What Sets His Family Apart
Eva Kruiper
Ahmed wears: Vintage Inspiration Watch, Dhs130,000; Possession Open Bangle Bracelet, Dhs8,950, both Piaget

At just 21, Ahmed – cheeky, a little shy, the self-proclaimed “clumsy one” he tells us with a smirk – is impressively wise beyond his years, peppering our conversation about his love of cars with the occasional quote that could, appropriately enough, make for a rather good bumper sticker.

“Our family values of excellence, determination and respect for others are my heritage; something I’ll try to pass down,” he explains. “I think our ability to make our dreams come true is what sets us apart.”

It’s a powerful belief system to have underscoring your outlook on life – and is testament to one of the most prolific families in the UAE. It’s little wonder that Ahmed, who is studying Business Management, is well on the way to becoming another family success story. It’s not a given, though. This isn’t handed-on-a-silver-platter stuff. He’s determined to “study hard, then work outside the family business to gain experience before hopefully joining and carrying on the legacy they started.”

The family business, of course, counts automotive as one of its key components, so it’s pretty serendipitous that Ahmed has quite such an affinity for cars. “What man doesn’t?” he grins, before offering to take us for a spin in his orange McLaren 720s parked up outside the sprawling family farm. “The speed of that car makes you feel like you’re travelling through different dimensions,” he says, eyes wide.

“I remember the first time my father let me drive his Bentley Continental GT. Hearing the way he described that car and the passion in his voice didn’t really feel like my dad talking,” he remembers of a touching shared bond with his father. “My dad is also an avid watch collector, so as a kid I watched him collect unique pieces which made me love and appreciate them,” he explains. “My favourite is the Piaget Andy Warhol watch that was created in the ’70s. I love its vintage feel. And I also really connect with the brand’s motto of ‘Always do better than necessary.’ It reminds me of getting in the McLaren and really pushing your limits!”

From the December 2019 issue of Harper's BAZAAR Arabia

Photography by Eva Kruiper
Styling by Anna Castan
Words by Olivia Phillips

Hair and Make-up: Sharon Drugan. Videographer: Augusta Quaynor at MMG Artists. Digital Direction: Elizabeth Kelly Photography Assistant: Reymund Ronald Lozano at HotCold Studio. Fashion Assistants: Anna Smolenko, Joyce Gereige and Zach Nouri. Producer: Elle Hutchinson. Producer’s Assistant: Brian Timmer