In 1982, Al Jaber founded Jadawel International Construction & Development. In 1989, JJW Hotels & Resorts was established in Portugal; it currently operates 60 hotel and leisure resorts in Europe and the Middle East. In 1992, AJWA Group for Agro and Food Industries, a company of which Al Jaber is a shareholder, commenced operations following the construction of the largest rice storage and processing facility in Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Islamic Port.
The hotel empire of Al Jaber was initially started in France in 1988 and expanded to over 35 hotel properties in France and almost 80 in Europe.
The Group opened their first office in France in 1991.
In 2002, Al Jaber acquired the famous Grand Hotel, Vienna from the Japanese airline All Nippon Airways. He later acquired the premises of a former bank on Kärntner Ring and converted the building to the boutique Ring Hotel.
In September 2003, Al Jaber and Dr Nihad Ibrahim Pacha took over the management of Quinta Vale Da Gondra Hotel e SPA (Unipessoal) Lda.
In October 2006, Al Jaber bought the Palais Corso, Vienna's premier luxury shopping and office complex from Generali Versicherung, for about €70 million.
From 2007, Berners Hotel and JJW were embroiled in lawsuits with several UK based construction companies due to lack of payment for efforts expended. Chorus and Shepherds Construction companies abandoned the project and sought legal remedies for non payment from Berners. Marriott later acquired the Berners Hotel out of administration.
In October 2008, it was announced that the Group planned to acquire a number of hotels in France from the Starwood Capital Group for $2billion but the deal was not concluded.
A published author committed to the freedom of media expression Al Jaber's book 'Yes, the Arabs can too', first published in Arabic in 2009, was published in English in September 2013. The book provides a contemporary Arab view on the changes that are being wrought both economically and socially across the region. Al Jaber has long been a supporter of a free press and its importance in society, and in 2013 launched a Media Training Institute in Sana'a, Yemen, offering free courses in all types of journalism and broadcasting.
Between 2010 and 2012, Jadawel International was cited in various reports published by New York-based NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) on the topic of Saudi restrictive residency laws. Following investigation, Human Rights Watch’s 2013 World report is not reporting any further issues and has cleared the company. In fact, Al Jaber's Foundation has signed an agreement with Human Rights Watch to support civil society and promote human rights in the Arab World.
In May 2011, Al Jaber publicly denounced a defamation campaign by Austrian Media which had sought to imply financial difficulties in some of the companies that Al Jaber had invested in. He accused the newspapers of reporting a one-sided version of events.
In April 2012, facing difficulties, JJW France requested the Paris Court of Commerce to place it under safeguards. Saveguard was granted. However, on the 16th of July, the Paris Commercial Court ordered JJW France to enter receivership. The Court of Appeal of Paris cancelled the receivership placement decision and confirmed the safeguards procedure on February 7, 2013
MBI Al Jaber is the founder, sole patron and Chairman of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, founded in 2002, which is a UK registered charity governed by a Board of Trustees chosen for their areas of expertise in the Middle East, including Lord Young of Graffham, Sir Tim Lankester and Professor Peter Jones. The Foundation aims to build bridges between the Middle East and the wider world through the support of a range of educational and cultural activities and projects. The Foundation grew out of, and built upon, MBI Al Jaber's previous philanthropic activity Its activities include the provision of scholarships to students from the Middle East and various educational and cultural projects including capital grants and public-private partnerships. He has also backed female education in Saudi Arabia and is a UNESCO special envoy. Al Jaber founded the MBI Trust in London and subsequently endowed the MBI Al Jaber Chair in Middle Eastern Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London His philanthropic activity has been cited as a model of good practice within the UK. In 2000, he was founding patron of the London Middle East Institute at SOAS, directed by the MBI Al Jaber Chair. From 2002 to the present, the Foundation has been the main sponsor of the Seminar for Arabian Studies (part of The British Foundation for the Study of Arabia) at the British Museum and has an annual public lecture, the MBI Al Jaber Foundation lecture there. Since 2005, through the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, has been a main partner of Connecting Cultures, an educational initiative that promotes dialogue with young people from the western and Arab world via wilderness expeditions. In 2007, the MBI Al Jaber Foundation made a £1 million gift in support of the UCL Institute for Cultural Heritage. In 2009 The MBI Al Jaber Building, which won a RIBA award for architectural excellence in 2010 was inaugurated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford In 2012, the MBI Al Jaber Grand Hall was officially opened at the University of Westminster following a careful restoration of the historic Grade II listed hall, a project made possible by a donation through the MBI Al Jaber Foundation Also in 2012, MBI Al Jaber sponsored the International Conference of National Commissions for UNESCO "Euro-Arab Dialogue: Contribution to a New Humanism" held in Vienna and organized by UNESCO with the support of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation and followed this up in November 2013 with a meeting of experts to produce teaching resources. In February 2013, the MBI Al Jaber Foundation announced a joint programme with UNESCO to support education in Yemen. In 2014 Al Jaber donated funds through his Foundation to house the London Middle East Institute in new premises, the MBI Al Jaber Building, at SOAS, University of London, and the MBI Al Jaber lecture series is based there. Al Jaber's views on his philanthropy can be found in an interview in Philanthropy Age. On 29 May 2017 Al Jaber received the Dialogue of Cultures award from the Aladdin Project in a ceremony in Paris.