Founded in 1978, Al Rushaid’s firm deals in a range of sectors from real estate and construction, to internet technology and oil and gas, and in 2009, it was granted the awards for Best Oil and Gas Solutions and Service Provider in the Middle East and the Best Joint Venture Company in the region by London-based World Finance magazine.
Its biggest projects are in the fields of petrochemical, pharmaceutical, chemical processing and power-generating industries, and among its long list of partners are international firms such as Foster Wheeler, Baker Hughes, Dresser Industries, Weatherford (Left), Cleveland Bridge and Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts. Partnering with global firms has been vital in securing new concepts for the firm. An example is Arabian Rockbits — the region’s largest manufacturer of rockbits — which was born out of an Al Rushaid partnership with Halliburton subsidiary Security DBS.
Mohamed Abdul Latif Jameel may be most famous for running the world’s largest independent Toyota dealership, but it is in the issue of employment where he is really making a difference in Saudi Arabia. Via the Bab Rizq Jameel (BRJ) initiative, Jameel has helped create over 230,000 job opportunities, and is planning to create 500,000 jobs a year in the Arab countries and Turkey. Nine years ago, BRJ started out with just two job creation officers — one of whom was Jameel himself — who trained ten unemployed Saudis to become taxi drivers. But, of course, it’s his business success that has enabled him to set up BRJ.
Jameel’s self-titled group (ALJ) sells Toyota vehicles in the Middle East, UK, Central Asia and China. Jameel’s father first signed the partnership deal with Toyota in 1955 — and it wasn’t an auspicious start. The firm sold only ten Land Cruisers in a single year, all of which were later returned by dissatisfied customers. ALJ is also active in the fields of real estate, financing, software solutions, advertising, media, and distribution and sales of electronics and appliances. It employs more than 10,000 people worldwide with around 2,000 in the UK alone, and the group also operates Saudi Arabia’s largest consumer finance company.