A wealthy Pakistani businessman and a philanthropist, Haji Abdul Razzak Yaqoob was born in 1944, the year his parents migrated from Surat in India to Karachi, Pakistan. He was the owner of ARY Group and had the honour to be known to provide financial assistance to the government of Pakistan in times of need.
Haji Yaqoob came to Dubai from Pakistan in 1969 to recover some money owed to his father from a friend. But he realised that Dubai was a place of opportunities and decided to stay on. It was in Dubai that Haji Yaqoob created his wealth after running his business on a simple maiz-kursi (table & chair) format.
In 1972, Haji Yakoob established ARY and opened its first outlet in Fikri market Deira. He also started importing watches, perfumes and cigarettes. Two years later, when his brother, Mohammed Iqbal, joined him, the group branched out into dealing with food and Textiles. Besides catering to the local market, they also began exporting food-stuff to Iran. Haji Yaqoob's current business included a Gold and Silver trading segment.
Haji Abdul Razzak Yaqoob was also head of the World Memon Organization (WMO). The WMO is 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. He was currently involved in setting up a university in Dubai.
ARY Digital is the subsidiary of the ARY Group established in 1970. The ARY Group of companies is a Dubai-based holding company founded by Haji Abdul Razzak Yaqoob (ARY) who was the chairman of the group. ARY Group is owned by the four brothers Haji Jan Mohammad, late Haji Abdul Razzak Yaqoob, Haji Mohammad Iqbal and Haji Abdul Rauf.
The ARY channel started operations in the year 2000 when the group acquired a private television channel which catered to the Southeast Asian community in UK, and named it ARY Digital. Realizing the potential, when Government of Pakistan allowed licenses for private satellite television channels, ARY Digital stepped into Pakistan market. Salman Iqbal was given the reigns of the international operations as Global CEO and President and his uncle Haji Abdul Rauf started making the base for the network in Pakistan.
Currently, the network consists of channels including ARY Digital (Asia-Middle East-UK/Europe-USA) (Entertainment), ARY News, ARY Musik (Music), ARY QTV(Religion), ARY Zauq (Food), HBO, Nick, and many new ventures in the pipeline. Most of the networks in-house channels have their own specialized programming catering to Urdu speakers living in Pakistan and abroad.
ARY Digital has now grown as the Urdu speaking television viewers favourite which has spread it’s footprint across the globe. Today the channel has separate beams across South East Asia, Middle East, United Kingdom, Europe and North America promoting Pakistan’s soft image and rich culture across the globe. As an ambassador for the great people of Pakistan beaming in more than 100 countries, ARY Digital has a vision to become a vital organization contributing positively towards a more prosperous Pakistan in the near future.
Haji Abdul Razzaq was all praise for the rulers of Dubai and the government. He believed that Dubai was the best place to do business due to the policies of the government and the support from the Ruling Family. He attributed his success to the open business policies of the government.
He broached the topic of setting up a Dubai Metals and Commodities Centre (DMCC), as it was his dream to have something like that in the emirate. He presented the idea to His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and to his surprise he liked it and made it happen.
Haji Abdul Razzaq passed away on 21st February 2014 in London.