Nestled in the heart of the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain stands as a dynamic hub of commerce and culture. This article explores the financial empires that intricately shape Bahrain’s economic landscape. From Hamad bin Is Al Khalifa to Abdulla Ali Kanoo this article spotlights the faces behind Bahrain’s most substantial fortunes.
List of the Wealthiest People in Bahrain
Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa has served as the King of Bahrain since February 14, 2002, following his tenure as the Emir of Bahrain from March 6, 1999. Born to Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the nation’s first emir, Hamad has been an influential figure within the Al Khalifa dynasty, which has governed Bahrain since 1783. His military career began in 1968 when he joined the Bahrain National Guard, eventually rising to its command. He subsequently became the commander-in-chief of the Bahrain Defence Force in 1969. Hamad held key positions in defense and administration until 1988, including the role of minister of state for defense from 1971 to 1988.
Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa serves as both the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain, as well as the deputy supreme commander of the Bahrain Defense Force. Before assuming his current roles, Salman held various positions, including vice-chairman of the Bahrain Centre for Studies and Research, Undersecretary of Defence at the Ministry of Defence, and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the BCSR. He was sworn in as Crown Prince on March 9, 1999, and served as the commander-in-chief of the Bahrain Defence Force from March 22, 1999, to January 6, 2008.
Talal Al Zain, the CEO of Bahrain’s $10 billion sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, wields influence over the investment strategies of the Gulf state that discovered oil in 1932. In addition to his role as CEO, Al Zain chairs national carrier Gulf Air and oversees diverse holdings, ranging from the Bahrain International Circuit, host to Formula 1 races, to a substantial 36.7 percent ownership in the telecom giant Batelco. With a portfolio spanning crucial sectors, Al Zain plays a pivotal role in steering Mumtalakat’s investments, contributing to the economic landscape of Bahrain, and shaping the nation’s position in the global market.
Esam Janahi, the Chairman of Gulf Finance House is a distinguished figure, sits on the boards of numerous global companies, and is a regular speaker at the World Economic Forum. Recognized as the ‘Islamic Banker of the Year’ and a ‘Young Global Leader,’ he holds an honorary doctorate from Geneva. Notably, as the leader of Gulf Finance House (GFH) since 1999, Janahi has spearheaded groundbreaking initiatives, including the establishment of energy cities in Qatar, Libya, and Kazakhstan, financial harbors in Bahrain and Tunisia, and the monumental $10 billion Mumbai Economic Development Zone. GFH has also unveiled First Energy Bank, the world’s inaugural Islamic investment bank providing specialized energy-focused financing.
Abdulla Ali Kanoo serves as the chairman of the Kanoo Group, a prominent family enterprise in Bahrain with a rich history and expansive operations across the region. Established in 1890 by founder Haji Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo, the small family firm has evolved into a diversified conglomerate with a significant presence in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman, Yemen, and Qatar. Initially focused on trading and shipping, the group expanded during the oil boom, diversifying into shipping, travel, retail, IT, machinery, oil and gas, power and industrial projects, exhibition services, courier services, logistics, and chemicals, solidifying its position as a Gulf powerhouse.