Company: Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo
Abdulla Ali Kanoo is chairman of the Kanoo Group, Bahrain’s most trusted family enterprise, spanning a wide range of sectors and with operations across the region. Today, the group operates extensively throughout Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman, Yemen and Qatar.
Yet when founder Haji Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo took over the small family firm in 1890, he could not have imagined how successful the group would eventually become.
The family expanded its business in the early 1930s to Saudi Arabia, and in the early 1960s to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. Then, as the oil boom arrived, the business grew from its early trading and shipping roots, to become one of the most diversified family conglomerates in the Gulf. Today, the Kanoo Group operates concerns in the shipping, travel and tourism, retail, IT, machinery, oil and gas, power and industrial projects, exhibition services, courier services, logistics, and chemicals sectors.
At its helm is the man widely credited with one of the Arab business community’s most celebrated success stories. And even at 82 years old, Abdulla is one of the Gulf’s most respected figures, his counsel sought on a wide range of issues by policymakers and private business leaders alike.
As well as his role as head of the family group, Abdulla is also chairman of the
National Bank of Bahrain
, and holds a string of senior titles across a wide range of local and international firms.