Mr. Jawad Ahmad Bukhamseen
Every few years ACI-Kuwait Chapter honours an individual by giving special recognition to his or her lifelong and significant contribution towards Kuwait’s development
through entrepreneurship, personal efforts and bold initiatives. The award for special recognition for the year 2017 is being given to an individual who has both, as a visionary and as a brilliant entrepreneur, contributed significantly
towards Kuwait’s development.
His life story is a chronology of acute business acumen and bold initiatives, with a remarkable career as a visionary, entrepreneur, businessman and investor,
real estate developer, banker, hotelier and, as would be expected, a committed community and social worker.
Mr. Jawad Ahmad Bukhamseen
was honoured by ACI-Kuwait Chapter for his “lifelong
contribution towards promoting entrepreneurship, trade and development in the State of Kuwait
At the time Mr. Bukhamseen was born in 1941, his father had a small tailoring shop for stitching and selling bishts, the traditional gown that Kuwaiti men wear as formal attire.
His early schooling, which was in night schools as in the mornings he helped his father, was limited and ended at intermediate level.
While still a teenage apprentice in his father’s shop, he started his own side business selling bishts. But being the smart shopkeeper that he was, by the time he was in his late teens, his business had expanded to include school uniforms and supplies from China.
He, however, always had the urge to become more aggressive and move on to bigger things. He was only 25 years old when he ventured into real estate, starting with an old adobe house,
refurbishing it and then selling it for a profit. This progressed to dealing in land and he soon became a young but prominent player in Kuwait’s real estate market.
His real estate interests have continued to blossom, and over the past 50 years he has been associated with over 400 buildings in Kuwait and within the region. One of Kuwait’s first tall
structures Emad Centre, was developed by him.
While still in his late 20s, he also became a broker and started dealing in shares, and when a proper stock exchange was established in Kuwait, he became a major force in that industry.
But the entrepreneurial spirit continued to blossom and many new business ventures took hold.
Banker and Holder
In 1973, with some other businessmen, he founded Kuwait Real Estate Bank. Banking interests flourished thereafter and by early 80s he started the First Gulf
Bank in Ajman, UAE and the Egyptian Gulf Bank.
Banking businesses today include Warba Bank and Ritaat Bank, which he fully owns. By 1975 he had diversified into food and beverages setting up the Canada Dry Factory; which soon
led to the ABC brand which is so well known today.
Another major milestone was achieved in 1982, when he became a grand hotelier. With his undeniable charm he had persuaded the Holiday Inn Group to set up their first hotel in the Middle East,
and to do so in Kuwait. The iconic Crowne Plaza Holiday Inn was inaugurated. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Kuwait’s booming unofficial stock market, Souk Al Manakh, that had started in mid-1970, but in 1981 it witnessed a catastrophic crash. Mr. Bukhamseen was requested by the government to
participate in deliberations to find a solution to the crisis. The committee recommended a difficult credit resettlement programme, which the government started implementing in 1986.
The implementation was still incomplete when, in August, 1990 Kuwait was invaded.
Mr. Bukhamseen remained in Kuwait throughout the occupation, because he felt it was his responsibility to do so. He stayed to help families, distributing food supplies, providing
logistics support and social care, and paying ransoms to free Kuwaiti captives.
Post liberation he committed himself to putting life back into the country, and the first big step was
getting Crowne Plaza Holiday Inn started again.
As would be expected, particularly given his commitment to public service, he is also actively involved in various charity and social organisations. Away from work he likes to spend time at his farm, and indulge in his favourite hobbies, which are cooking and his large collection of antique cars.
was indeed pleased to honour Mr. Jawad Ahmed Bukhamseen
with a special recognition trophy for his lifelong contribution towards promoting entrepreneurship, trade and
development in the State of Kuwait
On behalf of Mr. Jawad Ahmad Bukhamseen, the award plaque and certificate was received by his son, Mr. Osama Bukhamseen.