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Opinion: Saudi Business Success Stories - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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As everyone knows, Saudi Arabia has the strongest Arab economy. This important economy has built its reputation thanks to a state that follows the free and open market policy. Saudi Arabia has focused on developing its society, therefore creating economic and investment opportunities that give rise to successful globally-recognized international businessmen and entrepreneurs. This has led to the rise of first-class entrepreneurs who have an adventurous spirit and who are not afraid to boldly take a step into the unknown. These figures have the intelligence and wit to read the market and seize opportunities. The people of Saudi Arabia have witnessed the rise of these business “titans” who strongly contributed to developing the economy of not just Saudi Arabia, but the Arab world.

However today the people of Saudi Arabia feel that there is an absence of new businessmen or entrepreneurs leading the charge. Success stories vary, yet we have not witnessed the rise of any new titans of industry such as those who would emerge periodically from central and western Saudi Arabia. As for the Eastern province, this has always been a calm place where work takes place without any undue disturbance or clamor; despite this, it also produced business successes throughout the years. Indeed the Eastern province businessmen behind the Al-Fateh SC football club secured an astounding victory this season, winning the domestic league title for the first time ever. This is a league title which had long been monopolized by more established clubs. This unexpected success story reflects the nature of the residents of the Eastern Province, who like to go about their work with minimum fuss. Here, the most important thing are results and this is why this province has seen numerous business success stories over the years, particularly those connected to family dynasties. This includes the successes achieved by companies like the Al-Fozan Group, the Al-Jabr Group, the Al-Houssain and Al-Afaliq Company, Al-Muhaidib Contracting Company, the Olayan Group, and others.

However the most notable of these examples is that of the Zamil Group, which focuses primarily on the industrial sector. This family-run company has secured major successes in the air-conditioning, glassware, and iron manufacturing sectors, not to mention other industries. This family has produced many stars of the Saudi business sector, including Abdulrahman Al-Zamil, Adib Al-Zamil, Khaled Al-Zamil, Hamad Al-Zamil, Essam Al-Zamil, and Najib Al-Zamil. It appears that a new star is set to join the Saudi business sector who may well serve as a success story for the next generation, namely Abdulla Al-Zamil; CEO of Zamil Industrial.

Abdulla is a calm and realistic figure who surely has an even brighter future ahead of him. He is known for not speaking off the cuff and has a strong belief in the importance of training and development. He has all the attributes needed for a successful leader in the complex world of business. He is a strategic thinker, and does not take difficult decisions lightly. He is also involved in every aspect of his business and is keen to promote a good working environment.

Abdulla Al-Zamil’s success can be attributed to his own dynamism and forward momentum, and these are vital ingredients in any business success. His success represents a model to aspire to and an example of the quality of the next generation of Saudi businessmen. Here we are talking about successes based on knowledge, spirit, and willpower, rather than legacy or relationships alone.

Saudi Arabia remains a vital society that continues to produce success stories such as this; long may it continue!

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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