Saudi owned Alhokair Group receives OECD-MENA award for significant job creation
The Saudi Arabia-based Fawaz Alhokair Group, one of the largest retail franchisers in the Kingdom and in the MENA region, received the “2005 Investor of the Year” award at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Middle East and North Africa Investment Ministerial Meeting held in Jordan recently, in recognition of its outstanding contribution towards job creation in Saudi Arabia.
In 2005, the Fawaz Alhokair Group achieved a sales turnover exceeding SR 2.23 billion (EUR500 million) and generated close to 4,000 new jobs.
Group Chairman Fawaz Alhokair received the ‘Award for Significant Employment Generating Investment’ during the meeting between MENA ministers charged with finance and investment policy reform and their OECD counterparts at the Dead Sea’s King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre. The award was presented by H.E. Sharif Al Zoubi, Jordan’s Minister for Industry and Trade.
The two-day forum, focused on boosting economic development, job creation and providing for a more attractive environment for private enterprise in the region, was held under the patronage of H.M. King Abdullah II.
"We are truly grateful to receive this recognition from His Excellency and wish to thank His Majesty, the OECD and Jordan Investment Board for hosting this meeting,” Mr. Alhokair said. “This event is an important platform for investors within the region and will undoubtedly drive further investments and lead to increased job creation within the MENA region."
Private sector investment has been identified as one of the keys to unlock a new era of economic dynamism that many MENA countries are looking for. In the face of expanding populations and dwindling resources, between 80 and 100 million new jobs are likely to be needed in the region between now and 2020, according to the OECD.
Founded more than 15 years ago, the Fawaz Alhokair Group is one of the top 10 trading entities in the Saudi market. Specialised in retail franchising, it currently operates more than 600 outlets in the region, representing 50 top-tier international brands.
The Group has become a dominant player in most of the sectors it operates in, including real estate, fashion retail, food & entertainment, hypermarkets, financial services, telecom retail and healthcare. The company has more than 6,000 employees, and is expected to expand its retail network to cross 800 stores in Saudi Arabia by 2007.
“This award is highly rewarding for our employees as we strive to place the retail industry on the map for career development and building a fruitful future,” Mr. Alhokair added. “We are currently developing a scholarship program for young Arabs wanting to further their education, and have embarked on a large-scale project to create the Alhokair Academy for Retail in association with an international institution."
Asked to share his expertise with young entrepreneurs in the MENA region, Mr. Alhokair provided this piece of advice: “People are often scared of making decisions,” he said. “They fear taking a chance, but I am of the belief that if you don’t try it then you have already failed. You will only succeed if you try. At Alhokair we always strive to be the best of the best."
The Group has also consolidated plans to enter the Jordanian market in the next few months, he added, bringing its unique retail expertise to bear on enhancing the country’s brand value and satisfying the growing demand for leading brands.
Fawaz Alhokair Group is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic enterprises in the Middle East. With a reputation built on innovation and success fashion retail franchising, it trades over 50 brands through its retail stores and brought-in new concepts in food retailing and hypermarkets, and is a trendsetter in developing prime real estate and shopping malls. Through integration of fashion, food, hypermarket and real estate businesses, the Group can rightfully stake its claim to offering current and future brand partners the Ultimate Retailing Recipe!