UAE tycoon Qubaisi named in billion-dollar U.S. suits
By Stanley Carvalho
ABU DHABI, July 21 (Reuters) - The rise and fall of Abu Dhabi tycoon Khadem al-Qubaisi, named this week in U.S. Justice Department lawsuits seeking to seize over $1 billion in assets, illustrates the unpredictability of an opaque Gulf business world fuelled by huge sums of oil money.
In a few years, Qubaisi rose from obscurity to become one of the top executives in the United Arab Emirates by taking the helm of International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), a state-run company investing some of Abu Dhabi's petrodollars.
His fall was even faster. In April last year he was abruptly replaced as managing director of IPIC, and in subsequent months he resigned from a string of management positions and board memberships at other companies around the UAE and the region.
Neither Qubaisi nor the companies involved gave any public explanation for his departure, and his current whereabouts are not publicly known. Attempts by Reuters to contact him or his lawyers were unsuccessful, while IPIC declined to comment.