QATAR - Economy
Chairman, Al Faisal Holding
Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani is one of Qatar’s most successful businessmen, playing a significant role in the development of the business sector in Qatar. Founder and chairman, Al-Thani has, over the past five decades, built the business into one of Qatar’s largest privately held diversified industry groups with operations that are continuing to grow strongly across local, regional, and international markets. His passion for arts and culture has led him to establish a heritage venue Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum that perpetuated his vision of reviving public interest and appreciation of culture and heritage. Education and research have formed an integral part of Al Faisal Holding, Sheikh Faisal Museum, and the ALF Foundation activities, reflecting his personal philosophy and contribution to the development of Qatar’s knowledge-based economy.
What are the main areas of activity and companies of your holding, as well as its main milestones?
Al Faisal Holding Group adopts a diversified business model operating in different sectors such as real estate, hospitality, trading and distribution, services, construction and project management, culture, and education. In addition, Al Faisal’s investments include its interest in Aamal Company Q.P.S.C, one of Qatar’s largest, most diversified and fastest-growing companies. All the investments we have made in the past 57 years form an important component of our DNA and who we are today, as each project added a distinct experience that contributed to our progress and enriched our experience. Our start was in 1967 through a company called GETTCO Trading and Distribution and is currently known as Aamal Trading and Distribution. In 1970, we established Ebn Sina Medical and GETTCO Travel, which is currently known as Aamal Travel. I am extremely proud that these companies are still operating and enjoy leading market positions in the Qatari market. With the development and prosperity of the economy, we entered new fields such as real estate through Al Jazi Real Estate Investment Company, established in 1995, and education through the Gulf English School and Stenden University, established in 1993 and 1998, respectively. There was the opening of City Center Doha Shopping Mall in 2000, considered a landmark in the West Bay area. We also expanded to regional and international markets through Al Rayan Tourism Investment Company (ARTIC), established in 2003 and currently with investments in Europe, the US, and the Middle East and North Africa. Some of our businesses became publicly listed under Aamal Company at the end of 2007. These listings were in line with the government’s vision to support the local economy and strengthen the financial market.
What is your assessment of the strength of the Qatari economy, and what have been the main drivers that resulted in its success?
The strong performance of the Qatari economy and its ability to achieve growth despite the surrounding conditions is considered the best evidence of its resilience. Among the most important factors that contributed to sustainable growth is the government’s strategy of economic diversification, infrastructure development, and stable oil prices. Qatar’s strong economy and sustainable growth has contributed to creating many investment opportunities in multiple sectors, strengthening the private sector’s role and its increased participation in major projects, and creating job opportunities, which in turn are reflected positively on the economy as a whole.
Where are the most appealing sectors and countries to continue diversifying your business portfolio?
We are always keen on achieving synergy among our business operations, which comes through a careful and balanced diversification strategy in key sectors. We always aim to achieve excellence in all our activities through adhering to highest corporate governance standards, investing in human capital, and encouraging entrepreneurship spirit and innovation. We are always seeking strategic investment opportunities that provide added value to all stakeholders, are in line with our business model, and uphold the quality standards that we have set since our founding. The four main pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030—human development, social development, economic development and environmental development—are all at the heart of our operations. We continuously invest in building our human capital and encouraging entrepreneurial spirit. We are also keen on being an effective member of the local community in order to keep up with the most important and recent developments in the international community. We aim to be an active and integral part of the local private sector, which has a significant role in diversifying resources of the local economy and achieving self-sufficiency. Finally, we give great attention to preserving the environment, reducing pollution and our dependence on hydrocarbon resources.