Thu 17 Dec 2009 05:32 AM
The Boodai Family

The Boodai Family

Industry: Travel & Hospitality

Company: Jazeera Airways KSC

Country: Kuwait

Wealth: 1.6 Billion

The Boodai family owns the Middle East's first independent airline,
Jazeera Airways

. And while the low-budget carrier posted a 53.2 percent fall in third-quarter net profit this year, CEO Marwan Boodai says that the airline still aims to fly 82 routes in the Middle East within the next five years.

Jazeera Airways

was the first private sector airline and ended Kuwait's 50-year dependence on a single national airline. It has grown significantly since it was first established in May 2004 with a capital of $34m - 30 percent of which is owned by a group of core founders while the rest was sold in a public offering. It raked in $8.9m in its first operational year.

In addition to
Jazeera Airways

, the family also owns the Boodai Corporation, a Kuwait-based group of diverse companies engaged in construction, heavy equipment, building materials, engineering and equipment, transport, shipping and energy.

Established in the 1950s to supply equipment and tools to the nascent oil exploration industry, the company now has a workforce of around 3,500 people.

The Boodai Corporation is divided into eight sectors, and overall control is maintained by the family. With a large presence in the Middle East the company also has offices in Europe and Japan.

Fahed Boodai is chairman of Gatehouse Bank (wholly-owned public limited company in the UK) and managing director of Global Securities House (an international investment advisory firm based in Kuwait). And earlier this month, the two institutions acquired the UK headquarters of Procter & Gamble, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies for a total acquisition cost of $55.4m for the bank's clients.