Haji Abdul Razzaq, 69, passed away in London and was laid to rest in Karachi on Wednesday
By Ashfaq Ahmed, Deputy Editor, Gulf News
Yaqoob in Dubai, 2002. Yaqoobâ€™s contribution to humanity will always be remembered, said Khawaja.
Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
Dubai: A prominent Dubai-based Pakistani businessman and philanthropist Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob, who passed away in London on Friday, was remembered by the community here.
Founder of ARY Group, Yaqoob died after protracted illness and will be laid to rest in Karachi on Tuesday. He was 69 and survived by a widow and five daughters.
Known as â€œrainbow heart manâ€™ for his introduction of heart-shaped pendants in the jewellery market, Razzaq played an important role in the national economy of Pakistan by leading a key business group of the country.
Hundreds of community members gathered on Monday night at the Pakistan Association in Dubai to offer condolence and pay tribute to the man who will be remembered for his contribution to humanity.
â€œHe was a key player in uniting Pakistani business community as he provided them a platform by setting up Pakistan Business Council (PBC) in Dubai, said Tanveer Khawaja, former chairman of the PBC and close friend of Yaqoob.
Yaqoob, who was born on May 7, 1944 in Surat city of Gujarat in India but his family settled in Karachi.
Yaqoob was also the founding president of the World Memon Organisation (WMO) â€” a charity organisation that runs schools and hospitals for the poor, gives scholarships to deserving students and also provides financial support to underprivileged people around the world in addition to building mosques.
With his hard work and struggle, he introduced the ARY Group on the national and international level.
Though he came to Dubai more than 45 years ago, he founded ARY Group in 1972 and made Dubai the base for his business. Khawaja told Gulf News that Yaqoob was not only a leading businessman in Dubai but also a great social worker and philanthropist.
â€œHis contribution for the humanity would always be remembered. He would always lead the community in charity work whether it was contribution for natural disasters in Pakistan such as floods or the free tickets for illegal amnesty seekers in the UAE,â€ he said.
Yaqoob was well known and respected among the Pakistani community in the UAE for his charity work. He is the main contributor to the charity fund for the welfare committee of the Pakistan Association in Dubai, which provides financial help to hundreds of people in the UAE.
He helped underprivileged people in the UAE regardless of their nationality. Yaqoob was also known as the merchant of gold in Dubai. He launched his ARY gold brand in 1986 and kick-started his journey to become a leading Pakistani businessman in Dubai.
In 1996, he introduced his new jewellery brand, ARY rainbow heart pendants, which became sought after jewellery pieces, especially for couples. Taking advantage of the property boom in Dubai, Yaqoob entered the realty business with the launch of freehold towers in International City, attracting huge investment from Pakistan.
Yaqoob also had the honour of minting the official gold coin for the first Dubai Shopping Festival in 1996.
He started his own television network in Urdu â€” the first private channel in Pakistan â€” about six years ago. With its headquarters in Dubai, ARY Television Network has become one of the leading educational and news sources for the Urdu speaking community around the world.