Mohammad Al-Dandashi

Place of birth: Tal-Kalakh 1971

Jurisdiction: Businessman

Mohammad Murtada al-Dandashi (b.1971, Tel-Kalakh) belongs to one of the feudal families in the area, who lost their fortune after the Baath Party coup. Mohammad earned his degree in economics from the University of Aleppo, and started his business in the UAE, where he worked in the stock market with the help of a Yemeni businessman whose daughter he married.

Mohammad al-Dandashi is a co-founding partner of several companies:

  • Al-Ramz Capital in UAE and Syria
  • Saif Investments
  • Dar al-Gardenia
  • Cham Capital
  • National Company for precast concrete
  • Gardenia for real estate investments
  • Sama Syria
  • He is a member of Byblos Bank’s Board of Directors in Syria.
  • Syriatel (he was a representative and a member of the Board of Directors of HiTS-UNITEL trading as “Y”) in addition to Nader al-Qalai, Rami Makhlouf’s man who occupied the position of the president of the company.
  • Dubai Development Company
  • Union Insurance Company
  • He also served as the president of the Karama Football Club.

The Al-Ramz Company is Dandashi’s main business, specializing in financial brokerage operations, it previously managed to become the top company in UAE for financial brokerage in 2014.

At the outbreak of peaceful protests in 2011, several pro-regime figures accused Dandashi of standing against the Syrian regime and accused him of supporting Free Syrian Army members, and inciting terrorism, which prompted the regime to seize all movable and immovable properties. However, the ban was later lifted in March 2013. Since the ban was lifted, and especially after the capture of Tel Kalakh city, Dandashi has supported the regime in a number of ways:

  • He reopened the Al-Ber free clinic that offered medical services in the city, which had been closed since the beginning of protests.
  • He also reopened the Islamic school in the Burj neighborhood. All newly appointed employees and the director of the school were pro-regime.
  • Built a new building in the city affiliated with the Awqaf authority in Damascus. A local pro-regime cleric was appointed as Mufti of the city. Supported several pro-regime activities through the Baath party’s branch in Tel Kalakh.
  • Rebuilding several governmental facilities and security posts, providing governmental cars to them. And providing scholarships to pro-regime students.

In order to accomplish that, Dandashi established, with the help of his business manager, Nedhal al-Kurdi, through his brother Yousef Dandashi, a business group called the Al-Dandashi Group, which was was responsible for the actions listed above.

It is worth mentioning that several American documents leaked by WikiLeaks mentioned Dandashi’s name, considering him one of four businessmen participating in financing the Syrian regime and concealing its money. European observers submitted diplomatic notes dating back to the period between 2006 and 2009, and leaked by WikiLeaks, about the role Bashar al-Assad played in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri back in 2005. And according to the leaked documents, Rami Makhlouf deposited large sums of money into a bank account at the Damascus branch of the Lebanese Byblos Bank, which was in  Dandashi’s name. The same documents identified Dandashi as a Syrian businessman living in UAE, a big broker in the stock market, confirming that Dandashi is connected to real estate and commercial companies related to Rami Makhlouf.