Araz Agalarov and his business: what is the owner of Crocus City Hall known for?

Araz Agalarov and his business: what is the owner of Crocus City Hall known for?


The owner of Crocus City Hall, which burned down in the terrorist attack on March 22, is the Crocus Group. The post of its president is occupied by Araz Agalarov. Details of his biography are in the Kommersant certificate.

Araz Iskender ogly Agalarov was born on November 8, 1955 in Baku (Azerbaijan SSR). In 1977 he graduated from the Azerbaijan Polytechnic Institute with a degree in multi-channel telecommunications. In 1987, he became a candidate of economic sciences, defending a dissertation on the topic: “Formation and use of the wage fund using the example of communications enterprises” at the Higher School of Trade Union Movement of the All-Russian Central Council of Trade Unions named after. N. M. Shvernik in Moscow.

After graduation, he was enrolled at the Baku Telephone Exchange. In 1979 he was transferred to the Republican Committee of the Trade Union of Communication Workers. In 1981, he was elected chairman of the trade union of the Baku Intercity Telephone Station. In 1987, he became an instructor in the Baku City Committee of the Trade Union of Agricultural Workers. In 1988, he was transferred to the Scientific Center of the All-Russian Central Council of Trade Unions in Moscow to the position of junior researcher. In the same year, he founded the Shafran cooperative, which produced Russian souvenirs for export, and then began selling computers.

In 1989, he founded the Soviet-American enterprise Crocus International and became its general director. In 1993, he took the post of president of the closed joint-stock company Crocus International. It later became the Crocus Group company. In 1990, he began organizing exhibitions at the All-Russian Exhibition Center and at the Expocenter on Krasnaya Presnya. The entrepreneur’s exhibition business was handled by the Komtek company. At the same time, he created the Crocus and Skonti store chains, which sold clothing and shoes. By the mid-1990s, Araz Agalarov owned 30% of the luxury clothing and footwear market in Moscow. In 1994 he opened Crocus Bank. In 1995–1997, he built the elite Agalarov House on Bolshaya Gruzinskaya in Moscow.

In 1998, he opened the first hypermarket of household goods – “Your Home”. In 1999, he sold Comtek to the English company ITE for $14 million. In September 2000, the second store of the Your Home chain was opened. In 2002, the entrepreneur opened the Crocus City Mall shopping complex. In 2004, the largest exhibition center in Moscow, Crocus Expo, began operating nearby. Its area exceeds 1 million square meters. m. In 2009, the Crocus City Hall concert hall and the Myakinino metro station were opened in Crocus City, the construction of which was also financed by the Crocus Group. In 2010, the first shopping center from the Vegas chain was opened. In the same year, the sale of houses began in the elite cottage village Agalarov Estate in the Moscow region.

Since 2009, Crocus Group began to receive government contracts. For example, the company built campuses and an embankment for the Far Eastern Federal University, a section of the Central Ring Road and some facilities at the Vostochny Cosmodrome. The Rostec Arena and Rostov Arena stadiums were built for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In 2018, she became the general contractor for the completion of problematic houses of the bankrupt developer Urban Group. In 2020, Crocus Group received a contract for the construction Elizovo International Airport in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. In 2021, it built the Russia pavilion in the UAE. In the same year, it received a contract for the construction of the Kamchatka Regional Hospital, and in 2022, the Ice Palace in Nizhny Novgorod.

In 2019, JSC Crocus established a subsidiary company, Lotofish, engaged in industrial freshwater fishing.

Currently, Crocus Expo, Crocus City Mall, Vegas City Hall and other objects are pledged to Gazprombank.

In 2021, Araz Agalarov took 100th place in the ranking of the 200 richest businessmen in Russia according to Forbes. The publication estimated his fortune at $1.2 billion. In the Forbes ranking of rentiers for 2024, Crocus Group took seventh place with rental income of $255 million.

From 2009 to 2023, Araz Agalarov served on the board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. Member of the presidium of the all-Russian public organization “All-Russian Azerbaijani Congress”. Organizer and President of the Union of Manufacturers and Importers since 2002. Member of the public advisory council on customs policy at the Federal Customs Service since 2004.

Member of the Russian Academy of Arts since 2015. Founder of the non-profit organization “Muslim Magomayev Cultural and Musical Heritage Foundation”. Author of the books “My View of Russia in the Era of Reforms” and “Russia: Reflections on the Path to the Market.”

Awarded the Order of Honor (2013). Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2008).

Married to Irina Agalarova (nee Grill). The couple has a son and daughter. The businessman’s wife and daughter have US citizenship. The son of an entrepreneur, Emin, served as first vice president of Crocus Group until 2023. He is also known as a musician and singer. In 2023, Emin Agalarov created the Agalarov Development company.


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