A C I   H O M E


Awards >> Award of Achievement (2015 - 2016)

Mr. Mohammad Abdulaziz Alshaya

"Lifetime involvement in pioneering and promoting Retail Development
in the State of Kuwait and across the Middle East."

The 2015 Award of Achievement was presented to
"Mr. Mohammad Abdulaziz Alshaya" for his lifetime involvement in pioneering and promoting retail development in the State of Kuwait and across the Middle East.

Mr. Mohammad Al Shaya has served Kuwait and its society well. He has done that as a visionary and pioneer; as an eminent entrepreneur; through his imaginative retail sense; by being an internationally respected contributor to the global retail industry; as a national and international development advisor; and through his selfless public service and philanthrophy. It is no accident that he is universally recognised as the undisputed “King of Retail”, an accolade bestowed on him by the reputed business magazine, Arabian Business.


Mr. Alshaya hails from one of the oldest and most prominent business families in Kuwait. He is part of the third generation of Alshaya family, and grandson of Mr. Mohammed Hamoud Alshaya who, with his brother founded their family trading business in 1890, when they started by trading with British India.


Mr. Alshaya completed his schooling in Kuwait's Keifan High School. His first university degree was from Kuwait University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing. He read for his Masters of Business Administration degree from the highly respected Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He is now a member of the Wharton Board of Overseers, which serves as an important bridge between the School and the broader Wharton and business community.

Mr. Alshaya's first foray into retail was as a young man soon after graduation. He started his retail journey with 'Mothercare' in the late 1970's; and in 1983 the Alshaya group ventured into its retail franchise by opening its first Mothercare store in Kuwait.

M.H. Al Shaya

Mr. Mohammed Alshaya is currently the Executive Chairman of Kuwait based M.H. Alshaya Company, and Chairman of Mabanee Company, a listed real estate and retail company. He is also Chairman of Shomoul Real Estate which develops retail properties in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Alshaya Company partners with over 70 of the most recognised global retail brands. These include amongst many others: Startbucks; Victoria's Secret; Harvey Nichols; American Eagle Outfitters; Tex; H&M; Shake Shack; Kidzania; West Elm; and Pottery Barn. The company operates over 3000 stores; and employs 46000 people across the Middle East, North Africa, Russia, Turkey and Europe.

The Avenues

It was his vision that revolutionized retailing in Kuwait. Mabanee Company developed The Avenues, which is a manifestation of Mr. Alshaya's ambitious vision and aspiration.  He wanted to create a complete city, and to make it a uniquely designed and iconic multi-facility destination which would combine shopping, dining, relaxation, entertainment, and opportunities for quality family time.

The dream was to integrate everything into one convenient mega development that would receive world-wide recognition and help in enhancing Kuwait's reputation as a major shopping hub. The project was The Avenues which is located in Al Rai. And who does not know the Avenues?

The story of growth continues with many new mega developments being planned and implemented in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Two imminent projects are:

The Avenues Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and The Avenues Bahrain in Manama.

Recognization and Awards

As would be expected, Mr. Alshaya's life is not all business. He is an internationally respected personality; and is an active member of civil society in Kuwait and globally. He is a Member of Kuwait's Supreme Council of Planning and Development; Member of Kuwait's Council of Education; and Member of Kuwait University Council. He serves on the Direct Foreign Investment Council of Turkey; The Board of Trustees of Arab Thought Foundation; and the Leadership Council at Harvard Kennedy School. He is also actively involved in the International Leadership Board of Cleveland Clinic, and is a Member of the international Business Advisory Council of London.

Retail CEO of the Year 2010
CEO Middle East Magazine
Businessman of the Year 2011/2012
Arabian Business Awards
CBE 2013
Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
“Kuwait Says Thank You” 2015
Leading Innovative Executive
World Retail Hall of Fame 2015
The World Retail Congress

It is inevitable that Mr. Alshaya's career would be embellished by recognition and awards. He was voted "Retail CEO of the Year 2010" by CEO Middle East Magazine; and "Business Man of the Year 2011 and 2012", by Arabian Business Awards. He received the "Kuwait Says Thank You" award in June 2015, when he was recognised as a leading innovative executive. And in December 2013, the Queen of England bestowed on him a CBE, whereby he was made an Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his services in developing British and Arab business. In 2015 Mr. Mohammed Alshaya was inducted into the "World Retail Hall of Fame" by the World Retail Council.

Public Service

He is particularly interested in developing skills of young Arabs through fostering entrepreneurs and providing training opportunities. In 2012, under his leadership, the Alshaya Retail Academy was set-up in Riyadh. The Academy has since expanded to other cities in Saudi Arabia and empowers thousands through training opportunities.

ACI-Kuwait Chapter is indeed proud to honour this deserving candidate for his lifetime involvement in pioneering and promoting retail development in the State of Kuwait and across the Middle East; for inspiring the creation of imaginative retail architecture; and for his public service and international recognition as a respected businessman and retailing visionary.

ACI - Kuwait Chapter Award of Excellence
ACI - Kuwait Chapter Special Award for Infrastructure Project
ACI - Kuwait Chapter Special Recognition Award

ACI Kuwait Chapter