In memoriam: Dilawar Shaban

Dilawar Hussain Shaban, the founder of the United Arab Emirates- (UAE-) based Lucky Group, passed away in late March 2016 in Toronto, where he resided. “He is remembered by his family not only as a dynamic corporate leader, but also as a respected patriarch of the Shaban family and an esteemed philanthropist,” says Salman Shaban, a senior manager with Lucky Group.

In the early 1970s, 23-year-old Dilawar Shaban tried his hand at several entrepreneurial ventures in Dubai, UAE, including textile recycling and trading foodstuffs. His foray into scrap metals proved to be the business idea with staying power, and he consequently established Lucky Agencies in 1973. He was soon joined by his younger brother Iqbal, and together they built the group and expanded into new locations in the Middle East.

As the business grew, their brothers Rafique, Raza and Saleem also came on board, transforming the young company into a family enterprise. The five brothers, together with their sons and daughters, developed the business into a collection of companies known as Lucky Group that now has recycling facilities in Dubai and Jebel Ali in the UAE; Doha, Qatar; and in Miami in the United States. The group also has an international trading office in Toronto and a sales liaison office in Shanghai, incorporating a clientele that spans to more than 40 countries. (The company was profiled by the Recycling Today Media Group in 2011.)

Dilawar signed on as the first member of Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) from the Middle East region in 1982, according to Salman. He was an early installer in the region of baling machines, furnaces and container handlers. “The company’s operational strategies, brand development and the establishment of the country’s first secondary aluminium plant have been revolutionary in the region,” adds Salman. “His achievements, decision after decision, have continued to accumulate into a great legacy. The industry has truly lost a pioneer of the Middle Eastern scrap industry”

Members of the Shaban family and the Lucky Group staff say Dilawar “will forever be remembered for his passion, philanthropy and the countless lives he has touched.”