Interview with Abdullah Al Zubair, The Zubair Corporation, Oman
The Zubair Corporation is one of Oman’s largest privately-owned conglomerates. Founded by H.E. Mohammad Al Zubair over 40 years ago, the family business’ activities span across a multitude of sectors which range from energy, logistics, engineering, construction, information and communication technology to real estate, hospitality, financial services and manufacturing. The Zubair family has additionally been an adamant advocate for furthering the interests of the Omani people via various CSR activities which include the Zubair Small Enterprise Centre, a membership platform enabling Omani entrepreneurs access to educational resources and exchange, and the Bait Al Zubair Foundation, a culture and arts initiative aimed at supporting emerging talent in the country.
With both the second and the third generation actively involved in the management of the group, the Zubair conglomerate is a perfect example of the multigenerational family business. Tharawat magazine met with Abdullah Al Zubair, 27-year old third generation family business member and entrepreneur in his own right, to discussed the benefits of creative thinking, the importance of establishing a corporate culture, and giving back to the community.
Crafting a balance
“I wanted to be an architect!” exclaims Abdullah Al Zubair when asked of his career ambitions early on. “I studied architecture for two years but felt keenly that I wanted to do something more hands-on. I then explored business and computer engineering.” Neither of these directions however, satisfied both Abdullah’s creative nature and his entrepreneurial drive. He finally settled on a discipline that surprised everyone. “I studied the Arts in England and Italy,” he declares. “At first my family wasn’t sure about my choice. But I told them to let me do what I wanted in order to get better results. I always knew I wanted to study something creative and so the Arts were perfect. I loved it because when studying art you are allowed to explore. There is no right or wrong in art. It is what you make of it,” Abdullah explains enthusiastically.