Nour Mousa is one of the founders of Desert Technologies and has been Chief Executive Officer since its inception. Nour is an expert in the structuring, financing and construction of yield generating assets, from energy to real estate and infrastructure. Prior to Desert Technologies, Nour was Managing Partner at Soho Properties, a leading real estate developer and manager in Manhattan, where he continues to be a partner. As Managing Partner, he was responsible for the strategic and financial operations, execution of large complex transactions, and the risk management of the company. He oversaw the acquisition and construction of numerous landmark office towers and condominiums.
Meet Our Team
Nour Mousa / Founder & CEO
From 1998 to 2003 he was Director of Strategic Planning at Picorp Holding S.A.E., a multi-billion dollar Egyptian group with investments in the real estate, tourism, consumer goods and manufacturing sectors. Nour planned, executed and managed five turnkey projects with Picorp, including 10,000 housing units, two resorts and two industrial projects. Prior to Picorp, Nour was working in the automotive industry, and managed the launch of Nissan Egypt operations.
Nour holds an Honours BA in Production Engineering from Helwan University and a graduate diploma in Industrial Engineering from the American University in Cairo. His charitable work includes the foundation and endowment of Park51, a non-profit Islamic Culture & Community Centre in lower Manhattan.
Ihab Elsamannoudi / Co-Founder
Ihab, alongside Nour Mousa, a founder of Desert Technologies. As a member of the prominent Abdul Latif Jameel family, he serves on the board of several family owned companies. He is also a founder of Secutronic, which specializes in tailored security solutions and the International Medical Center (IMC), a leading 270 bed long term medical care facility in Jeddah, KSA.
Since 2001 he has been President and CEO of Hayat Abdul Latif Jameel Co. Ltd, as well as President and CEO of Hayat Abdul Latif Jameel & Partners since 2002, both companies focused on investments in financial markets, real estate and private equity.
His previous experience includes serving as Land Property Manager for Abdul Latif Jameel’s real estate arm, which owns large tracts of land around the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and which actively develops hotel and residential projects in those regions. Ihab’s focus was on hotel developments to serve the large pilgrim and religious tourism market.
His first job was at Abdul Latif Jameel group’s leasing company, United Installments, working as their Jeddah Credit Manager.
Ihab earned his B.A. in Business Administration from King Saud University, Riyadh and an MBA from Hult International Business School, Boston.
Mohammed I. Alabdan / Chairman
Mohammed I. Alabdan became Chairman of Desert Technologies in 2016, but has been with the company since inception as one of the seed investors, and is one of the architects of the company’s success. Mohammed brings to DT a wealth of experience in the energy and construction sectors, as well as a passion for ethical investment in sustainable, environmentally friendly businesses.
One of the most respected corporate leaders in the Kingdom, his distinguished career includes tenures as Executive Director for Distribution at Saudi Aramco, as the Managing Director of the S.K. Aloula Construction Company and as the Senior Vice-President for Distribution of SAMAREC.
As an experienced director and board member, Mohammed has been a mainstay at the apex of numerous Saudi success stories, including having served as Board Member at the Petromin Shell Refinery in Jubail and Board Member of the Saudi Railways Organization. He currently acts as Board Member of Alrasikhat Real Estate Dev. Co. and is Chairman of Green Kingdom Industries, Saudi Arabia’s leading PET recycling company.
Mohammed was trained as a chemical engineer, graduating with a BSc from King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals. He was awarded Outstanding Achievement Medals from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, from the Kuwait Government, from the United States Army Central Command and from the United States Operational Command for his work during the Gulf War and Desert Shield/Desert Storm operations.
Dr. Musaid Assaf / President
Dr. Musaid Assaf is the President of Desert Technologies, with particular responsibility for identifying, structuring and executing DT’s energy development projects, and managing the group’s relationship with Saudi government institutions.
Dr. Assaf is also an active member of the Saudi diplomatic community, holding until recently a series of posts within the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission in Washington DC, where he supervised the mission’s programs for higher education. Saudi Arabia is currently the 4th largest foreign provider of students to American universities with over 130,000 students enrolled.
Prior to his diplomatic work, Dr Assaf worked as a civil engineer at the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defense and later at KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology), leading several major residential, office and infrastructure construction projects.
Dr Assaf is also an authority in the field of seismology and the author of several research papers, including “Effects of bedrock Depth and Embedded soft Strata on the Site Fundamental Period” (8th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, April 2006 San Francisco, CA) and “Effects of Soil Cross-Sectional Modeling on the Site Fundamental period” (International Conference on Geotechnical Engineering for Disaster Mitigation and Rehabilitation, 12-13 December 2005, Singapore).
