Dubai: UK-based Pakistani billionaire Shahzada Dawood, 48 and his son Suleman Dawood, 19, are among the five passengers onboard ‘Titanic’ submarine that has gone missing while exploring the wreckage of the Titanic in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Shahzada and Suleman were on board the tiny underwater craft taking paying tourists to view the wreck 12,500ft underwater when they stopped communicating in the Atlantic Ocean, 640km off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
The 21-foot (6.5-meter) tourist craft, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, began its descent on Sunday but lost contact with the surface less than two hours later, according to authorities.
The Dawood family are among the richest in Pakistan, but have strong links to the UK. Shahzada lives with Christine, who works as a life coach, son Suleman and daughter Alina.
Shahzada has a keen interest in photography and is well known for his affection towards animals. Alongside their family, Shahzada shares their home with their beloved pets: Stig, a dog, and Proteus, a cat.
The Dawood family said in a statement. “We are very grateful for the concern being shown by our colleagues and friends and would like to request everyone to pray for their safety,’
“Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman, had embarked on a journey to visit the remnants of the Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean. As of now, contact has been lost with their submersible craft, and there is limited information available.
“A rescue effort that is being jointly led by multiple government agencies and deep-sea companies is underway to re-establish contact with the submersible and bring them back safely.
“We are very grateful for the concern being shown by our colleagues and friends and would like to request everyone to pray for their safety.”
Shahzada is known as one of the wealthiest individuals in Pakistan. He became a member of the Engro Corporation Board in 2003 and presently holds the position of Vice-Chairman. He is highly regarded for his efforts in establishing important international networks and contacts.
As the Vice-Chairman of Dawood Hercules Corporation, a part of the Dawood Group, Shahzada is involved in a family business that spans over a century. Since joining the business in 1996, he has specialised in corporate governance and the revitalisation of industries in Pakistan.
Engro Corporation also released a statement saying that all it knew was that contact was lost with the submersible craft.
“There is limited information available beyond this that we know, and we humbly request that speculation and theorisation is avoided. We, at Engro, remain in prayer for their swift and safe return, and will share updates we may have as and when they come.”
Shahzada Dawood serves on the Global Advisory Board for Prince Charles’ Charity, Prince’s Trust International. Additionally, he has joined the Board of Trustees of the SETI Institute, a nonprofit research organisation located near NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley.
The Dawood Hercules family business encompasses a wide range of industries, and Shahzada has played a pivotal role in identifying growth and innovation opportunities. He has facilitated mergers, acquisitions, and divestments in energy, agri-nutrients, consumer foods, petrochemicals, and textiles for various publicly listed companies.
Shahzada holds a Master of Science degree in Global Textile Marketing from Philadelphia University in the United States, as well as a Bachelor of Laws degree from Buckingham University in the United Kingdom.
- With inputs by agencies and Engro Corporation