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Network for Middle East family businesses launched

By Rashmi Kumar

Family businesses are big in the Middle East – various estimates say around 90% of all companies in the region are controlled by families. But its importance was further underscored this week with the launch of the Family Business Network GCC, the first of its kind in the area.

Covering members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the network will be based in Dubai.

As one of the chapters of Family Business Network International, the GCC division will provide an “ideal platform to promote family values through engaging national human resources and expertise”, Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair, its new chairman, reportedly said at the launch.

Al Ghurair, who is also chief executive of his family’s Mashreq Bank, added that the network will help promote family companies as a sustainable business model.

According to research, almost three-quarters of family businesses in the Middle East are managed by the second generation, while one-fifth are in the third generation of ownership.

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