No.13 The Kanoo family

Wealth (US$ billion) 6b
Country of Residence



Transport & Industry


Kanoo Group

The Kanoo Group is one of the largest independent family owned holding companies in the Gulf region. Established in Bahrain in 1890 by Haji Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo, it has grown from its early trading and shipping business to become one of the most diversified and highly regarded business houses in the Gulf region and beyond.

The company’s joint venture division was established over 25 years ago and has been linked to high profile names such as Axa Insurance, Norwich Union Insurance, Maersk, BASF, Johnson Arabia, Freightworks, British Standards Institution, Infineum (Exxon/Shell), Halliburton, Akzo Nobel, Thales, and Amec Plc.

This year, tragedy struck the family when Abdulla Ali Kanoo, the group’s chairman and CEO, died at his home in Manama, Bahrain, aged 83.

Kanoo was the chairman and chief executive of conglomerate Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo Group, which has interests in shipping, travel, machinery, oil and gas, power and industrial projects as well as courier services, logistics, specialty chemicals and business centres.

True to form, just days before his death, Kanoo had attended the inauguration of the new Kanoo Terminal Services’ high-tech inland container depot.

His titles also included chairman of the National Bank of Bahrain, International Paint Saudi Arabia Ltd, Kanoo Terminal Services Ltd, King Wilkinson (Saudi Arabia) Ltd, AXA Cooperative Insurance Company, Inspectorate International (SA) Ltd and Port Services Containers Company and vice chairman of Saudi Arabia’s United Arab Shipping Agencies Company Ltd.

He is survived by wife Mariam, sons Ali and Ahmed and daughters Lamya, Hana and Safia.