Dr. Assaf holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland as well as a B.Sc. from San Diego State University.
Mohammed Kabli / Vice-Chairman
Mohammed A. Kabli is DT’s executive Vice-Chairman, with particular responsibility for corporate governance, corporate communications and investor relations. His considerable experience in managing large and complex cross-border enterprises, in mergers and acquisitions, and in post-merger integration are a key asset to DT as the company expands and diversifies geographically.
Prior to joining DT full time, Mohammed was a leading executive in the field of media, as General Director of Iqraa Media Holding Co. and the Executive Director of Dallah Media Production Co. Prior to that, he worked at Arab Radio & Television Co, where he rose through a series of positions, including assistant Managing Director for ART production, GM of ART Saudi production, GM of ART sport channels, GM of ART children’s channel, finally becoming Chief Executive Officer of the whole ART Group. As CEO, realizing that ART suffered from a conglomerate discount, he de-merged the group and divested each division in a series of landmark transactions to strategic buyers such as the Rotana Media Group and the Al Jazeera Group among others, thereby unlocking exponential returns for his shareholders.
In addition to his current duties at DT, Mohammed Kabli is a board member of Arab Reach Media Services Company, Assir Establishment for Press and Publishing, Prince Ahmed bin Salman Applied Media Institute and the Saudi Media Measurement Company (SMMC).
Mohammed completed his undergraduate Bachelor of Sciences degree in Business Administration from Friends University, Wichita, Kansas in 1983.
Dr. Nabih Cherradi / Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Nabih Cherradi supervises the selection, procurement and implementation of all aspects of technology across all DT’s projects, and is also managing DT’s manufacturing activities in Saudi Arabia.
Prior to joining Desert Technologies, Nabih was CEO of EmpowerSun, a Lausanne based photovoltaic energy consultancy, which he founded in 2009. From 2007-2009 he was CTO and Head of Manufacturing for Yingli Green Energy, at that time the second largest photovoltaic module manufacturer in the world. He oversaw the company’s rapid expansion from less than 100MW of annual capacity to over 1 GW and was instrumental in the company’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
As operations & process director at Applied Materials from 1997 to 2007 Nabih was responsible for installing turn-key semiconductor and PV module production lines throughout the world, installing multiple GWs of production capacity across a ten year period.
He holds a PhD on amorphous thin-film silicon as well as an MBA, both from the University Henri Poincaré, Nancy (France).
Augustus Rylands / Chief Investment Officer
Augustus Rylands joined Desert Technologies from the Arabian Gulf Fund in September 2012, an emerging markets growth capital private equity fund where he had worked as a vice-President since May 2011.
From August 2009 to May 2011, Augustus attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his MBA. Prior to Wharton, he worked as an Alternative Investments Analyst at Banca del Gottardo (Lugano, Switzerland) and as founder of Cornice, a commercial contemporary art fair in Venice, Italy.
Augustus has also worked as a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in Milan, focusing on retail and banking, and in the Private Equity group of the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) in Washington D.C., working on both company and fund level emerging market investments.
During his time at the IFC he was lead researcher for the paper “New Markets, New Rules: Will emerging markets reshape private equity?” published in association with IESE Business School and the Boston Consulting Group. As well as his MBA from the Wharton School, Augustus holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Master of Studies from Magdalen College, University of Oxford.
Michele Scandellari / Head of EPC and O&M Services
Michele Scandellari has been head of DT Services, DT’s EPC division, since the strategic joint venture with the Maccaferri Group was established in May 2013. He has been General Manager of Enerray S.p.A. since 2009, leading Enerray to become one of the preeminent renewable energy EPC contractors in Europe, achieving over 200MWs of photovoltaic installations and building an operation and maintenance portfolio to match.
He is also currently President of Enerray Romania, Vice-President of Teknoray Solar and Member of the Board of Directors of SECI Energia S.p.A. and Desert Technologies, SEBIGAS S.p.A. and Enerray S.p.A. He is also President of Enerray Mex and General Manager of Enerray de Costa Rica.
His previous working experience was at a leading Italian Investment Bank where he was active in the Equity Capital Markets division (IPO, rights issues, public M&A), advising large-cap corporate clients in Italy and Europe. Michele graduated with a BA in Economics from the University of Bologna.