Young Arab Leaders Announce Launch Of Major New Regional Venture Capital Initiative


DUBAI – United Arab Emirates:  During the 2005 Annual Forum of YAL (Young Arab Leaders) more than 300 VIP guests were welcomed in a reception by Saeed Al Muntafiq, Chairman of The UAE Chapter of the Young Arab Leaders. Mr. Al Muntafiq then introduced Mr. Shehab Gargash, Managing Director of Daman Asset Management who announced the launch of a major new regional venture capital initiative, Alf Yad.  Mr. Gargash explained that Young Arab Leaders UAE Chapter and Daman are forming a DIFC based joint venture company, Alf Yad LLC, to manage the Fund.

Mr. Al Muntafiq said: “We are extremely pleased to announce this new fund as it is a perfect match for our overall objectives as an organization. Tailor made for Arab businesses, the fund is a positive step in assisting entrepreneurs. It is innovative and will help move businesses from concept to working reality. This type of funding will help build new streams of private sector income throughout our region. This is what YAL was formed to do and the new Alf Yad fund is an excellent lever to paving the way to achieving long term future success.”

Investments by the Alf Yad Fund will span a wide range of categories, from venture capital provided to start-ups with exceptional business plans, to late-stage private equity funding that will help privately held companies take the steps needed to list on a regional exchange.

Investors in the fund will have the opportunity to benefit from the significant growth and development of regional businesses through a vehicle purpose built to optimize returns by careful target identification and active portfolio management.

Commenting on the fund launch and Daman’s management involvement, Mr. Gargash stated: “We are very proud to have the chance to join hands with The UAE Chapter of The Young Arab Leaders and work together on this important new regional private equity initiative. This fund was formed specifically to invest in Arab businesses that lack capital but show potential for superior growth thereby filling a gap in current financial investment tools.”

Unusual structure and affordable entry point

The Alf Yad initiative consists of 10 private equity funds that will be launched over 10 years, starting with Alf Yad Fund I in 2005. Each Alf Yad fund will raise and deploy AED 100 million to promising targets across the region. By 2015, Alf Yad will have raised and deployed AED 1 billion in private equity investments throughout the region. Investors in each fund will benefit from the growth of Arab businesses invested in by the Fund.

When asked about the innovative structure of the fund, Mr. Gargash replied: “Our goal is to make it attractive, affordable and a pool for developing new investors and new ideas. We structured this fund so that the entry level limits the risk of the early angel investors. Alf Yad literally means ‘One Thousand Hands’. Since subscriptions by any one individual or corporate entity are set at AED 1,000,000 per fund, we will have 1000 such investors and, effectively 1000 thousand helping hands.”

It is worth mentioning that the amount of contribution by the investors in the ALF YAD fund box 1 has been estimated at AED one million for each individual and corporate identity investor, moreover, investment contributions and commitments have reached 25% from the entire fund, even before the official announcement of this initiative.





Alf Yad Fund is a venture capital to be launched by Alf Yad LLC over ten years in tranches of AED 100 million per year. Alf Yad LLC is a joint venture formed by the UAE Chapter of the Young Arab Leaders and Daman. By 2015, Alf Yad LLC will have raised and deployed AED 1 billion in private equity investments throughout the region.

The Net Asset Value (NAV) of the Fund will be evaluated by independent auditors, and investors will receive yearly NAV statements in addition to regular statements regarding developments of the Fund’s portfolio.

The Fund’s governance structure is designed to ensure maximum transparency and accountability to investors.


For more information about the Fund, please contact:

Huda Ali Redha Al-Lawati


PO Box 9436

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Email: [email protected]

Tel: +971 (4) 408 0417

Fax: +971 (4) 332 4164



The Young Arab Leaders is a network of Arab men and women currently in prominent positions of responsibility who believe that their efforts today can have an impact on their communities, countries and the region as a whole.

Members of Young Arab Leaders bring together their capabilities and resources with a common goal to build the necessary business conditions and environment that will facilitate the way for tomorrow’s young Arab leaders.

Each year, the Young Arab Leaders commit to implementing an Action Plan that sets the strategic vision of the organization. They undertake projects focusing on mentorship and education, while producing sector-specific plans that aim to increase income generation opportunities for youth.

In 2005, YAL Dubai Chapter launched an ambitious initiative to create a new source of  funding for entrepreneurs based in the Arab World – Alf Yad. Alf Yad is a venture capital fund managed by Daman Asset Management, Dubai.


For further details please contact: Abdulla Al Gurg

YAL Dubai Chapter

Tel: +971 (4) 330 2222

Fax: +971 (4) 332 2233

[email protected]




Formed in mid 2000 by a group of prominent UAE investors to cater to the growing need for in-depth, professional financial services tailored to the Arab World region. Daman’s grass roots understanding of the fast changing dynamics of the region have made the group a specialist operating in this space.

Daman has grown into a group encompassing the full spectrum of non-bank financial services known for providing international standard quality services as well as innovative investment and asset management options.

Daman today is a diverse and dynamic operation which includes a dedicated brokerage arm (Daman Securities LLC) as well as divisions offering advisory services, real estate, private equity and venture capital development.


For further details please contact: Daman Corporate Communications

Tel: +971 4 332 41 40

Fax: +971 4 332 42 40

[email protected]


Or, Arabia PR FZ LLC

Tel: + 971 4 391 12 00

Fax: + 971 4 390 45 11

[email protected]