Haji Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali
BY ANAAM IKRAM
A celebrated figure in the Kingdom, Haji Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali’s story is one that does not an introduction, but is one that serves as an integral part of the growth and development of Bahrain for over 60 years. With various successful businesses, Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali’s company found its beginnings in 1948, and soon came to known as one of the leading construction companies in the Kingdom. Catering to all areas of contracting and related matters – such as manufacturing, equipment supply, and real estate development – the AMA Group has been the forerunner in elevating the social-well being and business, infrastructural and economic development in Bahrain. Governing his business using the principles he used to start his ventures, Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali continues to steer his business to success using his extensive knowledge, experience, and an astute attitude. However his success, his beginnings were humble, and his journey to the top an exciting and worthy experience.
The Roots – from where it began
Born to a poor family, Haji Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali was born in 1930 to a farmer, Haji Mansoor, a palm tree cultivator, who passed away when Haji Ahmed was only three years old, leaving behind him and his two brothers, Abdul Aziz and Abbas. Following his father’s death, Haji Ahmed’s uncle, the late Haji Ali, undertook the care of the family, and moved his late brother’s wife and sons to his house located in the village of Abu Loomi, where Haji Ahmed spent 11 years of his life and received his education and became well-versed in the Qur’an (as at the time, it was part of the educational system), alongside his close friends in the village, Haji Mehdi Bin Mohammad and Haji Makki Bin Haji Mohammad Aabed. Migrating to a new area one more time, Haji Ahmed moved to the area of A Rehaimi, located between Aali and Salmabad, to start working on late the Haji Ahmed Bin Haji Abdul-Rahim’s farm, before changing his work field entirely and moving on to working inflorescence, which was found in parts of Aali – a pathway leading to the beginnings of the construction empire that bears the Al Aali name today.
Starting Small – 30 workers, 6 trucks, and a crusher
With only a small number of employees and limited equipment, Haji Ahmed set up his business in 1948 and tirelessly worked for 5 years before the business was recognised as a successful entity, when he embarked on a venture with Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO). By 1954, his business had the capacity to carry out large-scale construction projects that involved welding operations. In 1962, Haji Ahmed received the opportunity to expand his expertise to service foreign contractors in the region, where he was able to secure a tender for the construction of several oil storage tanks, working alongside foreign engineers. His relentless vigour and unwavering work ethic only saw his business sore to new heights, as by 1965, AMA Group had around 350 employees, whose skills and capabilities varied in all departments of construction and contracting. By 1968, Haji Ahmed’s capabilities surpassed the boarders of Bahrain, when he received the contract for the construction of the largest oil reservoir in Jebel Dhanna, Abu Dhabi, thus making him the first Bahraini contractor to carry out work in other Gulf countries.
AMA on a bigger scale – a multitude of projects that carry the AMA Group name
Since their expansion across the Gulf, the AMA Group started becoming involved in various large-scale projects such as the interface of the British Bank of the Middle East, Manama, as well as the construction of Sitra Island. Between 1972 and 1973, the AMA Group worked in association with BAPCO for large part of the sulphur project that involved removing sulphur from reduced oil, while simultaneously helping the Bahraini economy by employing 600 Bahraini workers to accomplish it. Haji Ahmed’s impressively strong working ethic combined with his business skills, allowed other companies to entrust him with their construction projects, and resulted in him working closely with regional oil companies such as Qatar Petroleum Company as well as with “Dari Power Gas”.
To those on the outside, the success of his achievements might not have been visible, but within the AMA Group, the rise of the company was apparent, as it had began with a modest number of employees carrying out small-contracting jobs, to expanding into a large enterprise comprising of 1600 employees, 18 engineers, and a foreign consultant, with an annual turnover of about BD 10 million.
Philanthropy – building the community in more than one way
Contributing to charity heavily, Haji Ahmed was involved in carrying out various humanitarian projects around Bahrain, including a focus on improvement on educational facilities. That also resulted in him launching scholarships in educational institutions for Bahraini students, receiving education in and outside the Kingdom. His considerable amount of work can also be tied directly with the economic boom of Bahrain – even though he believed his work was part of his religious and national duty, and did so without any recognition in return – and thus made him a notable figure in the Arab world. His efforts and contribution for the development of trade between Bahrain and France lead to the introduction of numerable French companies in the Kingdom, and also earned him a Medal of Honour from former French President Jacques Chirac.
Commemorating a lifetime of hard work – the countless accolades of Haji Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali
Understandably, Haji Ahmed’s determination and undeviating commitment to his business and the development of Bahrain earned him many high-ranking positions within various industries and companies in Bahrain. Serving as the Head of the Jaffaaria Waqf Directorate for 15 years, he was also a member of the Al Shoora Council in 1993, a Board Member of Bahrain Islamic Bank, as well as on the Board of Directors of Takaful company, and was also the president of the Aali Charity Fund, and currently serves as the Chairman of the AMA Group.
The continued efforts of AMA Group, and Haji Ahmed Mansoor Al Ali’s principles and rigour has seen not only the AMA Group grow and prosper, but has also seen the Kingdom of Bahrain mirror the same development. Throughout the years, Haji Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali’s name has become synonymous with evolution and expansion of Bahrain and is a name that will continuously be a part of the Bahrain’s forward movement.
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