Badih Aldroubi: Godfather of photovoltaic energy in Adra Industrial City

The Syrian businessman and parliament member Badih Aldroubi (edited by Enab Baladi)

The Syrian businessman and parliament member Badih Aldroubi (edited by Enab Baladi)

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The President of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, launched the first phase of operating a photovoltaic energy project in the industrial city of Adra, east of the capital on 29 September, with an investment belonging to the private sector, the name of its owner is not explicitly mentioned.

Through the pictures of the launch of the project published by the Presidency of the Republic account on Facebook, the scene was led by the Syrian businessman and member of the People’s Assembly, Badih Burhan Aldroubi, indicating that he is the owner of the photovoltaic energy project, which, when completed, aims to generate 100 megawatts of electricity through solar panels.

 

Who is Badih Aldroubi?

Aldroubi, 56, has been one of the most prominent businessmen supporting the Syrian regime since 2011 and a member of the People’s Assembly since 2012, representing the city of Homs.

He is a dentist, but he is dedicated to his work in the fields of industry, construction, insurance, and private university education, and he has a master’s degree in business administration.

Funding pro-Assad militias in Homs

Aldroubi is one of Rami Makhlouf’s most prominent commercial fronts, as he chaired a number of companies of Bashar al-Assad’s cousin, according to the book “Businessmen Network to Fund the Syrian Regime and Circumvent International Sanctions” issued by the human rights organization “Pro Justice,” in August 2020.

Aldroubi contributed financially to the regime’s militias in Homs governorate, in which he was born, and is also associated with a number of “sectarian” personalities who support the regime, including businessman Nahed Mortada, the technical official in charge of managing the Shrine of Sayyida Zainab, and a member of the Syrian-Iranian Chamber of Commerce.

Although his share in the Al-Aqeelah Takaful Insurance company does not exceed 3%, he has held the position of Chairman of its Board of Directors for several years, and Ihab Makhlouf, Rami Makhlouf’s brother, had previously held the position of Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors in the company before he withdrew under the pretext of paying attention to other businesses, and Abdul Hamid Dashti, a Kuwaiti businessman who supports the Syrian regime, is a member of the company’s trustees.

Syrian businessman Badih Aldroubi with soldiers of the Syrian regime army (Badih Aldroubi’s Facebook page)

Syrian businessman Badih Aldroubi with soldiers of the Syrian regime army (Badih Aldroubi’s Facebook page)

“Rewarding” Aldroubi with a seat in the People’s Assembly

Aldroubi and the Syrian businessman Salim Altun co-share in the companies Ugarit and Sama Syria. As a result of these multiple partnerships and unlimited support for Bashar and Maher al-Assad, he was appointed as a member of the People’s Assembly for two consecutive terms as a “reward” for his services provided to the regime, according to his biography within The Businessmen Network book.

A study published by the Middle East Directions program of the Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in 2020 on the Syrian People’s Assembly elections during the war period mentioned Badih Aldroubi as one of the businessmen affiliated with the regime, who obtained a seat in the parliament because of their wealth, “regardless of the ways each of them took to build their huge wealth.”

The study showed that most of the new businessmen within the People’s Assembly during the war period, who were somewhat unknown before 2011, used means to raise money that depended entirely on their relations with the internal circles of the regime or the security services at the local level.

Alkaramah Sports Club, joint sponsorship with Asma al-Assad, then resignation

Aldroubi officially joined the board of directors of Alkaramah Sports Club in Homs in July 2019, after he held the position of president of the Homs Governorate’s Sports Club years earlier, according to a decision issued by the Executive Office of the General Sports Federation in Syria.

During the past years, Aldroubi appeared on more than one occasion as a “fierce supporter” of the club, the most prominent of which was the signing of an agreement in December 2020 between the Alkaramah club and the Emma Tel telecommunications company, which is sanctioned by the United States and is linked to Asma al-Assad, to be the club’s official sponsor.

According to a club statement at the time, the signing of this agreement came “with the continuous support and constant endeavor to secure a sponsor for the club, by the Homsi businessman and member of the Syrian People’s Assembly, Badih Aldroubi.”

In September 2021, Aldroubi “suddenly” resigned from the club’s board of directors, accompanied by its president at the time, Ghassan al-Qaseer, and a member of the board of directors, Firas Mamoun Sanoufi.

The trio said in a statement announcing the resignation at the time, “We answered the call of the political and sports leadership and the supporters of Alkaramah club and its lovers, despite our limited time to take over the administration, and we continued for more than two years, but the administration needs daily and intensive follow-up to all the needs of the great club, and by virtue of our residence, I (club president Ghassan al-Qaseer) ) and Dr. Badih and Dr. Firas in Damascus, and the nature of our work and the numerous travels outside the country, our time no longer allows us to continue.”

Despite his resignation, Alkaramah club’s accounts on social media repeatedly “thank” Aldroubi for his “continuous support” to the club.

Shell companies in Beirut

A report published by the Akhbar Alaan website in August 2020 stated that the businessman owns two companies based in Beirut, EP Tech Construction S.A.L (Offshore) and IP Tech S.A.L. (The editor of this report reviewed the records of the Lebanese companies).

According to the report, the two companies were established in 2013 and 2015 without having any public presence, as the first was registered as a company for real estate activities, while the second was registered as a company for trading power generation equipment and petroleum materials.

More than 12 companies

Aldroubi’s biography, published on the “Who Are They” website, which specializes in biographies of businessmen and celebrities in various sectors, shows that he established more than one company in Syria and his partnership with several other companies along with other businessmen.

He is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Aldroubi Group of Companies and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of The National Company for the Manufacture of Vegetable Oils, representing Al-Aqeelah Takaful Insurance Company, Elsewedy Cables Factories, and Elsewedy Electric Factories.

He also holds the position of director and founding partner in a large number of companies, most notably Al-Aqeelah Takaful Insurance Company, United Builders Company, Elsewedy Trading L.L.C, Hayat – Integrated Medical Solutions Company, Sama Syria Company, Ugarit Educational Company, Damascus Tourist Investments Company, and Emitac Company.

Aldroubi is a member of the board of directors of the Damascus Securities Exchange representing joint stock companies, since December 2018, the First Company for Financial Investments, Ugarit Educational Company, The National Company for the Manufacture of Vegetable Oils, Damascus Tourist Investments Company and a member of the Board of Trustees of Al-Manara Private University.

The head of the Syrian regime Bashar al-Assad accompanied by businessman Badih Aldroubi during the launch of the photovoltaic energy project in the industrial city of Adra in Damascus countryside - September 2022 (Presidency of the Republic account on Facebook)

The head of the Syrian regime Bashar al-Assad accompanied by businessman Badih Aldroubi during the launch of the photovoltaic energy project in the industrial city of Adra in Damascus countryside – September 2022 (Presidency of the Republic account on Facebook)

 

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