Abdulla Al Humaidi: Getting to Know the Kuwaiti Business Giant

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Abdulla Al Humaidi: Getting to Know the Kuwaiti Business Giant

Born in January 1986, Dr. Abdulla Al Humaid is a member of the prominent Al Humaidi family of Saudi Arabia which is known for its extensive ties to business and commerce.

Abdulla Al Humaidi was educated in the UK, where he graduated with a master’s in business administration (MBA) with distinction from the University of Leicester. He also studies medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland for seven years prior to going into business.

It wasn’t until after his studies that Abdulla Al Humaidi decided to pursue a career in business and finance. He first became a chartered accountant while still in Ireland and began his career by working as an analyst at HSBC in London and later acted as the CFO for various companies, including Gulf Business Machines Corporation Group and Al-Ahlia Insurance Company (Kuwait).

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Abdulla Al Humaidi and Kuwaiti European Holding Group

As a member of the Al Humaidi family, however, it was somewhat inevitable that Abdulla Al Humaidi would eventually follow family tradition and go into business for himself. That’s exactly what he did in late 2008 and early 2009 when he founded Kuwaiti European Holding (KEH) Group.

KEH Group acts as the international assets holding company for Abdulla Al Humaidi and the wider Kuwaiti Al Humaidi family. It focuses on key sectors including financial services, leisure, and real estate.

KEH is known for its successful business ventures that include some of the world’s most popular entertainment and tourism outlets. These include the ‘London Resort’, a US$3.6 billion megaresort due to launch in 2024, and several companies actively involved in real estate throughout the UK & Ireland.

Since KEH’s 2008 founding, the company has grown rapidly under the guidance of Al Humaidi. Indeed, Al Humaidi has molded KEH Group and his entire entrepreneurial career on his ability to remain focused on entrepreneurial trends and the end goal, making him a brilliant example of what it means to have raw entrepreneurial abilities.

In 2016, Dr. Al Humaidi appointed UK banker Humphrey Percy the group’s CEO.

Since Percy’s appointment, KEH Group’s UK portfolio and profit margins have grown quickly. This is thanks to a series of smart investments, including those into other operations overseen by Abdulla Al Humaidi such as Armila Capital Limited and London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH).

Here’s a look at some of KEH’s extensive portfolio in tourism & entertainment, real estate, and football.

The London Resort

One of Abdulla Al Humaidi KEH Group’s most ambitious and revered projects to date is the London Resort. This, as we mentioned earlier, is a US$3.6 billion amusement park that’s currently earmarked for launch in 2024.

The London Resort is a huge development that is being built in Kent, a short train journey from Central London for tourists. The resort has already been referred to by many as the UK’s version of Disneyland, Paris. Once finished, the London Resort will be Europe’s largest entertainment park development since Disneyland Paris opened its gates in the early 1990s.

By launching the London Resort, Al Humaidi is hoping to tap into the valuable London tourism market and not only make money but also deliver a quality experience for guests. Each year, around 30 million tourists visit London (up from 19 million in 2016) and contribute billions to the UK economy.

The London Resort project also received the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project designation from the government, the first commercial project to be given this designation.

Aqueous Resort

Aqueous Resort is another of KEH Group’s major projects located near the Red Sea in Egypt.

Although it’s true that the Red Sea attracts fewer tourist numbers and lower revenues than London, Aqueous Resort is still an ambitious development and one of the biggest in Egypt. Set amidst the natural beauty of the Red Sea coastline, this water-themed resort will draw in locals and tourists alike with a luxury park, relaxation areas, shopping experiences, and industry-leading private excursions to parts of the Red Sea area.

When complete, Aqueous Resort will feature a four-star hotel built around several interconnected pools that guests will be able to access from their rooms. Aqueous Resort is currently in the second phase of its development having completed the first phase earlier this year.

Landmarque Property Group

Abdulla Al Humaidi also acts as the director of Landmarque Property Group through KEH Group. Landmarque is a real-estate developer in Dublin, Ireland, the place where Al Humaidi went to medical school for seven years before going into business.

Landmarque develops mixed-use property in Ireland and the UK, as part of an international group of companies. Today, its portfolio totals over €4.3 billion across Europe (the UK, Belgium, Germany, and France) and the Middle East. This includes over €500 million invested in building homes within Dublin City, 400 of which are affordable homes for residents on low incomes.

Ebbsfleet United Football Club

KEH Group’s investment in Ebbsfleet United Football Club, an English professional football club, shows that Abdulla Al Humaidi recognizes that he doesn’t necessarily have to create something from the ground up to make it a success.

Al Humaidi stepped in and rescued Ebbsfleet United in 2013 when it was facing the prospect of bankruptcy. At the time, Al Humaidi promised that he would revitalize the club by launching it on an entirely new trajectory; and he did.

Since his takeover, a series of smart decisions by Abdulla Al Humaidi has seen the club enjoy varied success within its league, with lots of high-profile wins during several seasons over the years.

More recently, in June 2020, German football professional Dennis Kutrieb was appointed as manager of the team following his decision to not renew his contract at Tennis Borussia Berlin. This appointment seems to have paid off, too; Ebbsfleet is now closing in on the top spot of its league after a series of wins against major challenges.

Abdulla Al Humaidi on the Importance of Education

Abdulla Al Humaidi is quick to point out the pivotal role his education has played in his success as an entrepreneur. You cannot be an entrepreneur without staying in the know, he says, and admits that education doesn’t necessarily mean difficult exams and college degrees.

So far as entrepreneurship goes, Abdulla Al Humaidi says that education means staying in the know about what’s going on in your field and what’s happening in the world around you.

By staying educated and ahead of the latest happenings and developments, entrepreneurs can easily spot new trends, learn about the latest problems in their fields, and think about existing problems in different ways. This mindset then enables entrepreneurs to develop in-demand solutions that conform with these trends, solve problems, and fit a gap in the market.

Education is clear in the work of Al Humaidi; he constantly stays educated about his business, the markets it operates in, and the world in general. He achieves this by networking with others in his field, reading the news, and engaging in projects where he can extract value by learning something new. This dramatically contributes to his success as the CEO of KEH Group and allows him to mastermind exciting new projects like the London Resort.

Abdulla Al Humaidi’s Strong Leadership

Through a series of strategic investments, Abdulla Al Humaidi is bringing his visions of the future of real estate, finance, and tourism to life in both the Middle East and Europe.

Indeed, ambitious projects like the London Resort are only possible due to the innovative vision of Abdulla Al Humaidi. He believes that investing in areas such as tourism, entertainment, and real estate are the best ways for people to pay to enjoy something that you have created, and, in the process, benefit shareholders with strong financial results.

Al Humaidi continues to pursue activities that will bring further growth and development to KEH Group, all while spearheading the development of one of Europe’s biggest and most expensive entertainment resorts.

Today, Abdulla Al Humaidi manages billions of dollars in assets while leading KEH Group’s many investments and developments in real estate, technology, finance, and tourism. Named as one of the Top 100 most influential Arabs in 2016 by Forbes Middle East, Dr. Al Humaidi also remains an active member on the boards of companies both inside and outside of the Middle East.

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