By Shereen Shabnam
Akbar N. Sura – Managing Director, CEO of Crystal Gallery
Entering the showroom of Crystal Gallery showcasing exquisite crystal ware, awards, gifts, souvenirs and trophies lights up everyone’s day but the smiles on the faces of the team behind it and in particularly the CEO, Mr. Akbar Sura makes the day even better.
During a recent showroom tour, we find out that while Akbar Sura may be an ordinary man, he does extraordinary things with crystal glasses. In the UAE, no celebration, corporate or award ceremony is complete without Crystal Gallery being part of it and most residents in the UAE own a handcrafted Crystal Gallery product on their shelves.
Akbar is one of the most powerful nonresident Indian businessmen known for helping victors remain famous, visible and gain recognition with their timeless crystal awards. He collaborates with the Gulf’s thriving events management industry for award ceremonies, sports tournaments and government recognition initiatives like the Dubai Quality Awards and Government Excellence Awards.
Historically, the company began its journey in India in 1975 and later expanded to the UAE in 1992. Crystal Gallery was originally the brainchild of Akbar’s eldest brother Mr. Jafer Sura who had the insight and passion to move to Dubai in the early nineties to pioneer in the crystal business.
Although their business flourished in India, Akbar Sura and his elder brother Tayab moved to Dubai to assist Jafer who realized the tremendous potential of the products made by Crystal Gallery. The family business has expanded with the additions of Akbar’s sons Aliasgar and Tehzun who with their cousins Huzaifa and Mustafa continue this legacy and have opened a number of outlets and offices in the UAE and other parts of the GCC.
Under Akbar’s leadership, Crystal Gallery started with manufacturing and processing traditionally handcrafted crystal tableware items and has extended its product range to accommodate bespoke items customised to the needs of the clients.
With the support of the large joint family that Akbar was born in, the brand that has evolved over the years now boasts of over 180 employees, a number of offices, strategically placed retail outlets around Dubai and Abu Dhabi and a 60,000 square feet premise that houses the factory and headquarters at Ras Al Khor Dubai. The magic touch of the Sura family has perfected the art of crystal making to showcase its ultimate beauty.
Having multiple achievements in his spectacular career, Akbar has been lauded accolades and awards, with the most recent being the recipient of the prestigious Burj CEO Award 2016 for Best Crystal Company, received for innovation and the company joined the ranks of Facebook, Alibaba, Hewlett Packard, Hollywood Studios, Emirates Airlines, DP World, Dubai Duty Free, Shurooq and Meraas Holdings.
Earlier this year, Akbar was also conferred with the “Business Excellence Award 2017” on the IBPC Day Celebration & Excellence Awards presented by the Ministry of Economy and featured with an exclusive article in the Indian Business Directory UAE 2017, recognized as one of “The Most Powerful Indians” in the UAE. He was also bestowed with the Asian Leadership Award and featured among the Forbes List Of Top Indian Leaders In the Arab World.
Akbar is an active member of the Indian Merchants Chamber and Indo American Society in India as well as the Indian Business & Professional Council, Dubai. He was interviewed as one of the most successful business tycoons on Dubai Eye 103.8 FM’s Business Breakfast Show.
Akbar speaks passionately about Crystal Gallery ethics, the uncompromising commitment to quality, superior customer care and after sales support, advanced manufacturing standards and concern for the environment. With these benchmarks tirelessly adhered to, the company has received the ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001 certification.
As leaders and trendsetters in their industry, Crystal Gallery boasts of a rich clientele list, which includes local and foreign customers as well as government institutions along with 150 Blue Chip organizations from the Fortune 500 List. Achievements include creating a crystal replica of the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa in a 3.5 meter high crystal structure planned for the application to the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest crystal replica in the world. Another magnificent creation and truly a work of art is the crystal replica of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque which is considered the 8th largest in the world and largest in the country.
Corporate Social Responsibility is central to Crystal Gallery’s objectives and the team reach out to help the local community with activities of Rashid Pediatric Centre and Camel Caravan Charity Auction, to name a few. Despite his success, Akbar remains a very humble and private man.
Over the years Akbar has travelled widely over the Globe for business and enjoys the experience. He also enjoys Golf during the weekends and is a member of Anjuman E Najmi Dawoodi Bohra Community General Board to maintain a community life and fulfilling community needs.
Akbar’s Vision of Crystal Gallery is to be recognized as the most successful provider of corporate services of high quality standards in the crystal awards and recognition industry through committed and quality customer service and make Dubai proud of having an industry that has been in the past only the monopoly of the Europeans. The company is planning to expand across the GCC region by opening more showrooms.